Tag Archives: Chatham Street Chowdown

Deli-icious at Chatham Street Chowdown

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The Friends decided to make the Chatham Street Chowdown a twofold event. We went to enjoy the fun and camaraderie of a food truck rodeo and to also take the opportunity to do a food truck review. After reviewing the online menus (that were available) for the participating trucks, we decided on Deli-icious. Both the menu, which looked like it had something for everyone, (meat lover, vegetarian, and vegan) and the name, Deli-icious, a truck specializing in paninis seemed intriguing. They are not your standard turkey, ham, and roast beef on a baguette – this truck makes it interesting not only with their paninis but also with their “more yummys.” The Friends selected three paninis: Smokey and the Bandit, Cubano, and Lucky – along with one “yummy”: watermelon gazpacho.

s_belle_smSouthern Belle:

Each of the paninis came with a side of baby carrots. Baby carrots instead of chips are a novel idea – a crunch like chips but refreshing like a salad. The paninis were good size and the bread was just like I like it, crispy outside and soft inside. My favorite was the Lucky with slow roasted pulled chicken with provolone, apple and a spicy cranberry mayo. This panini was on point. The ingredients were fresh and complimented each other well. When I took a bite of the Cubano it did make me recall trips to South Florida and the Cuban sandwiches I had tasted there. The meat was moist and flavorful and neither the pickles nor mustard over powered it. The Cubano was a very nice blend of flavors. For me, Smokey and the Bandit was just average. The chicken in this panini came across on the dry side and I would say overall it was kind of bland. I expected more kick from the chipotle mayo. As far as any gazpacho goes, I can take it or leave it. The watermelon gazpacho was cool and light but I felt it needed more watermelon flavor.

 mary_smTraveler:

During the Chowdown at the Cary Food Truck Rodeo, I had the opportunity to sample selections from the Deli-icious Food Truck. My sandwich was the sandwich called Smokey and the Bandit. The roll was good, and did not get soggy from the sandwich ingredients. The chicken was slightly over-cooked, needing a dressing of some type to add moisture to the sandwich. The avocado was green and the tomatoes were flavorful, but could have used some salt and pepper. The sandwich had an ample amount of meat and filling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Cubano sandwich. The pork was cooked to perfection and was tender and moist. The mustard and the dill pickles were good and did not overpower the overall flavor of the sandwich. I would purchase this again.

The Lucky sandwich was okay, but the chicken was not as dry due to the cranberry mayonnaise. Once again the bun was full bodied and great for a sandwich. It was good, but I am not a big chicken eater, and prefer beef and pork over chicken.

The watermelon gazpacho had a good flavor. I could taste, or at least I thought I tasted garlic, tomato, olive oil, cilantro and of course watermelon. This gazpacho was more savory, than what I make myself, and could have used some salt. I really am not a heavy salt user, but a small amount makes everything taste better.

bruce_smBadboy:

Paninis are a popular sandwich style that can incorporate any small bread loafs, as well as an array of middle-matter. There are, of course those who would argue that the true “Panini” is pressed by a grill, but that is more a distinct variation. Deli-icious uses a baguette, and a very hearty one at that. Add to that hearty portions of chicken, pork and roast beef, and then finished off with fresh traditional toppings and cheese. The Deli-licious Panini is a mealtime must.

Of the fore-mentioned sandwiches, I enjoyed the Cubano the most. It closest resembles the traditional ‘Cuban-mix” that I have enjoyed countless times in my South Florida past. Succulent roasted pork, complimented by whole grain mustard and Swiss cheese made for an excellent experience

My next favorite was the Smokey and the Bandit. A hearty portion of roasted chicken breast, avocado and provolone cheese. I found the chicken a little on the dry side, but found that the ripe avocado made up for it with tender enhancement to both flavor and texture.

The Lucky, wasn’t so much – at lest for me. As above, a hearty portion of roasted chicken was left dry, with very little to give it any zeal.

I have never had Watermelon Gazpacho, but I do enjoy the summer fruit almost everyday when in season. It was tangy, as well as smooth. The flavor was unexpected, and delightful, though admittedly, I’m not Mr. Gazpacho, I felt the sweet and smooth watermelon provided a tangy tone down, a refreshing departure from regular Gazpacho.

bobcat_sm Bob

I liked the Cubano sandwich, minus the pickles the best. I left the bread, devoured the pork. I like my Mom, the Traveler do not eat chicken, so I chose to ignore both of the chicken sandwiches. Maybe if you added cheese, I would have sampled it. I do not like watermelon, so I walked away from the gazpacho. I do like ice cream, but it was too hot for the ice cream to make it home from the rodeo. Maybe next time Mom can buy some especially for me.

Jack

I eat anything. I loved it all. When mom is eating, she has to fight me off from her plate, when she is sitting on the couch watching TV. I am always hungry and can’t seem to get full, because I am bouncy like my idol Tigger. Mom tells me I am like an old commercial about Life Cereal. Instead of Mikey, she says give it to Jack, he will eat anything. Mom is going to take some pictures of me, Bob too so everyone can see how I am growing.


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Lowdown on Chatham Street Chowdown

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The Chatham Street Chowdown, Cary’s first food truck rodeo, was held in the heart of the downtown. There were 15 food trucks along with craft beers from Fortnight Brewing Company and wine choices from Chatham Hill Winery. Live music was also provided during the rodeo. In addition some of the local merchants opened their stores showing their support for the event. The atmosphere was that of a community block party showcasing Downtown Cary. Although this was a first time event, it was well executed and we could tell there had been a lot of behind the scene planning prior to “going live.” The Friends were very pleased with the ample seating available, recycling bins, and the presence of EMS and police.

The dreary start to the day didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of The Friends as they headed off to the Chatham Street Chowdown. As usual we had done a little pre-rodeo planning and were ready to put our plan in action when we arrived. But too our dismay, the online menus were not what the food trucks were preparing for the day. While there were plenty of food trucks to satisfy our appetites and give us a large variety of delicacies to delight our palates, we had adjust our plans to the actual menus. Perhaps with future events, which is sure to happen based on the turn out, maps of the truck’s locations and a highlight menu will be provided.

mary_sm Traveler

This food rodeo brought back memories of living in Louisiana. I love good boudin, but it is not readily available in North Carolina. For those of you not familiar with this treat, boudin, the king of Cajun food, is my favorite thing in the world to eat. It is a unique food in that it can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or car food. No two boudins are exactly alike—that’s amazing, considering they all have basically the same ingredients of rice and pork.

While in line for the boudin from Baton Rouge Cuisine, I started talking to the man in line behind me. I asked him where he was from. He told me he was from Alexandria. I started laughing; telling him it was a small world because I too had lived in Alexandria. We talked about great food, favorite restaurants, such as Pre Jeans and the Country Tyme Store in Lake Charles, where to get the best cracklings or boudin. He told me that the LSU Alumni Associate had a yearly Crayfish Boil and it was open to everyone. He said they cooked nearly 400 lbs of crayfish for the event. I have already made a notation on my calendar.

Olio and Aceto made a great truffle macaroni bite. It was made to order, so it was hot and sticky, a delight to the taste buds; a true gastronomical wonder. This is a wonderful comfort food.

debbieSunday was a day to make new friends. Debbie and her husband Ron joined our table and were happy to talk about their food. Ron had selected Jambalaya from the Baton Rouge Food truck. He said it was very good, giving it a 3 out of 4 tires. Debbie had selected the chicken Pita from Gussy’s Greek Street Food, since she liked less spicy food. She loved the tzatziki sauce. Ron had considered ordering the boudin, so I parted with a piece so they could taste it. They loved it, giving it a 4.

The Cary Food Truck Rodeo was a great success and l hope it becomes a regular event, to bring the community together, as they did at this event.

s_belle_smSouthern Belle:

When we arrived, I headed off to get us a table and The Traveler and Bad Boy each went off in different directions to gather our food selections. I found us the perfect spot in the center of the rodeo, in the shade and close enough to the bandstand to have music for our dining experience. I waited patiently for my friends to return with the goodies. The Traveler dropped off Boudin Balls from Baton Rouge Cuisine before she went on to get the Slaw Plate (barbeque and slaw) from the Humble Pig and Truffled Mac and Cheese bites from Olio and Aceto. When the Bad Boy finally arrived with a selection of paninis and watermelon gazpacho from Deli-icious, we were ready to dig into and sample our selections. My favorite of the day was the pulled pork with the “kick butt sauce”. The meat was very juicy with just the right amount of smoke flavor. I tried each of the panins and “Lucky” was my pick. Olio and Aceto did not disappoint with their Truffled Mac and Cheese bite. It was a lightly breaded bite of gooey goodness, yum. After we had finished off the main course, I headed out under the pretense of “just wanting to look around” but my real mission was ice cream. I found several selections at The Freezing Point and returned with a bowl of salted caramel and a bowl of coffee with chocolate chip. Besides all the great food I also enjoy talking with other rodeo goers. At different times a couple of groups of dinners join us at our table. One particular group had visited Baton Rouge Cuisine and chosen the crawfish etouffee and the shrimpetouffee. Both said the dishes were delicious.

bruce_smBad Boy:

First time organized events, like festivals, can be demanding, as well as awkward for community organizers. There are the variables which they have control over; venue, location, amenities and public safety. Then there are those elements that they have no control over; turnout, no-shows, conflicts/controversy, and weather – being among the least predicable. All of these elements collectively can make-or-break future events of the same venue. Team Triangle Street Eats arrived a bit early for the Chatham Street Chowdown. I like to arrive at any event a little early, to see the layout, and to get a perception of people interaction, as the event unfolds. Also, arriving early helps to avoid the long lines for food, beverage and seating. Arriving early also gives me a good perspective on “crowd-swell,” the phenomenon by which an event or venue can increase/decrease its turnout by any of the above-mentioned elements through social media.

It would be an hour after we arrived that I noticed that the “crowd-swell” was headed in the positive direction, and the likelihood of rain did not deter many who had initially planned to attend. Before long, long lines had formed at all of the trucks and there were still many hours of planned activities.

My highest regards to the Town of Cary, and to all of the people who worked so hard to make the Chatham Street Chowdown a success. It was exceptionally well planed. Since Triangle Street Eats is based in Cary, I know that Team TSE can look forward to reviewing other Cary food truck events in the near future.


 

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