by Terrance Mc Arthur
We used to make fun of them, call them “roach coaches.” Then came the Pandemic, and they grew in size and number, and became important providers of food. Yes, I’m talking about food trucks.
Earlier this year, Lorie Lewis Ham, our editor, wrote about Mike Osegueda, creator of the Taco Truck Throwdown for the Fresno Grizzlies baseball games, and his brainchild, Fresno Street Eats, which brings groups of food trucks and food wagons to Valley malls, breweries, sporting events, churches, festivals, and any place where hungry people gather. The Great Food Search followed the smell of food to gatherings in Sanger and Reedley to sample some of the foods offered by these mobile muncheries.
Here’s what I found.
Cinnamon Roll Shack—You know what they say: “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” The Fresno Street Eats tour starts with the Cinnamon Roll Shack, offering hefty, sugary, tasty, frosted sweets. They come with options of walnuts, pecans, or raisins. I took the Raisin Way, and it was impressive. The spiral of dough, bursting with cinnamon brown. A bountiful painting of frosting, and raisins—lots of raisins. I found myself humming “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” as I chomped my way into sugary bliss.
Get Baked 559—Baked potatoes, no big deal, right? WRONG! Get Baked 559 takes the mundane, humdrum baked potato and gives it POWER! The toppings include steak, shrimp, pastrami, bell peppers, onion, hot Cheetos, bacon, broccoli, cheese, and sour cream. Their Surf & Turf blew me away, but the Broccoli Bacon & Cheddar Cheese was the family favorite. On top of that, they work their magic with French Fries, too! Instead of just calling out the orders by number, the 559 folks pass out electronic beepers that buzz when your food is ready. Makes you feel like you’re at Panera.
Teppan Yaki Infusion—Teppan Yaki in restaurants is the Japanese style of knives in the air and sliced veggies and meats. These Infusion bowls are hard to watch being made through the food truck’s windows, but the results are stellar. Over a bed of rice cuddled in teriyaki sauce, your choice of protein (chicken, steak, shrimp, or a combo thereof) sets off the zucchini, sauce, and sesame. All I could say was “Arigato.” (“Thank you.”)
Union Jack’s Pasty Shack—Don’t pronounce it PASTE-ee; it’s Pass-tee, a meat-and-veggie turnover (from the tin miners of the Cornwall and Devon regions of England) with a crimped crust for a handle that kept the mine’s arsenic out of the fillings. This Pasty Shack delivers the traditional, flaky style, but also offers it with cheese and potato, or in Tandoori style. A combo meal comes with little Sausage Rolls, an Apple Crumble, and a drink. “Oggie, Oggie, Oggie! Oi, Oi, Oi!”
The Verdict—This is just a small taste of the variety of Fresno Street Eats food trucks appearing at events and locations. Mind you, for a dessert, I would head for the Cinnamon Roll Shack, but the champion of the month has to be Get Baked 559 and the wondrous things they do to potatoes.
To find out where and when Fresno Street Eats hit the streets, and what food trucks will be there, check out the Facebook page: Fresno Street Eats.