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Food Truck Wars at ManyFest

Here are a couple of general posts about the 2014 edition of ManyFest and the food truck wars, that I have combined into one. 

Yakimix at SM Masinag | Eat, drink ...
Yakimix at SM Masinag | Eat, drink and grill all you can (buffet) | Michael's Hut

ManyFest has arrived, and with it the Food Truck Wars.  I plan on writing a couple of reviews over the weekend, but today I’m starting with a post about the day itself.
There was a bit of bad news about the day, so I’ll dispense with that first. The Food Truck Wars got off to a bit of an inauspicious start. Two or three trucks were without power to start the day. A few more weren’t ready to serve at the 11 am starting news. However that’s most of the bad news. The other bit of bad news is that while they did away with tickets (good) they also did away with the sampling menu (bad).

grass fed grill
Grass fed Grill was at ManyFest a few years ago, but sadly is no longer on the streets.

With 20+ trucks out at the event, paying for full-sized portions limits the number of trucks a person can try. Partly because of the dollar cost, partly because that’s simply too much food, unless your name is Kobayashi.

Food Truck Wars Good News:

The good news in all of this is, you’re bound to find something you like. Oneadvantage of an event like the ManyFest Food Truck Wars is that all the trucks are arranged within one block. This means you don’t have to travel several blocks of Broadway to see who is out. Of course, you do burn more calories that way.
ManyFest brings out a colourful array of trucks. The gallery below gives some idea of the trucks and/or their logos.

A Tested Truck, A New Dish:

One of the trucks that I have tried is Island Fusion. However, even though I’ve tried them before, when they announced that they had a new dish out, I had to give it a try. The special for Food Truck Wars is the Island Tacos.
This is how I describe it. Absolutely amazing. I think this has become my new single favourite food truck dish. If you try it, and I highly recommend you do, add some of the apple chutney and medium lime hot sauce for dipping it in. The flat bread is fresh, the pork is tender and the flavours burst in your mouth. One word of warning, there is plenty of filling here, so it can be a little messy. 
While it rained off and on during the day, I enjoyed the sunshine at lunch. It was a little cloudier when I went back in the afternoon, but I managed to avoid the rain.
In addition to the Island Taco, I also visited UpSouth BBQ and the Roadrunner grill. I plan on doing a full review on UpSouth BBQ tomorrow. The Roadrunner grill was all right. They certainly give you a good sized burger for $4.00. The patty itself though was a little on the under seasoned side.
Finally I had little fun at the Milk Mobile. They were taking pictures that they turn into a poster along with giving out free 250mls of 2% or chocolate milk. I kind of like the way my poster turned out. I think maybe I should contact Athena and see if they want to carry it.

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Poster child for the elimination of poster children.

ManyFest Leftovers

I hope to be out again Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. If you see me, stop and say hello
ManyFest is over for another year. With the end of ManyFest comes the end of the Food Truck Wars. Just like a meal often leaves leftovers, so to there are leftovers from this event.
Despite a bit of an inauspicious start, the weekend seemed to go over real well. I was back at the Food Truck Wars on Sunday and by four o’clock, several trucks had already reached the point where the were sold out. I didn’t make it Saturday, but a friend told me that the trucks all sold out Saturday, as well. Given that twenty-five trucks participated that’s a huge number of meals sold. The downside to that was that there were more trucks than you could reasonably make it through during the course of the weekend. Peg City Grub used two people to make it through all the trucks for judging purposes. This will also be the eventual location for finding out who won.

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The Island Tacos from Island Fusion

I reviewed both Grass Fed Grill and Up South barbeque. Still, I had some leftovers that don’t qualify for full posts on their own. One of them, the Island Taco from Island fusion I included in my Friday post, which is linked to above. There were a few others that I thought I’d take out of the blogger refrigerator and serve them up here.


I’ll start with dessert. Despite the presence, especially on Sunday, of several mini donut trucks, they weren’t my dessert. Instead, I opted for Baklava from the new Greek Town truck(website under construction). There were problems in the kitchen that prepares it Friday, and I had to wait until Sunday to finally taste it. It was definitely worth the wait. Their was plenty of syrup to sweeten the pastry and the nutty filling was very dense and crunchy. At $5.00 the portion was a little small, but in the future I’d make it an occasional item.

Baklava is a sweet reward from the Food Truck Wars
The Greek Town Truck offered a tasty, but a bit pricey piece of baklava.

Perhaps the most basic item I tried was the burger from the Road Runner Grill. It struck me as being a frozen patty that they started with. That being said it was an above average patty. At $4.00 dollars for the no frills burger, it still makes for a pretty good deal.

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The Small but tasty Grass Fed Grill burger.

The final item on my list is a piece of fish from the Walleye Wagon. They offer one and two piece combos of fish, chips and coleslaw for $10.and $15.00 respectively. That was outside both my budge and my caloric capacity, so I decided to try the single piece of fish for $5.00. The Walleye Wagon fish is served with a panko breading, rather than a traditional flour one. This leaves it with a very crisp, and yet very thin coating. Often breaded fish is 50-50 when it comes to the amount of breading vs the amount of fish. This portion of fish was 90% fish. As I said, I didn’t order the combo, but I did get to see a couple of them, and they were definitely a good value for your money, as they were loaded with chips along with the fish.

Food Truck wars walleye
My single piece of fish from the Walleye Wagon.

That takes care of my leftovers. I hope next year ManyFest returns to more of a sampling format for Food Truck Wars. It was a good idea getting rid of the tickets, but smaller sized items would give people the opportunity to try a wider variety of trucks. I noticed on the Sunday that Barbie & Gabi’s Specialteez did go to the sample sizes. As with their regular priced and sized items, there was still plenty of food in the samples, and a really good bang for the buck.
That’s it for ManyFest, I hope those who came to the food trucks for the first time, find a way to make them a part of their routine. Until next year, keep on truckin’.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.