Bengaluru Food Truck + Music Festival 4th edition
“Street food has been around for thousands of years. In fact, street food is believed to have originated as far back as Ancient Rome.”
Do you remember the show Eat Street on TLC? I wouldn’t miss an episode of this amazing food series for anything in the world. East Street is about James Cunningham’s quest to find the best-lip-smacking street food in Northern America. Food soo delicious and heavenly that it has rivalled even the fanciest of dine-in establishments. When I visited California in the summer of 2015, one of my bucket list items was to go to a street food festival. Within a few days I heard about this event organized by Off The Grid called Twilight @ The Presidio- a Thursday night event that showcases a merry band of food trucks. It wasn’t difficult to convince my wife Herwin and her friends to take me to this food truck festival, simply because they were foodies themselves. So, I waited patiently for them to return from work in the evening. I remember heading to the gym twice that day and also going for a swim- making sure that I had enough capacity to gorge as much as I could at the event.
The drive from Cupertino to Presidio was about 50 miles on the US-101 and it would take us about an hour and a half as long as there wasn’t much traffic. But, as always, things dont always go your way- especially when it comes to something that you really want to do. The traffic was horrendous and all I could do was sit and continuously check the ETA from our current location to Presidio. We reached Presidio at about 7.30 pm and found a parking space which was again another 10 mins walk from where the event was being held. Hmm.. What can I say? We finally made it to the event and was shocked to see the large crowd gathered around each of the food trucks. There must have been around 40-50 people standing in a queue besides each of the food trucks and some of them were even saying that the food started to run out. It was pointless even standing in the queue- there was no guarantee that by the time we reached in front of the queue there would be food left to serve. That was the so-called food truck festival that I hardly experienced and the only way I could get over this dejection was to visit The Cheesecake Factory at Union Square– which we did. But, I did manage to click a decent amount of pictures.
Meanwhile, I had been planning to move to Bengaluru for a long time now; the simple reason- to be close to home. The plan finally started to take shape and before anything, I started counting down my time in Hyderabad. During the next few weeks I spent most of my weekends visiting the many restaurants I enjoyed eating-out at and even managed to undertake two food-walks in the Old City area of Hyderabad. Do check out my blog post about those food-walks by clicking here. Unlike Hyderabad, Bengaluru does not have an indigenous cuisine of its own, instead, when we say Bengaluru cuisine it is a multitude of various cuisines practised by the many folks who have migrated from other states and people who have chosen Bengaluru to be their home. These are the many reasons why Bengaluru has one helluva food culture that flaunts numerous events promoting street food culture, farmer’s markets and the food truck festivals. Recently, I had been to a food truck festival organised by Kitsch Mandi– Bangalore Food Truck + Music Festival 4th edition. The event was held on April 3rd & 4th at Pebble – The Jungle Lounge, near Palace Grounds, Sadashiv Nagar. During the days that led to the event there was some confusion as to what would the entry fee be like, what is the cover charge etc? There were also some pansies who made the best out of this ambiguity by quoting an entry of 2 grand (for couples).. 1 grand (spinsters) etc; but all this was put to rest later on by the organizers who posted on FB that it would be a mere 200 rupees.
Anyways, I visited Pebble on Sunday- early- soo early that my friends started to mock me saying things like I helped the food trucks open their shutter etc.- how silly yet funny. Little did they know that I had learnt a lesson when I returned empty-stomach from the SFO food truck festival- the possibility of food running out is real. Since the event was between 11 am and 11 pm; I arrived at Pebble at 11.30 am (early bird). The food trucks were just firing-up but there were a couple of them raring to serve some of the early birds who had just arrived. There were quite a line-up of food trucks but I’ll go about mentioning the ones I visited and thoroughly enjoyed.
Sticksnax was the first food truck I visited at the food festival. They are about serving snack food on sticks- nutritious and hygienic food made from natural and organic ingredients (as mentioned on their website). Sticksnax is actually a restaurant based in RT Nagar and the food truck might be their way of promoting the restaurant. Unlike other food trucks, the Sticksnax food truck does not serve foodies all round the year, instead they setup only during food festivals. But if you do want to relish the amazing snacks served here, you might as well head out to their outlet in RT Nagar. At the festival I tried their Peri Peri Chicken, Chicken Pops and Charmuru Chicken (hope I got that right). I liked all of them- very flavourful but a special mention for the Chicken Pops and the Charmuru Chicken; which was incredibly delicious.
002 Square Ruth
I was sort of excited about visiting this food truck- over the past few weeks I’ve heard a lot about them in terms of their food. The other thing was that they park near my office at Bagmanne tech park and on the weekends near my residence at Haralur Road. These guys are an epitome of a nomad food truck, having travelled all the way to the west coast for NITK’s annual fest called Incident at Surathkal, Mangalore. Incident is a fest that I used to attend during my college days in Mangalore- indeed the Square Ruth food truck made me feel the world was a little more smaller. What can I say about the food- their bacon dog which is a juicy hot dog- served with bacon and a lip-smacking barbecue sauce- is worth dying for. Not to mention, their BBQ Wings- drowned in a spicy-tangy sauce- was orgasm for the taste buds. You Guys Rock!!
003 The S.W.A.T Food Truck
The S.W.A.T food truck (serving with a twist)– legendary by name and no less by their food. The S.W.A.T food truck is another popular name among the top food trucks in Bangalore, stationed at Indiranagar (mostly). I regret not having spent time to understand the story behind this food truck- how did they come to begin etc? But, I did try their food and that pretty much showcased their passion and love for what they do and why they have a 4000+ fan following FB page. I tried their all American Meat Burger which is a beef patty slapped with some gooey sauces, cheese and jalapeño- also ordered bacon with the side (how could I not?). It was just amazing- the juicy beef patty, complimented with the chewy bacon and the subtle flavors of the various sauces used- one word- fantabulous.
004 le casse-croute
Le-casse-croute food truck is one of a kind, meaning it is probably the one-and-only French food truck in Bengaluru or for that matter, India. Casse-croute means a light snack in French- which in turn is the core focus of this food truck- simple home-made French food. You can read more about them on their website by clicking here. Herwin and Nazeef ordered a Prawn & Aioli sandwich with French Fries- which was simple and delicious. The sandwich was not something you would prefer if you were looking for a hit of spice. But, I did get the taste of Tahini, complimented with fresh produce- in the form prawns. To me, that is the essence of French cooking- simple and ensuring the natural flavors of the ingredients are intact.
005 Smoke Signal BBQ
Three food trucks down and it was time to reconstruct my appetite and what better way than to sip on some Cuba Libres from the Pebble bar counter. Smoke Signal BBQ belongs to Dexter who happened to know my very good friend Nihal. Dexter is a techie whose passion for barbecues knew no bounds. Nihal and Dexter echoed an experience they shared somewhere on the hills of Kodai Kanal. It happened so that they were trekking and when they paused to camp- found it very difficult to light a fire; the oxygen apparently at that altitude was quite insufficient to do so. But they did find a way to light a fire and ended up preparing some sumptuous omelettes. At Smoke Signal BBQ, we tried a simple Beef steak which has been marinated for more than 24 hrs. The steak was incredibly delicious- the beef was soft and juicy. Do not miss out on this food truck at any cost for they serve some freaking awesome barbecued beef steaks.
006 Go Waffles – from Belgium with love
Well, here you have it- Bangalore’s first Belgian Waffle Truck, serving freshly baked waffles with heavenly toppings. We ordered the Strawberry 365- waffles served with Belgian Strawberries, Vanilla Ice Cream and Icing sugar- the waffle was soft and crispy- the Strawberries and the Ice Cream elevated the overall taste to a whole new level. They also served Maple ‘n’ Waffle, Blue Mountain, Choco-Land and Nutellicious. Go Waffles also caters to parties and events (as mentioned on their FB page).
007 The Spitfire BBQ Truck
“It’s No Sin To Get Sauce On Your Chin”
The Spitfire BBQ Truck is undoubtedly one of the first food trucks to have driven across Bangalore- this is clearly evident in their 8000+ fan following on Facebook. We tried their New York style hot dog which was nothing short of amazing. True to their saying- very generous with the sauces on the hot dog. I would have loved to try more of their specialities but my appetite had reached a deadlock and I couldn’t eat any more without having to force feed myself- which was pointless anyway. Many would say that there were about 15 odd food trucks and I had experienced only half of them but there is good news after all- Kitsch Mandi organises this food festival almost frequently. So, I will be back with a blogpost about the 5th edition of the Bengaluru Food Truck + Music Festival and also explore the food trucks that I had missed out on at the 4th edition of this food-crazy event. I leave you with a few pictures of the location where the event was organized- Pebble, The Jungle Lounge. Personally, I dont think there could have been a better stage for such an event- with uplifting music playing in the background and all the foodies dressed up like flower children- you had to be there!