My wife and I checked out the Downtown Lakeland Food Truck Rally recently. It had been nearly 2 years since the last time we were there. The rally is currently held on the second Thursday of each month and is a really happening event. The schedule lists 25 food trucks for the night we were there. There were not a lot of people about when we first arrived (shortly before the official start time of 6PM), but by the time we left it was getting crowded. One thing we enjoy about a food truck rally is that we can get our food from different places but still enjoy having a meal together. So we ordered from separate trucks but sat together on the curb in a shady area. A lot of folks brought folding chairs to sit in Munn Park.
On this particular night, I headed for the Treehouse Truck, based in Orlando. They primarily do burgers and cheesesteaks. I ordered an All American Burger, a burger with American cheese, bacon, tomato, and lettuce (I ordered mine without lettuce). I asked for ketchup, mayo, and mustard, and they provided a generous amount of condiments. The burger only cost $9, the woman taking orders was very friendly, and my food was ready in just a few minutes. It was a good-sized burger, maybe 1/3 pound, and well done, just as I requested. Really delicious, with a hearty bun, and crispy bacon.
On top of the burger, I also ordered a side of deep-fried Oreos. I’m not sure whether I should be embarrassed or proud that I had never had a deep-fried dessert item like this (deep-fried Twinkies, etc.) until now. I received 3 Oreos for $4. Since this was my first foray into deep-fried desserts, I don’t really have a basis for comparison. But it was decadent and coma-inducing, something like an Oreo-flavored doughnut. It’s not something I could eat every day, but as a special treat it was outstanding.
My wife got her dinner from the food truck for Nico’s Arepas Grill, also a restaurant based in Tampa. Traditional arepas are made of corn flour, resemble thick tortillas, and are most commonly found in Venezuela and Colombia. Nico’s primarily offers a variety of arepas, and my wife ordered La Pelua, an arepa with shredded beef and Gouda or some other white cheese. To drink, she ordered a Fress Kolita, a Venezuelan soft drink. She also enjoyed friendly service and didn’t have to wait long for her food. The soft drink, honestly, was too sugary, we can’t recommend that. But my wife’s arepa was excellent. The meat was flavorful. She did feel there was almost a little too much cheese, if such a thing is possible. Just at the bottom of the arepa, once the meat was gone, the amount of cheese became a little overwhelming. Otherwise, it was perfect. The cost for the arepa and soft drink was a little under $11.
So we enjoyed the evening. The food was tasty and affordable, the folks working the food trucks – at the least the two that we sampled – were friendly. Strolling around downtown is always pleasant. And with more than 20 food trucks, there will be something for just about everyone. The Lakeland Downtown Food Truck Rally is held at Munn Park on the second Thursday of every month. Enjoy!