When I wrote my first article about the Fork on the Road food truck festival, the event had barely been announced. There hadn't even been a list of trucks produced, but it had already stirred some interest from city workers.
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Given the choice of waiting for service in a crowded and sweaty lunchtime shop versus versatile and visionary dining in Adelaide's sunny parks, I knew which choice would be popular.
It seemed a long wait for the first event of the series to happen, but the list of participating food trucks steadily grew. The Fork on the Road Facebook page filled with news and excited questions from food fans, until The Day finally arrived.
The weather was changeable, with a few showers, and while waiting at the tram stop around 11 am for the final leg of my journey the rain arrived in buckets. Quite appropriate as the event is supported by Splash Adelaide. Fortunately by the time I arrived at Victoria Square it had stopped, and now steam was rising from the wet footpath as the sun swung into top gear.
Being early was great - I made my leisurely way around the huge number of assembled trucks comparing menus and chatting to vendors. The variety was so great it was almost like dining in New York. After talking to Greg from Chimichurri Grill it was gratifying to find that vendors do listen to their customers, when he told me about changes to the rolls that they use.
What surprised me more than seeing all the popular food trucks at Victoria Square (appropriately a fork on the road), was the large number that I had never even heard of. There were probably more taco trucks than any other single cuisine variety, but even they varied widely in menus and price. Food in Adelaide has never been so good, coming a long way from the days of the pie cart at the Adelaide railway station or the GPO.
By now my nostrils were quivering with the mixed aromas floating on the air, and my stomach was rumbling. It was time to taste!
I only wanted a light lunch as I was having an early dinner with friends, so my choice of vendor was easy. For $3, my taco de pollo from Los Compadres arrived quickly, and I chose the green sauce. I wish I could remember the ingredients that were explained to me, but only chilli and coriander spring to mind.
Intoxicated by the smell, the taco disappeared before I remembered that I should have a photo, but luckily a passing lady allowed me to photograph hers sans sauce. However I can say it was rather delicious, with the coriander complimenting the fresh flavours well.
Within a few short minutes I was ready for the second course, egged on by two spectators with a vested interest. The quesadilla at $3 also didn't last any longer than the taco had, but was equally delicious. When I asked about the small portions, I was told it was traditionally served that way, allowing people to experience a variety of tastes. I quite liked that idea, rather than spending $10 on a single course.
I must confess to be quite baffled by a reviewer on another site who complained about the portion size from Los Compadres. I'm not sure what $3 buys in his end of town, but you would be lucky to buy half a meat pie with that amount. And I know which I would rather.
By shortly after midday the Square was booming. A Fork on the Road was a huge success, with hordes of hungry people converging on the assembled mass of food trucks. Organiser Joe Noone was on a winner, and we can only look forward expectantly to the next Fork on the Road in Adelaide.
Next three Forks guys:
September 21 - Whitmore Square 12noon till 9pm
October 13 Hindmarsh Square - 12noon to 9pm
November 10 - lunch - South Park Lands - in combination with Hutt St Centre fundraiser - Touch and Wine day
Next Fork is on Sunday January 19, 12 noon - 8.30pm
On banks of Torrens River, corner of King Williams St (just over the bridge) and War Memorial and Sir Edwin Smith Avenue (diagonally opposite Adelaide Oval).