Taco Truck Throwdown 2 was huge last night. The Fresno Grizzlies report attendance at 11,463, with more than 7,000 presales. No word yet on how many tacos were sold. But based on what I saw, it’s going to be a huge number. Look at all those people in line!
Thirteen taco trucks competed in the throwdown and two awards were given: People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice. Anybody who bought a taco was eligible to vote for the People’s Choice crown. Six judges sampled all 13 trucks and rated them 1-10. Our panel included: Liz Gonzales from KMPH, Danny Salas from Q97, Jason Oliveira from ABC 30, Richard Franco from New Rock 104.1, Bobby Salazar and me. Here are the results.
1. El Premio Mayor
2. La Elegante
3. Dusty Buns
1. El Premio Mayor
2. Dusty Buns and La Elegante (tie)
3. El Super Antojito
4. Tako BBQ
5. El Mexicano
Well, today comes good news for Fresno food truck fans: We’ve got a Korean barbecue truck rolling around town now.
It’s called Tako BBQ and this is its second week on the street. They were just parked across from The Bee and I grabbed a spicy pork taco. It was delicious — and spicy.
Tako BBQ is run by the husband-wife duo Tony and Eun Joo Mullins. Tony is an ex-marketing guy and Eun Joo went to culinary school in Korea. She’s previously worked in town at restaurants such as Karma and Sushi Go Round.
Tony says they started the truck because Fresno didn’t have a Korean barbecue truck — and as you probably know, trucks like Kogi in L.A. are staples of the gourmet food truck scene.
He says they’re still “feeling out” their route — but that Tako is on the move Monday-Friday. For lunch on Wednesdays, for instance, you can find Tako near Community Hospital downtown. On Fridays, it’s at the Manchester Farmer’s Market. Other stops are announced on Twitter. Menu and a few more pics below.
Listen to me ramble on and on with the guys from Dead in 60 Years on their recent podcast — for reals, it’s like an hour and a half. It’s also a very profane and probably offensive podcast, so it also gets a NSFW warning.
Vote for your top six performers in the Big Fresno Fair’s Local Performer Contest. Of the 25 acts still in the running, the top six vote-getters will earn a chance to play at the fair’s local talent showcase. Watch videos and vote here.
Judging from previous Beehive posts, many people around here are proponents of Fresno developing a more dynamic mobile cuisine scene. Now, chef Martin Franco (formerly of Pangea, among other local restaurants) is hoping Fresnans will put their money where their appetites are. Specifically, he’s looking to locals for help Kickstarting his new culinary endeavor — a food cart he’s calling Taste Kitchen.
Using Kickstarter (as Creative Fresno and Blake Jones did), Franco is hoping to raise $4,000 in the next month. Donors receive incentives ranging from a hearty thanks ($1) to a free salad or side ($10) all the way to a private meal for four and your own sandwich ($1,000). Here’s Franco explaining more with the help of the some mouth-watering visuals:
Since food trucks were a hot topic here not too long ago, I was very interested to check out “Off the Grid,” the popular San Francisco gathering of food trucks. Last week, I went to its weekly Friday night “market” at Fort Mason.
As you can see, this no small event. If you think the Thursday night line for our very own Dusty Buns Bistro is too long, you wouldn’t want to see the line for the Chairman Bao truck. The crowd at “Off the Grid” was as diverse as it was large — parents with the kids, young professionals, folks with their dogs, etc. The day before, the SF Chronicle had written a piece about the best food truck eats, so I’m sure that helped bring the people.
More than the food, I was curious to see how a food truck gathering worked logistically. This had a number of other booths, live entertainment and seating. It sure would be neat to have something like this in Fresno to complement our great farmers markets and fruit stands. Ya know, if we end up with more gourmet food trucks.
Here are more pics from my journey. If you’re hankering for some food truck grub afterward, you can catch Dusty Buns at 6 p.m. today outside Cafe Corazon on Wishon Row.
UPDATE: City Manager Mark Scott issued this statement about Dusty Buns this afternoon:
“Dusty Buns may continue its normal operations while the City researches the issue. We want to find a way to support entrepreneurial urban activity while also addressing the concerns raised by existing establishments.”
Sounds like Dusty Buns will be back on Wishon Row in the short term, but Fresno has some decisions to make about how it will govern good trucks in the long term.
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ORIGINAL POST, 3/14: In the past few months, Dusty Buns and its “bistro bus” rolled into town and quickly became a new kind of favorite local eatery for many Fresnans.