Riverside Food Truck Festival fascinates

By Markus Mathews

So much to try, so little time! The food truck frenzy visited downtown Riverside this past week showcasing some of the best in creative cuisine.

Riverside residents flocked downtown as the Riverside Municipal Auditorium hosted HOT 103.9’s Food Truck Festival on Sept. 30th.

The newly established radio station turned the section of Lemon Street between Mission Inn Ave and 6th street into a food lover’s paradise.

Seven food vendors from around Southern California were invited to serve up unique dishes to hungry patrons.

There was such a variety in the types of food that it was difficult to decide where to begin.

Those who arrived when the festival started at 5:00 p.m. were greeted with very minimal lines at the trucks and were handed a ballot encouraging them to cast a vote for their favorite truck.

However as the evening progressed, it was clear that there were more people then anticipated as lines to receive food from some of the vendors were longer than an hour.

Entering from 6th street you were greeted by Los Angeles based Dogtown Dogs.

This truck offered several modern spins on the American classic. While the whole menu sounded fantastic, the must try item was the “Trailer Trash” dog.

It consisted of a bacon wrapped hot dog covered with chili, cheese and Fritos. Everyone who tried the dish had nothing but great things to say about it.

Not a meat eater? Dogtown Dogs had you covered as their menu included a side of tater tots smothered with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese.

The tots were fantastically spicy and gave traditional buffalo wings a run for their money.

However if  chicken wings were what you were looking for then another crowd favorite was Belly BombZ.

This truck served Korean inspired chicken wings and sliders.

The menu delivered by offering both boneless and traditional wings in many different flavors including sriracha lime, honey chipotle BBQ and their signature Mom’s recipe.

Belly BombZ made sure not to exclude anyone as the sliders gave festival goers a chance to choose between crispy sesame pork and tofu.

Originating from New England, “Shark Tank” alumni Cousins Maine Lobster food truck made an appearance as well.

The cousins offered amazing seafood dishes with a unique Northeastern flair.

As the name suggests lobster was the star of this show it made an appearance in practically all their dishes.

Seafood and cheese lovers united as one of the most popular dishes of the night was a grilled cheese sandwich filled with lobster.

It was very apparent right when the festival began that they were the truck to try as the line began to grow past other vendors.

While attendees sampled the different dishes from the various vendors, HOT 103.9 provided great entertainment from DJs, local bands and artists. The great music kept the night full energy and fun.

The truck that received my vote for best dish of the night was the unbelievably delicious churro sundaes from Ridges Churro Bar.

This desert perfectly combined my two favorite guilty pleasures, churros and ice cream.

Ridges had a variety of sundaes to offer including the very popular Fruity Pebbles.

All sundaes came topped with a full churro covered in various toppings.

“I ordered the Salted Caramel Churro Sundae and was not disappointed.” stated Riverside resident Paige Blue. “I immediately tasted the vanilla ice cream sprinkled with Frosted Flakes and was captivated by the different textures. The contrast of sweet and salty made the entire sundae a 5 of out 5.”

A quick glance over social media will show that many of those in attendance clearly enjoyed themselves.

While the event did get more crowded as the night went on, it was an amazing opportunity for different parts of the Riverside community to come together and enjoy some great food.

It had been a while since anything remotely similar took place Riverside and the public proved that events like this should happen more often.