When I first heard about the monthly ‘Eat the Street’ events held in Honolulu, I was super excited. In short, all the food trucks from the area get together in one big parking lot, pick a theme, cook food and offer dinner and a show so to speak for anyone willing to come down.
For those unfamiliar, food trucks in Hawaii are very commonplace. Apparently the trend has spiked since 2010 and I for one wish it would spike itself down toward Costa Rica. The idea is genius! Mobile kitchens with small but well thought out menus offering food in convenient locations for accessible prices.
Eat the Street occured 4 times during my stay and I made it to 3 of them! The themes while I was in town were ‘Spicy’, ‘Eat Local’, ‘Dia de los Muertos’ and ‘Black Saturday’. I missed the eat local one. Upon my arrival in Honolulu, I literally got off the plane, visited where I would be staying, changed my clothes and headed to the Eat the Street that night.
I ate a fabulous mac and cheese with edamame, piquillo peppers, marscapone cheese and prosciutto. Not only was it tasty and just what I needed after 30 hours of travel…it only cost me $5!
By far the best Eat the Street I attended was the ‘Dia de los Muertos’ theme in October. Many people showed up in costume due to the proximity to Halloween, the decor was colorful and the food waas a lovely showcase of Latin American cuisine. It was also the day I discovered the Tiki Truck.
Now I am a live-in-the-moment-let-loose-enjoy-life kind of girl. However, when I travel to explore and investigate culinary experiences and opportunities, I have a system. My Eat the Street system if you will, went a little something like this: Snap a few photos upon arriving, make rounds of the whole parking lot, stop to skim the menus, make mental notes of delicious sounding dishes, snap some more photos and then eat!
Being at an event where Latin American cuisine was the theme, I found myself with a hankering for a taco. One of my all time favorite tacos is the famous Taco al Pastor (seasoned pork with onion, cilantro and pineapple). So, back to the Tiki Truck… I met Abe, a former mainlander chef who decided to make the food he missed from back home with a little tiki touch. I told Abe a little of my backstory and informed him that if I was to eat any of his tacos, they had better be the best tacos I have ever had…
Abe, I will have you know, is not one to disappoint and made me a very happy woman that day. His carnitas taco with salsa verde, crack sauce and homemade pickled papaya slaw left me literally speechless, yet trying to express my satisfaction with a very full mouth, no matter how rude that may be considered in some circles. Quite honestly if the taco had been served on a plate, I very possibly would have devoured that as well.
I highly recommend Eat the Street events to anyone lucky enough to be in the area on the last Friday of the month. I think Eat the Street is a wonderful showcase for cooks and chefs to create new dishes and unleash their creativity, I think it is also a lovely opportunity for the local community to support the hard working individuals that run the food trucks and I think Eat the Street is a wonderful chance to get out and do something different.
So when in Hawaii, do as the Kama’ainas do…
Support food trucks and Eat the Street!