A brutally hot and humid afternoon did not deter the hoards of people who came out for the 2016 Food Truck Derby, on the grounds of Hayground School, this past Friday. The line to get in was long and winding, scrunched between the educational tractor-trailer Big Mama and the Hayground Farmer’s Market stands. On this line was myself, my husband, and our two kids, ages 14 and 8, as well as several of their friends. The hopped-up feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation was palpable amongst us, and all around us.
The Derby was set up wagon circle-style, and once let into the “gate” we were like hungry cattle slightly disoriented by the blinding sun and the myriad of choices before us. Smartly, my son and his friends hit the drinks tent first. Thinking we were more clever than they, we skipped ahead past the drinks and a sweet crepe truck to the first savory food truck. (We would regret this move about half-way round the circle when we were nearly fainting from thirst).
Cynful Food’s hamburger slider with secret sauce was an excellent start, taste-wise, and I don’t regret the hot, fresh deliciousness of one of the best of the sliders at the Derby. Nearby, Noah’s On The Road served up a braised pork taco out of a super cool-looking airstream. There were quite a few tacos and sliders at the Derby, and a lovely miniature take on the trend was The Sea Bean’s spicy heirloom gazpacho and fluke mini-taco.
The most uniquely delicious offerings were from Anewyorican Thing, which served up New York Puerto Rican-style twists on French fries and something called a Pastelon, which reminded me of a sweet Caribbean-spiced shepherd’s pie. Yum! Speaking of fried, Eat Me Drink Me—serving food from a fantastic blue Alice In Wonderland-themed truck—had just about the best fries around: pickle fries with herbs and sea salt.
By this time, however, dehydration was starting to set in. So, we crossed the broiling hot open field back to the drinks tent. We were rewarded with pink Sweet’tauk lemonade, chilled Loire Valley white wine from Wainscott Main, and grown-up dry sodas from GUS.
Meeting back up with the kids, we discovered them deliriously munching on, “the best cheese steaks ever,” courtesy of Chiddy’s. Finally, it was time to return to the first truck—the one we purposely passed by earlier—and get our s’mores crepe from Whole Le Crepe. Gooey, chocolaty, delicate yet indulgent, dessert did not disappoint.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the Food Truck Derby is its proximity to the Hayground Farmer’s Market. After filling our bellies at the Derby, we joined some friends in the shade and picked up some of our favorite fresh produce, coffee, and baked goods for the weekend. The farm-to-table movement on the East End has always been an intrinsic part of daily life. But it’s become a lovely social scene as well, with shared food and shared eating values in this vibrant community.