By Sydney Shaw, Jessica Ganga and Kimberly Ilkowski
News Editor, Features Editor and Arts & Entertainment Editor
Big eyes, empty stomachs, can’t lose. On Saturday, Sept. 19, three friends set out to conquer the Trenton Food Truck Festival, boasting a wide variety of diverse cuisine. With determination Signal Editors, Jessica Ganga, Kimberly Ilkowski and Sydney Shaw discovered what special creations the food trucks had to offer.
Hosted by Trenton Social, the festival brought in an array of guests including local residents and college students alike.
The first stop on their journey was Flying Crust, a gourmet pizza and wing truck. The large vessel beckoned the girls and showcased a monster menu of crazy pizza topping combinations and endless wing sauce options.
Unfortunately, Flying Crust’s pizza was so popular that by the time the girls arrived, only wings remained. Shaw opted for a classic food truck staple — barbecue wings. The sweet, yet, tart sauce complemented the wings, but didn’t drown them. The chicken itself was lightly breaded and fall-off-the-bone tender. She would later be heard bragging that they were the best she ever had.
While Shaw savored her last few bites, Ganga and Ilkowski ventured further into the festival to find their first meal of what would be a long, Tums-necessary day. They were quickly drawn to the bright yellow Korean fusion truck, My Four Sons.
Ganga read all of the appetizing options on the menu, unable to decide what the best meal would be. Tacos, rice bowls, dumplings, oh my! She decided on the veggie dumplings smothered in a sweet and tangy sauce.
When Ganga’s name was finally called to get her food from the truck, her eyes lit up with pure joy. “Thank you for waiting,” said the woman who handed her the food. No, thank you.
The dumplings were served over fresh greens, a Kim slaw and covered with a spicy mayo. She fell in love with the greasy goodness after her very first bite. It was no surprise that she would end up cleaning the entire bowl.
After much deliberation and one false trip up to the register only to change her mind moments later, Ilkowski eventually chowed down a heaping portion of “Mac N’ Chi.”
The noodle dish came drenched in a three cheese sauce and topped with chunks of pork belly. Ilkowski may have shed a tear at its pure deliciousness, although it could have also been the extreme temperatures of the Sriracha sauce she poured on top of her dish.
With Instagrams snapped and a sluggish nature to their step, the friends pushed onward. Live music filled the venue thanks to local bands and solo artists. The girls soon realized back-to-back covers of “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston and “Last Nite” by The Strokes was something they had no idea they needed so badly.
The trip down memory lane aside, they couldn’t help but notice a large congregation forming outside of Luigi’s Homemade Ice Cream. Adorable and vibrant cartoons lined the truck’s walls which depicted the vendor’s hidden gem — the creamy bun.
A dangerously delightful mix of ice cream filled donuts, festival goers were able to concoct yummy creations by choosing their own flavor of filling (cereal milk, Nutella, s’mores or dulce de leche) and toppings (Fruity Pebbles, Oreo crunch, walnuts or Cinnamon Toast Crunch.)
The warm, glazed donut gods smiled down upon them, as they were the last three to buy the cereal filled donut before the truck sold out.
Ganga’s heart was happy after she she took a bite of the gooey donut and ice cream duo. The donut was served warm and was perfectly glazed. On the inside, the cold cereal milk flavored ice cream was sweet and tasted as if Ganga was slurping up her last bit of milk from her cereal bowl. The Fruity Pebbles added some crunch to the sugary treat. To quote Lizzie McGuire, “This is what dreams are made of.”
Ilkowski wondered what she had done in a past life to deserve eating such a perfect pastry. In that moment everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
From the very first bite, Shaw knew she would live to regret the decision to eat the whole creamy bun. She did it anyway, and it was worth it.
With food comas on the horizon, the friends thought their best option would be to close out the day’s festivities by cleansing their bodies with vegan smoothies. The shiny, red Try Vegan truck inspired the girls to do just that — trying pure ingredients obliterated in a blender.
Something about the mixture of spinach, pineapple and banana called out to Ilkowski, so she opted for the Greegan smoothie. She became a bit antsy when a random woman cut her in line and mumbled confusing questions at the doe-eyed boy at the window. When she was finally graced with her smoothie she was pleasantly surprised to find the pineapple flavor dominated the drink, yet wasn’t overpowering. If she said this didn’t make her consider veganism for just one second, she would be a filthy liar.
Shaw’s classic strawberry vegan smoothie was much less sweet than she expected — a refreshing experience after polishing off the creamy bun ice cream. The smoothie was blended to perfection — not too thick, not too watery — with tiny bits of strawberry throughout. It was so good, she ended up dropping a dollar in Try Vegan’s tip jar. Shaw gives this particular drink a 9 out of 10, only wishing there weren’t so many strawberry seeds in it.
Like Ilkowski, Ganga’s heart was set on the Greegan smoothie. Something about spinach in a smoothie intrigued her. She eagerly gave her order to the young Justin Bieber look-alike. When she was presented with the green concoction she did taste mostly pineapple as well. Here and there, the slight flavor of spinach could be tasted, but Ganga sipped on. With her stomach full, Ganga knew this was the perfect way to end her Trenton Food Truck experience.
There were many more food truck options, like authentic Peruvian food at RUNA Peruvian Cuisine and pork roll delicacies at Johnny’s Pork Roll, but if the girls had attempted to put a single extra bit of food in their mouths, explosion would be imminent.