I don’t remember why, but we missed the first Mobile Chowdown in the fall. When the second one was announced, I knew we had to brave the gray skies and cold weather so we wouldn’t miss out yet again.
So, on Saturday, one-day before Candida Diet start deadline, J and I headed to a parking lot in Interbay to sample the offerings of the hot mobile food scene. The winter Mobile Chowdown was smaller that the fall – with 10 vendors, a band and a tented seating area – but as you can only eat so much, that was enough.
We arrived about 1/2 hour after the 11am start time and the line for Marination Mobile was already the longest in the lot, easily over an hour-long wait. We surveyed our other options and headed to the second longest line, el camion, for a mobile Mexican brunch. As we hadn’t eaten anything all day we were pretty ravenous so 20 minutes into what ended up being an hour-long wait, J headed to Dante’s Inferno Dogs and brought us back a jalapeño cheddar dog topped with grilled onions, green bell peppers, spicy brown mustard and warmly wrapped in a grilled hoagie style bun. Maybe it was just because we were so hungry, but it was the best hot dog I have had in a really long time.
When it was our turn to order, we went a little wild. Gorditas with cochinita pibil (seasoned pork) for me, a torta with chorizo and taco with cochinita pibil for J. While waiting for our food (about 20 minutes) we watched the ladies (and one gentleman) in the truck making everyone’s orders. Pots were bubbling, the skillet was sizzling, three ladies were juggling making the various orders while two more took orders, and the gentleman was helping out by keeping the ladies stocked and the customers happy (he brought tamales samples out to the line to thank us all for waiting). And then our food was served, hot from the truck.
The handmade tortillas that formed the base of the Gorditas were thick and dripping with grease (perfect as a hangover cure) from the cojita cheese and cochinita pibil. The onions that topped them were crisp and the salsa verde was fresh. J’s taco and the first of the three Gorditas were disappointing in their lack of spice, but the other two Gorditas had a nice spicy heat that surprised both J and me. If we happen to see el camion out and about when we’re hungry, we won’t be passing it by.
Although I was already full, with my looming no sugar deadline approaching, I decided to round out the meal with a maple bar from Top Pot Doughnuts. I ate half on the car ride home and half later with tea. One word – Yum.
We hope to try Marination Mobile and the other vendors out and about in Seattle or maybe at Mobile Chowdown 3 – if there is one – Veraci Pizza with their mobile wood-fired oven and thin crust pizza slices definitely looked enticing and Anita’s Crepes is always good. In the interim, we’ll be keeping an eye out for mobile feasts.