As I paraded down E. 18th St. along Baltimore Ave., I was serenaded by two middle-aged men, one strumming on an acoustic guitar, the other making a soft beat on two conga drums. Food trucks in the distance consumed not only the stomachs, but the pockets of Kansas Citians who gathered for the notorious First Fridays.
Food trucks of several cuisines lined the perimeter of the old Kansas City Star Building – Chinese to Italian, Mexican to good ‘ole barbecue.
As for me, I am not one for lines with 50-plus people standing so close together I can feel their sweat on me. So I decided to head towards the shorter lines as not to feel like a sardine stuck in a can. Or in this instance, a line.
Feeling like Guy Fieri on “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives,” I stopped at my first destination of ChickHoovenSwine for some barbecue. While the menu had classic dishes like a pulled pork sandwich, ribs and barbecue chicken, I had an ‘it’s vacation, live a little’ mentality and decided to go for the Trashcan Nachos.
A stack of tortilla chips drenched in mustard-yellow nacho cheese, thin slices of brisket and topped with a heaping scoop of cheesy corn –– garbage. Although the name gave it a false connotation for how I would feel after devouring it, the four ingredients made for a delicious plate of nachos that I don’t regret eating.
For a switch of cuisine, my second destination was Little Italy. The big red food truck with green lettering, photographs of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the smell of meatballs immediately made my mouth water.
Since I’m inherently drawn to the aroma of meatballs, it was an easy decision for me to pick the meatball sub. After about two minutes of waiting to the side, I was handed my sub with three flaming hot meatballs inside a white-bread bun with loads of tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
Although the first couple bites of the meatball sub were delightful, I’d like to believe my mom can cook better tasting meatballs than this food truck – and my mom has zero Italian heritage. The following bites of the meatball sub were dry and flavorless – two words that Guy Fieri hates to use.
With full and (mostly) happy bellies, we waddled back to the parking lot with the same 50-year-old men playing random instruments fading in the background. Although I had to eat my food on a curb because of the 100-plus crowd around me, ChickHoovenSwine and Little Italy made for a perfect night of taste-testing.