Rodeo rounds up food and fun

Cristi Mitchum (from left) of James Island went to the Food Truck Rodeo for the first time Saturday with Cindy and Tim McDowell of Moncks Corner.

Hundreds of people flocked to the Food Truck Rodeo in downtown Charleston Saturday, creating a large party in the parking lot of The Post and Courier.

In many large cities, food trucks are commonplace and are mostly known for serving affordable, hearty fare, but the trendy gourmet food trucks of Charleston are a different story.

There was Diggity Doughnuts, offering $2.50 doughnuts with exotic flavorings such as organic peanut butter with chili pepper. There was the Bahn-Mi truck, with dishes including spicy Thai shredded beef. And there was the dessert truck Dolce, where rodeo-goers could grab a miniature cheesecake topped with bacon and caramel sauce for $5.

“My friend Daniel runs (the food truck) Little Star of the Caribbean, so I had to come out,” said Raynard James Jr. “But I’m going to try a little of everything.”

An ambitious goal — there were 15 food trucks in the parking lot, selling everything from wood fired pizza to gourmet frozen treats. The truck operated by James’ friend had consistently long lines, and sold out of its popular empanadas by 8 p.m.

James, a firefighter with the St. Johns department, came with his wife, Cereta, and their 8-month-old daughter, Rachel. There were lots of children, and plenty of folks brought their dogs.

In addition to the gourmet fare there also was lots of barbecue, and lots of beer.

There was rockin’ music to dance to, there were vendors — but the big draw at the free event appeared to be the food.

“We’re foodies,” said Amber Kirby, who was vacationing with fiancee Kevin Mooney at Wild Dunes when they heard about the event. The Spartanburg couple said they regularly travel to the Flowertown Festival in Summerville for the same reason — to sample all the food.

Kirby, who had a Cuban sandwich in hand from Little Star of the Caribbean, said it’s great to have so many different things to try in one place.

Charleston Scene and The Post and Courier hosted the event.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.