Food truck rodeo coming to Upper King Street

Mia Smith takes Ryan Delli-Gatti's order at the Strada Cucina food truck at the Food Truck Rodeo at the Brick House Kitchen on James Island Saturday evening. Despite the rain, people still turned out to enjoy the food.

Sarah Bates

At the James Island Food Truck Rodeo this summer, I had just enough time to grab a sandwich at Hello My Name is BBQ before the sky opened up and I made the trek home.

But there's another Food Truck Rodeo this weekend, this one on Upper King Street, and I couldn't be more excited. This rodeo will be Charleston's biggest one yet and will feature live music and free parking downtown.

There will be 9 trucks at the rodeo, "the most we have ever had," said Cory Burke of the Roti Rolls Truck. "We'll have a few newcomer trucks for this rodeo," including Strada Cucina, Pot Kettle Black and Taco Boy.

The food for the rodeo is expected be as delicious and decadent as usual, focusing on a variety of fresh, local ingredients.

"Roti Rolls, for one, plans to feature a local, braised beef tongue over Geechee Boy grits with cucumber kimchi," said Burke. "We also should have Creole macaroni and cheese."

Bands providing live music include Introducing Fish Taco, Lindsay Holler and the Western Polaroids, Deep Water Soul Society, Bringers of the Dawn, Long Miles and Tidal Jam.

Guests can arrive for an early or late dinner, as the party will last from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. in The Post and Courier's King Street parking lot, right across from the newspaper's main office at 134 Columbus St. Limited free parking will be offered in a lot on Columbus Street, near the Piggly Wiggly.

The Charleston Food Truck Federation, the organization behind all the recent rodeos, was formed by the classics we've all come to know: Diggity Doughnuts, Happy Camper Sno Balls, Geechee Island, Hello My Name is BBQ, Roti Rolls, Little Blue Brunch Truck and Tokyo Crepes.

"Most of the truck owners have similar personalities," said Ambergre Sloane of the Diggity Doughnuts and the Little Blue Brunch trucks said. "We wanted to associate with all the cool events in the city, and we wanted to be our own bosses."

Ryner Burg, who with husband Cody Burg owns the Hello My Name Is BBQ truck, agrees, adding that "we like being mobile and small because we can change every day."

Burke says that the main point of inviting a record number of trucks to the Upper King Street rodeo is to appeal to a larger, hungrier audience.

"We want a really good selection for our guests," he says. "We want people to have variety. There's such an eclectic mix of people there, we have to keep things interesting."