food network descends, food trucks, food trucks in Portland Maine, nonna's kitchenette, seoul sausage kitchen

Food Network Food Trucks Hit Portland

Jersey Girls and LA Boys turned the Old Port into a Carnival of shouting and fried foods.  The Food Network must be back in town. Professor A., who NEVER texts, blew up my phone last night about the food trucks. “Meh..” I thought. I had just grilled up a Branzino and wasn’t so hungry and, I haven’t watched a microsecond of any of the past episodes of The Great Food Truck Race.  But, really… I would have been stupid to know about this and not go down and show some semblance of support for food trucks, even if they weren’t our own. 
As you may have already read, Nonna’s Kitchenette all girl team, slinging homemade Italian food, arrived first–having won the advantage of a 3 hour lead. Apparently, not only does the team travel in their trusty trucks, but they also get a customized car. Clearly Seoul Sausage Company, the all male Korean BBQ team, wins in the better ride category. I’m definitely more drawn to the “Make Sausage, Not War” motto on the side of their truck than I am to the cartoon grandmother of Nonna’s (that makes me think of the Fairy Godmother from Shrek).

The Girls from Nonna’s definitely made this to be an “East Coast/West Coast” thing while playing to the crowd early on. Thankfully they learned a lesson from the 90’s rap wars and kept it non-violent.  They played up their Jersey connection and, I swear to you, after an hour of standing there the crowd got a bit more tanned, the nails a bit longer and the accents a bit thicker.  I may have seen Teresa from ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey.’ I shit you not.

Groups of people crammed by on the sidewalk, confused as to why this pint sized girl with a thick accent was yelling at them and why a man with a camera was in their face. Three Bachelorette parties strolled by. Even a wedding party stopped and ordered some food.  The couple had been married a full hour. They had met at Fore Play. It all seemed so fitting.

Sure, The Missus, who received random texts from me calling her to the Old Port, and I ordered some food but nothing more than the Fried Ravioli, which were pretty good, really appealed. I’m sure the other offerings were lovely but their menu just didn’t do it for us. We were honestly down there to see what Seoul Sausage Company had to offer.

Two hours of chatting with friends and watching the spectacle that was, Seoul Sausage pulled into town with GFTR host, Tyler Florence, in tow.

By 8:11, after the Health Inspection once over, they were good to go. Only now, they had an hour to make up in sales what the ladies had three hours to do. Poor Bastards. But, they hustled it and definitely had that appeal to the inebriated people floating from one bar to another. People didn’t just order one burger, they ordered three.

You know that magical thing that Chef Miyake does with Kewpie Mayo that turns a fine Tuna Roll into a ‘Holy shit, I want to kiss him,” dish?  They have Kewpie (at least I think it is) topped over damn near everything.

We ordered ‘Tata’s’ which were Tater Tots, covered in cheese with kimchi infused browned pork.  First bite and The Missus and I just looked at each other and said it was, “The ultimate stoner food.”

Now, the burger didn’t look like much, but I’d put it up there with Harmon’s as far as pure and utter enjoyment.. Nice and spicy and cooked perfectly.  We were kind of sad that we only bought one.  So, well… we went back and ordered another burger and a Kimichi fried rice ball.  Then, sadly, the beauty of it all was over as they had to shut down because of time–or lack of food, I wasn’t quite sure.

I’m sure both teams have hustled and cooked their hearts out to get to this part of the competition. While the ladies of Jersey were sweet, it’s the LA boys that definitely won over our hearts and wallets.

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