Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 8:16 a.m.
Andrew Zimmern hosts NYCFF Trucks & Train
Minnesota shut it down at the 2012 New York City Wine and Food Festival. This year's event was hosted by the Travel Channel's baron of bizarre eating, Andrew Zimmern. The weekend's final event, sponsored by the Food Network and presented by Food & Wine magazine, was a who's who of celebrity cooks, from Top Chef to Iron Chef.
Zimmern hosted Trucks and Trains at Basketball City on Pier 36 overlooking the East River. The trucks were food trucks, and they were serving woodfire pizza, Cubanos, cupcakes, ice cream, Sonoran-style hot dogs, Philly cheese steaks, arepas, souvlaki, and a couple of cabrito burgers.
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck soft serve with spicy nuts
The long and impressive list of trucks included the famous Big Gay Ice Cream
truck (serving creamy soft serve, rich chocolate fudge, and a smattering of spicy nuts), Pizza Luca
(a vintage pickup with the flatbed converted to a fire-powered pizza oven), and our very own AZ Canteen
Pizza Luca cooks its pizza on the bed of a vintage truck
The lines snaked back and forth, and many were long. Attendees were patient as they sipped wines from Train's Save Me, San Francisco wine company. Varietals included Drops of Jupiter Petite Sirah, Calling All Angels Chardonnay, and California 37 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grammy award winners Train have their own wine line
The official People's Choice Award for favorite food truck went to Souvlaki GR
, but the long lines for AZ's cabrito butter burgers, hibiscus punch, gumbo, and pickle slices told a different story. (AZ Canteen was exempt from the contest, as AZ himself was hosting the event.) After we made it through the line, a woman offered to buy our juicy goat meat burger topped with caramelized onion and roasted tomato on a buttery pretzel bun.
NYC has big love for AZ's cabrito butter burger
It was then that Train took the stage, playing all their hits like "Meet Virginia," "Calling All Angels," and "Hey, Soul Sister," plus a cover of Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love" and a medley that included "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones.
After they wrapped up their set, guests wandered back into the city as the trucks packed up their gear. The crews were full of good-natured camaraderie and playful grousing about not winning the crowd favorite award.
The gang from AZ Canteen wasn't complaining. While they weren't able to win any awards, only one truck's food found its way into the band's bellies.
It was a bittersweet evening, as it was their last night in temperate weather. The following morning, AZ Canteen began its road trip south, where it will spend the winter in Miami, spreading the cabrito butter burger love to a whole, new crowd of fans.