Last Saturday the first ever Canalside Fight Food took place. Five food trucks competed against one another in a cook off. Their challenge was to prepare a dish that was inspired by the 1901 Pan American Expo. That was the only rule, they could make the dishes as elaborate or simple as they wanted. I was fortunate to be a judge for the event and we critiqued the food based on three categories (each was worth 1-5) points: Taste, Presentation and Inspiration. At the end of the Food Fight series, all of the points will be added together and a ‘Grand Champion’ will be named. Alongside me at the judging table was Christa Glennie Seychew (Buffalo Spree), Paul Tsouflidis (owner of Acropolis), Mitch Simon (WKBW), Ed Drantch (WIVB) and Pete Gallivan (Dir for Governor Cuomo) .
The event was open to the public and attendees were able to eat from eight awesome food trucks, all parked next to each other Canalside. It was really awesome seeing all eight parked together, something we don’t see that often and almost never in the city of Buffalo. This particular day was a little chilly and windy, but there will be three more Food Fights at Canalside this year and more chances to enjoy these trucks all at one time at the waterfront. Here’s what the trucks presented…
Renee Allen from R&R BBQ took the title of the inspiration literally and presented a melt with slow cooked pork with homemade spice rub, creamy mac n cheese (with melted American cheese) that’s all grilled together on Italian bread.
Chris Taylor from The Roaming Buffalo presented McKinley’s Last Meal with three offerings, each based on foods McKinley enjoyed. A Steak n Eggs Burger (ground sirloin with maple crown bacon jam, house cured bacon, farm fresh fried egg on a Constanzo’s brioche roll), Braised Pork Belly (T-Meadow Pork Belly braised in a Belgium Peach beer glazed with Red Stag Bourbon Maple) and Red Flannel Hash (In house smoked corned beef roasted beets potatoes and onions topped with Beet greens sauteed in garlic and truffle oil.).
Mike Dimmer from The Black Market Food Truck presented Cracker Jack fritters, a popular snack at the time. The fritters were filled with roasted corn, popcorn (popped in bacon fat), ground grilled peanuts and bacon. The fritters were covered in a salted caramel chili sauce and peanut brittle. They finished in 3rd place.
Kelly Brewery from The Sweet Hearth presented an old fashioned ice cream float, using raspberry’s, some ginger ale and a little lime. The drink was incredibly refreshing and wasn’t too sugary sweet, on a sunny day it would be a perfect treat. Kelly finished in 2nd place. (I forgot to take a picture before I started drinking it, it looked nice before hand).
Brenden Haggerty from The Whole Hog presented the group with another McKinley inspired meal, this one based on a menu he found. He served turkey that was stuffed and served with their signature black beans with a drizzling of a mustard vinaigrette. Brenden finished in 1st place.
The weather wasn’t the greatest, but it was still a very fun time and I was really impressed with the food that the trucks prepared. I’m hoping that these trucks will continue to have ample opportunities to serve at places like the Canalside and maybe even the Outer Harbor. Either way, make sure you follow Matt Carlucci’s updates for the announcement of future events!