Visiting the Darke County Food Truck Festival

Athena ScalziI’ve never been the biggest fan of food trucks. I always thought that if I wanted to go and eat somewhere, I’d like to be inside a building, not outdoors, and be able to sit and eat comfortably. So food trucks just never really fit the bill for me. However, ever since I started working at the winery, which has different local food trucks every weekend, I realized how awesome they are!

Getting to know the people that run the trucks, listening to their journey to become a food truck owner, and hearing about all the different events and places they get to go to is really cool. I realized that food trucks are peoples’ dreams being manifested, people who love good food and want to share it with the world.

All that being said, my county had a food truck rally this past Saturday at the fairgrounds, and I knew I had to check it out. Especially because some of the food trucks that come to my work regularly were going to be there!

I asked my friend from Columbus to come check it out with me, and he obliged, so off we went to the 6th annual Darke County Food Truck Rally & Craft Show.

We did a bit of a walk-through to check everything out before deciding that what we really needed to start with was a cup of coffee. Specifically, Casey’s Coffee Co.

A small black trailer with a skull painted on it and the words

This little black trailer served up a mean cup o’ joe! I’m not a big fan of coffee so I got their drink of the day, which happened to be an iced chai for $6:

A clear plastic cup full of iced chai latte with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

As someone who loves chai, this was a grand start to our culinary adventure.

Next, we decided to grab a snack from Little Boijon Asian Cuisine:

The menu for Little Boijon Asian Cuisine. There's items such as orange chicken, pork fried rice, vegetable lo mein, etc.

They had boba tea too, but seeing as I had a whole chai in my hand I figured I shouldn’t get another sugary beverage. I wanted to try the orange chicken, but I didn’t want to get a big entree since I knew I’d be trying things from other trucks, so I opted to share some egg rolls with my friend.

Three egg rolls in a Styrofoam box accompanied by a sweet chili sauce.

These egg rolls had a super crispy outside and were packed full of filling! The sweet chili sauce was the perfect accompaniment and wasn’t too spicy at all. It was $7 for the three of them.

Moving from Asian cuisine to German, we hit up The German Corner, a food truck from Indiana. They had ruebens, schnitzel, Bavarian cream puffs, and more! We chose to go with a bratwurst with sauerkraut and an order of potato pancakes with sour cream.

A bratwurst in a hotdog bun topped with sauerkraut. Also in the box is two potato pancakes accompanied by sour cream.

Okay, this brat was seriously delicious. I can’t say I’ve had too many brats in my life, but this one was definitely yummy, especially when paired with the sauerkraut. I want to say this was around $15, but I can’t remember exactly. I would’ve loved to try a Rueben or a cream puff, but maybe next time.

At this point we were actually pretty full, so we decided to get a sweet treat and head out. Thankfully, Kona Ice was there.

The oh-so colorful Kona Ice truck, featuring their mascot (a penguin in a red button up) on the side, along with tons of colorful signage and menus.

Kona Ice is kind of a big deal around these parts. Everyone loves them, and they are the best in the biz. While they have taps for their flavors, I decided to try one of their special flavors, the lavender lemonade, and my friend got the bourbon black cherry vanilla. It was $8 for both!

Two cups of shaved ice in green cups. One is lilac colored, the other is a muted orange shade.

THESE WERE SO GOOD. Oh my lordy, I have never had a better snowcone in my life. Both were super yummy, but I liked mine better because of the pretty color.

After we finished our ice, we headed out. All in all a successful venture. I definitely want to attend more food truck rallies, and I can’t wait to see which ones come to the 7th annual one next year!


18 Comments on “Visiting the Darke County Food Truck Festival”

  1. I love food events, but I sure wish that they’d sell small “tasters” at them instead of full orders. Seems kinda sad to not be able to graze when there’s so many choices.

  2. When food trucks were a new thing back in the 1980s I read an interview with a woman who started one of the first food trucks in my hometown. She said because at that time there wasn’t any legal category for a food truck she had to get a restaurant license. Her biggest challenge: the requirement that she have restrooms available for her customers! The workaround was persuading a few restaurants near where she would park the truck to sign a document promising to let anybody with a receipt from her truck use their restrooms!

    Now of course most places have a legal category for food trucks, so that nonsense isn’t an issue.

  3. As someone who loves chai, this was a grand start to our culinary adventure.

    Wait I thought you hated tea.

    Are there any Indo-Pak grocers around Darke County? Any place you can get whole green cardamom and maybe star anise that aren’t stale? Have you ever thought about making masala chai yourself?

  4. Pre-pandemic, at lunchtime there were food trucks along the street in front of my DC office building and surrounding a nearby park (plus a bunch of other DC locations … you could see on twitter which truck was where). I enjoyed a number of them. Some, I hope, got by the pandemic doing events. Others I fear went out of business.

    My favorite was Dangerously Delicious Pies. They used to have a DC-area restaurant but now they only have one in Baltimore, and I don’t get up there, alas. It appears I can have pies shipped, but it’s expensive. But looking at their menu has made me hungry, remembering old favorites. Might be worth placing an order…

  5. I love that your county has a food truck rally! Where I live, before the pandemic they would bring food trucks to different regional parks throughout the summer. It was a nice way to sample different cuisines in a lovely location.

  6. Oh my! That all looks so good. I love food trucks, but unfortunately for me, the love of my life does not. He gets squicked out and feels like they’re “unsanitary”. He said in his head he knows they’re clean and regulated but he just can’t get past “food from a truck”.

    We have an awesome Food Truck Thursday in my little town but I haven’t been in forever. I need to find a friend who will go with me and let my partner forage for himself! :)

  7. Did Kona Ice call their ices snow cones or shave ice? There’s a subtle difference (hint: if it’s shave ice, it uses a specialized machine to shave the ice into the container.)

  8. That snowcone food truck might have been selling what we in the islands call “shave ice.”

    Kona: Hawaiian for leeward. Note Hawaiian motifs painted on truck.

    I say “might have been” because snowcones generally use crushed ice and shave ice is made by shaving thin curls of ice off a large ice block. Shave ice is softer and lighter. You need a special machine to make it and a source for the large ice blocks.

  9. I love food trucks! Because the overhead is so low, compared to a restaurant, you can get really delicious, authentic ethnic food at an affordable price. There’s a couple at my workplace, and a “taco truck” a couple blocks from my house, which is justifiably local-famous for their incredible food. Even though it’s a truck, it’s always at the same spot, so they’ve erected a pavilion with picnic tables underneath, and it’s often very busy around dinner time, as working folk get off the bus, right next to it, stop to pick up dinner, and walk the last few blocks home. The chain fast food restaurants tried to regulate them out a few years ago, but that failed pretty fast. Anyway, glad you tried it and enjoyed yourself!

  10. I like food trucks in general as their offerings can be quite diverse. From an operator point of view, they are generally cheaper to get into than a fixed-location cafe or restaurant, so has a lower entry bar.

    In the summer months, our neighbourhood holds monthly foodtruck Fridays at the local library carpark. It’s a great opportunity to try different things as the roster of foodtrucks varies month to month.

  11. As always, enjoyed your review, Athena. There is a very good comedy-drama movie (dramedy?) called Chef about a chef who ends up operating a food truck. I recommend it!

  12. One wonders if the Kona Ice operators have any real connection to Hawai’i or if they just appropriated the name.

    Karen Lofstrom and the Mad Librarian beat me to the distinction between shave ice and snow cones. Hawai’i folk testify!

  13. Oh, my goodness – I haven’t had a food truck meal since the Before Times, when dozens of them would set up shop downtown in the middle of all the office buildings every lunch hour!

    One of the unfortunate side effects of the big move to remote work is that food truck operators don’t have nearly as many potential customers concentrated in a small area, and sadly some in our area have gone out of business.

    Even with the pandemic casualties, though, our city still has a wide variety of food truck options, I am happy to say. And your piece here reminds me that I need to get my lazy rump out of my home office and go downtown some fine day to see who all is there, and to taste some of their wares. Thank you!

  14. I second the Chef movie recommendation. A few of our local food trucks have gone on to open restaurants. The Waffle Lab was one of them. That is where I learned about pearl sugar. Your post is a good reminder for me to visit some food trucks this summer!

  15. My wife and I attended an event in El Paso called A Taste of El Paso. They took over a big hall in the convention center and had 20-30 restaurants doing sample portions of their best dishes. We got to do a lot of grazing there as you could revisit your favorites.

    Admission came with a program book that gave info on all the participating restaurants, we followed up and ate at a few of the ones that we really liked.

    You might keep your eye out for such in the bigger cities in your area.

  16. It’s been a few years since I’ve been at an event where Kona was present but I believe they do use the term “shave ice,” although I never knew the distinction before.

    Also, I’m mad at my GPS now because I was going through Darke County on my way home from northeast IN to Dayton on Saturday night, thinking about dinner, and it didn’t take me close enough to this for me to realize it was happening.

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