Food Truck Block Party draws huge crowds

This past Saturday, residents of the Carnegie Mellon community braved the cold to attend the inaugural Margaret Morrison Food Truck Block Party. There were several different food trucks present, including some old Carnegie Mellon favorites like Joe’s Doghouse, Tartans’ Express, and India on Wheels, as well as some new and exciting options from businesses in the Pittsburgh area. The event kicked off promptly at noon with live performances from groups including East End Mile, Ethan Bence, Arts Greenhouse, and The Treblemakers. In addition to the food and live performances, there were a variety of games available to the partygoers, such as “Pin-the-Tie on Suresh!”

These performances, games, and exciting new food trucks were sure to present students with a promising afternoon. However, in addition to these events, there were also long lines. Though slightly overwhelming at first, it took more than these long lines and cold winds to keep everyone away from the food.

First up on our food truck journey was Mac and Gold, Pittsburgh’s Original Mac ‘n’ Cheesery. Although the line seemed quite long at first glance, we moved along at an impressive pace. We opted for the Barbeque Beef Brisket Mac n’ Cheese. Simply put, it was delicious. The perfectly cheesy mac and cheese was topped with barbeque brisket and crispy French fried onions. The other options, including the roasted butternut squash mac and cheese and the prosciutto and pea mac and cheese, also received positive reviews. The short wait time coupled with the great food made Mac and Gold a true crowd pleaser.

Despite the cold weather, we were still greeted with happy and friendly faces by those working in the Bella Christie and Lil Z’s Sweet Boutique food truck. Bella Christie’s offered a variety of tasty treats, including cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, and all things chocolate-covered. The treats were very inexpensive, beautifully decorated, and quite delicious. We chose the chocolate covered Oreos, and were not in any way disappointed. The best part was the food truck’s lack of any line whatsoever. The Sweet Boutique quickly became a block party favorite.

Franktuary, which offered up classic hot dogs and fries, also became one of our favorites — taste wise, that is. The food was great, but getting to the food was a different story. The line, which appeared to be fairly short, looked promising at first. We were 30 minutes into waiting when we realized it might take slightly longer than previously estimated to acquire one of Franktuary’s grass-fed all-beef hotdogs. The bitter cold got the best of some of those waiting in line, but 45 minutes into waiting, we decided we had gone too far to back out now. We envied those in the fast-moving Mac and Gold queue as we waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually our order was placed after a wait time totaling one hour and 45 minutes. However, after receiving our food, we finally understood why so many others had waited this long for hot dogs and French fries — they were delicious. Although the wait was not ideal, it turned out to be a small price to pay.

Judging by the exceptionally long line at Taco Cho’s, which offered Korean Mexican Fusion style tacos, one might have assumed that it was a crowd favorite. But when we asked a fellow student, first-year materials science and engineering major Indorica Sutradhar, about her experience at Taco Cho’s, she described her tacos as “kind of cold” and “just okay.” Unfortunately, we heard similar responses from several others, as many found the tacos lackluster and not worth the wait. Perhaps the tent setup, as opposed to the standard food truck option, caused a few problems with cooking time and food quality. Although we were not able to personally attend Taco Cho’s because of the long queue, we were able to visit several others.

All in all, most of food offered at the Margaret Morrison Food Truck Block Party was pleasing, but the extremely long lines ended up leaving a sour taste in some mouths.