Enjoying delicious food at the Jersey Shore sounds like a recipe for the perfect Memorial Day weekend. Gourmands will be glad to know the annual Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is back; in fact, this year promises to serve up more interesting and exotic fare than ever before. The event, held from May 28-30 at Monmouth Park Racetrack, features more than 50 food trucks.
“Since the first food truck festival in 2012, we’ve been blown away by the response,” says Patti Baxter, founder of Spark Market Solutions, who organizes the event and has been credited with sparking the food truck craze in the Garden State. “We’ve increased our footprint to accommodate the overwhelming interest. This year, we’ll have 52 food trucks, up from 35 last year. It’s a fun event in that it’s one of first to kickoff the Jersey Shore season and there’s such a wide variety of different cuisines. You’ve got your basic sausage and peppers, but you can also try yak burgers.”
Exotic Meats & More
Speaking of far-out fare, vendor Dark Side of the Moo plans to deliver an experience carnivores will cherish. Attendees will have a chance to sample a Southern Comforts Burger, a cheeseburger topped with mac and cheese, pulled pork, coleslaw, pickles and BBQ sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Jersey City-based food truck offers an “Exotic Meat Emporium” side of the menu, complete with the aforementioned yak, bison, and kangaroo meat, as well as smoked alligator sausage.
The Florham Park-based Oink and Moo BBQ, recognized by The Daily Meal as the sixth best food truck in the country in its annual ranking of the 101 Best Food Trucks in America, features baby back ribs, brisket or pulled pork sliders, and its award-winning Oink and Moo chili.
Other trucks specializing in comfort food favorites like mac and cheese, pierogis, falafels, empanadas, tamales, and pizza will be there.
Anyone who saves room for dessert will be faced with some tempting but tough decisions. From cupcakes and gourmet waffles to frozen banana ice cream and shaved ice, treats provide the day’s sweet ending.
Dont Forget About the Crafts
In addition to nearly every cuisine imaginable, attendees can check out a craft show while enjoying live music. While food is priced on a per-item basis, admission to Monmouth Park Racetrack is $5 per person (though children 12 and under are admitted free). Parking is $5 per car. NJ Transit rail system delivers passengers to Monmouth Park train station. No dogs (other than hot dogs, of course) can attend the event, however, as they startle the horses. Gates open at 11 am Saturday and Sunday, and 11:30 am on Monday.
Baxter said Monmouth Park Racetrack provides the ultimate backdrop for the highly-anticipated event. “It’s such a beautiful, cool facility,” she says. “This, the Surf & Turf Seafood Fest held in July and the BBQ & Beer Fest over Labor Day weekend help draw a new audience to Monmouth Park Racetrack.”
For more info and a complete list of vendors, visit the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival’s Facebook page.
Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Colleen Leslie / Spark Market Solutions