Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Food trucks making tracks to Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — One of the country's latest crazes — food truck rallies — will make its way to Hernando County on Saturday.

A rally is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the weekly Hernando County Farmers Market, in the parking lot of the old Kmart store on U.S. 19, just south of the entrance to Timber Pines.

Up to 10 trucks will raise their awnings, serving up sizzled, barbecued, fried, roasted, sauteed and baked goodies, ranging from shrimp and scallops to Cubans, pulled pork, meatballs, empanadas, kimchi chi and deep-fried chocolate concoctions.

The rally is being organized by Tasting Tampa, a sort of clearinghouse for such vendors, which has chosen the trucks to fill a variety of tastes, said operations manager Shannon Sturtz.

Tasting Tampa draws on experience from having fielded food truck rallies in Tampa, Sarasota and Bradenton, attracting thousands.

"We knew there hadn't been a rally (in Spring Hill)," Sturtz said. "We like to go to those areas and bring the fun to them."

Said Desiree Canora, vice president of the farmers market: "I applied to be host, and they went ahead and set us up."

While eat-on-site bites at the farmers market have been pretty much limited during the summer to Italian ice, homegrown vendors sell a variety of treats through the remainder of the year, Canora said.

Hungry visitors on Saturday can choose among:

• Cuban sandwiches, judged the best in Florida at a statewide contest earlier this year, by On the Go, which also offers empanadas, deviled crabs and a big chef's salad.

• Pulled pork sandwiches and sliders with an original sweet sauce and sides of baked beans and potato salad, by Just Smokin' BBQ.

• Organic dishes with vegetarian choices, including black beans and rice, plus poultry items including duck and free-range chicken, by Three Sons Organic Bistro.

• Kimchi, Korea's national dish of fermented vegetables — mainly cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber — served on a light and airy fold-over Korean bun with options of tofu, lemon grass chicken or pork, by Stinky Buns.

• A secret ground beef mix cooked as meatballs, served as a hoagie or slider or without bread, under a choice of toppings from classic to spicy Korean, plus a deep-fried seafood ball and deep-fried chocolate ball, by Jimmy Meatballs.

• Shrimp and grouper sliders, shrimp po' boys, other fish dishes depending on fresh catch-of-the-day, plus a jalapeno-cheddar hush puppy, by Keep'n It Reel.

• Tortillas filled with a vegetable selection to match a choice of Southern fried chicken, pork or scallops with their own sauces, plus a pastry chef's creation of a red velvet cookie with cream cheese filling, all dubbed "hand-held gourmet," by Rollin' Zoinks.

"A lot of trucks will come with different specials," Sturtz said. "They don't have a permanent menu.

"I'd advise you to scour the menus before you choose. There are so many cool things in all of them."

Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]

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