On the Second Sunday of every month, Grove Winery hosts a Food Truck Rodeo (@NCFoodRodeo).
Awhile back, the Triangle Explorer, knowing my obsession with food trucks, informed me of Grove Winery’s monthly food truck rodeos. Each month I’d look at the schedule and either weather, trip planning, or something interfered with me driving there. Well recently, I was able to make it.
The drive was very scenic, passing by Burlington and small areas just north of there. On the way there I kept thinking if Google Maps was directing me to the wrong place. But as we got closer, signs began pointing us toward the winery. As you pull in, you see vines of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, and Chardonel. There are also tables under a tent bordered by food trucks. I look around and finally two things I love are here: food trucks and wine.
For this month’s line-up I saw a few familiar faces like King Creole, Captain Ponchos, and JAM Ice Cream. Also here trucks I have never seen Fish N Wings and The Pink Culture Truck. Also, outside was a bounce house, a musician, and a tent for wine and Natty Greene’s beer (a Greensboro brewery). Since I had not tried Fish N Wings, I decided to try out their cuisine this trip. If you like traditional fried fish and wings, you will really enjoy this. I like things spicy so I alternated between the Texas Pete and truck’s Mumbo sauce, a mixture of sweet and spicy flavors. I brought along my mother-in-law on this trip, who had the very popular Shirmp Po Boy (sold out quickly, but they quickly re-calibrated their menu) from King Creole and a Strawberry Shake from Jam Ice Cream.
I really liked the ambiance here. Tables were set up and people laid out chairs with some setting up near the stage and pond. Most rodeos I kind of arrive and leave quickly, because once you had a truck or two, there really isn’t anything hold you here. And the crowds can be overwhelming. But adding the musician, relaxing on the grass and warm weather, I didn’t have the urge to leave so quickly. For the families, the bounce house was a nice touch, because I can assume (I wander without kids) they can be bored quickly.
Since the winery is hosting the event, you can also go inside the tasting room for a $5 tasting or buy wine. Many people were buying bottles while chowing down food. I went with a glass of the soon to be gone 2011 Niagara (a grape I rarely drink) and a Guilford Golden Ale from Natty Greene’s. I don’t know if it was interchanging between the beer and wine to get a tasting for the fried fish, but the Niagara felt sweeter from my initial tasting. I thought it would toned down, but unfortunately it did not. Though, my mother-in-law, who likes sweeter wines, quickly swooped in and enjoyed the Niagara. As I finished the Golden Ale, I began to think I need to add this to my beer rotation.
I also took a look inside The Pink Culture Truck, a fashion truck. Inside owner, Meka Harrell, greeted me and talked about her business. As Meka and I both know, there aren’t many fashion trucks. She also mentioned that national media, like Good Morning America, were starting to take notice of the trend. She currently had fashion items for women and girls, but does occasionally have men’s items. Right now, she’s currently in the Triad area, but she is looking to setup at Triangle and Charlotte food truck festivals. As I was getting an idea of her truck, two young girls (younger than me) walked in to browse. Later in the day, I noticed those two girls walking around one of Pink Culture’s bags.
While the drive from either the Triad or the Triangle might not be a quick drive, I would recommend making the trip here. Its all about the experience and I got a good vibe for this event. People did have dogs, too. And if you wanted to bring your canine family members you can. So, if I had no plans on Sunday, I think this might go on my something to do list.
For more info on the Haw River AVA winery, Grove Winery, check out their site. On the second Sunday of each month, they host a food truck rodeo. Check @NCFoodRodeo and @GroveWinery for details.