What’s Food Truck Summer without a trip to the Columbus Food Truck Festival? That cornucopia of local food entrepreneurs and tasty grub is this today and tomorrow at the Columbus Commons. The Origamist, the Rising Star, and the Investor and I decided to leg it over there for lunch today and check out the offerings.
It was a beautiful day, weatherwise — bright sunshine, blue sky, and temperatures topping out in the mid-70s — but it was an even more beautiful day for foodies. I’m not sure how many dozens of food trucks were there, but it was enough to make choosing what to get almost impossible. Ultimately we made our selection, which I’ll talk about tomorrow, but in the meantime we couldn’t help but be impressed at the number, and cuisine diversity, of Columbus food trucks peddling their wares. BBQ, Asian, tacos, Greek, colossal sausages, noodle bowls, high-end grilled cheese, and just about every other kind of food you can think of is there, waiting to be wolfed down on the grassy plain just south of the center of downtown. It’s a nice setting, and at today’s lunch hour it drew a big crowd.
It was, perhaps, unexpectedly big, because there weren’t enough tables and chairs to go around. We ended up using an empty water stand as an ersatz table, and as we walked around we saw people perched on little chairs intended for toddlers. We managed, but for some of the dishes being sold you really need to be able to sit down and dig in. Next year, maybe the Festival organizers could put a row of picnic tables or two on the Commons? It would make eating a noodle bowl with chopsticks a more feasible.
Two other items of constructive criticism. First, all beverages have to be purchased from the city of Columbus beverage stands, and the price for a bottle of water is set at gouging levels — $3 a bottle. $3 for bottled water?!? That’s bogus, and self-defeating. If you want people to enjoy the great food truck culture in Columbus, or to frequent the Commons for other events, price the water (and beer, which I think was $6 a bottle) at more reasonable levels.
Second, crank down the volume on the music acts to a lower decibel level. It’s nice to have music and it contributes to a fun and festive atmosphere, but I think most people are there with friends or colleagues and would like to have a conversation over lunch without having to raise their voices.
All in all, though, a very nice and well-attended event that confirmed, again, that Columbus is really starting to get there as a big city. I’d encourage anybody interested in getting a taste (pun intended) of the Capital City food truck world to drop by tomorrow and check it out. Just be sure to bring your own bottle of water!