By Jonathan Tran | Niner Online
Even after living in Charlotte for what seems like an eternity (two decades), I’d never come across Food Truck Friday until recently. As its name suggests, Food Truck Friday takes place every Friday in Charlotte’s historic SouthEnd neighborhood in the lot at the corner of Camden and Park. It starts at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. I was completely unsure of what to expect but after heading there this past Friday evening, I definitely would like to make another visit (or seven).
After arriving quite late in the evening, I realized that there isn’t much parking, as the even caused a little bit of traffic in SouthEnd. To avoid this next time, parking a block or two away is probably a much better idea, or even taking the Lynx light rail service. Parking in a lot for the light rail and taking it to Bland Street Station is what I would recommend, especially if you’ve never gotten the chance to take a quick ride on the light rail. It’s nice, scenic and saves you the stress of having to deal with the many horrible drivers (and sometimes pedestrians) of Charlotte.
But upon arrival to the lot at Camden and Park, I realized how big the event was, with over a dozen food trucks and vendors. The lot was jam-packed, with a couple hundred people sipping beers, petting dogs, mingling and enjoying food. People brought picnic blankets and lawn chairs as all other public seating was occupied.
Of the many trucks in attendance (a list is posted on the Facebook page of SouthEnd’s website), not one seemed unappetizing. In fact, many of the trucks had lines that seemed unending. One very familiar truck had a very commanding presence, as their line had at least 50 people. That truck was the Herban Legend, a truck I always see on campus outside of Prospector, yet I never see anyone eating there.
There were a variety of things to choose from, ranging from a Thai food truck to a “mobile cupcakery” and a food truck that served only crêpes. The cold noodle and spring roll dish I got from Hot Box “Next Level Street Food” was a fairly sized portion of an Asian “pasta salad” of ramen noodles and various veggies, with the spring rolls this week being filled with duck and blood orange. I found both to be delicious, and wish the lines hadn’t prevented me from trying the many other offerings at the event.
I definitely recommend Food Truck Friday if you’d like to have nice night out with friends, or even as date. It’s even right next to Common Market where you can grab a six-pack and sit and enjoy the late summer weather around people you love.