By Amanda Williams | Discovering Ohio
Today there is a food truck movement sweeping across the United States.
Simply put, a food truck is a mini, mobile restaurant. Some have fixed positions that they serve from daily, while others change locations based on the day, time, or even season. Food trucks usually specialize in one type/genre of food, but those genres can take on just about any form or interpretation. Vietnamese-fusion. Down-home barbecue. Tacos. Falafel. Even grilled cheese.
These kitchens on wheels are popping up in every corner of the country – including in Columbus, Ohio.
Columbus Food Adventures, a food tour company that began operating in Ohio’s capital in 2010, offersnine different food tours, two of which focus specifically on food trucks: a Taco Truck Tour, and a more general Food Truck Tour.
Considering how popular food trucks have become in the past 3-5 years (yes, even in Ohio – there are at least 100 food trucks in Columbus alone!), I decided to give the Food Truck Tour a try.
The tour began at a central location near downtown Columbus, where we met guide Bethia and piled into the large van that would be our transport for the 3-hour tour.
Our first stop was at Ajumama, a Korean food truck that can usually be found outside Four String Brewing Co. on W. 6th Avenue. Ajumama does what a lot of smart food trucks do – partner with a local bar/brewery/wine shop that doesn’t have a kitchen to offer up nibbles to the customers. Ajumama serves up Korean-fusion and classic Korean fare, with dishes changing based on the season. Their most popular dish is their bulgogi cheesesteak, though we got a small tasting plate with some kimchi, a bimbim ball, and a pancake-like pajeon.
Next we were off to Challah, a farm-to-fork, Jewish-deli-style food truck that partners up with The Twisted Vine wine bar/shop on W. 5th Avenue. Here, 90 percent of their food is made on-site from scratch. We got to try a bit of chicken salad sandwich, a couple bites of a Reuben, and a delicious potato latke with sour cream.
Ray Ray’s Hog Pit was next – a barbecue staple in downtown Columbus. This food truck is found behind music venue/bar Ace of Cups on N. High Street, and is only open Friday-Sunday. It serves up arguably the best BBQ in Columbus. We tried some of its famous beef brisket (which is smoked for 14 hours before being served), a St. Louis-style rib, jerk chicken, and some southern-style greens.
Next up was my favorite stop of the day: Mya’s. This food truck is in a seemingly odd location (alongside a food mart on N. High Street), but serves up some of the best fried chicken I have had the pleasure of eating. Here we sampled some shallow-fried buttermilk-battered chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and buttery biscuits. Like Ray Ray’s, Mya’s is only open on weekends.
Lastly we headed for Tokyo GoGo, located permanently outside the Brothers Drake Meadery and Bar on E. 5th Avenue. It’s an interesting pairing – traditional Japanese-style street food alongside a bar that serves almost exclusively Ohio-brewed/distilled products. Here we tried two types of seaweed salad, fried king oyster mushrooms, pork dumplings, and korokke balls.
If you’re looking for a true taste of Columbus (or, at least, a taste of its best food trucks), this tour is a great option.