By Laurie Heuston | Mail Tribune
The street food scene in Medford is growing at a slow pace compared with other cities around the country. Though several carts grace certain downtown corners and serve tasty menu items, there’s still a desire for a convenient food truck court offering an array of cuisine.
Thrive — as part of its Eat Local Challenge — has organized the Rogue Flavor Food Truck Festival, to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at The Commons, Sixth and Bartlett streets, in downtown Medford. Look for healthful and delicious eats inspired by locally produced foods from Figgy’s Food Truck, Fresco, Rocco’s Amore and Rise Up! Artisan Bread, along with brews from the Bricktowne Brewing Company.
Thrive’s Eat Local Challenge strives to connect businesses in the Rogue Valley who share a commitment to buying locally.
Figgy’s Food Truck — owned by Melissa Jones-Hanscom — will offer an array of sandwiches and salads (www.figgysfoodtruck.com.) Standouts include chicken on a croissant lightly dressed with tarragon, shallots, sweet corn, celery and merlot lettuce ($8), and a braised pork loin sandwich with roasted herloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil ($8). Jones-Hanscom’s vegan Lucky Dragon noodle boat features yakisoba noodles with fresh veggies and a sweet and spicy sauce ($5). Look for a salad of wild arugula, poached pears, grapes, blue cheese, almonds, cranberries and honey-pear balsamic ($7), or a sesame chicken salad, with organic greens, chives, carrots, crunchy noodles and sesame-ginger dressing ($8).
Last weekend, Figgy’s was on the site of Maslow Project’s benefit concert at Silver Spring Farm in Ashland. The menu included a smoked ham and havarti sandwich with Dijon mustard and pickles that hit the spot at the outdoor show. A side of hearty potato salad would have gone well with it on that first cool day of summer. As LOVEBITE and the Jeff Pevar Trio played sets of great rock ‘n’ roll and the sun fell behind the hills, the temperature finally dipped below 80 degrees.
Fresco — owned by Alyssa Warner — also offers healthful, inexpensive meals (www.alsfresco.com). Warner makes pasta from scratch every day, and she bakes all of her own desserts. Fresh produce comes from her organic garden.
At the Food Truck Fest, her menu will include butternut squash and Taylor’s sausage soup ($9), and handmade ravioli stuffed with a local, seasonal filling and topped with browned butter ($10).
For locavores, there will be braised beef served with roast garlic and fingerling potatoes ($10). The vegetarian or vegan option will be yellow squash stuffed with tofu, farro, curried spices, mushrooms and dried fruit ($9). All of the items will be served with salad, fruit and Fresco bread. For dessert, look for tiramisu trifle ($4) or peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream ($5).
Rise Up! Artisan Bread owners Jo Ferneau and Rosie Demmin will bring their portable pizza oven to the event. (www.riseupartisanbread.com.) The oven is heated to temperatures between 550 and 800 degrees, so pizzas bake in three to five minutes.
The pizza crust is the right combination of chewy and crisp, according to one Mail Tribune food review, and it’s topped with local, organic fare that ranges from conventional to unusual. Look for combinations such as pesto, pear and potato, or bacon, apple and honey. The reviewer tried a classic cheese and basil with a rich, pure tomato sauce that she found simply perfect. Gluten-free and meat options also are available. Pizzas cost $15 to $20; $4 to $5 by the slice.
Finally, Rocco’s Amore — owned by William Todarello and Kathy Griffin — will offer Italian dishes such as traditional, rolled meatloaf sandwiches ($8), meatball sliders ($3, or two for $5), Caprese salad with homemade pesto ($4), along with black beans and Taylor’s ham hocks with corn bread ($5). These dishes are not on their standard menu (www.roccosamore.com). Also look for panna cotta with pear topping ($2.50) and homemade strawberry granita ($2).