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First Friday Food Truck Festival

Hundreds of gourmets and gourmands alike braved the cold and crammed the parking lot of the Old National Centre Friday night for what proved to be Indy’s biggest food truck event. Featuring nearly 20 food trucks, local beers and wines, live music, and dj sets, this third monthly First Friday Food Truck Festival showcased a dizzying array of culinary delights, everything from food truck pioneer West Coast Tacos and foodie favorite Scratch Truck to relative newcomers such as Some of This! Some of That! featuring generous po’ boys and comforting red beans and rice and the Big Green Bistro, sponsored by Chef JJ’s Backyard. Chef JJ’s “Bistro Box” was one of the more buzzed about items of this week’s festival, packing in a delectable tomato soup with plenty of late-summer herbs, a grilled cheese with Havarti and bacon from Goose the Market, a taco with meltingly tender 22-hour smoked pork butt, and a pumpkin cream with plenty of fall spices and crunchy nuts on top. Scratch Truck came in with a couple of new sides, including the iconic Canadian beer night food “poutine,” here featuring Scratch Truck’s earthy fries, savory chicken gravy, gooey mozzarella, and chopped rosemary and sage. Mabel on the Move cruised into downtown in its vintage Airstream trailer, serving up “buffalo” mac ‘n’ cheese with a kick of hot sauce and bleu cheese, as well as delectable raspberry-apple tarts. Especially popular trucks included Groovy Guy Fries, serving pizza fries, The New York Slice, and Der Pretzel Wagon, with plenty of Bavarian kitsch to go with their homemade pretzels. Standing outdoors on a chilly fall Friday never tasted this good!

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.