Food Truck Finds: Hot Trucks & Roundups May 23 – 29

This week in Food Truck Finds, we bring you electrifying empanadas, resplendent raspados and nuclear nachos. Prepare to be impressed with this week’s street eats.

Ricuras de Venezuela

Empanadas (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

Beef Empanadas (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

Send your appetite to South America by sampling authentic Venezuelan soul food right here in the Old Pueblo. We’re talking arepas, empanadas, cachapas, and hallaca. Let’s go.

  • Best Seller: Arepas. They’re spongy corn pancakes transformed into sandwiches. Plump and stuffed with a variety of sweet or savory fillings – like cheese, Pernil (slow-cooked pork), or Plátanos Maduros (fried ripe plantains) – this is how to introduce your tastebuds to Venezuelan food.
  • Recommended: Empanadas. Deep-fried corn flour dough distinguishes these Latin American hand pies from their baked south-of-the-U.S.-border cousins. Order the Mechada (shredded beef) for a taste of La Guaira goodness. You won’t be able to put it down after your first hot bite.
  • Where to Find: Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by the family’s insurance office at 890 W Grant Rd, Tucson. Occasionally, find Ricuras de Venezuela at local events and brew pubs like Dragoon Brewing.

For more information, visit Ricuras de Venezuela on Facebook.

Crush Gourmet Raspados & Coladas

Mango raspado (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

Mango Raspado (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

When the Tucson temp hits 100 degrees or more and you can’t think of anything but an ice-cold drink, this wondrous white wagon is your oasis in the desert.

  • Best Seller: Strawberry Banana Raspado. What’s a raspado? Think snow cone meets ice cream sundae. It’s crushed ice, all-natural fruit syrup, vanilla ice cream, lechera, and of course, fresh fruit – strawberries and bananas. You switch off between sipping and spooning and you’re gonna love those cold banana slices.
  • Recommended: For the small fry in your group, ask for a Mini Raspado in just about any flavor. It’s the same refreshing treat, but in a kid-friendly “Ice Ice Baby” size.
  • Where to Find: Check out local food truck roundups in areas like Corona de Tucson, Rancho Sahuarita, and Sycamore Park.

For more information,visit Crush Gourmet Raspados on Facebook.

Drew’s Dogs

Drew's Nachos (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

Drew’s Nachos (Photo credit: Kim M. Bayne)

A hot dog cart? Oh, yes. You can’t help but love how they dress their dogs.

  • Best Seller: It’s got to be Drew’s version of the Sonoran hot dog: a bacon-wrapped all-beef dog, shredded cheese, home-cooked pinto beans, fresh diced tomatoes, mayo, avocado sauce, and jalapeño sauce completes this masterpiece. It’s so “purdy,” you’ll have to Instagram a few pics before you take that first big bite.
  • Recommended: Drew’s Nachos. You get your choice of Cool Ranch or Nacho Doritos topped with pinto beans, nacho cheese, mayo, avocado sauce, diced tomatoes, and jalapeño sauce. Crazy, but worth trying.
  • Where to Find: Drew’s makes its presence known in Rita Ranch, Vail, and Tucson. The Walmart at Old Vail and Houghton has also hosted this open air mobile food unit.

For more information, visit Drew’s Dogs on Facebook.

Food Truck Gatherings May 23 – 29

  • Monday, May 23 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Corona de Tucson Food Truck Roundup at The Danzone, 16461 S Houghton Rd, Corona de Tucson. Confirmed: Gigi’s Peruvian Fusion, Sonoran Mexican Cuisine, Vina Baguette Vietnamese Sandwiches, Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro, Big Bad Wolf, Jackie’s Food Court, DC Jumbie Latin Caribbean, Meatball Madness, Hellfire Pizza Co, Jackie’s Food Court, Taco’Queta Mexican Food, BBQ Rush, Pin-Up Pastries Tucson, Crush Gourmet Raspados, & King Kettle Corn.
  • Tuesday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m.
    • Downtown Food Truck Rally at Joel D Valdez Main Library – Pima County Public Library, 101 N Stone Ave & W Pennington St, Tucson. Confirmed: Meatball Madness, Tucson Fat Noodle.
  • Wednesday, May 25 at 11:00 a.m.
    • UMC Banner South Center Lunch, 2701 E Elvira Rd, Tucson. Confirmed: Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro.
  • Thursday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Lunch at National Bank Plaza, National Bank of AZ, 333 N Wilmot Rd, Tucson. Confirmed: Meatball Madness.

Kim M. Bayne is a freelance writer/editor, social media producer, and former food truck correspondent for Food Network's Eat St. (TV Show) blog. Find Kim via her project Street Food Files on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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