The 2017 Highlands Food and Wine Festival presented some of the best food trucks Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina has to offer.
Appropriately coined, Truckin’, the four-hour event allowed patrons to sample a wide variety of flavorful dishes, prepared by some of the most talented restaurants on wheels.
To complement the savory samples, were several beverage options being prepared in catering vehicles, even one mini-motor home.
Foodies enjoyed contemporary, folk rock sounds of Futurebirds, from Athens, Georgia and Los Angles natives, Dawes.
Mountain Vibe Alive
Truckin was set in a wooded lot off Old Creek Circle, near downtown Highlands, North Carolina.
Large sofas and cushioned chairs were scattered among the visitors who brought their own blankets and lawn furniture.
It was more like a cozy, mountain backyard barbecue, where I felt comfortable being by myself.
“We are so proud of this community for the opportunity to put on an event like this,” said Chamber of Commerce Chairman, David Bock.
I affirmed my appreciation to Mr. Bock for the Highlands Chamber of Commerce to invest in such an event. The entire city participates; even pulling food trucks from nearby Asheville to serve upscale food from a mobile kitchen.
Being by myself, I was slightly intimidated, attending this event – it was also my first, full blown food and wine festival.
But southern hospitality shined through, as new friends were made, spawned from their love of food.
One couple allowed me to share their high-top table, so I could enjoy my donuts from The Velvet Cup.
Personal Pizza Truck
Backwoods Bakery served up wood-fired pizzas from a portable oven.
They pridefully use all organic, locally grown ingredients; including meats, vegetables and grains.
The Italian Salami Pizzetta was this pizza fans’ delight. Adorned with Italian charcuterie, mozzarella cheese, herbs on a home-made crust, served hot out of the oven…it was delicious!
The crust was that perfect balance between crispy and moist.
Unfortunately, Backwoods Bakery does not currently have a brick and mortar location. However, they can be found at the Jackson County and Swain County Farmers Markets in North Carolina.
Fresh Food From a Truck
Asheville’s own Farm To Fender Cafe brought their mobile kitchen to the festival.
Using locally grown produce, Chef Jeremiah Jackson brought his fresh southern cuisine to eager awaiting foodies; myself included.
Always excited to try anyone’s take on chicken and waffles, I was elated to see the option on his menu.
Each serving was a single, crispy chicken tender, carefully drizzled with a honey, maple sauce, accompanied by a light, fluffy cinnamon waffle and creamy, whipped potatoes.
Probably the best example of a savory sweet sustenance I’ve had in a long time.
Quench My Thirst
Finally, an unorthodox food truck, the Tito’s Vodka mini-motor home.
More like a tailgate party on wheels, this vehicle was outfitted with two full service wood bars, complete with speed wells; multiple big screen televisions and two cabin-length couches to seat all your tailgating friends.
Tito’s Vodka is handcrafted and gluten-free alcohol smooth enough to be drank straight.
Other participating food trucks:
Buxton Hall BBQ
Brined & Cured
James Beard Nominee, Elliott Moss
Over the last five years, gourmet food trucks have set a new trend in the culinary world.
Once, only serving barbecue and tacos, today’s food trucks are preparing upscale dishes at reasonable prices.
Chef Vivian Howard, owner and operator of eastern North Carolina’s Chef & The Farmer recently completed a 9-week book tour, in support of her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots, cooking and serving her signature dishes from a food truck.
Have you dined at a food truck? If so, who and where? What did you think?
I would love your comments.