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Food & Drink

Best Food Trucks In Tampa Bay

June 11, 2014 8:00 AM

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For better or for worse, Tampa Bay is a car-oriented region. We may not have the best mass transit system, hence why city leaders have made its improvement a priority for decades. However, if anything positive can come from the automobile focus, it would have to be the quality and variety of food truck options available. As as example of our dominance in this respect, we’re famous enough to be featured among only a few dozen cities on the website dedicated to all things food truck-related, Roaming Hunger. We also serve as the location for the “World’s Largest Food Truck Rally,” a two-day event held annually at the Florida State Fairgrounds since 2013. This year’s edition attracted over 200 trucks and an estimated 20,000 hungry area residents. So, which food trucks should you choose and why? We’ve gathered a list of five of the finest local purveyors of mobile cuisine. Enjoy and remember that locations can vary depending on daily and seasonal events.
Mobile Munchiez
Tampa, FL 33601
(813) 720-5234
www.mobilemunchiez.com

Rave reviews abound for Mobile Munchiez, one of the newest food trucks to hit the streets of Tampa. It’s hard to categorize the truck into one type of cuisine, but one could say it represents the area’s cultural heritage: a fusion of Latin, Italian and American influences. The owners’ vow to avoid microwaves and to use “fresh local ingredients whenever possible” is comforting to hear from a food truck, when the inner workings of mobile restaurants can sometimes seem suspicious. Some of the menu options include chorizo rice balls, yuca fries, chimichangas with an inventive chicken alfredo version, tostones (double-fried plantains) and mac and cheese balls, given a jalapeno-gorgonzola-walnut remix. To complement its culinary works of art, Mobile Munchiez includes an equally delightful, homemade aioli sauce drizzled on top of most dishes.

Enjoi Sweets & Company
Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 545-7282
www.enjoisweets.com

Tampa Bay residents flock from far and wide to sample the sweets of Enjoi’s food truck when it makes an appearance. A family-run enterprise, the recipes come thoroughly tested, with everything prepared from scratch and baked fresh. The dessert truck, known as the “Pip Squeaker,” frequently makes appearances at local sporting events and concerts. Make sure to check out the inventive flavors, such as chai tea, peanut butter cup and honey cupcakes, along with more traditional options such as red velvet and classic-yet-delicious oatmeal raisin cookies.

Hott Mess
Tampa, FL 33681
(813) 400-0837
www.facebook.com/hottmess

Hott Mess lives up to the image conjured by its name. Who can imagine a dish more exemplary of this name than this food truck’s original creation, “deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hotdogs.” Yes, you read correctly. This is probably not the best thing to eat if you are concerned about your cholesterol intake. However, for all of the typical, guilty pleasures of American cuisine, you can rely on Hott Mess to deliver, including sandwiches, grilled cheeses, pork tenderloin sliders and tater tots. The latter is perhaps the most well-known specialty of Hott Mess, which offers several creative variations of what many remember as a classic dish from the school cafeteria. Don’t miss the buffalo tots, “Italian Mess” tots (marinara sauce, mozzarella and pesto), the “Mexican Tarot Tots” (beef, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips) and the sweet potato tots (topped with marshmallows and caramel sauce).

Related: Best Food Trucks In Tampa Bay

The Flattery
Tampa, FL 33606
(407) 900-3528
www.theflattery.com

The Flattery combines local, fresh ingredients and crust expertise to make some of the best flatbreads around town. Each flatbread wears a fun and sassy name, which despite seeming cheesy from time to time, makes them even more appealing. Sure to please, the “her name was chorizo” packs chorizo, bacon and blue cheese together in one delightful trip for the taste buds. Other inventive menu items include the fig and prosciutto, bacon and caramelized onions with a wine sauce or even one with an apple-coffee BBQ sauce. The team behind the Flattery have a knack for showing up at major sporting events and popular shopping destinations, so if you haven’t seen them yet, keep your eyes peeled.

Burger Culture
Tampa, FL 33626
(813) 992-7444
www.facebook.com/Burger-Culture-tampa

Burger Culture takes to heart the importance of the hamburger in American culture, and it can definitely make a mean example of this gastronomic mainstay. Frequently cited as one of the best burgers in the Tampa Bay area, Burger Culture’s expertise blows the typical fast food staple out of the water. For example, try the Cajun burger (smoked gouda, mushrooms and chipotle sauce), Greek burger (feta cheese, tomato, cucumber and tzatziki sauce) or the black and blue burger (apple, blue cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce). For those who avoid beef, the turkey burger makes a lovely alternative with its tomato, pesto and goat cheese toppings.

Anise Global Gastrobar (formerly Stinky Bunz food truck)
777 N. Ashley Drive
Tampa, 33602
(813) 225-4272
www.aniseglobalgastrobar.com

A true success story, the food truck formerly known as Stinky Bunz was such a hit that its owners found a permanent home for their creations at the Anise Global Gastrobar. Done in an authentic fashion, Stinky Bunz became famous for its sandwiches, served on its namesake – a soft bun of Korean origin. A variety of fillings make the buns unique, including beer-battered shrimp with papaya and ginger aioli, braised pork with kimchi and crispy curried chicken with cucumber. The central location of Anise in downtown Tampa means that while Stinky Bunz can no longer come to your neighborhood, at least its legacy remains easily accessible.

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Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he’s excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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