Meals on Wheels: Our critics review Orlando's best food trucks
Mobile eateries have come a long way. We combed bazaars, pods and parking-lot lunch stops - and sampled more than a hundred dishes - to bring you critical reviews of some of Orlando's best food trucks
Published: May 3, 2012
The menu looks promising at this sleek, shiny truck, which says it offers innovative menus, seasonal ingredients and “chef driven” food. The day we visited, the options were mostly heavy, meaty and hearty - a lamb meatball sub, a burger, half a fried chicken. Bucking the trend, we selected crispy coconut tofu ($7), which featured wedges of lightly fried (though not quite crispy) tofu, which tasted only mildly of coconut or curry. The jasmine rice cakes served alongside, however, were crisp, buttery and downright decadent. A heaping serving of mac & cheese, made with local ricotta, Gruyere and Parmesan and studded with earthy bits of mushroom ($7), did not disappoint, unlike the crispy fries with herb-and-spice oil ($3), which were about as interesting as the kind you buy frozen in a bag.
Big Bruno's Bites
At first, the menu doesn't really seem all that unusual: A pork egg roll, fries with various toppings, hot dogs, falafel. But then - then! - you get to the specials. A royal red banh mi taco is a hit: succulent little grilled shrimp nestled into a bed of crispy sweet pickled carrots, cabbage slaw and fresh cilantro, topped with sriracha mayo and wrapped in a warm, soft tortilla. It's a surprisingly refreshing interpretation of the classic Vietnamese sub. Falafel, that old warhorse of takeout joints and festival tents, is often dry and hard, but Bruno's is just like it ought to be: crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and served in a pillow of soft pita.
Big Wheel Truck
“It's an honor to have had this spill onto my pants,” I said to my apologetic wife after her failed attempt to feed me a spoonful of creamy chickpea ragoût spiced with ras el hanout. The sauce was a unifying component to Big Wheel's Moroccan-style seared Titusville octopus ($8), so after a customary swipe-and-lick off my pantaloons, followed by a proper tasting of the complexly rich sauce, my focus turned to the octopus. While the cephalopod was a far-too-rubbery chew, that won't stop me from singing the praises of chef Tony Adams' mobile creations. In fact, the truckies I've spoken to all seem to hold Big Wheel in high regard, and the consensus is this conveyance of comestibles is the finest in the city. I can't recall ever enjoying baby artichokes more than I did the crisp pesto-Parmesan numbers ($6.50) done here. Ditto with the grit cakes ($5). The four-cheese-and-chive wedges also came in handy for sponging up leftover chickpea ragoût, but as far as stellar Southern delicacies go, I'd whistle “Dixie” for more duck cracklings ($6) or another taste of the buttermilk biscuits holding slow-roasted Angus short rib ($7.50). Big Wheel's ingenuity isn't confined to the kitchen, either; they've found a way to get around the city's ordinance outlawing tables on a sidewalk - they set up ironing boards instead. Oh snap!