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
Dessert is your reward for still being hungry after devouring fried empanadas and grease-cemented superburgers. Unlike that mozzarella-stick-
marshmallow-fluff sandwich you just ate, the frozen ice treats by Peak Season Pops are a practically guilt-free food truck delight, being made with in-season ingredients and served from a cart not chugging gallons of fuel. All pops are $3, and come in tongue-wagging flavors like hibiscus-raspberry, pineapple-basil and coconut with cinnamon (whose creamy richness is reminiscent of fresh rice pudding). The staff is pleasantly chatty, making Peak Season feel like a friendly neighbor you hope to encounter frequently.
Pop Craft Pops
These are the popsicles you dream of making yourself, hoping to come up with interesting ingredient combos that somehow stay balanced. Some are styled after Mexican paletas, with larger pieces of fruit frozen in the ice pops; some are smooth and dairy-based, closer to what we'd think of as a Dreamsicle. The best of the seasonally changing bunch was the blueberry-lemon-basil pop, which featured all three flavors in each bite and disappeared in about two minutes. (Pro tip: Try a pop as a refreshing appetizer for your trip to the trucks instead of relegating them to the dessert-only category.)
Despite the critic's credo of sampling, not scarfing, we were powerless in the face of SwedeDish's Scandinavian savories and inhaled every crumb. The traditional dish of Swedish meatballs ($8.50) was topped with creamy gravy and sided with ultra-buttery, paprika-dusted mashed potatoes, warm lingonberry relish and a fragrant cucumber-and-dill pickled salad - and yes, it's a lot better than IKEA's. (Those mashed potatoes are worth seeking out, wherever SwedeDish may be for the day.) The somewhat less well-known but no less traditional Viking Dog ($7.50) is a messy-delicious assemblage of all-beef frank, dill-mayonnaisey crab salad and more of those mashed potatoes, topped with crunchy fried onions and rolled up in a flexible flatbread. Extra napkins advised.
Orlando is no stranger to Vietnamese cuisine, so it's nice to have trucks like Saigon Sizzle roving about in case you're nowhere near Colonial Drive and you get a hankering for banh mi. The family-run truck has few surprises, with the smallish menu including plates of vermicelli noodles or rice ($7) topped with signature Vietnamese ingredients like cilantro, cucumber, carrots and your choice of pork, chicken or tofu. The tacos plate ($6 for two) gives you the same protein options, and adds the flourish of a tangy homemade mayonnaise to the crunchy veggies. Service is friendly and generous - you may be treated to a complimentary hot dog-in-a-bun if your wait is too long.