Sights and scenes from Metro Jacksonville's first Jax Truckies Food Truck Championship as well as Downtown Vision's position regarding food trucks in downtown Jacksonville's revitalization.
Its a wrap on Jacksonvilles inaugural food truck competition: the Jax Truckies. And now that I have somewhat recovered from the food coma caused by my agreeing to be a judge (along with the lovely Caron Streibich, host of the Folio Weekly Bite Club and food blogger, and delightful Rebecca Barry, meteorologist with WJXT-Channel 4), I am able to share my thoughts about the event.
First, I must commend Ennis Davis and Mike Field of Metro Jacksonville, Caron Streibich, Stacey Steiner, Susan Miller of Bold City Brewery and Stanton Hudmon of Pine Street/PRS LLC for organizing such an impressive event. For starters, who knew Jacksonville even had one food truck let alone enough to build an entire event around? And the variety of food they served was truly mind-boggling (I kid you not): sweet potato planks, pizza, collard greens, hush puppies, panini, cupcakes, Chinese tacos, baked beans, fried shrimp, cheeseburgers, sweet potato soufflé, brisket sliders, smoked jalapeño poppers stuffed with cream cheese and fried porkloin sandwiches the size of a salad plate (as my fellow judge Rebecca was so astute to point out), to name a few.
Full article: http://www.thespecktator.com/2012/03/1097/
The Judges Panel, Caron Streibich from Folio Weeklys Bite Club, Rebecca Barry of WJXT News and Kerry Speckman of Jacksonville Magazine
Jax Truckies organizers (from left to right): Mike Field, Caron Streibich, Stacey Steiner, and Ennis Davis.
Chef Andrew Ferenc's "On The Fly" was selected as the 2012 Jax Truckies Champion and People's Choice Awards.
The Winner's List
Best Sandwich (Judges Choice): Mike Bs Cleveland
Best Side Item (Judges Choice): Monroes Smokehouse Bar-B-Qs collard greens
Judges Choice for Best Overall (runner-up): Mother Fletchers
Judges Choice for Best Overall: On the Fly
Peoples Choice for Best Overall: On the Fly
Jax Truckies organizers would like to thank Bold City Brewery, Comfort Zone Foods, Driftwood BBQ, Mike B's, Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q & Catering, Mother Fletchers, On the Fly Sandwiches & Stuff, and Brucci's Pizza...Pizza, Pasta and Panini for participating in the first food truck championship event. We also give a special thanks to everyone that believed in us and came out to support and enjoy the good eats despite the weather!
In the meantime, Downtown Vision has issued a statement regarding their position on food trucks in downtown, in a response to the criticism they received in voting to support additional restrictions on this growing local industry:
Metro Jacksonville's response can be summed up by DeBary Mayor Garcia's quote at last week's Florida East Coast (FEC) Corridor passenger rail meeting, another event where local Jacksonville leadership was mysteriously absent:
Don't over regulate or they'll build your dreams in Atlanta.
Downtown Jacksonville has continuously declined over the last half century due to over regulation and policies that restrict creativity, innovation, and small business growth from taking place within a compact pedestrian scale setting. If allowed, events like Jax Truckies could become a regular foot traffic generator, pumping life into a morbid downtown at a cost significantly less than the current proposal to shuffle chairs and cut down trees in Hemming Plaza.
Article by Ennis Davis
Photographs by Daniel Herbin and www.facebook.com/jaxtruckies