Meals on Wheels: Outdoor Dining at the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship in Chickasha
4:35 AM EDT on October 5, 2020
Saturday morning, I had just gotten back from taking my beloved mutt Sean Ramirez on a rather long walk around the neighborhood. Before I even had a chance to take off his halter, I received a text from Patrick asking if I knew that the 3rd Annual Oklahoma Food Truck Championship was starting at that very moment.
I absolutely did not, as my well-fed finger was seemingly far from the pulse of the so-called foodie community.
Enticed by the metabolized promise of mobile eats, I called my ladyfriend to see if she’d be interested in accompanying me on the short trip to Chickasha, the yearly home of said event. And while she really wasn’t all that interested in food trucks, she did anyway, if only to spend an afternoon in the perfect Oklahoma weather with Sean and me in a random rural community.
Arriving in downtown Chickasha, with enticing scents as diverse as barbecue ribs, kettle corn and possibly vegan chicken sandwiches, a mélange of sumptuous smells tastefully assaulted most of my alert senses. The trio of us walked down the middle of the city street following them, loudly contemplating where we should stop and sample, our bellies twisting in a pathetic form of first-world hunger.
But, before we started, I basically had three rules for our food truck choices that, as usual, are steadfastly variable and subject to change: that it has to be a food truck usually not available in Oklahoma City, that it has to be something other than burgers or pizza and, of course, something that would be mildly interesting to write about.
With my first choice, Puerto Rico to Go, sold out of all eats—seemingly the only one at the competition to do so—I briskly walked over to my second choice, Pop’s Pockets. Though the Indian Taco advertised on their truck was tempting, today I had to try the Deep Fried Bologna Sandwich ($6.00), featuring a thick cut of fried bologna along with a fresh bun and various related vegetables, as well as a spot of mustard.
Even though my ladyfriend did not care for it, suggesting that it reminded her of a “cheap sandwich of flattened hot dogs,” I personally loved it, enjoying every bite of the perfectly fried hunk of the wonderfully fatty meat, the accompanying bun and toppings giving it a very upscale feel that belies the trailer park trappings it is typically known for.
Sean loved it as well, giving it his highest rating yet, two paws up.
As we sauntered through the Rock Island Arts Festival that was concurrently going on—even though we should use the term “art” rather loosely—we had circled around when I noticed that Wild Bill’s Smoke Shack, complete with a large Blue Lives Matter flag hanging off the side, was serving Smoked Cheesecake ($5.00), a unique cooking technique for one of my favorite desserts.
One of her sweetest pleasures as well, my ladyfriend thought that it was a merely fine attempt, delivering a good slice of cake, for the most part. But it was a true treat for me, the rich smokiness—especially in the crust—peeling off in every greedy bite that I took; it left me wondering if Wild Bill’s had any other oddly cooked confections for me to try.
Sean loved it as well, giving it his highest rating yet, 36 paws up.
Not wanting her to be disappointed in this third annual championship, I let my ladyfriend pick the next place to sample, wherein she decided on the whimsical Cutie Pies and their apparent dedication to most things watermelon. Keeping true to my word, she ordered a Watermelon Lemonade ($5.00) and the Watermelon Pie ($8.00), a reddish concoction that came with a small slice of the red melon on top.
Cutie Pies was probably—arguably—our favorite food truck of the festival, with the Watermelon Lemonade offering a sweetly tart respite from the fried meats and smoked treats as we stood off to the side, far from the mouthwatering crowds. As we deeply enjoyed the perfect pie complete with small melon morsels floating around in the watermelon filling, we both gave it high appraisals as I romantically fed the last dollop of cream to her quivering lips.
Sean loved it as well, giving it his highest rating yet, 251 paws up.
As the clock struck six o’clock somewhere, I had decided to seek out one more truck. As the country band Dollar.98 took the main stage—they’ve got an outlaw sound and, apparently, have compact discs for sale at the merch table—we went the opposite direction, taste-wise, at least, and made a stop at the vegan friendly The BeetBox; based out of Stillwater, it’s a surprisingly hip take on the staid flavor of plant-based chicken sandwiches.
I requested the Spicy Chickless Sandwich ($12.00), a meatless variation of a typically heat-infused chicken sandwich with all the expected fixings as well as a large amount of delectable hand-cut fries. Though my ladyfriend thought that it needed a bit more spicy sauce to give it the strong flavor profile it truly deserves—to which I somewhat agreed—it was still a well-timed vegan option that these typically meat-heavy food-fairs desperately need more of.
Sean, by the way, loved it, giving it his highest rating yet, 4,873 paws up. I know that seems like a lot but, remember: he is a dog and has far more intense flavor receptors on his tongue that would probably make our stupid human mouths explode in a true feat of orgasmic rapture.
At least that's what he tells me as I give him a French fry or two.
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