Food Truck Culinary Mastery on Display at Magic City Casino
by Ari Kane (@Aricurian) & Daniella Veras (@_DaniMiami)
There are few better ways to start off the New Year then forsaking your weight loss resolutions and devouring exquisite food like a starving Rwandan. This past Saturday, January 5th we were granted this opportunity courtesy of Magic City Casino and Ultimate Miami. The Ultimate Miami Food Truck Battle was the third part of a seven part series held by Ultimate Miami. Previous events include Ultimate Miami Band and Ultimate Miami Bartender. Upcoming events will include Ultimate Miami Voice, Ultimate Miami Comedian, Ultimate Miami Dessert and Ultimate Miami DJ.
We attended their most recent event Ultimate Miami Food Truck throw down … unfortunately Bobby Flay was absent ;) Magic City Casino hosted the event on their grounds while these trucks competed for a $5,000 prize. Eight finalists remained after previously held preliminary rounds to compete on this glorious, cool crisp evening. The finalists were B.C. Tacos, Crazydilla, Cuban Cube, Food Junkies on Wheels, Ms. Cheezious, Palate Party, Che Grill and The Healthnut on Wheels. The contest was setup so that a truck would be matched up against another truck each serving one chicken dish. Tickets for the Ultimate Miami Food Truck competition were $40 and include two meals from competing trucks, a beverage and 25 percent off all eight food trucks after the competition. The patrons who bought tickets for the event were split in two groups. They participated and voted as audience judges in two of the four rounds for their favorite dish. The four winners of this round advanced to the finals were they each made a different dish of their choosing. Only the three panel judges were able to taste and deem a victor.
The second battle had Cuban Cube dueling with Food Junkies on Wheels. The Cubans won this battle with their take on a classic Peruvian cuasa, shredded chicken on top of a mashed yellow potato dumpling mixed with key lime, onion, chili and oil, which was aesthetically beautiful but in our humble opinion was clearly not the better dish. The Junkies served up the BEST MOTHERF**KING fried chicken we have EVER tasted with red velvet waffles and a sweet cream drizzle. The Junkies employ some sort of sweet salt on this perfectly cooked crispy yet juicy chicken. One bite will overload your brain with more dopamine then a naughty tryst with your favorite movie star. We literally told the endearing, jubilant Food Junkies spokesperson, that we were going to call the cops on him for putting crack in his chicken. This was easily the best dish of the night and possibly, the best fried dish of our lives.
The third battle brought Palate Party sparring against The Healthnut on Wheels. The Healthnut is a truck that promotes a healthier alternative to food truck cuisine and cooks in a paleo style, mimicking the diet of our cavemen ancestors. They utilize only coconut or extra virgin olive oil with meat, fish and veggies and entirely steer clear of processed foods. They served up a delightful grilled chicken lettuce wrap with grilled veggies. The Palate Party run by the vivacious and hysterical Chef Robyn Almodovar offered up a scrumptious, fiery fried chicken wing with maple syrup laced, Belgian waffles. Chef Robyn described her dish as “more delicious then a face f**k” and, although I cannot speak from experience, I would tend to believe her. Chef Robyn tried to steer the crowd her way by enthusiastically cheering for her dish and even dancing on top her truck like a samba swaying and gyrating, but in the end the Caveman conquered.
The final first round had Che Grill brawling it out with the famous Ms. Cheezious. Che served a Polla Matahambre, a beautifully gourmet grilled stuffed chicken breast and with gulf sauce against Ms. Cheezious’ shredded grilled chicken, jalapeno, corn, grill cheese on sourdough. Although they did not serve up its famous blue cheese and bacon sandwich, Ms. Cheezious triumphed.
The Championship round brought out the best in the remaining four contenders. Each had 20 minutes to cook up their succulent entries. Cuban Cube cooked up a fried Spanish sweet potato stuffed with lamb shank and a side of spicy slaw. B.C. Taco served a slow braised brisket with crispy plantains, black beans, cilantro and cheese. Ms. Cheezious brought out a braised pork belly, kimchee and cheddar sandwich with five-spice potato chips while Healthnut offered up a wild caught Alaskan salmon with soy maple glaze over sautéed spinach.
Since we were not “official judges” yet, we were not able to taste any of these culinary extravaganzas, yet they all looked and smelled superb. In the end, The Healthnut took home the prize for their healthy paleo sweet Alaskan salmon. The Health Nut on Wheels truck was visibly ecstatic and emotional after their victory, jumping, smiling, and screaming. One member pointed up to the sky and gave thanks. It was a perfect smile-inducing image to conclude this festive, epicurean evening.
“Ultimate Miami, LLC was formed to promote, through competition, Miami’s outstanding eclectic composition of talent in various subsets in the fields of music and culinary arts.” find out more at www.TheUltimateMiami.com
Photo Credit: Daniella Veras
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