Review: Palm Springs Food Truck Festival

A ways back I went to the Palm Springs Food Truck Festival with Christine, my friend from back in New Jersey. As per the norm I purchased a VIP ticket for early entry, shade, and free drinks. This time around, VIP was not worth the extra money. Three issues proved this fact and they need to fix these things for next year. First, it took a very long time to get into the festival which cost me some of the per-opening hour but then they let everyone else in fifteen minutes early cutting our hour to maybe thirty minutes. I paid for a full hour of VIP time and didn’t get it so I was very annoyed. Second, the VIP area was tiny, not enclosed, and not monitored. Only forty people could fit in it at one time and they were not checking to see if you paid to be under the tents. While this worked out for me because Christine did not buy a VIP pass, it was still frustrating. Lastly, the VIP ticket came with two vouchers for food. The problem was that the vouchers were for five dollars each but not one food item at the festival was within that limit. They should have just given us one with a greater value, it would have felt like less of a ripoff. They did have a lot of trucks though and most were open for the VIPs which was definitely better than the Riverside festival. Ok, so now for the food. Remember, ratings for food trucks are skewed up because it is hard to rate ambiance and service in a truck so if the food is delicious the rating will be higher than a restaurant with the same food but poor service.

My first stop was the Brats Berlin truck where I ordered the rabbit and rattlesnake brat with onions and sauerkraut. This brat also claimed to have jalapenos and onion added in to the mix. After a few minutes I had my brat, dug in, and was immediately disappointed. The brat tasted like a normal all beef variety, not like a fancy exotic combination of flavors. Now, I have had a rattlesnake hotdog before so I knew what it should taste like. This did not measure up. The brat was bland and heavy and if it wasn’t on the description, I would not have believed there were jalapenos inside. Honestly, I still don’t believe it, I think they may have used the wrong brat for my meal. In the end, the best part was the sauerkraut and that is a sad situation. Overall: 3/10

Next, in order to get back on track, I headed over to the White Rabbit truck, which I have reviewed once before. This time I ordered my actual list item, the Pork Tacino burrito. This burrito had pork, rice, and a fried egg all rolled up into a delicious tortilla shell. What can I say, the White Rabbit truck chefs know what they are doing and this burrito was huge! I could eat one of those every day until I had a heart attack, the burrito is just that good. The flavor of their pork tacino is just ridiculous and the combination of pork and the egg made it into an outrageous breakfast dish. Just like before I will rate this truck a 10/10.

It was about this time when Christine arrived and we headed over to the next truck, Tornado Potato. I had seen this truck at a few festivals and it looked like a cute novelty, and not something I would enjoy. I was not surprised when my prediction rang true. I ordered the sweet potato tornado and as you can see from the picture, it looked pretty cool. As I dug into this item I noticed a few things. The potato was very greasy and hard to handle. Each ring was cooked a little differently and some parts tasted a little raw. The biggest issue was that since it was large and hard to manuver, the tornado get cold faster than I could eat it. There is nothing worse than a cold french fry so I was only able to eat about but that is OK, I needed to save my appetite for the next dish. Overall 2/10.

After a few minutes of rest in the “VIP” tent we headed over to a truck I had been waiting to try for a long time. Bacon Mania! It only took me two seconds to decide what to order, the grilled cheese was just screaming at me from the menu. This was a grilled cheese on steroids, it a very good way. As you can see it’s a simple recipe cooked to perfection. Creamy melted cheese on the inside with a massive amount of bacon mixed in. While that could be enough they took it one step further. In a brilliant move cheese was grilled on the outside of the bread and cooked to crispy goodness. Now each bite had hearty bread, string cheese, crispy bacon, and fried crusty cheese. With all those flavors and textures there was no way this could fail. Delicious! Overall 8/10.

Since was well on my way to a heart attack, Christine and I decided to move into dessert. We first stopped at the Cool Haus truck to get an ice cream sandwich, but since this was a list place I will review it in a standalone post. Stay tuned for that one but, spoiler alert, it was a badass desert.

After about thirty minutes of down time with a desire to put on some stretchy pants we headed over to the last stop on the agenda, Crepe’s Bonapart. I ordered the spicy apple bottom crepe which was cinnamon apple with a caramel drizzle and airy whipped creme. This dish was a great end to the day. The crepe was light and thin, just like it should have been. I always worry with apple dishes that the apples would be undercooked or have skin left on but you need not worry about that at Creme’s Bonapart. The apples were cooked down just like Virginia’s homemade apple pie and the caramel transported you back to the caramel apple you would get as a kid when you went to a carnival. The whipped creme was also homemade which made it fluffy, light, and as it melted into the crepe all the flavors melded into a wonderful dessert. Overall 7/10.

I had a fun time at the Palm Springs Food Truck festival and got to catch up with an old friend but while the food was mostly good, all of these trucks are at other festivals much closer to home. Since there were issues with the VIP experience and a major lack of entertainment I do not think that the hour drive is worth it. I will settle on the Riverside and Ontario festivals in the future. I would suggest that next year they get live entertainment so people can take breaks when they are full but stay to spend more money. Also, one of the benefits of the VIP ticket was to spend time with the truck owners after the festival finished. But, with early entry and no entertainment, boredom sets in fast after you are stuffed with food so there was no way I was staying seven hours. If you live in Palm Springs, this is a convenient festival, if not, there are better ones to seek out much closer to home.

Overall Review: 6/10

Check out a slide show of all the trucks and their food offerings:

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