Uptown Food Truck Festival brings quality snacks and sights

The festival featured food trucks, masses of people and leashed dogs as far as the eye could see.

Haley Fritz, co-owner of Dough Dough Dessert Food Truck, hands a customer spoons for their

Ellen Schmidt

Haley Fritz, co-owner of Dough Dough Dessert Food Truck, hands a customer spoons for their "cookies by the spoonful" at the Uptown Food Truck Festival on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The truck had customers waiting for over 40 minutes to get their cookie dough and sold 2800 scoops throughout the day.

Katie Lauer

Pride wasn’t the only festival that drew dense crowds Sunday.

The Uptown Food Truck Festival, which hosted over 60 trucks, brought throngs of people — and dozens of dogs — to Calhoun Square.

While streets and parking lots were blocked off by police to help control traffic, they couldn’t control the food lines. After a loop around the whole block to assess the situation, I went in.

On the corner of Lake and Fremont, billowing clouds of white smoke caught my eye. Luckily, the only fire burning was cooking delicious meats at Run Tell That BBQ.

True to the truck’s tagline, “Your ribs are JOKIN if the wood ain’t SMOKIN!” a man named Walter told jokes to keep the long line moving. Before I knew it, I had delicious rib tips at my fingertips.

After my eyes, nose and ears drew me in, my taste buds weren’t disappointed. I drizzled barbecue sauce on the $8 tips and dove right in (sans fork). They were gone in minutes.

I then spied one of the many beer tents looping around the block. As the sun started to break out from behind the clouds, the drinks looked like the perfect pick-me-up. Even better, each $2 entry wristband provided five meals for Feed My Starving Children.

While I didn’t grab one myself, the many cans and glasses of Shock Top and Goose Island I saw looked like a nice way to wash the food down while donating a bit to a good cause.

Now, it was a bit overwhelming with so many trucks and tents to look at and sample. I made a rule that whatever truck or employee caught my eye and sold their truck the best would win my heart — and money.

Next up was Panini Pinups. Historically, pinup illustrations were of “dream girls” without being too risqué; the truck’s sandwiches matched that point for point.

Per suggestion, I got the classic Cuban with the “atomic” jalapeno mustard on the side for only $5. The Swiss cheese, grilled ham and chicken sandwich was, indeed, a dream snack.

Rounding out my final trek around the block, I ran into a food truck newcomer: Dough Dough.

The bold blue truck offers cookie dough by the scoop, but there’s a catch: the line ran almost four truck lengths down the road into the nearby intersection. Deciding it was worth it, I had a scoop in my hand 30 minutes later.

And it was worth the wait.

Opting for the “Monster Cookie” mix, I enjoyed (what I think were) chocolate chips, M&M’s and oats with a bright orange shovel-like spoon. It was the perfect way to end a food-truck-filled morning for a quick $5.

While I wish I could’ve stayed all day, the ever-ticking parking meter, ever-thickening swarms of people and my ever-dwindling wallet of cash begged me otherwise. However, the festival filled with food, crowds and dogs made for a great way to spend a Sunday in Uptown.  

Grade: A-