Festival preview: Columbus Food Truck and Cart Fest

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From the July 12, 2012 edition

Tired of chasing food trucks around town? Hit the jackpot this Friday when more than 35 food trucks and carts will be parked at the Columbus Commons for the second annual Columbus Food Truck and Cart Fest.

A victim of its own popularity last year, the inaugural festival drew more than 10,000 food truck fans (3,000 were expected). The lines rivaled Disney World’s. The food and liquids ran scarce.

“We learned a lot from last year,” said Timothy Wolf Starr of the Small Business Beanstalk, which is helping to organize the event. “We spent most of the time between last year’s festival and this year’s analyzing what went well and what did not and making sure that we provide a better experience for everyone this year.”

Patrons will now have 10 hours to take in the event’s live music, games and mobile gastronomy. Refrigerated trucks will help vendors keep food in stock longer.

Admission is free, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

The options can be dizzying, so here are some suggestions:

Ajumama: Korean street food recently hit the Columbus streets thanks to owner Laura Lee. Don’t miss Ajumama’s hodduk, a traditional griddle cake stuffed with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts.

Burrito Bus: What’s a food truck festival without tacos? Try the Rockin’ Tacos on corn tortillas with adobo tofu, delicious salsa and jalapenos.

Lotsa Lobsta: This Delaware-based caterer is bringing Maine to land-locked Ohio. That means one thing, people: fresh lobster rolls.

OH! Burgers: On the road since May, OH! Burgers uses locally sourced beef. Check out the new Bangkok mini burger with crunchy bean sprouts and spicy peanut sauce.

Pitabilities: The salads are admirable. Or go big with the Ripper Dog Pita — a fried hot dog loaded and topped with secret sauce and french fries. Watch out, Dirty Frank’s.

Swoop!: Newcomers Matthew Heaggans and Adam Gentry are off to an impressive start. The BLT is fantastic — cured pork belly, tomato jam and arugula on a slider bun.

Tatoheads: This starch-loving outpost does wonders with the humble potato. Tatohead’s chorizo cheese fries are obsession-worthy.