Knoxville is finally on the food truck bandwagon. Each truck has a unique style and menu. Patrons enjoy the variety of choices, quick service, and the convenience of outdoor dining. Last week, just ripe [sic], an independently owned grocery and health food store on Union Avenue, and neighboring businesses John Black Photography, Union Avenue Books, and RERUNS Boutique began hosting a third-Thursday Union Avenue street party (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) with live entertainment, food trucks, desserts, and specialty coffee with Three Bears Coffee Company (cover photo). The mini-festival will return on Thursday, October 17 with different food truck delicacies to sample along with more fresh desserts from just ripe.
Justin Deuso of Chef Deuce’s Island Grill has set the bar high for local food trucks with his fresh Carribian food. Deuce is a professionally trained chef and private caterer who returned to Knoxville after cooking at the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas.
Chef Deuce’s Island Grill was not part of the Union Avenue street party last week. KnoxZine found him at Vic’s Beer Store & Cigar Shoppe in late September. His blackened mahi tacos with a side of fried plantains ($9) is the most popular item among Vic’s Beer store regulars. We have not been able to tear ourselves away from the jerk chicken quesadillas with Island slaw ($8). There must be some kind of voodoo in the amazing Island slaw made with green and purple cabbage and orange and yellow bell peppers and dressed with a slightly tangy-sweet sauce. Every bite of the crisp quesadilla was bright and refreshing. The homemade salsa (made with Grainger County tomatoes) and the Cilantro-Lime Aioli is addictive. Chef Deuce’s desserts are also homemade. Chef says his key lime pie and peanut butter pies are his best sellers. I ordered the Belgian Chocolate brownie ($3). It had the consistency of a soft chocolate cake topped with a rich and creamy frosting. This exquisite Caribbean food is available for lunch (11:30 am – 2:00 pm) at the following locations:
Monday: Verizon (Cross Park & Corporate)
Tuesday: Landmark Center (Papermill & Northshore)
Wednesday: Talbot’s Call Center (Northshore & Pellissippi)
Thursday: open for new location
Friday: Waters Edge (602 Mabry Hood Road and Sherril Blvd.)
Follow Chef Deuce’s Island Grill on Facebook for up-to-date details regarding his lunch and dinner whereabouts.
I arrived at the Union Avenue street fair at 6:00 pm and Good Golly Tamale was already sold-out of all but one flavor of its wonderful corn shuck wrapped tamales. I was impressed with the sausage and fire roasted potato tamale, and I thought I wasn’t a fan of sausage. The sold-out flavors included: egg, cheese, and green onion; shredded chicken and roasted green chili; blue corn masa with sweet potato, kale, and black-eyed peas. The tamales come individually wrapped in aluminum foil and cost $3 for one or $5 for two.
Owners Chris Watson and Matt Miller have been in business as Good Golly Tamale for three weeks. They can be found at the Market Square Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays (10:00 am – 2 pm) and Saturday (9:00 am – 2 pm). Good Golly Tamale consists of a nifty custom built and propane warmed metal box (holds over 100 tamales) attached to a trike and a small red umbrella. It’s hard to find flavorful tamales with just the balance of cornmeal and filling. Good Golly Tamale does it just right.
Follow Good Golly Tamale on Facebook.
David and Rebecca Alcorn said Hoof Knoxville’s grass fed Classic Burger and the Okra Winfrey Burger, along with Hoof’s homemade ketchup, were phenomenal. Burgers and other sandwiches, like the friend green tomato melt with white cheddar and green tomato marmalade, are served with fresh hand-cut white potato french fries ($10-12). I tried the Okra Winfrey Burger topped with pickled okra and Romesco sauce, and the meat was perfectly cooked and juicy. Other sides include beer-battered whole okra and grilled corn on the cob. Hoof uses also uses farm fresh produce in its salads and garnishes. Hoof also sells bottled water and Mexican coke. You can find Hoof at the Market Square Farmer’s Market, and Bearden Beer Market, and Three Rivers Market.
Keep up with Hoof Knoxville’s schedule on Facebook.
Bull’s BBQ Ribs food truck looks like a small yellow school bus. I was too full to sample any of Bull’s smoked meats and mushrooms, but fan Alex Lewis said the ribs were good, the smoked wings were fantastic, and the duck confit was awesome. Several other diners said Bull’s ribs and pulled pork sandwich were good to above average.
Follow Bull’s BBQ Food Truck on Facebook.
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© Debra Dylan 2013.