Thursday, October 10, 2013

Food Truck Rodeo at Duke Gardens

Thursdays are long days for me. I have four classes in a row, ending my marathon day at 6 p.m. Understandably, by evening my daily supply of snacks has been severely depleted, and my stomach rumbles as I finally leave the Levine Science Research Center for the day. Luckily for me, last Thursday Duke Gardens hosted their first Food Truck Rodeo, complete with four food trucks and the Duke Sabrosura dance troupe teaching visitors a little salsa dancing.

The four food trucks - Foster's on the Fly, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Captain Poncho's, and Parlez-Vous Crepe - were set up outside the Doris Duke Center and catered to a steady line of student and visitor customers. Food trucks are taking the country and Durham by storm, as customers appreciate the direct access to chefs preparing their food. Without having to worry about expensive rents and restaurant overhead, food truck owners and chefs can focus on the food, leading to creative and delicious dishes.

Chirba Chirba Dumpling was serving delicious dumplings of all types in addition to fluffy buns and dim sum dishes, my friends brought back spicy burritos and enchiladas from Captain Poncho's, and I tried a delicious, flaky chicken biscuit from Foster's on the Fly, followed by a melt-in-your-mouth nutella crepe from Parlez-vous Crepe. I spent a semester abroad in France, and for the two seconds of my first bite I was instantly transported back to the streets of Grenoble where I had my very first nutella crepe.

Photo by Graham McHenry
The salsa music emanating from the lot below the Doris Duke Center brought me back to reality. Turning the corner, I watched the unbelievably good salsa dancers of Sabrosura. Alas, I have two left feet, but if I had had the courage the Sabrosura dancers would have been happy to help me learn some new moves. Munching on my crepe, I watched as students and visitors learned to salsa, including an adorable little girl who really took to the dancing.

As the sun began to set on the Food Truck Rodeo, the flowers in the front garden were illuminated by the evening light, my friends and I were relaxing after class and enjoying delicious food, and many others were learning something new with Sabrosura. An amazing evening in Duke Gardens, and one I hope I can repeat in the future!

Blogger Erika Zambello is a graduate student studying Ecosystem Science and Conservation at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment

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