Rowan County Food Trucks 2023
Great news if you didn’t know… Rowan County has stepped up their food truck game and it’s amazingly delicious! I took the opportunity to visit two different food truck arenas and I wanted to share them with you.
Food Truck Tuesdays
The Rowan County Fairgrounds has never been used better than to host Food Truck Tuesdays. I met up with Tranise Brown, who is the organizer, to talk about how all of this came together.
Tranise, originally from Salisbury, had moved to Miami. She moved back here from Miami two years ago. She wanted to “shed some positive light” on Salisbury and I have to say she really has. This is a tremendous job of organizing and making sure that everyone has a spot and that all customers are pleased. She is also starting a Food Truck Thursday for the folks in Davidson County beginning July 6! Lookout … Tranise is on the loose!!
Tuesdays you can enjoy up to 62 food trucks, live entertainment, vendors under tents and all the goodies your heart desires from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Then on Wednesdays you can enjoy lunch with around 10 trucks from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. You can also mark your calendar for every 3rd Sunday from 1-6 p.m. I have done both weekdays and the food has been amazing.
It should be noted there is no alcohol allowed and no pets.
Just a Few of the Vendors
Tranise had a line-up of people for me to speak with that night and I want to share some of them with you.
First up was “The Mad Lemon” owned by Dan and Fabiola Grayson. They drive in from Clemmons each week. They have been in business for over 4 years, and I have to say they make the best lemonade I have ever had! They have lots of flavors such as strawberry and blueberry that they can add. I like to stick with the original! They sell over 300 lemonades and when you get one you will see why! Fresh as they can be with a “secret” ingredient that I couldn’t get Dan to tell me about!! This is a cash-only truck!
“Goodes Creations” owned by Sylvia Goodes. She is better known as the “Candy Apple Lady.” Before I met Sylvia I had already heard about her famous candied grapes! Alena Hosch Owens has mentioned them more than once! In fact, I credit her for helping me find out about Food Truck Tuesdays and lunch on Wednesdays. She loves those candied grapes! According to Alena, “Food is the ingredient that binds US TOGETHER.” Sylvia’s love for putting a candy coating on things began as a hobby and quickly turned into a business. She candies apples, grapes, plums, pickles, and I am told she makes a great sweet potato pie! Get there early because she sells out quickly!
Next, I spoke to Vickie Yelverton, owner of “Unique Gifts and Event Planning.” Vickie has been an event planner for over 9 years, and she brings that experience to the table, literally. For 5 of those 9 years, she has been making desserts such as Rice Crispy treats, dessert cups, and pineapple bowls. I’d say yes to all of those! Call her for any of your event needs!
“Uptown Grill and Beatz,” owned by Saleem Beard, has a wide variety of foods they call a “Southern fusion.”. Salmon bowls, jerk bowls, shrimp bowls, chicken and waffles (even red-velvet waffles), deep fried chicken and shrimp. He and his son have been in business for 1.5 years and are out of Charlotte. According to Saleem “My son likes to cook so we decided to do this together.” Based on what I tried, I think they made a great decision!
“Hanna’s Amazing Bakery” can be found at the fairgrounds every other week. She also has a store-front bakery at 4435 Amity Hill Road, Cleveland, North Carolina. On her food truck you will find homemade donuts and soft pretzels, but in her shop, she has an amazing array of desserts. You can also find her at “Dancing on Depot Street” which is held one Saturday monthly in the Town of Cleveland at 6:30 p.m. There is free live music and food for purchase to enjoy! The next one is July 22.
“GJ’s Southern Taste and Sweets” is owned by Precyous Johnson and she surely has reason to be proud. I made someone very happy bringing home a combo meal from this truck of teriyaki chicken wings, mac and cheese, and fried okra. Next time I’ll grab the collard greens! Make sure to stop by their truck! You will not be disappointed!
One of the liveliest trucks on the fairgrounds is run by Joseph Brewster, and trust me, once you meet him you will know why! Coming large and outspoken from Barbados Joseph’s truck “Island Boys” has, hands down, some of the best hand-crafted sandwiches I have tried, and you get your money’s worth! I have visited this truck a couple of times and I have never been disappointed! From his deep-fried ribs to his deep-fried salmon or brisket sandwiches, it will be hard to choose which one you love the most! They come from Charlotte to serve the hungry citizens of Rowan County. I highly recommend you give this truck a try!
One vendor I kept hearing about that night is a young lady from Salisbury, Kandace Granford. She runs and owns “Kandalicious.” I have to say the name is fitting! She has some of the best decadent desserts around. Katherine Rivens said, “I come every Tuesday. I try to stop coming, but I can’t!” Her favorite, she said, is Kandalicious “Sweet Potato Cheesecake” Kandace told me it sells out every time! I ran to the booth to grab a piece, but I was too late on Tuesday night. So, I came back at lunch the next day and brought Teresa Sharpless with me. We both got a piece! Teresa told me later that she “inhaled” that piece of cheesecake! Kandace told me it was her grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe, and she turned it into a cheesecake! Bravo Kandace!! She and her husband are also starting a jewelry business. Make a stop by to see them!
One food truck that I was excited to try was the “Smokiin Mac” truck. They sell a variety of mac and cheese dishes such as mac and cheese with any of these toppings: bacon, smoked pulled chicke, or jerked chicken. They also have it with brisket and shrimp. Seriously, how does Smok’d Brisket Mac sound? Smoked pulled brisket, crispy bacon, gorgonzola cheese sauce, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses?? Anyway, sadly for me they were already sold out and packing up. This truck has been in business for 3 years and they are out of Guilford County. Chef Brent told me they are booked for the year and will be at some point back in Salisbury! You better believe I’ll be placing my order ahead of time.
Food Truck Wednesdays
I drive through Spencer regularly and I had spotted the “5 Star Commissary.” Curiosity turned into a visit to their food trucks one Wednesday night!
Immediately, I was greeted by Patricia Garmon. She directs the traffic and tells everyone welcome. She comes from High Point weekly to help Melissa Schneider, the owner of the commissary.
The commissary had been different restaurants over the years, but it appears to have found a business that will be around for some time to come. They provide a place for food trucks to lease for storage, cleaning, cooking, prepping, and any other need they may have.
Melissa moved here from New York after a 15-year nursing career. She moved here for her kids and for health reasons. She also has a food truck of her own called “Stick It 2 You” which serves kabobs with sides. Her food truck was voted the “Best” at the recent Cheerwine Festival. She is also the first woman to open a commissary in Rowan County. Something to be very proud of for sure!
Any food truck must have a commissary. A commissary is a place where supplies can be stored and prepared for use either there or off the premises. The food trucks that are at the Spencer at 1205 North Salisbury Ave. are new food trucks that are just starting their businesses. I enjoyed walking around, talking to them, and sampling their foods.
“Anointed Handzz” serves an array of delicious foods, along with hot dogs and hamburgers. I have seen them around town lately and would recommend you stop by and try their food!
“Mountain Melt” is a grilled cheese food truck, and the owners are from Alaska. They are based in Salisbury. They named all their sandwiches after famous places in Alaska. One that caught my attention was the “Lazy Mountain,” served on multi-grain bread, stuffed with peppered turkey, cranberry mustard spread, cream cheese, and Havarti cheese. Yes, to this one!!
There is a hot dog truck in Spencer called “Chillin” and yes, they sell hot dogs!!
“Indulge – You Deserve It” was a big-time stop for me because they have short ribs, collards, and all the country fixings! They also have the most delicious cookies you can imagine. Owner Sharon Vaughn started this in January although she has always been a cook. Fun fact is that she is going to an audition on Aug. 26 for Dessert Wars for Food Network! I’ll put that decant chocolate chip cookie up against anyone! This is a booth you will want to stop at when you are there!
“Taqueria El Comundeno” is a Mexican truck that is normally found in Lexington in the Lowe’s parking lot throughout the week. Very new to the business is Ramiro Sanchez and his wife, Irma Castillo. His daughter, Vanessa Carrillo, told me her dad had had some previous health issues. He told her if he survived, he was going to open a food truck. Well, he survived, and he has opened his food truck. It was one of the busier trucks that night. I have stopped there several times to grab an easy, delicious meal. Their food is authentic, and you will not be disappointed!
“Hoff’s Grill” has a food truck, and they are known for their famous grilled pork chops. This truck is owned by David and Jolene Houchins. IYKYK… Hoff’s always has great food!
“New Sarum Brewing Company” rounds up the Wednesday line-up, ALWAYS supporting local businesses. While you wait for your delicious food and enjoy the live entertainment, you can also enjoy one of the many delicious brews that New Sarum brings to the table.
I saw Bob Pendergrass out at the food trucks the night I was there, and he purchased something from Mountain Melts and Taqueira for himself and his girlfriend, Cindy. It was their first time there. “We split them both,” he said. “The sandwich that Cindy got was the turkey, cheese, and jam. Mine was the Biarro with shredded pork. The Hispanic food was especially good, in my opinion. It had a dipping sauce and two types of hot sauces to try with 4 individual wraps of corn tortillas. I will definitely get it again.”
Food Truck Round-Up
There are plenty of food trucks around for all of us with such a variety it is hard to imagine that you can’t find something that suits your taste buds. I love to experience new foods and share my passion. Passion … that is what I see in these owners. Sharing their passion of food and how it does bring us all together.
When you come to these food trucks bring patience because they fix the food when it is ordered so it may take a few minutes especially if there are other orders ahead of you. Most trucks accept cash, cards, and even Apple Pay. I recommend that you bring all the above, just to be safe.
These events have some seating available, but I have seen plenty of people bringing their own chairs and even some tables. It is a family gathering for many.
Look to see some of the friendliest people around that really do appreciate your business.
You can a find all of these trucks on social media where you can follow them and enjoy their food in different locations as well as locally in Rowan County. Regardless, you have Food Truck Tuesdays and Food Truck Wednesdays that you can count on.
If you are out and about at these food truck events, and you see me please say hello and excuse me if I have a mouth full of food!
**Coming event** Mark your calendars for “Food + Brews Festival” Saturday, Aug. 5, from noon-8 p.m. at Bell Tower Green Park and surrounding streets. 100 vendors. And before you ask… yes, I will be there with fork in hand!