Yesterday I spent a fantastic day at Orange County’s most up-and-coming shopping district, the OC Mart Mix and SoCo (South Coast) Collection where the weekly Saturday SoCo Farmers’ Market is held. In addition to stall-upon-stall of gorgeous, locally-grown organic produce, the SoCo Farmer’s Market is also home to some of the best gourmet food trucks in the country.
This week was a particularly fun week to attend the Farmers’ Market, as it played host to the first annual Farm to Food Truck Challenge where participating food trucks were given an hour to dash through the market, gather fresh ingredients and then another hour to create a unique dish that would be evaluated by a panel of judges. The winner of this year’s event, crowned the ‘Top-Chop Truck’ was the fabulously-named Bacon-Mania Truck. And, for People’s Choice, the always-popular, local favorite, SlapFish Truck took top spot by a landslide.
I, of course (being both a photographer and a self-proclaimed ‘Foodie’), was in heaven. Of course there was the incredible produce on offer in the market itself. But, move over to the food trucks, and your olfactory senses are sent into hyper-drive… From amazing carnitas tacos and ahi tuna nachos at The Lime Truck, to slow-roasted smoked pulled pork and beef brisket at the Rancho a Go-Go Truck, to incredible seafood grinders at the SlapFish Truck, and delectable gourmet nutella-filled French crepes at the renowned Crepes Bonaparte Truck — everywhere you turned, there was something to feast your eyes, nose and taste buds on.
While the Farm to Food Truck Challenge was an annual event, you can still visit a large selection of these food trucks that rotate through the SoCo Farmers’ Market every Saturday. So make it a Saturday tradition! Head on over, grab some gourmet food-truck brunch, and then wander the market to buy some gorgeous produce to take home for dinner — sounds like a great Saturday to me! (Just North of Harbor Blvd. off the 405 in Costa Mesa at 3315 Hyland Ave.)
Meantime, feast your eyes on the deliciousness that awaits you!..
My personal favorite dish of the day — The Lime Truck’s Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos with passion fruit-sesame dressing, edamame, grapefruit slaw, sesame seeds and fresh homemade tortilla chips. Dee-lish!
Another Lime Truck delicacy, The Ultimate Taco: 10-hour roasted carnitas pork, guacamole, honey chipotle slaw and cojita cheese.
The lines at the SlapFish Truck are WELL worth the wait…
The SlapFish Truck’s ahh-mazing Spicy Lobster and Shrimp Grinder: Lobster and shrimp mixed with mayo, celery, green apple and lemon on a toasted roll with lettuce and tomato.
The SlapFish Truck’s ‘Minor Crunchy’ (a mini-version of their larger sandwich, ‘The Major Crunchy’): Seared seam bream with lettuce, tomato, pickles and – the part that gives it its signature ‘crunch’ – potato chips. All served with SlapFish’s ‘Awesome Sauce’ in a slider bun.
Dieters, beware!… The Bacon-Mania Truck is NOT for the faint of heart!
The Rancho A Go-Go Truck is famous for their slow-roasted BBQ meats – a perfect combination? This pair of sliders… A Carolina Pulled Pork Slider with pulled pork smoked over 14 hours, cole slaw and BBQ sauce, and a Texas Beef Brisket Slider made with Angus brisket smoked over 12 hours and BBQ sauce. So good it makes you just wanna shout, “God Bless America!!
Have a sweet tooth? Satisfy it at the award-winning Crepes Bonaparte Truck with ‘Le Classique’ Crepe: Bananas, Nutella and fresh whipped cream. Très délectable!
Life is so beautiful at the SoCo Farmer’s Market, it’s more than just a bowl… it’s a few bushels of cherries!