Stuffed My Face at Downtown Raleigh Rodeo Dinner

On May 1st, American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba, Happy and Hale, Not Just Icing, and Porchetta put together an all-star meal.

It’s no surprise that I am a food truck fan addict. So when given an opportunity to have a 5 course meal served by food trucks (and a bike), I couldn’t resist.  Each course was served family style, which was really cool. Each course had plenty to offer and I felt no one felt underserved as there was always food leftover and plates clean.


The first course from Happy and Hale was a Walters Harvest Salad.  This was made up of arugula, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and fresh pressed orange honey vinaigrette.  As I proceeded to stuff my face, my friend Stacey (@cookeatlife) mentioned they kept the skin on the squash.  I had noticed the texture, but not enough to stop eating.  It actually was pretty good and tasted similar to keeping the skins on a potato.  This was a great start to the meal.

After the first course, there was a rotation of main courses that was served.  Our first course was from Chirba Chirba.


This meal highlighted items they are well know for: Dumplings. The three dumplings, Juicy Buns (a pork-filled steamed dumpling), Bayside Chive (pork-filled dumpling with chives, carrots, and cabbage), and Veggieling (a vegan-friendly mushroom, carrots, and scallions dumpling).  Paired with the dumplings, which are good alone, were noodles mixed with green onions and carrots.  Since this was our first, I got a little excited and made sure only the leaves were left.

The second main course that we were served was from Porchetta. This truck is famous for its Italian-style barbecue pork.  So its no surprise that Rosemary and Juniper Berries brined Pork Loin was served from them.


The pork had great flavor and I quickly stacked it on the accompanying fluffy pimento cheese polenta cakes.  If I were a greedy person (well I held back this time), I would have grabbed two polenta cakes and ate it like a sandwich.  I tried my best to clean this plate – this is the Stuff Your Face meal, right? – but I stopped with a few slices of pork.  Plus there was still two more courses.

The last main course served was from the award-winning Grilled Cheese truck, American Meltdown.  They served up three of these prized creations and the amazing Brussels Sprouts.  In my opinion, the Brussels Sprouts are the best kept secret of this truck.


The three sandwiches served were the Hangover Melt, homemade pimento cheese, runny egg, salsa verde; Grilled Cheese of Champions, Cultured Cow Jack cheese with Havarti seared on the outside. Both these sandwiches used Durham’s Guglhupf Bakery.  The last sandwich was a sweet, savory Unnamed sandwich with sheep’s milk ricotta, toasted pecans, and a peach-balsamic compote between two buttery brioche slices from La Farm in Cary.  I hadn’t had the Grilled Cheese of Champions and the recently developed unnamed sandwich (obviously), so it was kind of cool to try them out in this setting.  I did eat as much as I could, but I did ended up taking some home with leftover Porchetta course.

Lastly, I added some Joy to my belly from NotJustIcing.  I really enjoy cupcakes and this truck does a great job baking them on the truck, working with dietary needs, and when not doing an event like this, customizing.  While the cupcakes have great presentation off the truck, it was amazing to see these displayed beautifully on a cupcake tower.


While the food was the main focus, the rodeo organizers did a great job adding local drinks from White Street Brewing, Lonerider, and Grove Winery (all local) and great music from Mint Julep Jazz Band.  Like I mentioned before, its amazing how well these trucks operate in a more stationery environment.


Overall, I really enjoyed this event.  It really shows how these trucks can do well in a less mobile environment.  I hope to see events like this and a similar event, Glitch, in the future.

Keep Wandering,


4 thoughts on “Stuffed My Face at Downtown Raleigh Rodeo Dinner

  1. I was there and thought it was a fantastic event as well! Nice food pics. +1 to the fried brussels comment, I stealthily kept taking the ones that my other tablemates didn’t eat. So delicious.

    1. It was for the Kickstarter supporters, so it was somewhat intimate. I do agree there is a demand to see more of these.

      You should see tables at rodeos now. The Raleigh rodeos started adding them and you can actually sneak a picture of me sitting at one on Triangle Explorer’s blog. This was before we met in person, so it was kind of funny. Hope you can make it out to one this year – but if I hear of another event like this I’ll let you know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s