Wake Forest’s first food truck rodeo is Sunday.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — There is nothing quite so enticing to modern man (and woman!) as the thought of filling up one’s stomach with delicious food. So area residents are pleased to hear about a food truck rodeo coming to downtown Wake Forest this Sunday.
Expect everything from Greek food and jerk chicken to tacos, barbecue and dumplings. And for dessert, ice cream and cupcakes.
“We’re excited,” said Taffee Wilson, of what she hopes will be the first of many Wake Forest rodeos. “All the other towns are already doing food truck rodeos. We’ve done Apex four times. The best thing to do is get a little off each truck.”
The rodeo runs 12-4 p.m. at the Wake Forest Renaissance Plaza, 419 S. Brooks St., in front of Over the Falls Deli and Brooks Street Bowl. Vendors include Pie Pushers, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Gussy’s Greek food, Virgils, JAM Soft Serve Ice Cream, Hibachi Xpress, Chicken-n-Que, Fahsyrah’s Lemonade, Tailgater Toby, Captain Ponchos Tacos, Sweet Traditions by LeAnne and Ladybug’s Treats.
For the kids there will be face-painting, hula hoops, road chalk and other activities. Dirty Dogs Spa will offer pet pedicures and other pampering. The House of Swank will be present with T-shirts and accessories.
The event is held rain or shine. Most trucks accept credit cards.
Some tents will be available for shade and in case of inclement weather, or just for the convenience, people will be welcome to eat on tables inside of the bowling alley where it’s expected owner Doug Pearce will have a bluegrass band for entertainment.
“I’m trying to do this because I have a passion for food and trying to get people downtown,” said Doug’s son Greg Pearce, who owns Over the Falls Deli, a rodeo sponsor.
The genesis for the food truck rodeo was Wilson and her husband Virgil. The pair run Virgil’s Jamaica, based out of Youngsville.
They once owned a sit-down restaurant in Raleigh near Garner, but closed it to operate their food truck full-time, including serving jerk chicken at the Wake Forest Weekly Health Expo, outside White Street Brewing Company and at popular food truck rodeos held in Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park.
“The jerk (chicken) is very popular on our truck. The Jamaican beef patty — we cannot stock enough of those,” Taffee Wilson said, describing the patty as a type of turnover with beef and spices rolled up inside. “Normally what we find is the more food trucks we have together the more people come out.”
Dollar dumplings and Cookie Whoopies
One delight expected to bring ‘em out is Chirba Chirba’s dumplings. The French cuisine treat was started by a couple of college kids in Chapel Hill.
“They have the best dumplings,” said Wilson. “They’re only like a dollar apiece.”
Another popular favorite is Sweet Traditions’ cupcakes, cake by the slice and Cookie Whoopies — cookie icing sandwiches. Sweet Traditions is operated by Wake Forest’s LeAnn Boksleitner.
“We’re excited to get [a rodeo] in Wake Forest. We go out daily with our truck. It’ll be fun to have one in our hometown,” said Boksleitner, adding she’s hoping to drum up Fosupport for a cupcake shop they’re opening in a few months in the old Quizno’s space off Capital Boulevard.
She also said she’s looking forward to sampling some of the food off the other trucks, which are limited so there’s plenty to choose from, but no repetition.
“Virgil’s is kind of spicy. I always like to have something sweet after I eat spicy,” said Boksleitner.
“We’re based out of Wake Forest and want to support our local community and help our business grow and prosper,” she added about her appreciation of the local rodeo. “Our customer base so strong — I think we’ll have a good turnout.”