Foodie Fest at the Hills Market was a fun event at the North Side market featuring activities for children and a confederacy of food carts. While the bands and the spelling bee were geared towards small children, restaurants on wheels are a pitch right down the middle for a fully grown child like myself.
Food carts and restaurants in attendance included Junior's Tacos, Local Munch Box, Short North Bagel Deli, Leslie's Creperie, the Jeni's Truck, Cheesy Truck and Pattycake Bakery. Participants bought tickets which were traded for food at stations set up in the parking lot of the Hills Market.
This event was a great opportunity to sample a variety of food carts in one location. While I consider myself a connoisseur of food carts, this was a great chance for me to sample some new places that I have yet to stumble upon in a street setting.
Junior's Tacos is typically located in Victorian Village. They offer Mexican standards, which include vegetarian burritos, tacos and quesadillas. All three include griddled onions, mushrooms, peppers alongside cold lettuce and radishes with chunks of cilantro. There is a salsa verde and a red sauce that add flavor to any of the above Mexican classics.
The Local Munch Box is a new operation with delightful design. Munch Box specializes in sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and salads. This truck can often be found in the Columbus Commons during the week. The flatbread pizza had an Asiago mousse spread atop it. It held mushrooms, summer squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and arugula.
Short North Bagel Deli is a new cart that sets up all over the city, including the Short North and Downtown. They steam Block's Bagels and make a variety of cool sandwiches with clever names.
Leslie's Creperie is a crepe cart that actually sets up on the Hills Market's patio on select days during the warm season. Leslie's prepares sweet and savory crepes on the griddle. The spinach and Feta crepe had earthy flavor that was elevated by the acidity of the cheese.
I've previously written about Jeni's, the Cheesy Truck and Pattycake Bakery. All three are excellent operations worth tracking down. Cheesy Truck makes grilled cheese out of local ingredients. Pattycake is a vegan bakery and Jeni's is Columbus' most famous ice cream auteur. Jeni's blackberry sweet corn ice cream is a delightful taste of summer. Pattycake's peanut butter chocolate moon pie is a taste of country exuberance prepared in a completely vegan manner. Cheesy Truck makes great grilled cheese with all sorts of accompaniments, like the house made tater tots.
Foodie Fest was a great event for all ages. Although the weather was sweltering, the area's culinary artisans stepped up to the plate and delivered a memorable experience in the shadow of one of the city's best markets.