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Lodi’s first taco truck challenge is this Saturday

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Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:08 am, Tue Jun 14, 2011.

Lodi residents need to bring their bibs, some $1 bills and their appetites to the city’s first ever taco truck cookoff this Saturday.

At least seven trucks will be competing to be named Lodi’s No. 1 taco truck. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Smart & Final parking lot at Lodi Avenue and Stockton Street.

The trucks will still serve all of the items on their menu, but will only be judged on their tacos. There is no admission fee, and trucks will charge their normal prices for food.

The city’s Art in Public Places Committee is planning the celebration as a way to highlight the mosaics installed in the sidewalks along Lodi Avenue. There will be maps available and balloons near all the tiles, so people can do self-guided tours, said Deanie Bridewell, arts and events manager.

Hungry attendees will have a ballot to rank each truck from one to seven and then drop them at one of the tables next to each truck, commission chair Catherine Metcalf said.

“We will have volunteers to assist anyone who needs it and to make sure there is no ballot stuffing,” she said.

The tacos will be judged not only by all of the attendees but also a panel of judges. So far the judges include Mayor Bob Johnson and Pat Patrick, CEO and president of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce.

The winners of both categories will receive a ceramic taco as a trophy. The Mud Mill, a pottery painting studio in Downtown, donated the trophies.

The truck that attendees vote their favorite will also receive a banner to advertise that they are the top truck in town.

If the event Saturday is successful, the commission will make it an annual competition, Metcalf said. In future years, Metcalf said they might also give out other awards for best salsa or best burritos.

The event is part of the commission’s goal of reaching out to the Eastside and acknowledging a variety of art mediums, like spoken word or culinary arts, Metcalf said. She hopes people will recognize the skill it takes to run one of these business.

“It doesn’t have to be gourmet, but it can be everyday fare,” she said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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  • Jon Adams posted at 2:51 pm on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Jon Adams Posts: 5

    La Picosita is gonna take the trophy ! robert chapman you're a weenie

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:35 am on Thu, Jun 16, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin stated...Back to topic - how can one enjoy food if all you taste is the hotness of the chilis...

    For most my adult life, I had the same thought and opinion as Ms Bobin so I can relate... I thought people were crazy who used so much spice. I thought the food flavor was drowned out.
    However, after living in Thailand where various kinds of"hot" is incorporated in everything they cook, the opposite resulted in what I anticipated. Now, it brings out the flavor of the food and I miss it when it is removed.
    Another one of those perception/reality deals..
    I am looking forward to the Taco truck test... will be interesting to see and taste... hope it is a fun event for everyone.

  • Jay Samone posted at 7:47 am on Thu, Jun 16, 2011.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Darrell - I'm definitely going to try that. Thanks for the tip. A favorite of mine (although I have cut out all pastas) is a simple olive oil, zucchinis, squash, mushrooms, red chili pepper flakes and angel hair pasta - packs a whallop of flavor if you put the right amount in......Although my ice cold beverage probably won't hit the spot for that one since milk is really the only thing that calms down the burn from the spices....maybe I'll need a few ice cold beverages.....lol. And thanks for the head's up on Joanne - apparently she can't read along with the whole "crazy" schtick. I was referring the number of people who actually comment on this blog compared to the actual population of the town that even reads the newspaper.

    Charles - fire sauce? Wow.....Dell Taco's is way hotter......maybe that's why we don't have any in Lodi. When I lived in Arizona may moons ago, I used to cross the border to hit the local spots. I'm not sure if you're referring to tourist destinations (which definitely are the way you describe), but the little towns we would visit to eat dinner and drink a few Dos Equis or Modelos and we were sweating on the trip home and that's not because it was 120 degrees outside. The local food reminded me more of a taco truck, than one of our restaurants here.....

  • Charles Nelson posted at 10:44 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 257

    But, then again, I also know what wimps all you sausage and cheese button eating Eastern Europeans are. You think you're being dangerous when you order the fire sauce for your Taco Bell.

  • Charles Nelson posted at 9:56 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 257

    I've spent over 3 months of my life living in Mexico. Much of it eating with the locals. I can tell you from experience, the Mexican food at many of the Lodi restaurants is just as hot as in Mexico. Most of the food there is much more bland than one would believe. The condiments are usually on the table to make it hotter if you wish, and the brands they use are the same ones you find here at Rancho San Miguel. The thing you usually find there, that is absent at most Mexican eateries here, is crema. So, the real "hot and spicy" version you may associate with Mexican cooking, is really the americanized version.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:57 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4305

    BTW - the taco shell technique sounds really good - only for me with perhaps medium chilis to get the ZING. Good job, Mr. Baumbach!

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:44 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4305

    "I would buy a ticket to watch Ms Bobin go for a walk through Lodi... would be priceless."

    Don't worry, Mr. Baumbach. While walking through Lodi I don't have to look under rocks, through windows, etc. All I have to do is enjoy a cup of coffee at Starbucks at 6AM and eavesdrop on the Boys Club (retired police, fire and sheriffs) who convene there daily, to hear some hair-curling bigoted talk. How do I know what their occupations were? One would have to be deaf to not hear them brag about their huge retirement checks and benefits.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:18 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Jay... be careful... soon Ms Bobin will be seeing bigots through your window when you are cooking those hot chili's... maybe behind each corner in your house... maybe behind the shadow of each tree trunk... oh my...

    They are coming to take her away... ha ha..ho ho.. he.he .. to the funny farm... where ...
    you know the rest of the song... I would buy a ticket to watch Ms Bobin go for a walk through Lodi... would be priceless.

  • Jay Samone posted at 2:23 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Darrell - I completely agree Mexican food is too "gringo" now. There's no flavor, no "heat", no nothing. I asked one restaurant why and they said because they get too many complaints that the food is too spicy. What the heck did they expect? A culture that cooks primarily with lard and chilis? Expect it to be fattening and spicy.....love it myself and have to make it at home in order to get the "heat" I like.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:24 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin stated....Just in case Mr. Baumbach is anywhere around this article, I'm mapping the location of each of the commentors below who are proving my claim of "a bigot around every corner in Lodi."

    Oh ms Bobin... please do not forget to look under each rock and behind every tree as well. I know if I happen to drive by your area at 1:34:am, and see some lady tilting rocks, Ill know it is you. You certainly provide great humor Ms Bobin. Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:41 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4305

    Just in case Mr. Baumbach is anywhere around this article, I'm mapping the location of each of the commentors below who are proving my claim of "a bigot around every corner in Lodi."

    Not only are they bigoted, they appear to be quite dense also...AND I think that Mr. Baxter has exceeded his limit on racist comments already today between this and two other articles!

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:36 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4305

    So, if I understand this contest correctly, one must taste a taco from each truck/participant in order to fairly judge between them? Looks like my favorite truck is not participating - it IS the best in Lodi, so no need for me to attend.

  • Jay Samone posted at 12:33 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Arthur - comments are just that. Comments. And they are from a mere .00001% of the town's true population. I, for one, can't wait to get down there and vote for my favorite taco truck - AND get a couple of $1 tacos too!

  • Arthur Vandelay posted at 12:07 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Arthur Vandelay Posts: 29

    The racism in the LNS comments is embarrassing. I shudder to think what readers from other towns think of Lodi when they see these.

  • Kline Twafa posted at 11:19 am on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Kline twafa Posts: 3


  • Joe Baxter posted at 5:55 am on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1794

    Kline, I agree, when you get some brains, post again. There is always a reservation you can move to so you can identify with the "original Americans". Need help? Just holler,

  • Kline Twafa posted at 9:09 pm on Tue, Jun 14, 2011.

    Kline twafa Posts: 3

    Legal! Ok sir whatever you say. That's as laughable as Chapman's original post. Just like Chris Columbus discovered America. Explain to me how you discover something by showing up somewhere where other people are currently at. If I walk into your house can I discover it?Or how about your car?

    Please someone with brains post something good.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 7:11 pm on Tue, Jun 14, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1794

    So, Kline, you want immigrants who came to America legally and became citizens to be deported also? I am sure Mr. Chapman was referring to illegal border jumpers.......

  • Kline Twafa posted at 2:52 pm on Tue, Jun 14, 2011.

    Kline twafa Posts: 3

    No kidding right! I have been waiting for over 200 years to take all these people back to Europe. Except you'll need a plane not a bus.

  • Robert Chapman posted at 9:50 am on Tue, Jun 14, 2011.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    An event that should be attended by the US Immigration agents and a BIG bus.



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