Event Recap: The Gathering in McHenry Row
A warm evening breeze filled the air as I approached Locust Point’s McHenry Row for my very first Food Truck Rally. As I made my way to find my friends, people seemed to fill the entirety of the street, with dogs on leashes, drinks in hands, and food in cones, on sticks and in baskets- a sure sign of summer nearing in Baltimore City.
The Gathering of Food Trucks has been a Baltimore favorite since its start in 2011. Sharing flavors from around the world with Baltimore’s neighborhoods, The Gathering partners with over 20 different food trucks and features local bands and other fun activities at each pop-up festival. With the continuously growing phenomena of the food truck industry, The Gathering is a great way for food trucks to spread their name and their cuisines to all of Baltimore one stop at a time.
Upon my arrival at the event, my friends and I quickly scanned the street to check out the different menus and search for the shortest lines. With the event already in full swing, it was clear which trucks were the fan favorites. Over 13 food trucks in total lined the streets, including favorites like The Gypsy Queen Café, GrrChe Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Miss. Shirley’s Cafe, Crusin’ Café, Darua, Woody’s Taco Island, and Chicken n’ Waffles, along with many others. We quickly devised a master plan to split up and tackle separate lines to taste-test as many different trucks as possible, but only after we picked up a drink or two. The drink menu offered summer favorites such as sangria, margaritas, orange crushes, wine and the Summer Shandy. Visitors could choose to buy drinks individually or purchase a $20 all-you-can-drink wristband. All proceeds from the event benefited The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
After ordering a delicious orange crush, I decided to check out the GrrChe line for my main meal. As a grilled cheese lover, I was intrigued by the gourmet combinations they had to offer, from seafood macs like the Crab Delight and the Lobster Mac, to hearty macs like the Cheese Burger Mac and the Pulled Grill. I, however, decided to go with a lighter fare and ordered the Caribbean Grill. This sweet and tangy sandwich included fresh mango salsa, Swiss cheese and honey mustard on fresh ciabatta bread. I was thrilled with my selection but was anxious to taste some other plates.
Two brave souls in my group took on the feat of waiting in the longest line for Queen Gypsy Cafe. Eventually, they returned with a lil’ Gypsy’s Bahn Mi and a Lamb Pita. Both orders were cooked and seasoned to perfection and bursting with a mixture of flavors- it’s no wonder they’re known for being one of the best food trucks in Baltimore and DC. Another friend visited Woody’s Taco Island and brought back Jerk Chicken Tacos. Though they seemed fairly plain at first glance, after being topped with the necessary fixins’, they too were a delicious treat.
With our food and drinks in hand, we grabbed a seat on an empty curb to relax and listen to local band, Shook. Their smooth alternative rock sounds helped set the already enjoyable atmosphere of the event. Looking around, it was clear to see that everyone was having a great time. The warm weather and friendly feel made the evening pleasant for all, from young city locals with their dogs to families with small children running around, and even the finest Baltimore foodies.
After an evening of great food and entertainment, we ended our day with one final order- a caramel, bacon donut from Gypsy Queen Café. An interesting mix of sweet and savory, it was that last bite we needed to top off our already full bellies and complete our perfect night.
The Gathering’s Food Truck Festivals are held in and around Baltimore in the evenings from March to October. These festivals are not only fun and delicious, but help support the local economy as well. You can find a full list of their events and locations on their website at www.thegatheringbaltimore.com. From Brazilian to Indian, to Seafood to Southern, Food Truck Rallies offer the best culinary creations all in one spot.
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