Guest post by our friend, Jules Festa of NashvilleFoodTruckJunkie.com, a wonderful sponsor of PenaltyBoxRadio.com:

Did you all get to check out Big Ben on The Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats” Sunday night noshing on the local food truck, Riff’s Fine Street Food?  Did Ben make you wanna try the food trucks?  Wanna see what the buzz is about?

Well, this Saturday from Noon – 5 PM at Centennial Park, the Nashville Food Truck Association will have its 2nd Annual Street Food Awards.  This is a free to enter event.  You just have to cover the cost of what you would like to eat!  There will be a People’s Choice Award that YOU get to pick!!!  Last we checked there were close to 30 trucks that will be there…IN ONE LOCATION!!!!!

2012 Street Food Awards - Jules Fest

2012 Street Food Awards – Jules Fest

There will also be blind judging happening (similar to a BBQ competition).  The trucks will have specific times that they have to turn in foods to enter in such categories as “Best Taco”, “Best Dessert”, “Best Hot Nashville”, “Best Deep Fried”, and the list goes on.  Being the Food Truck Junkie, I’m lucky enough that I’m on the judges list.  But if you want to enter to be a judge, check out the NFTA on Twitter (@FoodTrucksNash) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/foodtrucksnash) to get the details on you can win a spot to be a judge for 3-4 of the categories!!!

A few tips for the Street Food Awards:

1.       Take a few friends and make sure you all have similar palates for eating.  This way, you all can order one item and split it amongst you, both cost and food.  Let’s be honest, if you pay for a full portion at $8-9 at one truck, you’re pretty much gonna be done and also very full!  So to try to hit more trucks.  I suggest you split with a few folks.  Your $8-9 can last 3-4+ trucks and you’ll get to try more!!!  (Bring a blanket to sit on or your tailgate chairs…unless you don’t mind sitting on cold, possibly damp ground or want to chance finding an open picnic table).

2.       While these are street eats, some may seem a bit messier.  If you have any extra wet ones from Hooters or Toots or where ever you enjoy messy wings, stash a few in your purse, girlfriend’s purse, boyfriend’s murse, pocket…whatever. They will definitely come in handy!

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

3.       Do try something different.  If you are going for something you can cook at home, just remember, you can make it at home.  Try the item that you cannot pronounce or do not know what it is.  This is your opportunity to expand your culinary horizons.  FYI: Sum Yum Yum is my example here.  No one seems to know what a Banh Mi is.  It’s a French hoagie roll with pork, chicken, or tofu, and topped with a jalapenos, mayo, carrots, and cucumber.  It’s just a delicious sub!

I will be there judging although I’m not sure which categories yet.  Maybe we’ll be judging together! Last year, I got to judge Best Drink, Best Taco, and Best Vegetarian!  Here’s an updated list of trucks to be present at the event. You can check my blog for the write ups and last year’s Street Food Winners!  I hope you all can make it out there and see what Big Ben got to enjoy on The Cooking Channel and what I love as often as I can.  Make sure to take pictures and tag me on Twitter.  I’d love to see what you ate as well!  And I might share your pics on my blog next week!

Special thanks to Jules Festa of NashvilleFoodTruckJunkie.com. Jules has also been nominated for Mobile Cuisine’s “Food Truck Blog of the Year” Award, and we would appreciate your vote for her! If you plan to visit the Music City for a game, make sure you hit up one of the very unique food trucks the city has to offer!