The Power Plant Live! grounds were overtaken by food trucks and vendor stalls galore last weekend as the Baltimore Street Food Festival ensued. Over 18 vendors gathered to provide a smattering of culinary options to adults and children alike. Entry to the festival was $15 per person, and most food items were priced at $5 or less with a few exceptions. Festival tickets also came with one free drink ticket per person, which could be used for a limited selection of beers and wines at the beer garden. While the weather unfortunately included chilly temperatures and sporadic bouts of rain, I along with my boyfriend Chris still enjoyed many of the foods we got to try.
We started our night with boneless buffalo chicken wings and tater tots from Two Smooth Dudes. The Wings and Tots combo was $13, which was a disappointing price for the product. While the tater tots were hot, crispy and fluffy, the wings were cold and perfectly mediocre. The buffalo sauce did not have any unique dimension of flavor. If I could turn back time, I would have ordered the Garlic Parmesan Tater Tots for $5 from the truck, as the tots could definitely be counted on.
While I waited in line for the wings, Chris acquired a buffalo chicken slider from Buck N Grill. This was definitely the best iteration of buffalo chicken I had from the festival. The chicken was wonderfully seasoned and juicy, and the bread was just the right texture for a slider sandwich. My only qualm is that $5 could only produce one of the sliders, which was not as big as I had hoped. I would not hesitate to order a second if I happened upon that truck again.
Next, we snagged some Pork Momos (dumplings) from Himalayan Soul Foods. These dumplings were hot off the steamer and chock-full of flavor. The dumpling wrapper was delightfully chewy, and each one was generously sized. The soy, ginger and onion flavors all managed to shine through without overpowering the meat. I also appreciated the speed at which we got our food from this truck, as it was by far the shortest turnaround time from payment to food.
Moving down the line, I got my third iteration of buffalo chicken in the form of an egg roll from Southern Peach BBQ, along with a cheesecake egg roll. I could not get behind the cheesecake egg roll; the savory dough did not pair well with the warm cream cheese in my eyes, but Chris was a pretty big fan. The buffalo chicken egg roll was very flavorful and crispy, and it reminded me a bit of what you could expect from a buffalo chicken empanada. While I personally think savory is the way to go for egg rolls, Chris vouches for Southern Peach’s range.
While I have had it before, both at the Power Plant Live! location and at the Mac and Cheese Festival last summer, Underground Pizza Company made its presence known with some delicious Detroit-style pepperoni pizza and mac and cheese balls. Detroit-style pizza is highly underrated; the crust is like a focaccia that could stand alone as a bread if necessary. The Pepperoni-Infused Mac and Cheese Balls were not immensely flavorful, but they are a great vehicle for fried cheese, which I deem essential at a fried food festival. The pieces of pepperoni were just a bit too small to register on the palette.
At this point, Chris and I had exhausted our entrée intake and decided it was time for dessert. I felt that I would be betraying the principles of a local food festival by ordering from the Auntie Anne’s truck, so I instead opted for Oreo cupcakes from Cakes by Cynthia. I am a sucker for a filled cupcake, so when I bit into the cupcake and discovered a whipped filling, I was highly pleased. The cake itself was extremely tender and fluffy, but I was not a huge fan of the frosting. The proportion of cake to frosting was a bit heavy in the frosting direction, and buttercream just doesn’t do it for me like cream cheese frosting does these days. That said, the great thing about cupcakes is that you can adjust that ratio to your liking.
All in all, I would recommend the festival to anyone who’s looking to share some good food with a date or a group. The portions were largely pretty generous, but you’ll have an easier time justifying them if you can divide and conquer the festival with others. Chris and I also wish we had seen a greater variety of cuisines present.
A Taste of Your Town, the company that ran the festival, also puts on the Mac and Cheese Festival (I went last year and it was great), a Taco Festival and a Wing and Chicken Festival. Stay on the lookout either on Facebook or Eventbrite to know when they will return with some delicious eats for you.