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Ela trials the Trailer Park life

Posted by: Ela Carte | 16 August, 2013 - 9:32 AM
Po-boy

Trailer Park  at Village Melbourne – 557 St Kilda Road Melbourne – villagemelbourne.com.au/trailer-park

Well, if nothing else, Trailer Park has served to educate me in the fact that the Belgian Beer Café is no more. In its place is Village Melbourne, what seems to be a hub for eating and drinking, with some venue hire and events thrown in. One ongoing event that is already drawing the crowds is Trailer Park.

Already immensely popular, the problem with some food vans is that it can be quite a task tracking them down – no matter how hard you think you’ve worked out their regular route. I had that problem with a Mexican truck-o in the western suburbs a few weeks ago and ended up on a long, windy walk.

Enter Trailer Park – a gathering of food trucks complete with actual chairs and tables and a fully stocked bar. Fairly central on St Kilda Road, parking isn’t exactly a breeze, but once you find one – there are plenty of eating options on offer.

Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm, the participating trucks will change monthly so you can check in advance to make sure you’re happy with the eats on offer. For August, it’s an eclectic assortment of corn, curry, gumbo, burgers and brulee – could almost be a five course meal.

Cornutopia provides the Latino feel for the day – the menu revolves around that starchy veg, obviously – the tacos were selling like hotcakes, resulting in a half hour wait- pushing it a bit. The 10 year old in our group thought it was worth the wait – both the chicken and beef offerings had plenty of flavour. The taco bowl contained the same kind of goodies without the carbs – no tortilla, but a couple of corn chips, lettuce, red cabbage, sweet corn & your choice of fillings. We went with the nice spiced, grilled fish with plenty of corn some super spicy chipotle sauce and a green sauce. Bit small for the $11 price tag to be honest, but it was a lovely, light dish.

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The Curry Truck is an easy pleaser – decent variety of slow cooked goodness, from Butter Chicken  and Beef Rendang to a Chicken Tikka or Dahl Makhani. You can grab one curry with rice for $8.50, or a couple with some raita and samosas. Definitely better value than some of the options around at $14 for a big plate of food.

Beatbox Kitchen is one of Melbourne’s originals – and it was popular. I avoided the queue, but saw some happy punters walking away with one of two simple burgers on offer – The Raph with Tasmanian grass fed beef, lettuce, cheese, tomato onion and “stereo” sauce; and the ‘Shroom with Portobello mushroom and all of the above.

Gumbo Kitchen was churning gumbo– this one featuring chicken and smoked sausage, but most (including myself) were going straight for the po’boys. Basically, a poor boy sandwich, all the way from New Orleans - we’re talking a baguette with filling options here of deep fried shrimp or beef “debris”. Being a little health conscious at the moment, I went straight for the prawns – dipped in a cornmeal batter and fried till crispy, they were pretty tasty. Resting on some salad with some hot sauce, it was a mouthful at $12, could never have finished it.

Installation of the day was by far the Brulee Cart. What a brilliant idea. There were queues all day. They sold out of their salted caramel, so we tried the Lime & Tequila and the Dark Choc with Peppermint. The former was nice, creamy and subtle, the latter was divine. Just my type of dessert – rich, sweet, gooey and chocolatey – it was glorious.

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It’s a bit of fun, but be prepared for crowds (with a high hipster to normal bloke ratio); queues (particularly the later you get there); communal seating; and loud music. That’ll all either excite you or put you off – so either way you’ve been warned.

Keep an eye on the trucks appearing each week – it’s definitely nice to have an excuse to have something different to eat and a refreshing drink on a sunny winter arvo. Trailer Park is running Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 8pm.

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