Summer is finally here! I don’t know about where you live, but spring and earlier summer here in Minneapolis were more like extended winter, so I’m really appreciating the warmer days. (Of course, after too many hot days, I will complain about that as well!). One of my favorite parts about summer is dining al fresco. Sure, there is the patio at my neighborhood restaurant, which is great for a lazy evening, but what I really love are all of the street food options – food trucks, street festivals and fairs.
Food trucks seem to be popping up everywhere, and don’t show signs of leaving the foodscape anytime soon. These mobile cafes are a less expensive way for some very talented chefs to gain some traction before (or instead of) opening a more traditional restaurant. It seems as though having food on wheels also loosens inhibitions around some traditional food combinations. Mixing different ethnic foods, adding gourmet twists, and pairing unexpected ingredients are the rules on the streets. If your city isn’t filled with these rolling restaurants or you work in the suburbs and the trucks are in the city (sigh), I have a few recipes to help you recreate that experience at home. How about some Korean BBQ Hot Dogs, Dessert Grilled Cheese, or Sweet & Spicy Baked Shrimp Tacos?
I am guessing that even if your town doesn’t have food trucks, it definitely has summertime outdoor fairs and festivals. The Minnesota State Fair is always a big deal. Any food you can imagine, served up on a stick! The biggest problem with fairs and festival is that they only stick around for a limited amount of time each year. What do you do when you want some mini donuts in the middle of January? Obviously, you make them at home! Try Grandmother’s Doughnuts cut to a smaller size.
A popular street festival food in the Midwest is Walking Tacos. If you haven’t had them, you should definitely try out this cheesy recipe version. You can mix up the topping options so that everyone can get exactly what they like.
And no fair is complete without a corn dog. Our version has cheese added for extra deliciousness.
What are your favorite outdoor foods?