Spek and Bonen Festival – Utrecht

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On Saturday I braved the very real threat of bad Dutch weather to make my way by train down to Utrecht for the Spek and Bonen Festival. The location in a parking lot on the other side of Utrecht Centraal (the side you’ve probably never been to) underwhelmed in comparison to the parks of recent excellent festivals, but the food did not disappoint. My good friend ZhiZhi and her cousins in tow, we sought to eat our way across that parking lot, and boy did we.
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The Contenders:

L'aubergine Caravan - Curry Up2015-08-15 13.08.27 2015-08-15 13.07.43 2015-08-15 13.07.27 2015-08-15 13.07.18 2015-08-15 13.07.07   Kreeft and Co.  Crêpe Centraal Red Dog Gourmet Hot Dogs Couscous Caravan 2015-08-15 13.04.31

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The variety and visual appeal of the trucks at this festival impressed me. In many cases each felt like a small camp, with its own setup and often an on-display cooking setup. I’ve seen several of these trucks before, but there are still plenty that I have yet to eat at.

Noms:

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A cone of fries to start from Fritez. I am a vlaamse frites fanatic and I’m always down to try a new cone of fries. These fries we’re pretty gold standard Dutch fries, but the truck loses a few points for a lack of variety of sauces and no onions (an essential Dutch fry topping).
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Fresh coconut! Who doesn’t love fresh coconut juice? This came from Dames van het Verboden Fruit. When you finished the juice you could even bring it back and they would scrape out all the yummy coconut flesh for you!
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Mussels with a side of fresh vlammes frites from Kreeft and Co. As ZhiZhi commented throughout this festival, “There are so many vegetables!” Indeed, the mussels stood out (in a good way) for having a lot of good veggies steamed together in the pot that made their way to the tray. The fries were almost identical to the ones from Fritez.
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A burger with pulled pork from STACKS. Not bad as burgers go. It even had a little cracklin with the pork. I only really got a bite, so clearly it was popular.
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Kibbeling from Viswijf. I’d never heard of Kibbeling until I moved to the Netherlands but it’s somewhere between the fried fish I’m used to in South Louisiana and English Fish and Chips. In my opinion it is far superior to the latter, and this stuff was no exception.
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A tuna salad from the Aubergine Caravan served in half an avocado. As you’ll see with another dish below, this truck has the most beautiful food of the festival.
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Like the tuna salad above, this also came from the Aubergine Caravan. This is their “sexy small bites” dish, a slice of grilled eggplant skewered with a fried dough puff topped with an avocado baba ganoush. Eggplant (aubergine) is probably my favorite vegetable, so I was amazed and wondered.
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Churros! from In Beslag Genomen. How can you go wrong with churros? You can’t.

Favs of the Day:

For Taste:

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Probably the best Kibbeling i’ve ever had came from the Viswijf stand. I live right next to the Albert Cuypmarkt wherein the best Kibbeling place in Amsterdam is, and the kibbeling from this stand competes and yes, may even best, the best kibbeling I’ve had to this point. Best of all, it’s all made fresh. Breading, sauce, fish, it’s all amazing and everyone in my party raved about it.

For Looks:

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L’Aubergine Caravan takes the (very well decorated) cake. Just look at this beautiful food. And the truck too!

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For the Truck:

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Stan and Co. Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this. The concept Stan & Co. were trying out here was to do an entire pop up fixed menu restaurant in the middle of a food festival. To top it off, they were cooking using nothing but fire and smoke. Kudos to you guys for being inventive. I didn’t get to stay for dinner, but I absolutely will next time.
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