Tyler Hale had maple gravy sauce dripping from his mouth and beard as he took a firm bite into his chicken-and-waffle slider, a crisp piece of chicken between two fluffy waffles covered in sauce. Hale, 24, of Gainesville, is a regular customer at the Pelican Brothers Food Truck.
“The chicken and waffles are a staple of American culture,” he said. “Ever since my first chicken and waffle, I’ve never looked back.”
Gainesville residents can look forward to this and other unique foods at Gainesville’s first ever Food Truck Rally this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the High Dive parking lot, located at 210 SW Second Ave.
The free event is hosted by Pelican Brothers Food Truck and Glory Days Presents.
Chicken and waffles and the ghetto burger are constant items on the Pelican Brothers’ menu due to their popularity, said Matt Holmes, 32, co-owner of the Pelican Brothers Food Truck. The truck’s custom menu for the rally includes fried green tomato, bacon and cheddar biscuits, jerk chicken quesadillas, grouper tacos, sweet potato fries and s’more-style egg rolls. The s’more-style egg roll is a dessert made with marshmallows, graham crackers and deep-fried egg roll.
In addition to Pelican Brothers, other participating food trucks include Go Go Stuff Yourself, Grilled Cheese Wagon, Humble Pie, Off the Griddle and La Lola Loca.
Both vegan and vegetarian options will be available. High Dive will be serving drinks at its fully-stocked beer, wine and liquor bar outside.
Steven Che, a 20-year-old freshman majoring in dietetics, said street food is one of his favorite things in the world.
“I think food trucks offer a lot more variety, especially at a rally, because you can try one food truck and then another,” he said. “At a restaurant, you’re limited to just that one place.”
Prices at the Pelican Brothers Food Truck range from $3 to $7. Holmes said if people plan on trying different foods, they should bring around $15 to $20.
Holmes said 2,050 people are invited to attend the event on Facebook, but he isn’t sure how many people will actually show up.
Mike Riska, 30, co-owner of Pelican Brothers Food Truck and head chef at The Jones Eastside, said they are prepared for about 500 people to come out and eat.
La Lola Loca, a Latin American fusion food truck, will also be at the rally. It’s well-known for its taco’dilla, which is a quesadilla topped with the taco filling of choice, lettuce, tomatoes and a tangy chipotle aioli sauce.
According to the press release, the rally will be followed by a show at 9 p.m. with local bands.
There are a limited amount of free tickets for the show available at High Dive and from the bands. Tickets will be sold at the door the day of the event for $6.
“We are trying to build a scene with the rally and get the word out,” Holmes said. “I hope that in five years from now we have 20 food trucks in Gainesville.