If you’ve been in Romania for some time, you probably know that within the city of Bucharest lies the world’s second largest indoor arena, the Romexpo. But did you also know that every September, the arena is filled with the city’s best food trucks?
This year’s Bucharest Street Food Festival, held Sept 6-9, hosted a number of special guests, namely, famous Romanian chefs such as Adi Hădean, Nico Lontras, and Joseph Hadad. There was also a big line-up of musicians, including Patrice, Morcheeba, and Delinquent Habits.
We had the opportunity to stop by and try some of the food. And while there, we chatted with some of the chefs. Here’s a look at some of the festival’s most popular trucks, with our reviews of their recommended dishes.
Goodfellas is a food truck that travels all over Romania, selling fast food, Italian and Romanian dishes, and many “Meatball Marinara” options. The crew enjoys cooking for people and they usually participate in many different food festivals. Here are some words from employee Iulian Sirbu.
Q: Do you like working here?
A: “Yes, it’s actually our business, it’s a business we made with friends we enjoy every minute of being here, good music, nice people, we cook the food for everyone.
Q: Do you have a restaurant here in Romania?
A: “We don’t have a restaurant in Bucharest but we are from Romania. We have this business only as a food truck and look for events like this one to cook for people.”
Q: How many people bought burgers here in this truck?
A: “The number of sold tickets in this festival was around 50,000 people in it and maybe 5,000 people came and bought burgers here.”
Q: What is your most popular dish?
A: “Our most famous burger was the “American Mob.” It’s a baguette with mustard, meatball marinara, some caramelized onion, cheddar cheese, fried bacon, served with french fries that have parmesan, parsley, chilli, and garlic.”
What We Thought:
Based on Sirbu’s recommendation, we ordered the “American Mob.” Hearty, sloppy and flavorful, we give it a 4.7 out of 5. Even if it was a bit spicy, the meatball marinara sauce was really good.
The Smokin’ Pig
The Smokin’ Pig and Drunken Squid (partner food truck) are made up of cooks/chefs from restaurants across the city, who get together to participate in festivals. We chatted with Alex, a crew member of Drunken Squid, before diving in to a burger and fries.
Q: Do you like working here at the Smoking Pig?
A: “Yes, I love working here at the SP, at this Street Food Carnival, and at any food festival in particular. I love the atmosphere in general.”
Q: Is the SP a food truck, or does it come from another restaurant?
A: “No, this is only for street food; it’s a truck as well as the Drunken Squid. Most of us are working in different restaurants and create this only for food festivals.”
Q: How many tickets did you and your colleagues sell at this event?
A: “We don’t accept tickets; we only sell 1,000 burgers a day, and 800 orders of fries.”
What we thought:
We tried “The Real Deal.” It contained a series of delightful fillings: bacon, caramelized onion, fried onion rings, truffle sauce, pickles, lettuce, and homemade beef burger, all within a fried bun. The onion rings gave a unique taste to the burger, and so did the truffle sauce on top of the beef. The fries even had some delicious Parmigiano cheese on top. Overall, we would give it a 4.3 out of 5.
La Finca by Alioli
La Finca by Alioli is made up of the crew from the restaurant Alioli, a Spanish restaurant in the middle of Bucharest, on Strada Grigore Alexandrescu. Most of the crew speak Spanish, therefore, our interview with Andreea was translated from Spanish to English.
Q: Do you have a restaurant here in Bucharest, other than La Pescaderia?
A: Yes, we have a Spanish restaurant here in Bucharest, it’s called Alioli. Every product we get is Spanish gourmet and it’s top quality.
Q: Do you like working here as a cook?
A: I like it because I love cooking for people that like our food.
Q: How many portions of paella did you have to cook in order to feed everyone?
A: Imagine we have to make 50 pots of paella a day, that would be around 1,500 portions of food we sell each day.
What we thought:
The dish we tried, Fideua, contained short noodles, mussels, squid, and shrimp. It was a bit cold because it was served in a huge pot, but the taste was fine. The rice was very well cooked. Overall, we give it a 4.5 out of 5.
The next time there’s a food festival in Bucharest, make sure to go. It’s worth it!
If you want to know about the trucks at the Street Food Carnival, visit this site. It probably won’t be updated until next summer, but when it is, you’ll be able to read about the food vendors and bands.
Have you been to the Street Food Festival? If so, comment below. We’d love to hear about your favorite trucks and dishes!