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Indy Food Trucks Turn Every Summer Transcendental (Part 5 of 3)

El Venezolano!

El Venezolano is one of many Indianapolis food trucks proving there’s more to streetside food than just Mexican tacos. For example: artisan super-tacos from Not-Mexico.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: when we launched four years ago, one of our first miniseries was an ongoing look at the then-burgeoning food truck craze that was sweeping downtown Indianapolis, improving quality of life and giving me viable lunch options besides middling pizza and Subway. (Past entries were here, here, here, and here, though I know a few of those trucks have left the road since then.) The reviews stopped when all that food-truck food exceeded my restricted work-lunch budget, and when they stopped showing up within convenient walking distance.

This summer my wife and I attended multiple events here in town, which we’ve talked about here at length over the past four months. Food trucks showed up to save us on most of these occasions, but I withheld their pics for some future, separate group gallery rather than sandwiching them between photos of parade floats and cosplayers. I was planning to share these within the next two weeks anyway, but with the politically endearing hashtag #tacostrucksoneverycorner now justly trending on Twitter, now’s as good a time as any to catch the mobile-foodie wave, especially since Labor Day is coming up and your fall wardrobe and your precious pumpkin-spiced everything may clash with a few of these.

We open with a salute to those dedicated trucks who serve downtown Indy even when there’s nothing special going on except work, when the Indiana Convention Center is in its slow season hosting car-bumper design seminars and Zoroastrian revivals and whatnot.

Dhaba Indy!

After the food truck boom gave way to the food truck glut, which in turn gave way to food trucks abandoning us for a time, for weeks on end Dhaba Indy was the only truck making the rounds and keeping food truck hope alive.

Dhaba Indy chicken tikka masala!

A typical Dhaba Indy lunch: chicken tikki masala and chana masala (garbanzo beans) with long grain rice and naan. This was, no lie, my first positive garbanzo experience. Every ounce of Indian cooking in this Styrofoam platter was The Best.

Box Burger!

I don’t understand why burger trucks are such a rarity. Box Burger sees that need and fills that need.

Box Burger Angus!

My burger styling of choice: a Box Burger Angus cheeseburger topped with mayo, tomato, and fried egg, plus a side of fries cooked in peanut oil. The burger hit all the right marks, but the fries cooled to inedibility a bit too soon.

Ali Baba's!

Ali Baba’s Cafe is brick-and-mortar first, but they double-major with a sideline food truck to broaden their reach. I can’t recommend their spicy gyros enough, but I can’t really speak to their “hookah den”.

Our first major convention of 2016 was the Indiana Comic Con at the end of April/beginning of May. The food trucks showed up in full force and lined one side of the Georgia Street pedestrian mall, waiting to serve us geeks and the occasional lost sports fan. These fine small-business superstars gave us great reasons to avoid convention center food and live another day.

T Baby's!

Our lunch spot of choice for Day 1 of the con was T Baby’s, purveyors of Caribbean cuisine. If it makes you feel better, toucan is not on the menu.

T Baby's Francophone Creole Fish!

My A-plus repast: Francophone Creole Fish, spiced macaroni pie, plantains, and Caribbean bean salad. Looks small, kicks hard, fills well, need more now.

Chive Turkey!

On their name alone, Chive Turkey was a close runner-up. We’ll have to catch them next time. We may have a Thanksgiving convention in the wings…

Brozinni!

I’ve had Brozinni Pizza at some point in the past, but their NYC-themed paint job holds a special place in my heart.

On Memorial Day weekend Anne and I once again checked out the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, which draws no small number of food trucks taking advantage of the influx of massive crowds. If any lucky ones found space the next day over by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I imagine Indy 500 fans probably could’ve put them in the black for the rest of the year in advance.

Brozinni!

So, Brozinni, we meet again! But on the other side this time.

Which Wich!

I’ve heard good things about Which Wich, which has sandwiches which aren’t just for witches.

Caplinger's!

Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Seafood Market is another brick-‘n’-mortar establishment with outreach on wheels. After the parade ended they had their hands full with wanderers suffering from hunger, thirst, sunburn, and temptation.

Pink Walrus!

Ice cream trucks were awesome when I was a kid, but Pink Walrus has their own take on the freezer-treat paradigm: mobile frozen yogurt machines! WAIT, NO, DON’T RUN AWAY! You didn’t even let me fi —

We were shocked and disappointed that June’s Indy Pop Con had no food truck gathering organized. We weren’t in the mood for a long walk and settled for BBQ sandwiches being served across the street at the dedicated video-gaming competition center, which at the time was a lonely echo chamber except for a couple dozen youngsters spot-welded to a set of PCs.

But on that nearly food-truckless Saturday afternoon, one properly motor-vated group of citizens heeded the silent call, parked squarely in our shameful food truck desert, and represented for their absentee compatriots.

The winner of our Indy PopCon dining experience: Pink Walrus. If it’s summer and you’re hot, fro-yo is indeed an optional antidote. The best part of their setup is that you can drown multiple flavors of yogurt in all the toppings that you can cram into your cup from a broad selection of cookies, candies, syrups, and other enthralling forms of sugar.

Pink Walrus!

Behold my precious: a three-flavor yogurt cup bedecked with Reese’s Puffs, S’mores cereal, and ground-up chocolate chip cookies. 10/10 would chow down on again.

…because one of the most important things in life is showing up. Thank you, Pink Walrus, for doing that one important thing for us. And, y’know, thanks also for being pretty good. Nobody gets points for showing up and being mediocre. If we wanted that, we know where there’s a Subway on the other side of the convention center.

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

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