Food trucks are great. With COVID-19 the reason that so many festivals have been canceled, I know I’ve missed getting fat and indulging at the plethora of local vendors selling good eats at spring and summer events.
Alas, COVID-19 has put a lot of that on hold. Yet, that doesn’t mean food trucks are ALL gone, right? Actually, food trucks may be a great alternative to get some sort of ambiance? They’re mobile, and they’re outside – all the food is to go.
Sitting outdoors with friends is a great way to enjoy some good food, and pretend that on some level that things are normal. Also, if you’re like me, cooking for one is boring and tedious, so it’s so much easier to buy food! At the very least, the experience of moving around in the fresh air, eating al fresco, is good for the soul.
Hot Mess Express is a food truck that serves an ever-changing menu of items. “American fare with fun, tasty twists. Each ingredient is carefully selected for maximum deliciousness! Good people serving great food!” is what their bio says.
Whatever sounds good for the truck, the chefs make and serve. Their social media shows an array of delicious-looking, and creative takes on mac n cheese, bread pudding, hamburgers, grilled cheese, pasta salad, and even tacos.
The truck moves around the Columbus Area-suburbs, selling food in places like Hilliard, Westerville, Groveport, Worthington, and Dublin. They’ve even got dates where they’ll be serving up eats a little further – like Johnstown, Newark, Bellefontaine, and London. You can track their schedule here.
I, however, love breakfast – I treat myself to a nice breakfast at least once a week. I saw from their Instagram page, that they have a “Sunday Funday” brunch, so I decided to wander on down to Historic downtown Hilliard. The truck itself is in a good location – every Sunday, they’re parked in front of the Crooked Can brewery, or the Center Street market.
The Market and surrounding patio are gorgeous spaces to spend a socially-distanced brunch, dining out in the open air. There are tables aplenty, placed away from each other – and it’s easy to view historic Hilliard move around you as you eat.
The Brunch Menu has options, but I gravitated towards the Blueberry French Toast – breakfast isn’t complete without some sort of pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
This particular french toast is particularly decadent – a dense, and thick piece of bread, filled with blueberries and white chocolate pieces, dipped and toasted. The french toast is also served with a side of bacon. I also got an order of scrambled eggs as a compliment.
The toast is gorgeous – french toast is my least favorite breakfast griddle item, I’ve always thought that waffles and pancakes are superior to french toast. I mean, what is french toast but a vehicle to get rid of old and stale bread?
Yeah, not the case here. The bread is saturated with the egg/milk mixture – and when cooked on the griddle, has created a soft and almost cake-like texture. The bread has just the right amount of softness mixed with that glutenous pull, the french toast cuts with easy with the side of a fork, but isn’t soggy mush in your mouth.
The flavors are perfectly matched – the tartness of the blueberries is a nice contrast of the silky and richness that the warm and melted white chocolate pieces bring to the dish. Even the syrup, which you don’t need much of, adds some extra moisture and sweetness. The eggs and bacon are cooked perfectly and are good add-ons to the toast.
The Hot Mess Food truck also was very reasonably priced – I got a full meal with generous portion sizes, for under $20, with tip. Also, since the truck was located near the Center Street Market and the Crooked Can brewery, you can wander over, get a mimosa, and have a great outdoor brunch in Historic Hilliard.
Hot Mess Food Truck is definitely a great place to watch for!