Have you ever hosted a party and realized halfway through it that you were going to run out of food and/or booze and had no way to get any more? It’s not a good feeling.
I can only imagine how the various street food vendors reacted to the mob scene that was Saturday’s Mobile Chowdown.
My husband and I arrived at the Chowdown around 1:30 p.m. I knew it was going to be crowded, but I wasn’t prepared for the sea of people that greeted us when we pulled up.
Lines for Skillet, Maximus Minimus, El Camion and Marination Mobile were easily 50-100 people deep. By the time we got there, Gert’s BBQ had already run out of food and was done for the day.
I saw that the line for Dante’s Inferno Dogs was less than 10 people so I quickly claimed a spot. I was intrigued by the jalapeno cheddar sausage, and I thought it was pretty tasty although the casing was a bit thick. It had a good snap, but I couldn’t bite through it cleanly, making it difficult to eat.
After I finished my sausage, I surveyed the scene again, and to my dismay, it looked like it had gotten even more crowded. I despaired at ever getting through any of massive lines, but I thought that the Parfait Ice Cream line wouldn’t be impossible. And luckily I was right. I didn’t have to wait long, and I decided to try the Meyer lemon ice cream. I got a scoop of butter toffee for my friend Bev who was patiently waiting in Marination’s line and a scoop of caramel for my friend Kumi who was holding one of the few tables with chairs for our group.
Both Bev and I thought our ice cream could have been creamier. The texture was a little more like ice milk than ice cream. Bev did appreciate the generous chunks of butter toffee, and Kumi was entirely satisfied with her serving of caramel. I thought the lemon was bitter like the pith of the fruit.
While I was in line for ice cream, my husband decided to try his luck with El Camion. I did not think that was a good choice. Of all the lines, it looked like that was moving the slowest. I jumped into the Maximus Minimus line hoping to score him a pulled pork sandwich. Bev joined me after the Marination Mobile folks announced they were almost out of everything. They were very nice and gave everyone who had been in line vouchers. Soon we heard that Skillet was done as well.
Bev and I waited about 30 minutes in the Maximus line, and we were just five people from the front, when we were told Maximus was no more. That was two strikes out for poor Bev!
My husband had managed to put in an order at El Camion, and by this point, he was extremely hungry and grouchy. I asked him what he ordered, and he said two tacos(!) He had waited in line for an hour. If I made it to the front of any of the lines, I would have ordered everything on the menu.
The Marination Mobile team had managed to regroup and had enough supplies to take a few more orders. Bev ran over hoping she would be lucky enough to finally get some food. And she did! It was a positive end to a frustrating event.