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Jeff Houck

The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.

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Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta Completes A Culinary Hat-Trick [Mayor Bob Eats A Wiener]

Posted Jan 4, 2012 by Jeff Houck

Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 06:53 PM


Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta No. 3

The city of Tampa held another Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta today, returning to Gaslight Park in downtown after a brief detour a few weeks ago at Joe Chillura Park.

The last time it was at Gaslight, it was somewhat of a hot mess, with too many people, too little sidewalk space and trucks that weren’t entirely ready for the onslaught.

This time, the obstacle was the temperature. A cold front that danced across central Florida last night lived up to its name. By the time the fiesta opened (truthfully, it was more of a shindig or a klatch, but who am I to quibble?), temps were in the mid-40s. In other words, beach weather in Chicago, ice age in Tampa. Bollywood Cafe was the only no-show (at least they hadn’t arrived by the time I left at 12:15 p.m.) Perhaps they got cold feet?

Still, hundreds braved the elements to sample the new trucks.

Tampans. We’re tough that way.

Among the highlights:

Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta No. 3

The Asian hot dog by Americanweiner. It had grilled onions, teriyaki Japanese mayo, nori seaweed strips, norukaki and pickled ginger.

I proposed marriage after the first bite. I’ve yet to hear its reply.

Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta No. 3


Deviled eggs filled with hummus and kalamata olives by Maggie on the Move. I could have eaten a truckload of them.

Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta No. 3


Sesame Ginger meatballs by Jimmy Meatball.

One disturbing yet delicious new item: The Buckhorn hot dog sold by Americanweiner. I’m assuming it was named after our very own mayor, Bob Buckhorn.

Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta No. 3


My indicator that it is indeed named in his honor? Hizzoner himself ate his eponymous wiener today, according a photo posted to the City of Tampa Twitter feed

Mayor Bob Buckhorn eats his eponymous weiner


I don’t know if I would have as much gusto about eating a meat torpedo named after me. Something about that makes me queasy. But then a Houck Dog sounds more like a nickname than an entree.

Is it me or does that photo resemble Francisco Goya’s classic painting of “Saturn Devouring His Son”?

Goya - Saturn Devouring His Children

Nah. It’s just me.

What I wouldn’t give, though, if the mayor converted one of the city’s recreational vehicles into a food truck during off-hours.

Say, maybe this one?

Tampa Police Tactical Response Team


Would that not be an intense mobile cupcake assault vehicle?

Call it Buck’s Cup Truck. You could shoot pastries out the turret. Even during police tactical raids.

I get 5 percent if it ever happens.

Here’s a gallery of pics I shot at the event:


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