It’s a little early to call the weather, but the overall forecast for St. Patrick’s Parade Day (March 14) in Syracuse calls for high stepping, high spirits — and an early-season outing for some of Central New York’s food trucks.
The recently formed Syracuse Food Truck Association is organizing a “food truck rodeo,” or gathering of food trucks, at the Cosmopolitan Building, 1153 W. Fayette St. (just west of Geddes Street), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on parade day. There’s plenty of parking, and if your itinerary that day includes stops downtown and on Tipperary Hill — swing by for a bite. The SFTA plans weekly food truck rodeos at that site on Wednesdays this season, starting in April, according to George Shattuck, owner/operator of Shattuck’s Paddy Wagon.
Rodeo participants on parade day (so far) include The Chicken Bandit, Bacon Bandits (tentative), Lady Bug Lunch Box, PB&J’s Lunch Box, Mami’s Kitchen (Latin cuisine) and of course Shattuck’s. The owners of Toss ‘n’ Fire, a mobile pizza rig making its debut this spring, had hoped to participate but their trailer isn’t ready yet.
The Cosmopolitan Building, a mixed-use building owned by Cosmo Fanizzi, will be open that day, Shattuck says. Visitors will be able to go inside, enjoy their food, get warm and see some of the art by artists who have studios there. A couple other food vendors will be inside, Shattuck says. Matt Balamont of Balamont’s Cafe and Catering, East Syracuse, will serve chili, and Oompa Loompyas (tentative), a catering company specializing in Filipino cuisine, will offer its signature loompyas (lumpias) — crispy mini eggrolls filled with seasoned meat and served with a chili sauce.
“It’s not going to be like some camp-out in the freezing cold,” Shattuck says. “We’re really just hoping for a good kick-off. We’re trying to be very inclusive. There will be something for everybody.”
Shattuck is Irish-American and his logo features green, orange and white — the colors on the Irish flag — with a shamrock in the center. As the resident Irish-American food truck operator, he is debating what to serve on parade/rodeo day. He may feature his signature Sriracha Tots, tater tots smothered in sriracha cheese sauce, and his reuben eggrolls with Russian dressing on the side. He might also serve a sauerbraten sandwich on a potato roll, “something kind of hearty.”
“I’m planning to keep it simple,” Shattuck says. “But I am the Paddy Wagon. I have to do something Irish.”
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