In recent years St. George Utah has become the fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation. With this exponential growth rate, comes new businesses, new consumers, and new subcultures and although St. George is still very much a conservative town by nature, the food culture here is thriving. Over the decade food trucks have evolved from being a quick fix for your convenience to its very own scene that has built a cult following. The food truck scene is massive in big cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago and now it’s arrived on St. George’s doorstep. 5 years ago the food truck scene in St. George was almost non-existent. Fast forward to 2018 and there’s now a slew of trucks serving up unique dishes you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re a true foodie like me, you know we’re always on the prowl with our ears to the ground looking for that next hidden gem. If you’ve checked every restaurant and hole in the wall spot in town, you’re guaranteed to find something fresh and new for your taste buds at one of the many local food trucks here in St. George. Through many fairs, festivals, and food truck round-ups in town, I’ve procured a list of 8 local food trucks that have won my heart and my stomach over every time. These vendors are pioneering the food truck culture forward. In no particular order here is St. George’s Top 8 Local Food Truck Vendors.
1. Pineapple Express
One of St. George’s newest additions, Pineapple Express serves traditional Polynesian bbq with their own signature flavor. If every food truck was a dish at a luau, Pineapple Express is definitely “The Whole Darn Pig”. They have built a loyal following of customers in a short amount of time. Good food speaks to all 5 senses and Pineapple express knows that. Carrots and cabbage being chopped up, macaroni being mixed and stirred, and meat sizzling on the grill. Everything is prepared and cooked right before your eyes guaranteeing freshness every time . The pineapple coleslaw and macaroni salad are delicious. They take 2 sides that are usually based heavily in mayonnaise and tone it down allowing freshness and other added flavors to shine through. The coleslaw is made with a signature dressing and the pineapples are the cherry on top adding a sweet, citrus flavor. The mac salad is not doused in mayo making the macaroni very light and fluffy instead of soggy which makes you a little less guilty when eating the very generous portioned plates they serve. Their bbq chicken is constantly based in a secret sauce after every flip of the grill making sure the chicken stays moist and full of flavor. The calbee short ribs are the biggest hit with a caramelized depth to it and it falls right off the bone. Behind the special sauces, the real secret behind the meat is time. The chicken and short ribs are marinated over 24 hrs to let the meat soak up all the juices and flavors while their pork is smoked for hours upon hours until it’s juicy and tender. The food is made with love and your business is always met with a smile and gratitude. Some food joints like to have a wide variety of food choices in order to cover all bases but where they excel in variety they suffer in quality. I like that Pineapple Express stays in their lane by having a simple core menu and doing an exceptional job at mastering their craft. If you want to have the full Pineapple Express experience, order the Poly Plate. Bbq chicken, kalua pork, and short ribs on a bed of rice served with pineapple coleslaw and mac salad on the side. You wont be disappointed. Just be ready to clear up a few things on your schedule after. That’s your official food coma warning. Follow them on Instagram @pineappleexpressigc to stay up to date on where they’ll be grilling it up next.
2. World’s Best Corndogs
Claiming to be the “world’s Best” at anything is a bold statement. When I first encountered World’s Best Corndogs I took their name as a grain of salt. A simple ploy to get customers lining up at their window. But I also thought choosing such a name was risky so they must have the confidence to back it up right? Only one way to find out. The menu is simple and straight to the point. I ordered an all beef frank corn dog. The gentleman at the window said “would you like honey on it?” and before I could process the strange thought of honey on my corndog my watering mouth said “Yes please!”. Honey, Ketchup, and mustard thoughtfully drizzled on the corndog, I took my first bite and instantly fell in love. The sweetness from the honey perfectly contrasted the saltiness of the ketchup and the sourness of the mustard. The feeling of pure happiness quickly turned into deep sadness and regret thinking of all the corndogs I’ve consumed in my life without honey. Honey may be their kicker but the true star here is definitely the batter. I’d pay top dollar to know their batter recipe. It was soft and flaky on the inside with a little crisp on the outside and it was that unison of textures that ultimately won me over. I have referred many friends and family to WBC and they’ve all become fans. Definitely a favorite among the children and a perfect choice for food on the go. So back to the question at hand, is this the world’s best corndog? I’m definitely a believer and I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that after trying it, you will be too. Follow them on Instagram @worldsbestcorndogsstg
3. Waffle Love
From one delicious batter driven business to the next, Waffle Love takes the Belgian liege waffle and creates an entire menu around it. The story of Waffle Love’s success is one many food truck entrepreneurs can relate to and strive for. The waffle empire still rules the state of Utah with multiple store fronts and waffle trucks throughout the beehive state. From sweet to savory, Waffle Love has delectable options to fit anyone’s taste buds. If you’re more into the savory side, you definitely can’t go wrong with their buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. They even have breakfast covered with bacon and eggs as an option served with a flaky croissant waffle that’s crisp yet light. But if you have a sweet tooth like me or you’re trying Waffle Love out for the first time, you’ll definitely want to lean more towards the sweet side. Now in my opinion there’s no wrong choice when it comes to their sweet menu but I personally go for the Dulce de liege. A Cinnamon & sugar waffle topped with fried ice cream, drizzled with dulce de leche caramel and your choice of fruit. I like to add banana and strawberries to mine. Their visual presentation on each dish is pleasing to the eyes as everything is neatly stacked and the fruit is meticulously placed for you to have an equally enjoyable experience from first bite to last. Follow them on instagram @waffleluvstg
4. Havana Cabana
Although I have never been to Cuba to taste the delicacies there, One bite of Havana Cabana’s Cuban rice bowl will give you the sense that you won’t have to. The first time I visited the truck their was so many great options but I didn’t know which one to choose so I decided on dealer’s choice. I asked the lovely woman at the window to surprise me and she without hesitation gladly accepted my challenge. Most would’ve countered with a suggestion until I gave in so it was shocking yet pleasantly refreshing to see someone so confident in their craft. About 6 minutes later I was met with a traditional grilled Cuban sandwich. Cuban bread, sliced boiled ham, roasted pork, cheese, and pickles topped off with mustard. The sandwich fit in my hand like a loaded brick cut in half with melted cheese stringed when pulled apart. The light saltiness from the boiled ham, the texture of the pork mixed with the crunchy, sourness of the pickle blended well and the best part of it was that it was topped off with a melted layer of cheese. The Cuban bread was the best feature to me as it was like that of a french baguette but the surface is more flat. Still very fluffy and doughy but not too much, just right. They make a plethora of different sandwiches too including a pretty mean reuben. As much as I love their sandwiches I am a new fan of their Cuban bowls. The chicken bowl I order is based with well flavored black bean and rice mixture. The chicken is nicely seasoned and the sweetness from the fried plantains brings the savory dish full circle. Order a beef empanada on the side. You won’t be disappointed. Everything is homemade and they do a good job of staying true to the Cuban flavor. Give them a follow on Instagram @lahavanacabana to stay up to date on where they’ll be next.
5. Zeppes Italian Ice Cream & Frozen Custard
St. George is a town located in between the desert mountains so the summer sun hits pretty hard here. With the hot temps there’s many businesses serving up frozen treats to beat the heat. If you’re tired of plain old ice cream and shaved ice, Zeppes is definitely the way to go. Their Italian ice is like that of a snow cone or sorbet but is also made with real fruit puree. The texture is like a sorbet but finding little small chunks of fruit in it is always fun. Their always coming up with unique flavors as well to match the season like gingerbread Italian ice and eggnog custard for this winter season. Their Italian ice and custard are both rich and full of flavor. To experience Zeppes properly you definitely want to get the best of both worlds and order the Italian ice layered with frozen custard. Custard on top and bottom of the cup with Italian ice in the middle. When it comes to the ice I personally go for the more tart flavors because it contrasts really well with the sweetness of the thick creamy custard. They have many flavor options and are also very health conscious as their Italian ice is free of fat, dairy, and cholesterol. Ice cream and other frozen treats have a very long shelf life because well….it’s pretty well preserved in a frozen state. But staying in the freezer too long can result in a more hard texture and even frost bite. At Zeppes their Italian ice is made fresh daily so quality is definitely assured. Give them a follow on instagram @zeppesstg . They’re serving up frozen heaven in a cup all year round.
6. CHEF HOG
Chef Hog is a family owned food truck that specializes in American BBQ and Greek Mediterranean foods. At first I was quite skeptical of quality smoked bbq coming out of a food truck but I’ve heard nothing but great reviews from my peers so I knew I had to see what all the rave was about. The gentleman at the window was very friendly and gave us some recommendations as it was our first time. He assured us that we couldn’t go wrong with the ribs and the brisket sandwich and boy was he right. We ordered the ribs plate with 2 sides, a brisket sandwich, and a gyro. The ribs were juicy and tender with a really hearty zesty smokey sauce. The meat was so full and fell right off the bone. The gyro was amazing as well. The pita was perfectly soft and not too heavy, Crisp veggies and cucumbers, and a light yet creamy yogurt sauce to top it off. I chose bacon mac & cheese and their pork & beans as my two sides to go along with my ribs. The beans had green chilies and bacon with pineapples for a little sweet kick that was a pleasant surprise to the palate. Loved the hot gooeyness from the mac & cheese and the bits of bacon in it is always welcomed. A plate of ribs with 2 generously portioned sides for $8 can’t be beat. Everything was cooked with tender love and care but my favorite by far was the brisket sandwich. All I have to say is, wherever they’re getting that brisket is top shelf. One of the most tender, juicy, and well flavored brisket I ever had. I didn’t need too much BBQ sauce because I didn’t want to take away from the meat. All in all I had a great experience and have gone back to Chef Hog a handful of times when I can. I highly recommend going out of your way to give these guys a try. Go on their website http://www.chefhog.com to see what events they’ll be at next.
7. Virgin Berri
If you’re looking for a more healthy alternative, Virgin Berri has got you covered. They specialize in smoothie bowls and gourmet toast that’s visually pleasing to the eyes and even better in your mouth. Acai is known as a “superfood” because of the many health benefits it contains and with more and more people becoming health conscious in the US, Virgin Berri is a necessity in the food truck scene. I’ve had my fair share of Acai bowls back in California and Virgin Berri hands down is the best one I’ve had to date. They give you a full bowl that’s almost overflowing with toppings and layered nice and even so that when you dig down with your spoon, you’re sure to get a little bit of everything in each bite. Not to mention all the ingredients are fresh and good for you. They have many signature bowls but you can build your own if you know exactly what you want. The build your own consist of your choice of a base, 3 fruits, and 2 toppings. If you’ve never had a smoothie bowl I suggest ordering the Brazilian. The Brazilian is pretty much the standard Acai bowl that consist of an acai base with bananas,strawberries, and blueberries as your fruit and hemp seeds with peanut butter and honey to top it off. They have quite a few choices when it comes to fruit and toppings so don’t be afraid to tweak or switch out a fruit or topping you don’t like. I personally like to add granola to the Brazilian. Their gourmet toast is also a must try if you ever visit. Virgin Berri has truly reinvented what toast was in my mind. Their Godfather toast consist of avocados, tomatoes, basil, balsamic glaze and red onions. Pair that up with their soup of the day and you’re in for a hearty lunch that keeps you light on your feet and gives you a boost of energy for the rest of the day. They also do more protein forward toast like their Power Berri toast that consist of a peanut butter spread, strawberries, bananas, hemp seeds, and almonds on top with honey drizzled on top. Pair this with their baked oatmeal or a hot cup of tea for maximum enjoyment. Follow these guys on instagram @virginberri to stay current with their business hours and schedule.
8. GET LOADED
Last but certainly not least is the newest food truck to hit St. George, Get Loaded fries. Since their Grand opening in October 2018, Get Loaded has quickly become a household name in the food truck staple here in Southern Utah. They stay true to their name by taking french fries and tots and “loading” them with a wide array of different meats, toppings, and sauces. From Chili-cheese fries to a coney dog to loaded Irish Totchos, there’s no wrong decision here. They have buffalo chicken fries that’s an absolute must try. French fries with spicy buffalo popcorn chicken, covered in cheese sauce, and topped off with jalapenos and ranch dressing. Their fries have a nice crisp on the outside but very moist and hearty on the inside from retaining all the heat. The fries are seasoned well and are the perfect size to soak up all the sauces and flavors without getting too soggy. That’s a feat that thin Mcdonald’s fries would not fare well in. The guys and gals over at Get Loaded definitely have their thinking caps on as they’re always coming up with new creative ways to put a fresh spin on their french fries. From BBQ Pulled Pork fries with coleslaw on top to their take on Mexican with their elote fries, you can always expect a new and innovative menu item from week to week. I think we can almost all agree on our universal love for french fries so adding a truck that only enhances french fries to the list was a no-brainer. The concept of french fries is simple but the amount of ideas and flavors they can play off of to enhance their fries is almost limitless. Get Loaded has the potential to do very well in the new year and I believe they will. Follow them on instagram @getloadedfries and get your fix soon.