When a company called Gaumenfreude started organizing Street Food Thursdays in the Karlsplatz this past summer, I was thrilled! I love the variety and portion sizes at food trucks, and although Gaumenfreude's first market started out a bit hit-or-miss, I stuck with it and returned again and again to try the new food trucks that they were able to bring to Stuttgart. Over time, I had some great burgers and pulled pork, and yes, even some halfway decent Mexican food. And so because they came through in the end, I decided to go check out their Großer Foodtruck Weihnachtsmarkt in Zuffenhausen today to see if they could still deliver.
Matt, our dog, and a couple of friends of ours took the U15 line a short 15 minutes out to Zuffenhausen around 15:00. Once we got there, the signage could have been a bit better. On Gaumenfreude's Facebook page, they said the market would be at the Festplatz, but having only been to Zuffenhausen once or twice before, we were't sure where that was. It took me a few minutes fiddling around on my phone before I found the address and we started walking.
The Festplatz is much the same size, if not slightly smaller, than the Karlsplatz in downtown Stuttgart. They'd organized the space well by setting up the foodtrucks in a ring around the square and then setting off a smaller ring on the inside using pine trees to create a kind of dividing wall that separated the tall tables for eating from the foodtrucks. We did our lap, and then decided on our selections.
Our first stop was to the drink stand where I picked up some Glühbier called Glühender Hirsch. That's right: Glühbier. It was essentially a beer mixed with cinnamon, sugar, and other mulling spices and served warm in the bottle. It was a good drink for a cold day.
I had been eying the Pastrami Sandwich from Frachtgut ever since Gaumenfreude posted a picture of them on Facebook so I made a beeline for them. To my disappointment, my pastrami sandwich was not loaded like in the photo and the panini press had barely managed to melt the cheese. I also should have read the fine print on the menu because it was smothered in the kind of BBQ sauce that you can get in the grocery store. The meat was of good quality, but I wish there'd been more to make the sandwich worthwhile. Their Potato Dippers were really good, though. I'm just sorry I didn't get a better picture of the thick, curled ones before I ate half of the box.
Matt had better luck at La Jefa, a Mexican foodtruck out of Freiburg. I had some really yummy quesadillas from them with a great fresh salsa this past autumn. Matt's Burritto with Lemon-Cilantro Rice, Barbacoa (marinated beef), Beans, and Guacamole with Salsa Verde was also pretty great. The salsa and guacamole were clearly homemade, and the beef was tender and flavor-packed with a low-burning spice.
From there we moved on to Küchen Dampf, to try some of their homemade Käsepätzle with Fried Onions. It wasn't better than the Käsespätzle that we had at Restaurant Mauganeschtle in Tübingen last weekend, though the noodles were definitely fresh and the cheese was a tasty mix of Appenzeller and Emmentaler. I was especially intrigued by the Spätzle-making process. The chef would get a giant a round of dough on a wooden cutting board, and then cut off thin slices into a hot pan to cook them.
Next up, we decided to go for one last savory dish based on a recommendation from one of the friends we were with and tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich from Streat Kitchen, also out of Freiburg. They were selling a 48-hour cooked pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce on a brioche bun. The combination was nicely done, however, I do think the sandwich could have used a little more BBQ sauce for my tastes. I was also eying the Carnitas Box from EaTbox. I had one a few months ago and really liked their juicy pulled pork with fried potatoes on top. I can recommend them, as well, if you haven't tried them before.
For dessert, we got two sweets: "Kartoffelwurst" from Fanni's Kartoffelschmiede and Fried Ice Cream from Cubita, a Cuban food truck. The Kartoffelwurst tasted a lot like fried potato-dough doughnuts or a kind of funnel cake. We ordered ours rolled in gingerbread-spiced sugar and accompanied with apple sauce. The whisky-applesauce that our friends got with theirs was pretty great, too. The fried ice cream was also delicious, and really cool to see made. The chef took a ball of vanilla ice cream from the freezer, rolled it in batter, and then deep fried it. To finish it off, she gave me a bottle of honey to squeeze overtop. The combination of warm, sweet dough and chilled, melting ice cream made for a delicious mix of textures and temperatures. I can also recommend Cubita's arepas (pulled pork with salsa in a fried corn shell) from one of my visits last fall.
As the sun started to set, our feet were getting cold and we decided to call it a day. The Festplatz was still rather crowded, with groups drinking Glühwein and gathering around the small braziers of fire in the center. While we probably won't go back tomorrow now that we've tried most of the new trucks that we were interested in, I can recommend the event to you if you're looking for something to do (or eat) on Sunday.
Tomorrow is the last day, so get there early when they open at 11:00 to make sure you get your fill. To get to the Festplatz, you can take the U15 line and get off at the Zuffenhausen-Rathaus stop. Then walk strait to the roundabout and take your first right back into the housing neighborhood. The Festplatz is just a block and a half in that direction.
Did you make it to the Großer Foodtruck Weihnachtsmarkt? What was your impression?