Food Truck Vendors Add Local Flavor to The World Games

Some of Birmingham’s most beloved food vendors are offering local flavors from our Magic City, tastes unique to the South and dishes from other parts of the country to the international visitors at The World Games 2022. 

All our guests need to do is walk up and order.

Here’s a list of the vendors who will be at the sporting venues—from lacrosse fields to arenas to mountain trails. Their foods are as varied as The World Games sports, so there’s truly something for everyone. (Please note that schedules might change. If you have your heart set on a vendor, check their Instagram or Facebook pages for updates and exact times of operation.)

Travis Holmes had the first food truck in the state of Alabama. Back in the ’70s.

Who:  Travis Chicago Style 

Where: Avondale Park 

What to Eat: Enjoy your food with a side of history.  Travis Holmes had the first food truck in the state of Alabama—way back in the ‘70s. “Before bottled waters and cellular phones,” he says. In fact, Holmes was the only vendor at the 1983 burial of legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at Elmwood Cemetery. Holmes specializes in Polish sausages and his “Bear Burger” (named not for Alabama’s revered coach but for the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears; before that, Holmes sold only sausages). His sauce (“it’s kind of a mild type of sweet with a tart to it”) is what makes his food special. “It’s good on anything you put it on,” he adds. So he does. Look for sausages, burgers, hot dogs and Philly-style chicken topped with garlicky peppers and onions and sauce. There are Cajun fries and what Holmes calls “Bear Fries” with onions and peppers, the sauce, ranch dressing and cheese.

Brandy Williams does snowballs right. She starts with snow-like sno and adds her house-made syrups.

Who:  Who Dat Snoballs & Food 

Where: Avondale Park (times will vary)

What to Eat: Visit Brandy Williams’s truck for authentic New Orleans treats. You’ll find various flavored snoballs (those colorful concoctions of finely shaved ice and flavored cane syrup). Look for her top-selling flavors:  banana, blue raspberry, green apple, mango, peach, pineapple, pina colada, strawberry and watermelon plus the most popular snoball of all:  Tiger’s Blood (a mixture of strawberry, watermelon and coconut). The key to this cool Louisiana treat is the ice, Williams says. “The ice makes the snoball. Our ice is extremely soft; it’s literally like snow. That’s why it’s called a snoball not a snow cone. Once the ice is made perfectly, we add our syrups. These are made by us as well. This is not store-bought syrup. We actually make our own simple syrups. And that just tops it off, having the perfect syrup on the soft ice.” Then she adds a signature gummy bear. Williams also will have fresh, sugar-dusted beignets; nachos loaded with spicy, savory crawfish or shrimp or both; and cheese nachos. She knows, firsthand, all about New Orleans foods. She and her family moved to Birmingham after Hurricane Katrina and brought these delicious traditions with them. “It’s amazing for people to be able to experience New Orleans in Birmingham,” she says. “They are coming from all over the world to get a small taste of home.”

Who:  Uncle G’s Pizza 

Where: Birmingham-Southern College Soccer & Intramural Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: It’s hip to eat square slices of pizza! This Detroit-style pizza with a thick, yet light and crispy, crust is made with fresh ingredients including locally sourced produce. Choose cheese (mozzarella, Wisconsin Brick and Parmesan with homemade sauce on the side) or pepperoni (three-cheese blend, pepperoni and sauce on the side). The Dal Giardino is a local favorite with its garlic ricotta cream base; three cheeses; and fresh mushrooms, garlic and red onion.  There are two Uncle G’s food trucks, and one is almost always parked at TrimTab Brewing. 

Who:  Drink Freshh 

Where: Birmingham-Southern College Soccer & Intramural Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: Drink Freshh Juice Bar is bringing bowls of healthy goodness to you. Look for the Sunshine Bowl with acai, banana, strawberry and apple juice topped with more banana slices, strawberries, granola, coconut flakes, chia seeds and cinnamon. The Energy Bowl has acai, banana, strawberry, maca powder, cacao powder and apple juice topped with granola, banana slices, honey, cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut flakes and hemp seeds. The Bee Happy Bowl is full of acai, banana, strawberry and apple juice topped with more banana, blueberries, granola, walnuts, chia seeds, honey and bee pollen.

Who:  The Recipe Bham 

Where: John Carroll High School (times will vary)

What to Eat: This Birmingham-based food truck has your soul food and more. Head to the big orange truck and try their Polish sausage with a side, Philly-style steak or chicken sandwiches with a side, a catfish basket or Southern-style fried chicken wings served with a side.

Who:  El Compa Taco Truck 

Where: John Carroll High School (times will vary)

What to Eat: With fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican flavors, this is one of Birmingham’s favorite taco trucks. Look for delicious street tacos (chicken, beef or steak) served in simple, classic Mexican style with cilantro, onion, lime and your choice of salsa verde or salsa rojo. They will have chicken quesadillas (regular and kids’ size), beef nachos, and queso and chips, too. 

Who:  NOLA Ice 

Where: John Carroll High School (times will vary)

What to Eat: NOLA Ice serves original New Orleans snoballs. The colorful flavors include blue razz, blue bubble gum, cotton candy, green apple, George peach, pina colada, pineapple, watermelon, pink lemonade, strawberry and Tiger’s Blood as well as wedding cake and ice cream. Add a sour spray topping or NOLA cream and make it real.

Who:  DixieDogs N Coneys 

Where: Oak Mountain State Park (times will vary)

What to Eat: Get your hot dogs! Better yet, get the “Best Dogs in Dixie.” DixieDogs offers Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs and chili-cheese Coneys. The hamburger comes with two all-beef patties, special sauce, cheese, pickles, onions on a special bun—and whatever else you’d like to add. There also will be cheese nachos and chili-cheese nachos.

Birmingham loves these sushi burritos!

Who:  Wasabi Juan’s

Where: Oak Mountain State Park (times will vary)

What to Eat: This homegrown favorite restaurant does sushi burritos, and Birmingham is wild for them. At the food truck, you can get raw sushi burritos like the Ignition (with spicy tuna, jalapeno, spicy mayo, Dorito crunch and sriracha) or cooked sushi burritos like the popular Destin (with spicy mayo, crab, cucumbers, avocado and shrimp) or the Hippy (with avocado, jalapeno, sesame seeds, cucumber, sundried tomatoes and cabbage). Both the raw and cooked burritos come with chips and fresh, homemade salsa. There are 4:20 Nachos (Doritos, spicy tuna, avocado, unagi sauce, sesame seeds and spicy mayo) to satisfy any craving as well as sides of seaweed salad and sweet-tart mango slaw. 

Who:  JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies 

Where: Oak Mountain State Park (times will vary)

What to Eat: Sweet potato pie is about as Southern as desserts get. Owner JaWanda Jackson learned to cook from her mom, and by the time she was 9 years old, she was preparing lunch meals for the neighborhood children who came to her Bible class on her front porch. Sample a slice of heaven at this food truck. You can get your sweet potato pie with or without pecans. There will be cream cheese pound cake and lemon pound cake, too; these have simply delightful crusts. Add ice cream if you want. 

Who:  Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: First of all, this is Rodney Scott so it’s your opportunity to eat food-truck food from a James Beard-winning chef (2018 Best Chef Southeast). Rodney cooked his first hog at age 11, and, as the saying goes, “the fire never went out.” You can get his world-famous pit-cooked, whole-hog pork sandwich at the Sloss Furnaces venue. There also will be a pulled chicken sandwich (with his famous white sauce); bags of light, crunchy pork skins tossed in Rodney’s rib rub;  baked beans; and chips.

Who:  E&J Concessions 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: This is a fun mix of soul food and fair food, sweets, treats and more. Do not leave Birmingham without trying some fried catfish! E&J’s also offers fried whiting, and these two fish dishes come with a side of fries. There’s also a hotdog with fries or chips, a loaded hotdog with fries, loaded fries, funnel cake (original or flavored) and roasted corn.

Who: Corazon Mexican Food 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: Birmingham loves its taco trucks, and this is one of our favorites. Look for street tacos and nachos made fresh with roasted veggies or your choice of protein (chicken or steak). Plus, they will have delicious street corn and rice and beans.

Who:  205 Ice 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: It’s gonna be hot, y’all. So, here’s another cool shaved and flavored ice option. (The 205 references our phone area code here and is code of sorts for lots of things Birmingham.) Choose blue razz, cotton candy, peach, pineapple, watermelon and strawberry ices.

Praveena Sundarraj’s cool camper will be at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark during The World Games.

Who:  Dryft Coffee 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: Birmingham loves Praveena Sundarraj’s Dryft Coffee. That’s because there’s lots to love. Her modern mobile coffee bar is beautiful. The setup (with an outdoor rug and comfortable seating) sets her business apart at the very first glance, creates an instant feeling of community and has inspired hundreds of Instagram posts. Sundarraj offers small-batch specialty coffees, which, she proudly points out, are produced and roasted by women. Sundarraj’s mission is simple: Roast exceptional coffee grown by women and, in turn, help them improve their communities. Her ethically sourced, single-origin coffees are available for purchase online, too. Dryft with her and her staff at the Sloss Furnaces venue July 9-16, and enjoy cold brew, nitro cold brew, iced Kaapi (South Indian latte), drip coffee and chai.  

Who:  Milo’s Original Burger Bus 

Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark (times will vary)

What to Eat: “Everybody goes to Milo’s” has long been a saying here in Birmingham, but now Milo’s is coming to you with the Milo’s Original Burger Bus. Choose Milo’s famous single or double cheeseburger (with a secret sauce, of course); a chicken tender sandwich (with Milo’s Double-O sauce); three pieces of tenders; regular or loaded classic, crinkle-cut fries; and apple or cherry pies. Don’t forget your Milo’s sweet tea. It’s the South in a glass.

Who:  Porky’s Pride Smoke House 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: Porky’s Pride Smoke House is part of chef Nick Carpenter’s Tuff Love Hospitality family of restaurants and food trucks. Head to this truck for BBQ pork, smoked turkey or smoked brisket sandwiches with a side (coleslaw or baked beans) as well as BBQ Hot Tacos (with hot slaw, jack and cheddar, taco crema, red BBQ sauce and green onions) and BBQ nachos (with cotija cheese, BBQ sauce and green onions). 

Who:  Eugene’s Hot Chicken 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: Eugene’s Hot Chicken was recently named one of “the best fried chicken” places in the country by Eater.  See for yourself at the UAB fields. Owner Zebbie Carney specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken with his own slightly sweet, pretty-darn-spicy blend of seasonings. The Eugene’s truck will offer a chicken sandwich, regular or loaded chicken fries, chicken tenders, fried pickled okra (yes, you need this), Southern slaw and fries. Turn up the heat as much as you want at Eugene’s. Sauces range from lemon pepper-Southern (no heat, just good), mild (slight heat), hot (touch of burn), Hot Damn (not too smart, not too stupid) and Stupid Hot (for the bold and daring).

Who:  Cousins Maine Lobster 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: When Cousins Maine Lobster started bringing lobsters straight to Birmingham’s neighborhoods and breweries, the city sort of lost its collective mind. Because … lobster. Sample the wildly popular Connecticut Roll (Maine lobster served with warm butter and lemon on a New England roll), the Maine Roll (lobster chilled with mayo and served on a New England roll with a wedge of lemon), Lobster Grilled Cheese (Maine lobster with pepper jack and cheddar on Texas-style toast), Grilled Cheese Tots and regular Tater Tots.

Who:  Repicci’s 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: You’ll find lots of cool treats at this truck. Repicci’s specializes in authentic Italian ice, gelato and gelati. This Southern business with Italian roots has franchises across the Southeast. As the fan base grew, the company branched out into mobile trailers. The future, they say, “lies in taking our product to customers where they are, rather than waiting for them to come to us.” All visitors at TWG need to do is walk right up for colorful, fruit-flavored Italian ice (it’s fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and dairy-free); gelato in flavors ranging from vanilla bean to dark chocolate to salted caramel; and gelati (a combination of Italian ice and creamy gelato).  

Who:  What’s Poppin’ 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: What’s a ball game (any kind of ball game) without popcorn? But this isn’t just any popcorn. What’s Poppin’ specializes in sweet and savory flavors, and they are bringing their most popular varieties to TWG. Look for original sweet and salty, Cheddar Makes it Better (and, yes, it certainly does), the Birmingham Mix, salted caramel and spicy jalapeno popper. Get yours in a souvenir tin so you can remember how happy this made you.

Gina “Tamale Queen” Moran has been preparing for The World Games for months.

Who:  Tamale Queen 

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: Tamales! Made. Fresh. Daily. Tamale Queen sources ingredients from local farmers’ markets year-round, so what you’re eating is always in season. Gina “Tamale Queen” Moran says, “I am so excited about being a part of the Games and feeding the world! When I started seeing the visual countdown on Red Mountain Expressway, all I could think about is, ‘I want the Tamale Queen to be a part of this.’ This is so exciting for Birmingham. I have been planning and prepping for months.” You can get your tamales plain or loaded with chipotle-cheese sauce, smoky chipotle salsa, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, fresh pico de gallo and topped with cotija cheese. There’s also a Fat Azz Burrito (a 10-inch burrito stuffed with your choice of meat—beef, chicken or pork—Spanish rice, three cheeses, lettuce and zesty pico de gallo. Street tacos are made with your choice of protein, creamy chipotle sauce, mozzarella, lettuce, pico and cotija cheese in a flour or corn tortilla. Fresh salsas include smoky chipotle (medium heat), creamy chipotle (mild heat), verde (medium heat), mule (hot) and Hell of a Ride (all-out hot). Loaded nachos (beef, chicken, pork or veggie) will round out this menu for The World Games.   

Who:  Evby Luv Flex’s Sno-Balls

Where: UAB Fields (times will vary)

What to Eat: Blissfully cool ice in every flavor you might want!  Did we mention that it’s going to be hot? Birmingham is crazy for NOLA-inspired snoballs. The flavors at Evby Luv Flex’s include banana, coconut, mango, peach, lemon-lime, honeydew melon and more. Toppings include condensed milk, evaporated milk, chocolate syrup and sour spray. “The ice is just the right texture,” says one customer, “and they do a good job of getting the flavor throughout.” 

Who:  Street Bowlz 

Where: Powell Steam Plant (times will vary)

What to Eat: Get cool, colorful, good-for-you bowls made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients in tasty combinations. There’s a Bama Bowl with acai as the base and toppings of granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, Nutella and peanut butter. The Sunshine Bowl has mango and pineapple topped with granola, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, honey, coconut flakes and chia seeds. The creamy Mowi Wowi bowl has a base of spirulina, almond milk, mango, yogurt and bananas with granola, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, Nutella, peanut butter, honey, coconut flakes and chia seeds.

Who:  Bangin Breakfast 

Where : Powell Steam Plant (times will vary)

What to Eat: Marcus Thomas, started Bangin Breakfast to “bring the BANG back to the most important meal of the day.” Also, he saw a niche unfilled by other food trucks, and he just plain loves breakfast. “As a young child,” he says on his site, “one thing I remember and really enjoyed was waking up on Saturday morning to the smell of breakfast and coffee being made and watching my favorite cartoons.”  Whether it’s breakfast proper or breakfast for lunch or supper, look for creamy, buttery Southern-style grits; loaded waffles on sticks (your choice of bacon or sausage topped with powdered sugar and syrup); fluffy scrambled eggs; colorful, mixed fruit; and breakfast sandwiches like the My My My Melt (your choice of meat topped with egg and cheddar and served on Texas toast).

Finally, be sure to visit some of Birmingham’s favorite small businesses at the Merchant Market on the Plaza. Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes, like several others there, is a Certified SBA Woman-Owned Small Business. Owner April McClung is an anchor vendor at the Merchant Market so she will be there every day. Look for her Classic Variety (4 pieces) Snack Pack of pound cakes (Original Heirloom, Lemon, Chocolate & Key Lime) as well as an All-Original Snack Pack. (There will be samples at this location!) She also will offer her variety bites and snacks at Kelly Ingram Park as part of the Civil Rights District Market July 8 through 10 and July 15 & 16. “Small businesses prepare for years to get an opportunity like this,” she says. “I am elated to introduce our family Heirloom to the World. This is a really special time for us as we are celebrating eight years in business this month!”  Also, she says, “I am a certified minority-owned small business, which qualifies all purchases over $20 made during July 7-17 using a Mastercard to receive up to $50 back in rewards as part of a Loyalty Program through Mastercard.” For McClung, sharing her classic Southern dessert with the world has a deeper meaning. She started her business by selling pound cakes to friends and family and anyone else in order to raise the $14,400 necessary for her young sons to travel abroad as student ambassadors to Europe and China. She was successful, and both young men have seen the wider world. Now McClung is even more successful. She sells at local farmers’ markets still but also at Sam’s Clubs throughout the Southeast and to customers across the country via Amazon. And now, for the next several days, the world is coming to her. 

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