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Cleveland cuisine cruises into Huron

Andy Ouriel • Jul 27, 2015 at 11:29 AM


Different yet delectable smells wafted in and around the Huron Boat Basin and Amphitheater Friday evening.

The aromas ranged from organic cheeseburgers to crunchy empanadas packed with several tasty flavors and even a customized donut lab, where people decide how their tiny fried cakes are stuffed and topped.

Big-city bites highlight and rejuvenate a small-city gathering this weekend, as several Cleveland-area food carts set up shop at the Huron Rotary Fine Art & Food Festival.

Rotary members decided to bring back several food trucks — offering styles and hybrids of American, Mediterranean, Mexican and other ethnic cuisine — for a second year to go alongside art displays and musical performances this weekend.

“In the past, we used to do a rib burnoff, but over the years, it got to be too expensive, we did it for 10 years, and it lost its luster,” festival chairman Martin Lesnak said. “Then I just started researching food trucks and realized how big of a hit they were, so we brought them here last year and they're back for this year.”

New food could equal a bigger attendance boom, Lesnak said.

“Before we had ribs and chicken, and it was just ribs and chicken,” he said. “Whereas now we have a variety. It’s nice to live in a small town but to also bring in food from a bigger area.”

Many people attending the festival agreed, including Tom and Judy Holzaepfel.

“I just really like the healthy and organic options available,” said Judy while eating Korean barbecue and Kimchi Slaw she purchased food from one of the food trucks. “It’s great to have good you would normally get in a bigger city, but we can stay right here to eat it.”

Want to go?

• WHAT: Huron Rotary Fine Art & Food Festival

• WHERE: Huron Boat Basin and Amphitheater, North Main Street, Huron

• WHEN: 11 a.m. to dusk today; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The special food trucks operate from noon to 10 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

• WHO: The festival’s big draw this year includes unique and varying food trucks hailing from in and around the Cleveland area, including:

Donut Lab: mini-trailer makes tiny donuts infused with local flavors and covered in several toppings.

East Coast Original Frozen Custard: offers several freshly made custards — including butter pecan, mint chocolate chip and vanilla, the most popular flavor — and the “flavors of the day” are concocted from more than 100 sumptuous recipes.

Fired Up Taco Truck: serves up empanadas and tacos, which comes with a choice of beef, chicken or pork packed with fresh cheeses, salsas and other goodies.

Krav: steak, barbecue, chicken, cheesesteaks and more cooked either in a Mediterranean, Korean or Latin style.

MotorMouth: all sorts of concoctions and combinations — like chorizo burgers or the chivito, a sandwich stuffed with grilled steak, black forest ham, fried egg, smoked provolone and more on ciabatta — of food bonded usually in a sandwich or wrap.

Ohio Farm Direct: seventh- and eighth-generation farmers cook up organic-based foods — such as cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and Reuben sandwiches — and whip up homemade ice cream for dessert.

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