Rumbles: Main Street Food Truck Festival, HAM Returns Oct. 1

The biggest food truck festival in Arkansas returns this weekend in downtown Little Rock. Main Street Food Truck Festival is Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on several blocks of Main Street and side streets in downtown Little Rock. This year, 86 food trucks and several local breweries will be on hand in the largest festival of its kind in this state at least. That many trucks won’t fit on just one street; the festival also extends west on Capitol Avenue for several blocks and makes a loop on Louisiana Street between Capitol and 6th Street. In addition to the food, there are plenty of activities on hand, including a rock climbing wall, live music, a photo booth and train rides. Admission to the festival is free; guests will pay individual trucks for their food and drinks. The Main Street Food Truck Festival is put on by Downtown Little Rock Partnership, a nonprofit group whose work includes the revitalization of Main Street.

And don’t forget, we’ll be hosting one food truck for a special dinner the night before the festival. Venezuelan food truck Tren Al Sur is collaborating with Rock City Eats and The Table for the first event in our Peace Feast dinner series. The three-course meal is just $26, and we still have room for a few folks. The dinner will feature a traditional Venezuelan Christmas feast and stories from the Calderon family on what each dish means to their history and culture. Dinner is set for 6 p.m. at Red and Blue Arkansas on 7th Street. The Peace Feast series is focused on promoting unity through food found in Little Rock but based in cultures around the globe.

The business formerly known as HAM is coming back – again, as HAM – at the start of the month. Hillcrest Area Market is slated to reopen October 1 as a new concept. Gone are the sandwiches and soups and seating; in its place will be a meat and cheese market selling a wide variety of foodstuffs and groceries. The prepared food is moving across the street to the new Hill Station restaurant, which is targeting mid-October for its opening. Brandon and Tara Brown are still working along with owner Daniel Bryant to get the two businesses open. HAM started as Hillcrest Artisan Meats in 2011 and quickly became famous for its excellent sandwiches, charcuterie and selectively sourced meats. It closed in 2016 and reopened as District Fare under the watch of The Pantry’s Tomas Bohm. Bohm sold the business to Bryant earlier this year, and Bryant brought Brandon and Tara back on to help run the dual business concept.

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Speaking of The Pantry, its longtime executive chef has branched out into a side grilling and barbecue business. Titus Holly launched Holly Smokes earlier this month. Holly works on a large, wood-burning two-grill unit pulled behind a pick-up truck. The talented chef is making his Holly Smokes debut Sunday at Proof Bar + Lounge, where he’ll rejoin former Pantry barman Gene Lee for a collaboration. There’s no published menu at this time for the event, but it will also serve as the debut for Proof’s updated deck and patio area. Drop by Proof between 4:30 and 9 p.m. on Sunday to catch Holly Smokes at its first event.

Little Rocktoberfest is back in a big way this weekend. We have a preview of the event plus all the week’s beer news in this week’s Growlers feature.

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Rumbles: Main Street Food Truck Festival, HAM Returns Oct. 1