One of the best ways to experience Pensacola’s food scene is to get a taste of the local food trucks.
The third annual Food Truck Throwdown Hunger Games on October 15 encourages Pensacola to sample some, with nine of Pensacola’s most iconic names to choose from.
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Offerings include 3-D Eats & Tea, Rolling Embers Brick Oven Pizza, Texan B’s BBQ, MELT Pensacola, Greek’s Catering and Events, Who Dat Po’Boys, Jordan Valley Mediterranean, Cèjo Food Truck and Empanadas N More.
“I wanted quality and variety,” said 3-D Eats & Tea owner and event organizer Sean DeSmet. “Some have worked together in the past.”
Rather than compile a “terrific” list of food trucks for the event, DeSmet said he wants to identify a few strong ones for customers to try.
The event begins at 11:00 a.m. and lasts until 4:00 p.m. at the Pensacola Harley-Davidson, 6385 Pensacola Blvd., with activities running throughout the day including craft vendors, music and family entertainment.
For the past several years, the event has asked its customers to rate each food truck they sample on a scale of 1 to 5 across categories such as food quality, customer service and cost. Hip Pocket Deli was the crowned winner of year one of the event and 3-D Eats & Tea was the winner of year two.
This year, however, DeSmet said the chefs are trying to put aside some of the competition and instead let the competition go to customers.
The event will host various challenges such as: B. Food contests starting at 12pm and a karaoke contest at 2pm
“This year we’re more inclined to just have a good time,” he said.
The eating contests will be time-based, DeSmet said, and will be divided into a children’s and an adult section. Kids are tasked with shelling corn dogs and slurping up cute 3-D tea slushies while trying to avoid a brain freeze. Adults are challenged with eating a variety of denser foods, like stuffed empanadas.
DeSmet said the event selects a different organization each year to benefit from the event’s proceeds. This year, Baghdad Elementary School will be the recipient, hoping to support teachers through a donation to the school’s PTA Board.
For the past several years, 3-D Eats has worked to support various local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, Habitat for Humanity Pensacola, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and local first responders through their Mason A Difference. meal campaign. The Hunger Games event is just the latest in a lifestyle of habitual giving.
“We’re just trying to do our best, we’re looking for different causes,” DeSmet said. “That’s our business model, giving something back.”
As the event ramps up, customers will be charged a $5 entrance fee when parking, but this will be refunded either with a voucher to use at one of the food trucks or by entering a raffle for a $500 prize. The draw takes place at 3:00 p.m. All proceeds from the entry fee and $50 sales fee from each food truck go to the teachers at Baghdad Elementary School.
DeSmet said he hopes to raise at least $2,000 from the event but the sky is the limit.
For more information about the event, visit the 3-D Eats & Tea Pensacola Facebook page ahead of the event.