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Mojo Chicken Taco from Displaced Chef. Mojo Chicken Taco from Displaced Chef.
Mojo Chicken Taco from Displaced Chef. Enlarge
Published: Thursday, 7/24/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago


Food trucks rev up downtown’s variety


Cypress salad with grilled salmon from Rosie's Rolling Chef. Cypress salad with grilled salmon from Rosie's Rolling Chef.

Levis Square in downtown Toledo transforms into an outdoor food court, as food trucks line the plaza on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It‘‍s a welcome addition to the area of towering office buildings and parking garages. Crowds of people visit the trucks both days, with some sticking around to eat lunch at nearby picnic tables. On Thursdays, a live band livens up the scene even more.

Open since April, the Displaced Chef Mobile Cuisine truck features a menu full of Cuban inspired meals, with dishes featuring ethnic spices, plantains, black beans and yellow rice. The trucks owner is of Cuban descent and uses recipes passed down by his grandmother.

We enjoyed the Cuban sandwich ($7), ham, pork, swiss cheese, mayo and pickles tucked inside a Cuban bread and grilled. The pork was a bit tough, but didn‘‍t take away from the sandwich as a whole. The vegetarian plate ($7) was a mild combination of yellow rice, black beans, onion, peppers, and fried plantains. The dish was filling without being heavy. For $1 more you can add a fried egg to any dish. The truck also offers a variety of taco options ($4 each or two for $7), including a mojo chicken taco, which comes with marinated chicken, red and yellow peppers, onions, rice and beans.

MENUS: View the menus of Toledo’‍s food trucks

RELATED CONTENT: Click to see more of The Blade's restaurant reviews

Food trucks

The Displaced Chef
Accepts cash and AE, Dis., MC, V. thedisplacedchef.com

Jo Jo’s Famous Chili Dog, Butter Burger, and Wings
Accepts cash only.

Labaron’ s on the Move
Accepts cash and AE, Dis., MC, V.

Rosie’s Rolling Chef
Accepts cash and AE, Dis., MC, V.

Ottawa Tavern’ s Wanderlust Sandwich Co.
Accepts cash and AE, Dis., MC, V.

With the most variety, it’‍s no wonder why the lines are always long at Jo Jo's Famous Chili Dog, Butter Burger, and Wings. Chili dogs, chicken wings, fried fish, salads and burgers are just a few of the items on the food truck’‍s menu.

We were pleasantly surprised by both the butter burger ($3.79 for a single) and the chicken philly cheese steak ($5.99). While the burger patty was thin, it was beefy and filling and topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and mayo. The chicken philly was even better, with thick cuts of well-seasoned chicken, stuffed inside a hoagie, smothered with cheese, and topped with onion, tomato and mayo.

Wings are king and the sauce is boss at Labaron‘‍s On the Move. The Toledo wings ($5), served with fries, are lightly seasoned, deep fried and served dripping in a homemade sweet and spicy barbecue sauce that is the epitome of finger-licking-good.

Labaron’‍s does a lot of other things well too, including its bratwurst ($5), which comes seasoned with bits of red pepper stuffed inside. Side dishes are often an afterthought, but not at this truck. The coleslaw was fresh and creamy and the baked beans, which most likely came from a can, were doctored up a bit with what tasted like brown sugar and butter. The green beans, with smoked turkey meat, onions and and a spicy blend of seasoning were our favorite.

Lobster Mac and cheese from Rosie's. Lobster Mac and cheese from Rosie's.

The Rolling Chef food truck is an extension of Rosie‘‍s Italian Grille restaurant. Its menu includes fresh salads, including several kinds of Caesar salads, along with toppings such as salmon or chicken. Hot soups are available and include, lobster bisque and beef and barley. The lunch based menu also includes pizzas, paninis and some of the restaurants dinner menu standouts, including baby lamb chops and lobster mac. A combo, featuring both items sells for $13 on the truck. The chops, lightly seasoned and chargrilled, were tender and juicy with a thin layer of fat around the edges that added flavor to the meat. The macaroni was rich, creamy, and very filling, with chunks of lobster meat throughout. A favorite amongst the food truck customers, it sells out most days.

Vegetarian plate topped with a fried egg from Displaced Chef. Vegetarian plate topped with a fried egg from Displaced Chef.

Ottawa Tavern‘‍s Wanderlust Sandwich Co. serves up a variety of sandwiches, each named for a country or city. All sandwiches are $8. We tried the Mexico sandwich, roasted poblanos, bell pepper, tomato, onion, avocado, bean salad, and queso fresco. All of the flavors meshed well to create a delicious sandwich. Our only gripe, is that it was a bit dry. The Greece sandwich is served with chicken marinated in a blend of Greek spices, red onion, tomato, arugula and Fatuki, a Greek yogurt sauce. Despite being able to smell the oregano and cumin seasonings, this sandwich lacked flavor, and the creamy yogurt spread was washed out by the thick bread the sandwich is served on.

With truck owners making their own schedule, customers don’‍t know which trucks will show up when. On average, there are anywhere from four to six trucks each day, not including an ice cream truck and food tents with dessert and Chick-fil-a. No matter your preference, there’‍s something for almost everyone.

Contact Bill of Fare at fare@theblade.com.

Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.

Click here to read more Blade restaurant reviews.

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