Sure, there are quieter places to dine than trackside at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, but few restaurants offer a greater variety of cuisine than you’ll find amid the ambiance of screaming, or roaring Porsches, F1 cars, stadium trucks and IndyCars.
The annual road race has stepped up its menu offerings in recent years, and while you can still get the typical county-fair-style food—ribs, turkey legs and hot dogs—from booths along Vendor Row along the convention center promenade, the hot spot for race dining is at the Food Truck Experience, featuring a caravan of mobile eateries tucked into a park setting behind Grandstand 31 near Shoreline Village.
As usual, a small squad of Long Beach Post reporters, Jason Ruiz, Kat Schuster and Tim Grobaty, with videographer Thomas R. Cordova, “researched” the track’s offerings, starting with an odd but not unlikeable chicken and waffle sandwich that was embellished with fresh tomato, lettuce and Thousand Island dressing from Chik-N-Waffles on Vendor Row before diving into the Food Truck Experience.
We ordered up a three-piece meal from as many trucks: a vegan sandwich with fried oyster mushrooms, Fresno peppers and kimchi from Seoulmates; a massive platter of fries topped with garlicky grilled shrimp from Pacifico Charbroiled Fish; before bouncing back to waffles again with a Strawberry Cluster with fresh fruit, whipped cream and cookie dough from Wafl Truck.
Finally, for the road, we swung by the Whistle Pig truck on Vendor Row where we split a $21, maybe-4-oz. rye old fashioned four ways.
While there are some places offering vegan and relatively light fare, most of the food at the Grand Prix is designed to fill omnivores way, way up—giant racks of ribs, ridiculous mile-high burger monstrosities and french fries loaded with shrimp, cheese, crab, steak or eggs.
At least one of the researchers from the Post swore, as he does annually, that he’ll never eat again, but that’s probably the teaspoon of Whistle Pig’s old fashioned talking.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the type of pepper available on the sandwich from Seoulmates.