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Review: Parked, The Gowanus Food Truck Festival

Filed under: Brooklyn Events

The What: Parked, The Gowanus Food Truck Festival

The What’s Up: BKLYN Yard. A bunch of parked food trucks. Cinnamon Snail, Vegan Food Truck. Other Vegan Options. Beer Garden. (We mentioned it last week)

The Yes: On paper this is great idea: An open space featuring some of NYC’s best food trucks; plus, y’know, vegan options. Cinnamon Snail was decent at best*.

The No: On paper this was a great idea. Unfortunately, the execution left a lot to be desired. The fact that there was a line to get into a free (open area) event should have set off a warning bell in my head. My top complaints: Too small of space for such a large group of people, minimal seating (at a food-based event no less) and 3-dollar water! My biggest letdown: Cinnamon Snail*. The one all-vegan truck not only had slow service (The person behind me was told that the wait would be 30 minutes for a sandwich) but they tried to remedy the long lines by rushing the food; what came out was sloppy and not very composed. Plus, I was a little grossed out by the fact that the dude preparing my food was sweating profusely and (literally) dripping on the food he was making. The people waiting around me were not happy and quite vocal about their disdain for the proceedings.

Exhibit A: Decently tasting but sloppy and hard to eat. (Portobello Sandwich)

Exhibit B: (Miso Seitan)

The Word: Parked: The Gowanus Food Truck Festival is a great idea that needs some rethinking. I’d love to see it moved to another (larger) location for a future incarnation. I wasn’t too happy with Cinnamon Snail but I could see how their food would be good in a (slower-paced, less-sweaty) setting.

Did you go? What did you think?


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I arrived at 1pm. Waited on the line to get in for about five minutes. Waited on line at Cinnamon Snail for about 10 minutes. My miso seitan sandwich was ready tout de suite. I got a couple of donuts and left the Bklyn Yard because it was a terrible maze of lines and I didn’t have the patience to wait in a thirty minute line to get fresh juice.

    I agree with Rudy that the set up left a lot to be desired. Maybe they need a bigger location? Fewer trucks? An entrance fee? (Donate it to a local hunger prevention group?)

    But, I loved my sandwich from the Cinnamon Snail. Adam was chatting with me from the grill. No dripping sweat in my food! But, maybe I showed up quite a bit earlier than you, Rudy? (Maybe they need an extra set of hands for these events or more advance prep? It seems like the Cinnamon Snail’s food is a bit complicated for an event like Parked where people want to eat NOW.)

    And the donuts? They’ve grown up a lot since I had my first donut made by Adam a few years ago at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market. The Twist was excellent — moist enough and not dominated by the sugary coating.

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Have to “ditto” most of the comments on Parked and the Cinnamon Snail. The sandwich (the “special”–by the time it was ready I couldn’t tell you what I ordered) I had was delicious and would have been worth the trip and the wait if this were a restaurant or a truck parked near a park area where one could relax while waiting. Standing around in the sun for close to a half hour after ordering at 12:30 PM, not long after the event opened (and before a line had formed at CS), was unpleasant given the crowds and noise. Finding a place to sit shouldn’t have been such a chore. Finally, I know the food is organic and all, but it’s way overpriced considering that there’s no maintenance of a brick-and-mortar restaurant involved.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    I had never heard of Cinnamon Snail, and went to Parked just to hang out and drink beers outdoors with some friends, and was pleasantly surprised that there was a vegan food truck on the premises! Even better was the fact that their prices were what I consider pretty reasonable, $7-8 per sandwich. And no line (when I got there around 5pm). My friends and I shared a spicey tempeh wrap, a creole tofu sandwich on a baguette, and a portabella sandwich with pesto and capers. They were all really really REALLY good. And the people inside the truck were the friendliest. I would pay them another visit any time, provided a trip across the Hudson isn’t required.

  4. Comment by


    on #

    Parked was WAAAAAAY too crowded. I ate at cinnamon snail it was okay. I did wait like half an hour for a 14 dollar salad. I agree with Janet about the prices being high.

  5. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Hey all you people with things to say about the Cinnamon Snail:

    Please go leave a review of them in our restaurant guide. Please


  6. Comment by


    on #

    I wasn’t completely wowed by the grilled tofu (I think he forgot the creole sauce) or the miso seitan sandwich but I don’t think Bklyn Yard was the best test of their strengths and abilities. We only waited 10-15 minutes for our food but I agree for busy events like this it would be good for them to get an assistant mostly for consistency because a couple other friends got the creole tofu sandwich and it was great. And just like any food establishment, it depends on what you order. A friend of mine had the mustard-something tempeh on spelt and it was also delicious.

    If they intend to host food events in the future, this venue definitely needs more seating and shade, and less rubble and trash.

  7. Comment by


    on #

    I arrived at 3 p.m. Yes, it sucked to stand on line for a free event. Yes, the venue also was unsuitable for the event.

    But I didn’t wait more than 3 minutes for my food. My miso teriyaki seitan sub rocked. I preferred the raw goji bar over the strawberry glazed donut. Not much glaze to speak of. Some omnivores were totally ogling my sammich and were surprised a vegan place could make that.

    I had a similarly pleasant experience when I showed up at their truck Friday afternoon in Hoboken.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    I went around 1 and was too hungry to wait. So I went to S’Nice instead and had an awesome sandwich. I really want to try Cinnamon Snail, but my hunger wins.

  9. Comment by


    on #

    I had to work that day and found out about the event at the last minute or I would have gone earlier. Instead, went over at about 3pm. It was sooooo overcrowded and there were at least 40 people with armbands waiting to get in. Been waiting months to try the Snail:( Next year bigger venture would be a plus!

  10. Comment by


    on #

    Thanks for the pictures of the fixins! They still look pretty tasty to me!

  11. Comment by


    on #

    So, those who have been to the Snail in Hoboken: from the map it looks like there’s a park on a pier near Sinatra Drive. Is there indeed a nice spot to picnic with one’s Snail food? When they’re less busy will they take your number and call you when it’s ready?

  12. Comment by


    on #

    We got there around 12:30 and still had to wait about 20 minutes for our sandwich from CS. They had lots of pastries that you could get instantly, but you still had to wait in the very long line. Maybe they should have had 2 people working the window so they could have a line for orders and one for instant pick-up on ready made eats and drinks.

    They also gave us the wrong sandwich, but I didn’t want to have to wait in line for another.

  13. Comment by


    on #

    JanetG: Yes there’s a nice little waterfront park there with benches. When I went there were only 2 othher people. We just ordered and he gave us our food within 2-3 minutes.

  14. Comment by


    on #

    The most recent version of Parked was no better than the first. There are so many great carts out there the organizers don’t manage to attract enough carts to feed the number of attendees. The event today on Governor’s Island was a complete mess. There were literally thousands of people on every line. A terrible event.