The day was warm, the cars were cool and the food was plentiful at Sunday's 18th annual Capitol Concours d'Elegance. More than 130 automobiles were displayed along a long stretch of Capitol Mall in an extravaganza of what essentially were metal sculptures on wheels.
As hundreds of car buffs and the simply curious inspected pristine cars at the juried event - from Ferraris and Corvettes to rarities such as as a 1940 Pontiac Woodie Wagon and a 1939 Graham Sharknose - the hungry and thirsty crowded around six Sacramento food trucks, whose fare also was judged.
Lined up beneath a row of shade trees were Coast to Coast, Wicked Wich, Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen, Heavenly Dog, Fuzion Eatz and Willie's. Each truck operator was asked to offer his/her signature dish for judging. Not their most popular dish, but the single item best representative of their cooking philosophy and skills.
The judges and winning food trucks were:
Bernice Hagen is a former restaurateur, caterer, cooking-school teacher and member of the disbanded Dining Divas restaurant-review team for Sacramento magazine.
Catherine Enfield is a food blogger (www.munchiemusings.net) and member of the Sacramento Bee's Sacramento Connects team of news providers and bloggers. She's more savvy about food trucks than anybody we know.
Rodney Blackwell maintains the all-things-burgers www.burgerjunkies.com. He's putting together the inaugural Sacramento Burger Battle for Sept. 18 (National Cheeseburger Day) at Raley Field, to feature 15 restaurants in a judged cook-off.
The fourth judge was me.
After a couple of hours of tasting, scoring and discussion (yes, all the french fries and tater tots were great), the judges ranked the top three, which were separated by only a few points.
No. 1 was Drewski's for its heavy-duty Mustang sandwich - braised Korean-style shortrib, homemade kimchi, shredded daikon radish, Sriracha-wasabi aioli, and Swiss and havarti cheeses on grilled nine-grain wheat bread (www.drewskis.com).
No. 2 was Heavenly Dog for its Three Alarm Dog - bacon-wrapped hot link, house-made habanero pepper aioli, grilled onion and melted peppered jack cheese ona grilled bun (www.heavenlydoghotdogs.com).
No. 3 was Coast to Coast for its Catfish Po' Boy - crunchy cornmeal-crusted catfish, spicy aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickle chips and, as one judge put it, "outrageously good sweet potato fries" with house-made hot ketchup and hot sauce (www.coasttocoastsandwiches.com).