Food for thought: Top vendors to visit at Roots N Blues N BBQ

To help fight off the inevitable "hangry" feeling throughout the festival, keep yourself well-fed with these top-rated vendors.

With the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival just days away, it is now time to prepare your stomachs for the festival food that carries almost as much hype as the actual music. This year, the festival will host 27 different food and beverage vendors, including some of our Food Truck Friday favorites. The good news: You have so many options. The bad news: You only have three days. To aid in your struggle, below is a selection of vendors to look out for.

Sugarfire Smokehouse

If you want barbeque that has consistently been ranked among the best in St. Louis, go to Sugarfire Smokehouse’s booth. Sugarfire will be serving a range of traditional barbeque food, such as their brisket sandwich, pulled pork sandwich and ribs, but the booth will also serve their smoked giant chocolate chip cookies. Mic drop.


This name may sound familiar, as it is one of the few food trucks that has graced Speakers Circle for Food Truck Friday. If you do not recognize the name, maybe the giant gorilla (that reminds you of Harambe) featured on the front of the truck rings a bell. Having personally tried their General Tso and Tsos sandwich, I can attest that the food is amazing and very picture-worthy if you like sharing your food with the world on social media. Grill-A-Brothers will be serving only four of the sandwiches featured on their usual menu, along with Route 11 chips. Don’t fret; the General Tso and Tsos sandwich is one of them.

Not'Cho Ordinary Taco

For those craving tacos with a fun twist, Not’Cho Ordinary Taco is “a family owned and operated gourmet taco truck.” The variety of taco options ranges from their NeverFake Cheesesteak taco to their Hawaiian Surf and Turf taco. These are only two of the eight options you can choose from, with each option being as delicious and not-so-ordinary-sounding as the next.

Casey McTavish, co-owner of Not’Cho Ordinary Taco, had some recommendations.

“The Hawaiian Surf and Turf [includes] teriyaki glazed steak and shrimp, covered in melted Swiss cheese, topped with lettuce, pineapple chutney, and our delicious spicy aioli,” McTravish said in an email. “The Slammin Salmon [includes] seasoned salmon glazed with a sweet balsamic reduction, topped with spinach, a fresh strawberry jalapeno salsa, feta cheese, slivered almonds, and drizzled lightly with more balsamic reduction.”

If this description does not make you salivate, Not’Cho Ordinary Taco’s recent win in the People's Choice Award at the Missouri Food Truck Festival in Springfield should get those taste buds tingling with anticipation.

Ozark Mountain Biscuit Truck

Another food truck that has visited campus, Ozark Mountain Biscuit Truck, will be serving something as simple as their Ozark Mountain Biscuit with apple butter — my roommate’s favorite — and something more complicated like the Boss Hog, “an open faced biscuit with simmered greens, pulled pork, sawmill gravy, a fried egg, arkan-sauce and crispy fried onions,” according to their online menu.

Jamaican Jerk Hut

If you’re looking for food not usually found in the Midwest, Jamaican Jerk Hut is your solution. Hailing from Philadelphia, Jamaican Jerk Hut offers a selection of traditional Jamaican dishes. Items on its menu include: Jamaican beef patties, jerk chicken with coconut red beans and rice, curry chicken with coconut red beans and rice, jerk wings, Rasta lemonade and more.

Lakota Coffee

If the festival is starting to wear you down, Lakota Coffee will give you a boost so that you can keep your energy levels up. Lakota will be serving coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, strawberry lemonade, lemonade, iced chai and a variety of snacks.

Peggy Jean’s Pies

Peggy Jean’s Pies is a “retail bakery” located here in Columbia. For those looking to fulfill a sweet tooth, their selection of “all kinds of pies!” could do no wrong.

Harold’s Doughnuts

Another sweet tooth supplement and business in Columbia, Harold’s Doughnuts will be serving traditional glazed doughnuts along with cake doughnuts, and — plot twist — “BBQ pulled pork on a doughnut bun, plus sides of slaw, beans, and cheesy grits,” according to their festival menu. Harold’s is ambitious and looking to fulfill your craving for both sweet and savory.

Giofre Apiaries

Looking to cool down in the relative heat that is expected for the weekend? Giofre Apiaries brings a new twist on traditional ice cream to the table. Giofre Apiaries is a family business owned by married couple Nancy and Dominic Apiarie.

“We are a local company making honey ice cream,” Domenic Giofre said in an email. “We will be bringing several unique flavors with us: such as blackberry and cream, pumpkin, and root beer float, along with our popular flavors. All of which are unique in being made with honey.”

Giofre Apiaries’ will also be offering honey stix and bottled honey as well.

Edited by Katie Rosso |

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