Tasting Southwest Florida’s Ravenous Rhino Food Truck in Charlotte County

Rhino Burger du Jour from Southwest Florida Food Truck, The Ravenous Rhinoopens IMAGE file

Rhino Burger du Jour from Southwest Florida Food Truck, The Ravenous Rhino

I was fascinated seeing people lined up in front of a giant metal pig during my 2010 trip to Seattle, Wash. That pig is a food truck called opens in a new windowMaximus/Minimus and in researching the trip I had seen Seattle Tweets mentioning where they’d be serving lunch. Although I didn’t taste one of their popular pulled pork sandwiches, I was on a mission to find food trucks wherever I traveled.

Maximus/Minimus Food Truck in Seattle, Washingtonopens IMAGE file

Maximus/Minimus Food Truck in Seattle, Washington

It seemed these roving culinary vehicles only belonged in big cities rather than my small Southwest Florida town, until opens in a new windowNancy’s Bar-B-Q began rolling through Sarasota. I followed Nancy’s on Facebook to see where she’d be and before I could pick up lunch from her truck she opened up a delicious restaurant in downtown Sarasota.

Nancy's Bar-B-Q in Sarasota, Fla.opens IMAGE file

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q in Sarasota, Fla.

Is that what food trucks aspire to be when they grow up? A brick and mortar restaurant? I’m not sure what the answer is but I have heard rumblings permanent eateries about food trucks because they’’e not regulated the same. This topic could be its own post so let me share the exciting news that…

Southwest Florida Food Truck The Ravenous Rhino in Charlotte Countyopens IMAGE file

Southwest Florida Food Truck The Ravenous Rhino in Charlotte County

Charlotte County Has a Food Truck?
… Charlotte County, the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast community between Sarasota and Fort Myers, has a food truck called opens in a new windowThe Ravenous Rhino. Follow the food truck on opens in a new windowTwitter.com/RavRhino, opens in a new windowFacebook.com/rav.rhino or their opens in a new windowwebsite for lunch, early dinner bites and special events locations.

They’re not new-new and have set up at various weekend events for at least the past year. Operated by October Catering, the Ravenous Rhino seems to be relatively new in serving the general Charlotte County and Southwest Florida community.

I Found The Ravenous Rhino on Twitter
Since I’m a social media addict (soon to be officially certified in social media by Florida Gulf Coast University) I originally learned about them on Twitter about a year ago. I recently saw they’re rolling through Charlotte and Lee Counties announcing lunch locations and I was determined to catch them sooner than later.

The Ravenous Rhino, a Southwest Florida Food Truck in Charlotte Countyopens IMAGE file

The Ravenous Rhino, a Southwest Florida Food Truck in Charlotte County

Tracking Down Funky Modern American Food
The day they were parked across from my office I had a lunch function and missed them but was successful in catching them later in the week further down the road at the Charlotte Sun (newspaper) parking lot. I recognized some Sun staff waiting for their “funky modern American food,” the cuisine described by this Charlotte County food truck.

As you may recall, I’ve been eating clean lately (I’m down 12 pounds – yes, another post is coming) so I wasn’t sure what the best option would be for lunch. The menu changes frequently and some items include Panko Shrimp Thai Tacos (if I was being really good, this is what I should’ve had), Hogzilla Burger (stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon and topped with cheddar and bacon), or Rhino Balls (pizza dough stuffed with any number of things, such as chicken, Swiss cheese and ham then deep fried.)

My chosen lunch was the Rhino Burger du Jour. As the name indicates, it changes daily. It may be a burger topped with a fried egg and bacon or maybe tater tots or maybe coleslaw. Mine was topped with sautéed mushrooms and Swiss. I figured I’d be getting in my veggies! I couldn’t resist the fresh-out-of-the-fryer french fries (I only ate about 8), grabbed coleslaw as another veggie side and washed it down with a Diet Coke.

The burger was quite tasty and a bit monstrous. I just ate the meat, cheese and mushrooms along with fries and slaw. If I would have eaten the bun with everything else I probably would have felt sick from food overload.

I’m not saying I’ll be trying everything on their menu but I know I’ll be a repeat customer.

Perhaps this is an idea for a new website but I couldn’t find one site providing access to the nation’s food truck population. I suppose performing a Google search will do the trick but I did find a few websites listing food trucks in specific destinations. Interestingly, the sites are run by a range of organizations ranging from local government to associations to private companies.

Are you a food truck fan? What’s your favorite food truck and where’s it located?

Bacon, It's an Option. The Ravenous Rhino, a Southwest Florida Food Truck in Charlotte Countyopens IMAGE file

Bacon, It’s an Option. The Ravenous Rhino, a Southwest Florida Food Truck in Charlotte County

Short List of Where to Find Food Trucks
opens in a new windowBaltimore Food Trucks
opens in a new windowCity of Boston Food Trucks
opens in a new windowCleveland Food Trucks
opens in a new windowNew York City Food Truck Association

Short List of Where to Find Florida Food Trucks
opens in a new windowMiami Food Trucks
opens in a new windowOrlando’s Food Trucks
opens in a new windowTampa Food Trucks

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Author: Solo Travel Girl Admin

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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