Street Eats Food Truck Festival Offers Tasty Food, Long Lines, and a Few Lessons for Next Time
|Pulled pork sliders from Duck Duck Pig.|
Editor's Note, in the interest of full disclosure: While Chow Bella wasn't directly involved, Phoenix New Times was a sponsor of the Street Eats Food Truck festival.
From $5 parking to $4 samples (what happened to the $2 vouchers we were promised?!) Saturday's Street Eats food truck festival at Salt River Fields wound up being pricier than advertised. And with an accident on the 101 and oversold tickets, more time-consuming, too.
But also tasty, for those who persevered.
Like last fall's street truck festival on Roosevelt Row, this inaugural event featured super-long lines to get to small portions of really good food (unless you wanted to shell out $8 for a full serving) -- a lesson again in the overwhelming popularity of food trucks. Particularly when you bring in the big guns, namely Tyler Florence of the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race, and some of the trucks featured on the show. (We'll have a post up later this week with our chat with Florence.)
As for the two Chow Bella contributors who stood in line all day for a few morsels? We're both of the mind that it might be best to simply seek out our favorite trucks around town on a meal-by-meal basis. That said, it sounds to us like the Valley definitely wants more food truck festivals. No doubt Saturday can be instructive for the future.
Perhaps the biggest lesson of the day: If you are going to require cash payments, be sure to a. warn folks ahead of time and b. keep those ATMs stocked.
Find out what was worth those long lines after the jump.
|The great wait.|
It wasn't all bad, not by a longshot. The venue was large and well-advertised. There was music and beer. For many of the people we interviewed, this was their first experience with the food truck phenomenon. People like Melissa Newberg of Cave Creek, whose only previous experience was watching The Great Food Truck Race. Or people like Debbie Ontiveras who made the trek from Peoria to Salt River Fields. Ontiveras had Pizza People for lunch Friday and found the experience so enamoring that she packed her family up the very next morning to get to the festival.
Both knew that the event was going to be huge and were mentally prepared to stand in long lines for food. It was also a big ego-boost for the trucks that were there. Old World Brewery's debut effort, Lobster on a Roll, sold out completely by 1:30. Owner Geoff Lowell said that he was prepared to serve thousands of sandwiches and completely bought out his seafood supplier's inventory in preparation for this event. He still didn't have enough food.
The experience was clearly better for the early birds. Ontiveras said she left her home at 10:30 but struggled with traffic and parking so she didn't actually get into the
venue until 12:30. An hour and a half later she was about halfway to her second food truck, T-Licious Tacos.
Newberg and her friends arrived promptly at 10 and knocked out five or six trucks in the
first hour. But each time they got in line the wait was longer. We caught up with her just after she received a cheese-steak from Food Truck Race favorite, Devilicious. Her wait time? One hour, forty minutes.