Hao Bao Food Truck Rides Again

Hao Bao food truck owner Jake Lau is back. And this time, he's got a clear path to re-launch what he's calling "Hao Bao 1.1."

In March, the 30-year-old ex-corporate financier was "circumstantially forced to exit" Phoenix to attend to family matters in his home state of Virginia, leaving his mobile kitchen of Chinese soul food to sit in storage -- something it hadn't done since the business was launched in November 2012. This week, Lau came back to the city to stay and says he'll be rolling out a new and improved Hao Bao in the upcoming weeks.

"There was such a show of support from our followers and other small-business owners when I left," Lau tells me. "I feel like I'm coming back to a warm welcome."

What can food truck fans expect to find at Hao Bao 1.1? Think healthy.

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Eat St. Is Filming Food Trucks in Phoenix

Cooking Channel
Eat Street host James Cunningham
Another television crew is coming to Phoenix and surprisingly, they're not headed for Amy's Baking Company this time.

The Cooking Channel show Eat St., "a lip-smacking celebration of North America's tastiest, messiest, and most irresistible street food," has a few Valley food trucks on their radar for the show's fifth season (Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food, Short Leash Hot Dogs, and BuzznBeez Good Food have been featured previously).

Filming starts tomorrow and lasts until Friday, November 22. Here's what trucks they'll be shooting and the schedule.

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Roosevelt Row's Taste of the Trucks Food Truck Festival: Lots of New Eats, Shorter Lines

Evie Carpenter
Goodness Gracious Great Balls and Sliders' kimchee ball was one of the best things we ate all day.
Dozens of the Valley's food trucks hit Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for the Taste of the Trucks food truck festival.

We headed out on Sunday to sample just what the fest had to offer -- and we're happy to say many of the complaints we shared after the last RoRo food truck event in 2011 ceased to be an issue this time around.

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The Four Seasons Resort Has a Food Truck and It's Coming to Scottsdale

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Modern Mexican offering from the culinary team at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.
Once you've wrapped your head around the fact that the luxury hotel and resort chain Four Seasons has its own food truck, you might want to get ready to eat.

The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and Scottsdale's Food Truck Caravan are teaming up for two downtown Scottsdale events that will play host to the inaugural launch of the Four Seasons Food Truck (known as the FS Taste Truck), which is currently motoring along on an eight-stop West Coast tour.

Manned by executive chef Mel Mecinas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, the FS Taste Truck will be serving up gourmet eats from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at the Food Truck Caravan Art Walk on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way, and from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, November 2, at the Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan on Fifth Avenue and Goldwater.

Here's a taste of what to expect.

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Rock A Belly Food Truck: "Like the Love Child of an East Coast Diner and an Arizona Taco Shop"

The Dezynery
Talk to chef-owner Jordan Murray about his new food truck, Rock A Belly, and it isn't hard to figure out what he's passionate about.

With a love of rockabilly (Murray's a member of the Phoenix-based psychobilly band Stitch Hopeless and the Sea Legs), cooking, his Pittsburgh roots, and Arizona, Murray hopes to offer something different to the Valley's food truck scene.

"The food is kind of like the love child of an East Coast diner and an Arizona taco shop," he says.

But these aren't the tacos you might be thinking of.

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Arizona's First Mobile Juice Bar to Hit the Streets in January

When 30-year-old Brandon Bennett was deciding on the name for his food truck, he landed on the nickname his friends in Arizona called him when he moved to the Valley from Eugene, Oregon, in 1994: Yeti.

"I was a tall, lanky hippie kid with an Afro," he says. "I didn't even know what a yeti was, but when my friends told me, I thought it was kind of cool."

Capitalizing on the juice bar trend as well as the Valley's love for food trucks and passion for everything local, Bennett, who dropped out of school and started his business on September 1, put the three together and launched The Local Yeti, Arizona's first mobile juice bar.

"There's nothing like it right now," Bennett says. "There are plenty of permanent smoothie and juice bars, but The Local Yeti will be able to go anywhere."

Bennett says that the quality of his 100 percent raw, cold-pressed juices (made by pulverizing ingredients like kale, beets, and ginger) as well as a simple selection of smoothies, will be comparable to those sold at places like Whole Foods.

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Taste of the Trucks 2013: Here's the Final Lineup for RoRo's Two-Day Event on October 26 and 27

Diana Lustig
BBQ Nachos from Q-Up! BBQ at a food truck festival last year.
After a two-year break from hosting food truck fests, Roosevelt Row and the Phoenix Street Food Coalition are back with Taste of the Trucks, a two-day food truck fest. On Saturday, October 26, and Sunday, October 27, they're bringing 50 trucks downtown for an event with live music and a beer and wine garden.

Want to know who will be there? We've got the final lineup. Get ready.

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Chedda Truck Food Truck (Now With Burgers) Debuting Again This Saturday

Nick Watts
Ol' Faithful Burger
Last June, Nick Watts' mobile kitchen of grilled cheese sandwiches, called Chedda Truck, made its debut to a huge (and unexpected) crowd at Artistic Tattoo in Central Phoenix.

Watts sold nearly 175 sandwiches in three hours, but customers were angry at the wait time (over an hour) and many left or were turned away. The experience stunned Watts, and he closed up shop the next day, apologizing to customers on Twitter and saying he would return, but not without making some major changes.

Now, over a year later, Watts, who has worked with notable chefs such as Payton Curry, Justin Beckett (Beckett's Table), and Jeff Yankellow of the defunct Simply Bread, is back.

And this time, he's bringing burgers.

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New Locally Focused Food Truck, The Roasted Shallot, Getting Ready to Hit the Streets

Spicy and tangy steak salad with fresh corn pico.
What's the best way for a husband-and-wife team to cook the food they love together every day? If you're Brooke Francis and Nathan Carel, you start a food truck.

Called The Roasted Shallot, Francis and Carel's food truck will hit the Valley's mobile kitchen scene in mid-October (if not sooner) with a menu of "modern American street food" using locally sourced ingredients.

Here's what food truck fans can expect.

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New Gourmet Hot Dog Food Truck (Frank.) Hits the Streets in October

El Puerco: Pancetta-wrapped all-beef hot dog, pulled pork, pepperjack cheese, coleslaw, onion frizzles, and whiskey BBQ sauce.
Heads up, hot dog hounds: a new food truck loaded with gourmet franks and scratch-made sides will be hitting the Valley's streets in October.

Courtesy of Adam Allison, executive chef at North Scottsdale's Skeptical Chymist, the hot dog truck, aptly called Frank. (for obvious ties to the tubular meat as well as Allison's admiration of the 1940's crooner Frank Sinatra), will feature gourmet dogs and sausages with a chef-ly twist.

How chef-ly? For advice on his food truck, Allison turned to Jeff Kraus (Crepe Bar), whose currently defunct Truckin' Good Food truck was named one of the nation's "Top 10 Most Influential Food Trucks" by the Huffington Post.

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