Saturday, August 27, 2011

Food Truck Rally Recap

Tonight was the much anticipated and publicized Food Truck Rally hosted by Sigel's Liquor Greenville Avenue. 





Like any first time event, there were a few misses but overall, I call this Rally a success!

There were 9 Food Trucks in attendance, Gandolfo's NY Deli Truck, The Bomb Fried Pies, Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, Enticed Shaved Ice, Nammi Truck, Jack's ChowHound, Trailercakes, 3 Men and a Taco and Mister Cool Ice Cream, lining a row of Sigel's parking lot, with several tables placed down the middle.


The event was scheduled to start at 6, but a couple of Facebook messages and Tweets hinted that food may be ready earlier and with concerns about parking, my friend and I decided to go early. We got there about 5:45 and  lines were starting to form with a couple of the trucks still finalizing things.

Our approach was to divide and conquer and share our bounty as it was received. Generally it went like this... we stopped at Ruthie's Rolling Cafe first and ordered a Cheddar Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes. While that was being made, we visited with others waiting and met face-to-face with people that I had "met" online but had not yet met in person.

Then I went over to Jack's ChowHound and stood in line for about 15 minutes. Just as I was ordering my friend came up with the Grilled Cheese. We ate that, which was fabulous and visited with the Ten for 10: Water for Africa table about the upcoming Food Truck SmackDown while waiting for Jack's. Oops,  Jack's tells  me they are out of Sliders. Reordered, went down to 3 Men and a Taco to stand in line. Checked back in at Jacks and picked up our Spicy Steak Sammie. Ate that while continuing to stand in line for 3 Men and a Taco. Went down to stand in line for Trailercakes. Then the heat got the best of me and I went inside Sigel's for some cool air and my friend brought in the tacos from 3 Men.


At the trucks we visited, the food was great!  Yes, the lines were long but everyone was patient and visiting amongst themselves and talking about their own experiences at the various trucks.

There were a couple of misses that can be easily fixed before the next Rally.

1. Of course, the heat.  I don't know how long this had been planned and of course there is no way that Sigel's could have dreamed today would be miserable hot. But if we can all agree that July and August are not viable options for an outdoor event in Dallas I think we would all benefit.

2. All the publicity for the last several weeks has said that the event started at 6. Then, over the last couple of days, people, including those in official positions, started saying that the food would be ready early, come early, parking would be limited, etc.  So, people, like myself, took the hints and showed up early. I felt like several trucks were not ready and spent the evening playing catch up. If its starts at 6, then let's all agree not to hint that earlier would be better. Maybe that was just my perception, I'd like the trucks to weigh in on this one.

3. Close off the entire Sigel's parking lot. As far as I could tell there was parking available on the other side of Sigel's and across the street. With as many people as were in attendance it was dangerous to have cars pulling in and out of spaces. Yes, Security was there to help direct but the potential for a bad situation was there.

Otherwise, I think it was a fabulous event and I thank Sigel's for organizing and all the trucks for participating. It was hot outside, I can only dream of hot it was in your trucks.


8 comments :

  1. We bailed after Ruthie's decided to take a "break" to catch up. Waited in line 30 min only to be told to come back in 30 min to place my order which at the time was an hour wait. Just too long and hot to wait.

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  2. The idea was a good one but the planning was just awful! We got there at 6:20 and already the lines were so long the wait was over 45 minutes to get anything. After waiting nearly a half hour in line and not being close to ordering, the heat got the better of us and we went to a brick and mortar place to eat in a reasonable amount of time...and be comfortable.
    I must agree, this needs to be in the spring or fall as well in a better located area. There were hundreds of people crossing a major street without any assistance from the Dallas police or anyone else. A very dangerous situation.
    Please do this again but think it out better on the second try!

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  3. Had they spread the trucks out in the parking lot, or even got a few other close by business involved (Movie trading company for example) and spread the trucks out between the parking lots it would have been a much more enjoyable experience. My family and I went and met up with a few of my friends and we all bailed after waiting 30 min in a line we THOUGH was to order, but tuned out it was the line to get food that was already ordered! There was no clear definition of what line was for what truck, it was just mass mob for the trucks! I have to say I was disappointed, because I had really been wanting to try some of these different trucks and their yummy yummy offerings.

    I agree that they should try this again, but it should be better organized and in a larger, or spread between several parking lots to ease the congestion and confusion. And as far as the heat goes, come on guys, we live in Texas! We already know that August is one of the hottest months anyways, add to that the 100 degree records we have been hitting and beating this year and folks were surprised!? We brought several bottles of water and were downing it during the wait, we were all fine. A later start time if we do this again in the dead heat of the summer or just keep it in the spring/fall months.

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  4. I agree with all that is being said...we arrived at 6:15 to find 45 minute wait times. My husband went into Sigel's and said the crowds were just as bad there. There also was not a restroom to be found. People brought baby's in strollers and dogs on leash and the paramedics were hauling somebody away. Crossing Greenville Ave on foot was scary!! Trailer cakes lost power and my husband followed the power cord for them trying to find the disconnect but he couldn't find it. We were very disappointed in the lack of organization!! I waited 20 minutes and got a dozen cupcakes and we left to go eat in a building with AC and no lines.
    Larger foot print
    Clear signage for lines
    More tables or at least grass and shade
    Port-A-Potty's

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  5. Awesome idea! I was there at 7:30 pm with a couple of friends. However, we left at around 9 pm very disappointed and starving.It was very disorganized, especially with the lines, we weren't sure which lines went to what food truck. Food Trucks ran out of food too quickly and there wasn't any entertainment to keep us entertained while the long wait. I hope there will be a next food truck smack down and hopefully it be better organize and the food trucks will be more prepared.

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  6. I showed up about 5:40 and the lines are already nuts. It was hard to tell where they began for each truck. My wife and I decided we would just get a few fried pies to go and eat somewhere else closer to home since it was super hot with the black asphalt. I waited in line for about 25 minutes at the Bomb Fried Pies before I ordered during which time my wife got some cupcakes and a frozen lemonade from other trucks. After I placed my order and paid I waited about another 25 minutes before I decided to ask for a refund and head home. Part of my decision was based on only seeing two orders come out between when I paid and when I decided to leave. My wife had already gone back to the car to sit in the AC and I had about all I could take of the heat. Granted, the heat and demand was not the Bomb's fault but I feel like they should have stopped taking orders for a bit in order to catch up. I also had a hard time hearing the names called out when an order was up because of their music (which was neat - old TV show themes). I just think the crowd was too much for them the handle and the wait in the heat was too much for me to handle. I left just after 7:15ish empty handed except for my wife's 3 tiny cupcakes.

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  7. There were a lot of people who appeared to be food bloggers based on their camera equipment who would just charge through people in a line and start snapping photos without saying "excuse me" as if we weren't even there waiting in the line. This happened to me about 5 times and I considered it to be quite rude.

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  8. Thank you to every one who [hopefully] enjoyed their Mr Cool ice cream and/or fruit slushies. It was lovely to make so many new friends. See you soon..!!Mr Cool (coolicecream.us).

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