Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fort Worth Food Truck Park Opens to Large Crowd, Good Food

On December 2, Fort Worth joined other cities considered to be leaders in the food truck culture by opening a dedicated Food Truck Park. Based on the crowd to get in and the amount of food sold, Opening Night was a success with hundreds of people in attendance.

When I first heard the location of the Park, I admit that I questioned the how and why of putting a Food Truck Park in the middle of an industrial area, three to four blocks off a main thoroughfare. Earlier in the week I spoke to owner Chris Kruger, he explained that the location was an important part of the park atmosphere as it allowed guests to escape the hustle and bustle of the center city and take time to relax over a nice lunch or dinner while only being minutes from home. Now that I have seen the Park operating I understand that vision and agree with it. It is also appealing that some trucks, like Good Karma Kitchen will call the Food Truck Park home while other trucks will rotate through from time to time, so on any given night, your menu options will always be new and fresh.   

The Park opened at 6:00, I arrived about 7:00 to find a line of about 40 people waiting to get in the Park. I admit that this was a concern, especially with the possibility of rain; but, this wasn’t the first line I had stood in for food trucks and I doubt it will be the last, so off I went to take my place. The line moved relatively quickly, as people would leave the Park the line attendant let an equal number in, so within 25 minutes I was in and ready to eat. Looking back now, controlling the entrance to the Park was the right way to handle the crowd and make sure the truck lines were not too long and people had room to move across the Park.

The Park is situated on a standard size lot, between two industrial warehouse type buildings. Because the trucks are parked along the side perimeter of the park, once you are inside, you forget the buildings are there and it actually becomes very cozy and comfortable. With of the possibility of rain this weekend, the Park had tents set up to keep everyone dry but when the tents are down, the surrounding trees will make a nice canopy to shelter the Park but still offer an open air feel. During the winter, patio heaters will be placed through the park to keep everyone warm. 

The Park has been given permission for eight trucks to set up but on Opening Night, as will be the case most days, six were in attendance. Red Jett Sweets, Nammi, Good Karma Kitchen, Yes! Taco,  Jake’s Hamburgers and Lee’s Grilled Cheese. All of the trucks had continuous, manageable lines, except for Lee’s Grilled Cheese, where I heard people saying they were waiting in line for 20 – 25 minutes and then waiting for their sandwich that same amount of time. As with other big events, this is an issue that all grilled cheese trucks face, most of their food cannot be prepped ahead of time and once the order is placed, the grill can only accommodate a finite number of sandwiches at any one time. It seemed that most people understood that and having that truck next to the free Rahr beer line seemed to help make the wait more tolerable.

The Park has quite a few picnic tables, which makes food truck eating more manageable. Spread throughout the table area were both trash cans. and recycling bins. At the back of the Park are restroom facilities and a deck where live bands can set up. On Opening Night, the Gary Kyle Band performed which added nicely to the atmosphere.

It seems that every detail has been considered when it comes to this Park and it has promise of being very successful. The truck owners were happy with the first night and the guests were happy with their food,  the convenience of parking, and all of the details that create the atmosphere of the Park.

You can get the Park's schedule on their website and follow on Facebook. They plan to offer special event nights from time to time and you won’t want to miss those or notification of which trucks are rolling through the Park. 

As an additional note, the Park is BYOB and dogs are welcome. 

2 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Oh it was MADNESS!!! Far more people came out, even with the bad weather. We really, REALLY felt bad about the long wait. We worked as fast as we could but we were WAY outnumbered by all the grilled cheese fans. It takes a while to cook hundreds of sandwiches from scratch. We hope it was worth your wait. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support. :D

    Thank,

    Lee from Lee’s Grilled Cheese

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