Sunday, May 13, 2012

TX Food Truck Festival Rolls with Trucks From Across the State

On Friday and Saturday night. twenty-five trucks, from Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio converged on Valley View Mall in Dallas for the first Texas Food Truck Festival, sponsored by U.S. Food Trucks. I attended on both Friday night and Saturday, which were different experiences, but were a great show of the variety of food from across the State.

Friday night, I arrived in between rain showers and walked around to see who was set up and plan my eating schedule for the next two days. I already knew that I would mostly be eating at the out-of-town trucks and was disappointed, but understood why  heavy rains to the south had kept two San Antonio trucks from being able to travel.  The off and on rain meant that crowds were less than I expected but there was still a steady flow of traffic to all of the trucks.

After getting the lay of the land, I hit Coolhaus DFW first, knowing that the lines for the truck making its first Dallas appearance would get long before the festival ended. Carmel seasalt gelato did not disappoint. Next up was a stop at all of the vendor tables and a check-in at Durty Laundry to see the new graphics on their tees and see what tunes Beat Breakerz were spinning.

Dinner was the Yume Dog from Austin's Yume Burger truck. The wait in line was about 10 minutes but was broken up by an employee passing out menu cards and answering questions about the menu. The dog was ready about 20 minutes later and I was very happy with my hot dog topped with battered onion strings, wasabi mayo, tonkastsu sauce and nori. Yume Burger will be on my must visit list next time I head to Austin.

The rest of Friday was spent visiting and enjoying the location, the lines were moving quickly and everyone was enjoying themselves.

Saturday, I arrived at the event, with my family at noon. As expected, lines were long but we employed my truck event of  "divide and conquer", with each person standing in differnt lines and then meeting back up to share the food.  It worked well, the lines we were in moved at about the same pace and we were able to hit 2 trucks, sit down to eat, hit 2 more and eat again in about an hour's time. The first stop was Gandolfo's for a kid's grilled cheese and thereafter, it was on to the out of town trucks.  Chi'lantro, from Austin and their tacos were everything I hoped they would be. I had hoped to try their Kimchee fries, but with such a huge event, they opted to do a limited menu of street tacos, which did not disappoint.  Sabor Columbiano, from San Antonio also had a limited menu, of rice and chicken, empanadas and fried plantains. The chicken and rice was filling and tasty, which  was a nice meal. That said, I wasn't really looking for a meal, I wanted a sample of each truck, so even with three people eating, we did not finish this plate, opting to move on to other trucks.

The Belgian Waffle Truck was the truck I was most excited about. I have wanted to try this truck since it first opened in Austin. The nutella and banana waffle did not disappoint! I waited in line for about 20 minutes and the order was out within about 3.  It is a good thing this truck is not in Dallas, otherwise I would be eating it morning, noon and night and this blog would evolve in the Belgian Waffle Truck blog.

Those who have been reading my blog since day 1 know that with each festival, I give my honest opinion of the event. If you follow on Facebook, you may have seen comments from people that contradict mine and I will address those in a later blog post. This post is about my experience and I loved this event.

After the Sigel's event, last August, I commented that these events need to be when the weather was less miserable. The event was purposefully scheduled in a "cooler" month.  Another concern last August was the parking situation, there was no problem parking at Valley View. After the Frisco event, I asked for more trucks, more room and a better estimate of the number of attendees.  This event has thirty trucks signed up. For various reasons a handful of trucks were not able to attend on one or both days but overall, this problem was addressed.  There was absolutely more room, the truck lines did not merge and there was plenty of room to walk. I loved all of the seating, spread out all over the festival.

The only thing I would change would be to have a break from about 3 - 5 on Saturday to allow the trucks to take a breath, restock and be ready to serve dinner. The trucks were as prepared as they could possibly be, but serving for 4 hours one night and then starting back up for a 12 - 14 hour day, depending on if they served breakfast, without time to restock is asking a lot, from any truck.

Overall, a great event, it is wonderful to see how far the food truck scene has evolved since last August and I look forward to more events from US Food Trucks. 



4 comments :

  1. Charging $400 per truck sad. Charging people $5 to enter the event and eat, abhorant. Would you pay $5 to eat at your favorite restaurant? I don't care if it was for charity, I would have donated more had they not shook us down at the entrance.

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  2. Yah I would have given a million dollars if it was for the $5 shake down at the gate!

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  3. @DougS " Would you pay $5 to eat at your favorite restaurant?"
    Since my favorite restaurant doesn't offer food from 10 different restaurants (or more) to try, it's hardly a good comparison. Any event like this charges an entrance fee, since it has to pay for facilities, permits, the fencing (thank your TABC and TX liquor laws for that) and so on.

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  4. $5 dollars ??? This keeps out the rift raft. I liked the fact that they were supporting a great cause. I am sure this 5 bucks goes to pay for the infrastructure in order to make the event more enjoyable ...permits,security, potties, bands, bounce houses, tables and HAND SANITIZER :)

    I am glad Dallas is catching on to the food truck foodie craze. Can't wait to see more.

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