Saturday, April 7, 2012

Food Trucks Respond to Needs of Tornado Victims and Responders

Whether its bringing awareness to an under-utilized area or participating in a charity event, the DFW Food Trucks continually look for ways to support the communities that support them. The feeling of being a integral part of the community was seen strongly this week when the trucks stepped up to raise money for the Red Cross Disaster Team and serve the victims and responders in Kennedale and Lancaster, two of the most devastated areas of the Metroplex.

So-Cal Tacos was the first to post that they would be serving dinner in the impacted areas and would be collecting donations to assist in that service.  After their daily lunch service, they spent the late part of the afternoon in Kennedale, serving to victims in that area and providing food and drinks.

Photo courtesy of Cup-Cakin

Cup-Cakin, were the first to head to Lancaster, setting up in the relief station areas. These stations were also the drop spots for restaurants to leave box meals that were donated. Owner Ashley Green felt honored to be able to help support the responders who were working on the scene. 
 
Shortly after lunch, owner Bryce Tomberlin and truck manager Josh Marks  from The Wiener Man were stocked up and ready to serve Lancaster. After trying the station, they spoke to a Dallas County Sheriff Officer about their desire to serve those residents impacted by the storms. The Officer escorted them to the area hardest hit by the tornados.  Wiener Man was able to set up outside a church pre-school that had been damaged and serve the people in the neighborhood who were out cleaning up and trying to make sense of the turmoil around them. Seeing the scene first hand made a significant impact to Bryce, who has committed to continuing to help the victims of these tornados continue to rebuild.

Photo courtesy of The Butcher's Son
At dinner time, Nammi and The Butcher’s Son went down to Lancaster and set up at the same relief stations that Cup-Cakin has set up earlier.  The relief workers came in shifts and were able to take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the hot, fresh tacos and hot sandwiches from the trucks before returning to work. Nammi co-owner, Gary Torres calls it an “extreme honor to be able to help. Many volunteers commented that they were extremely grateful for the hot, fresh meals”.   Dain Pool, The Butcher’s Son co-owner says that this is one way that they, are putting words in to action, “..from the beginning of our entry in to the Metroplex we said that everything we are doing is for our customers and our community. Serving the storm victims, along with donating 60% of sales from The Butcher’s Son and Gandolfo’s New York Deli  is one way we support the community and the customers who have done so much for us.”

Whether  serving  at the disaster scene or not, several trucks found ways to give back to the Red Cross, as mentioned, both The Butcher’s Son and Gandolfo’s New York Deli will be donating 60% of all sales between April 5 and April 10 to the Red Cross.  Enticed Shaved Ice will be donating 100% of sales between April 5 and April 7 to the Red Cross; Nammi will be collecting tips and donating $10 for every t-shirt sold and Rockstar Bakeshop will be donating tips to the Red Cross.

Gary, from Nammi summarized the entire experience with “I am very proud to be part of such a great (food truck) community that gives back and helps unconditionally!"   

I know that all of us, whether truck owner, customer or blogger are proud of our association with all of you! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Arlington Not Allowing Food Trucks to Serve Those Affected By Tornadoes

Scott Wooley, owner of So-Cal Tacos is a Tarrant County resident, he's also one of the most generous food truck owners; monthly donating hundreds of dollars collected at his truck to families in needs. Yesterday afternoon, as the tornadoes came through he knew that this month the families in need were in his own backyard.

Scott put out a call on Facebook and Twitter telling his customers that he would be collecting money and supplies for delivery on Wednesday afternoon to the Arlington and Kennedale residents impacted by the storm. When I went by So-Cal at lunch, money was pouring in and one person dropped off 18 cases of bottled water. As soon as the So-Cal team finished lunch service, they headed to Kennedale and served those involved in the clean-up efforts. After that service, they headed to Arlington, with plans to serve dinner to those affected.

At each impacted neighborhood, they were stopped by Arlington Police and told they would not be allowed to enter the area. Eventually, they were told they could serve, if they had a permit from the City. By this time it was nearing 5:00 p.m. and there was no way to get a permit. So-Cal then tried the emergency shelter on Abrams but was turned away there too.

Arlington is not a food truck friendly city, with rules that basically prohibit trucks operating there on a daily basis. Without discussing the merits of that law, it is positively shameful that exceptions cannot be made in times of emergency, when legitimate food service providers are willing to give free food to those who need it most.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Four New Trucks Rolling out in April



Last month, I told you about seven trucks scheduled to roll out.  At least three of those had some delays and we are patiently waiting for the mid-month launch of both The Food Dude and Café Con Leche Dallas. The Food Dude tells me that he expects to roll on April 10 and Café Con Leche Dallas has an event scheduled for April 14 –15, so we can expect to see them around that time.


April has the promise of four new trucks rolling out.

On April 1st, Semplice Cibo Italiano rolled out, with a soft opening in Fort Worth, serving up fresh pasta. With a menu of build your own pasta dishes, (linguine, fettuccine or penne as well as gluten free pasta) and your choice of a variety of sauces, SCI has the making a carb lover’s dream come true. If pasta is not your meal of choice, SCI also offers a caprese salad and tomato basil soup or various sandwiches to fill you up. Semplice Cibo Italiano has their grand opening for dinner on April 5 at the Fort Worth Food Park. Follow SCI on Facebook and Twitter to know where else to find them.

Later in April, Dallas gets a new truck, via Rockn’ Rick's. Rockn’ Ricks will have a hard rocking menu of Cajun and American infused burgers, dogs, flat bread wraps and sandwiches, seafood and poboys and a gumbo, chili or a soup of the day.  Rockn' Rick’s will be based out of Forney but will be covering the Dallas area. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to know exactly when and where they roll out.

The opening of the Cowtown Chowdown in Forth Worth is bringing with it some new trucks, including these next two.  


The Food Traveler Truck has one of the most unique menus I have seen on a DFW based truck.  The Food Traveler’s website describes how the concept was developed after years of traveling the world.  Items that have piqued my interested are:  jerk wings, Belgian frites and escargot, although a Thai salad or Korean Manu dumplings do sound good right now.  Follow the Food Traveler on Facebook and Twitter to find out their hours and go visit them at the Cowtown Chowdown.

Auntie AM's Sweet Stop will also be set up at the Cowtown Chowdown. I’m told that their specialty will be cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats, including some that are gluten free.  Follow Auntie AM’s Sweet Stop on Facebook and Twitter to know when they open. 


With the opening of these trucks, DFW will have 56 trucks on the road. 

News From The Arts District

Contributed by Veletta Lill, Executive Director, Dallas Arts District

Another busy week in the Dallas Arts District.   Besides regularly scheduled food truck lunches in the neighborhood the District will have Patio Sessions and First Saturdays.   Patio Sessions is a free outdoor concert at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House from 5:30 – 7:30 on Thursday nights.   This is Thursday Patio Sessions will feature Calhoun w/ Madison King.   Food Trucks will be there until 8:00.     There is outdoor seating or bring a blanket.    For more talent information on Patio Sessions visithttp://www.attpac.org/index.cfm?PAGEPATH=AT_T_PAC_Presents/Patio_Sessions&ID=35424.    

First Saturday is family friendly programming at the museums.   Target First Saturdays at the Nasher is free.   For more information about the day’s activities visit http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/Events-Calendar/Target-First-Saturdays.   The Crow Collection of Asian Art is always free.   The first Saturday of each month is AdventureAsia, with special family and exhibition programming.  This month there will be family yoga, a garden tea party and art making activities.  

 As always your comprehensive guide to all things Dallas Arts District, including a complete food truck schedule for the week, can be found at www.thedallasartsdistrict.org

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Food Truck Events - All Around the Metroplex


April is always festival month in DFW, the month where it is usually not too rainy and not too hot and people are happy to be out and about. For the food trucks, April is hot, with multiple food truck events every week and some exciting things happening with truck parks and fundraising events.

April continues the pop-up food park at Valley View Mall, every Friday night and all day Saturday, brought to us by U. S. Food Trucks.  Usually 3 -5 trucks are set up, on a rotating basis to dish out their specialties. Follow U.S. Food Trucks on Facebook and Twitter for all the details.

On April 5, the food trucks visit 1800 Henderson, and set up at Newflower Market for “The Parking Lot”. This first Thursday of event month kicks off with a bang when two Fort Worth trucks make their Dallas debut, Good Karma Kitchen and Gepetto’s Pizza roll in to Dallas to join Rock and Roll Tacos, Easy Slider, Nammi, 3 Lions and Rockstar Bakeshop to make your Thursday a little more tasty.

April 7, the Dallas Arts District continues their support of food trucks by including them in First Saturday in the Arts District. This is always a fun day, for the entire family. Several museums will have reduced, sometimes free admission and special events for the children. Multiple trucks will be set up and is a day of partying and getting to experience the arts in a fun way. Visit the Arts District webpage for specific information, including which trucks will be there.

Usually multiple events are reserved for the weekends, but this month we have an exception on Thursday April 12.  First, from 11 – 2, Easy Slider, Jack’s Chowhound, Three Lions and Trailercakes will set up for the Food Truck Extravaganza at Hope Cottage at 4209 McKinney in Dallas. For those not familiar, Hope Cottage is a not-for-profit agency that provides counseling, education and resources for those who are pregnant or who wish to build their family through adoption or foster care.  The Food Truck Extravaganza is a fundraising effort for Hope Cottage’s foster-to-adopt program. The trucks will have jars, where attendees can contribute money to indicate which truck is their favorite. At the end of the event, the truck that has collected the most money will be invited back to Hope Cottage to set up in their parking lot for a future service. My family has the pleasure of being associated with Hope Cottage and can testify to the amazing services they provide to every person who walks through their door. I hope that everyone can attend this event, make a donation, learn more about Hope Cottage and enjoy lunch from some the best trucks in Dallas. Follow Hope Cottage on Facebook and Twitter for more details. 

The evening of April 12, Addison will experience the food trucks for the first time when U.S. Food Trucks starts a pop-up park, Thursday Night Bites at the Pointe Avenue Bridge at the Savoye, Spring Valley and Vitruvian Way.  This pop-up park will be open every Thursday night, leading up to a food truck festival and fun run on June 9. Trucks will rotate weekly, for the first week, Nammi,  Gandolfo’s New York Deli  and Tin Star Taco Taxi have been confirmed and up to two more may be added. I posted about this event on my Facebook page and received 72 “likes” in less than one hour, so I expect Thursday Night Bites to be a tremendous success! You can get more details from U.S. Food Truck’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


April 13, the food trucks head to Deep Ellum for the Deep Ellum Truck Rally.  Nine trucks will line Main Street between Malcolm X and Crowdus.  This even will be the Dallas debut of The Munch Box, one of the best trucks serving in DFW. Deep Ellum Outdoor Market is the sponsor of this event and live music will be provided by “My Wooden Leg and Hares on the Mountain. More details can be found on the Deep Ellum Truck Rally website.

April 14 – 15 several trucks head to Traders Village in Grand Prairie to participate in the first Annual Food Truck Cook-off, sponsored by United Caterers and Traders Village.  Gandolfo’s New York Deli, The Butcher’s Son, Ssahm Korean BBQ, Jack’s Chowhound, Yum Yum, TX Delizioso, and Café Con Leche will be competing to win the coveted Food Truck Cook-off trophy. More details about the Cook-off can be found on the Traders Village website.

April 20, the trucks head back to the Dallas Arts District to serve dinner for the 3rd Friday Art Crawl. At this event, several museums stay open late and have special events for the family. Each month is different so even if you have been to one Art Crawl, this month is a good time to go back. Check the Arts District Food Truck page for the listing of trucks that will be serving dinner.

April 28, ten trucks converge on Frisco for Downtown Frisco StrEATS, the first truck and live music event in a Collin County. The Frisco School of Rock will be bringing the tunes and the trucks will be bringing the food from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. All you need to do is bring the family and some lawn chairs and come enjoy the day. Downtown Frisco StrEATS will be at the Gazebo, on Fourth Street, between Main and Elm. Follow Frisco StrEATs on Facebook and Twitter for more details.
Finally, on April 29, 14  trucks will be a party of the Community Block Party surrounding the Chefs on Fire Competition at the Shops at Park Lane in Dallas.  Ten trucks will be at the party and offering you lunch while your kids are in the bounce houses and local chefs are paired with local firefighters to compete for the title of DFW’s Top Chef while also raising money for the Parkland Regional Burn Center. The Block Party will also feature fire safety education and live entertainment. More details are available on the Chefs on Fire website.

Also in April, another food truck park, Cowtown Chowdown is expected to open on Main Street in Forth Worth. The date has not been confirmed, I hear rumors of late in the month, so tentatively look for the park to open around the weekend of the 27th and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to receive the official word.


 
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