Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mighty Month of May for Food Truck Events!

The Merry Month of May is going to be The Mighty Month of May when it comes to food truck events, especially large events like The Texas Food Truck Festival,  Truckstock The Movie and Food Trucks at Lone Star Park.


Every Tuesday in May you can have lunch with the Red Cross DFW and the food trucks. The trucks will rotate weekly and it is a convenient drive from most areas of Dallas.The address is 4800 Harry Hines, in Dallas. Check the schedule to find out when you favorite truck will be onsite.


Wednesdays are now Street Food Wednesdays, sponsored by the DFW Street Food Coalition.  Each week 4 or 5 trucks will set up at the Crate and Barrel at 3104 Knox Street in Dallas between 5 and 9 to bring you a tasty dinner and dessert. The May 9 line up includes, Gandolfo's, The Butcher's Son, Nammi, Easy Slider and Coolhaus




Wednesdays are also Food Truck Experience night at Sigels at 5757 Greenville Avenue from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. The trucks rotate weekly and often there are beer and wine tastings inside the store. This is a location where many new trucks are making their debut, so visit and see who is new to the food truck scene. 




Thursdays the food trucks roll to Addison, for Thursday Night Bites at Vitruvian Park 3875 Ponte Ave.  Each week, there are 4 - 5 different trucks, bringing the entire family something delicious to eat.  This weekly event is leading up to the Addison Food Truck Festival on June 9, brought to you by U.S. Food Trucks. The space where the trucks are set up has a lot of green grass for playing or relaxing, so bring the family and friends and enjoy an evening outside. 


Thursday, May 3, is also "the Parking Lot", a once a month truck gathering at the Sunflower Market. Each month, a variety of trucks show up to serve Lower Greenville some of the best food in DFW. 


Saturday, May 5 is First Saturday in the Arts District. One of my favorite events in the Dallas Arts District, First Saturday, where many of the museums are free, with events planned for the kids. This month, City Street Grille, Cup Cakin’ Machine, Dos Paisanos, Four Seasons, Gandolfo’s, TX Delizioso will be serving, at 2121 Flora.  


It wasn't that long enough when there are only one or two trucks out on Mondays. Now we have seven or eight out on any given Monday. Monday May 7, is the first of two Mondays in May where there will be food truck events. The Monster Truck Rally is from 7 - 10 at the Double Wide Bar at 3510 Commerce St. Easy Slider, Rock &  Roll Taco, Three Lions, Little Vessel Grill, TX Delizioso and Enticed will be bringing the grub, the Double Wide will be serving the drinks and there will also be live music for your Monday night fun. 


May also brings DFW the largest truck event we have seen to date. Thirty trucks, including several from Austin will converge on Valley View Mall in Dallas for the Texas Food Truck Festal on Friday and Saturday, May 11 - 12. Saturday morning, there will be a 5K and a 1 mile family fun race around the Mall. There is an admission of $5 for a wristband, which is good for both days of the event. Children under 12 are free and 15% of the proceeds will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  


Participating trucks include: Belgian Waffle Company from Austin,  Cajun TailgatorsChi'lantro from Austin, Coreanos from Austin and Houston, Crazy FishDough Boy Pizza,  Eat Jo DawgsFour Seasons, EnticedGandolfosJack's Chowhound, KC Cones from San Antonio, Little Vessel Grill Food TruckNammi Food Truck, R&R Chicken Wings from San Antonio, Rock and Roll TacosRockstar Bakeshop, Sabor Columbiano from San Antionio, Ssahm BBQThe Butchers SonThe Fat TruckThree LionsTin Star Taco TaxiTX DeliziosoWiener Man, and Yume Burger from Austin.


To sign up for the race or more information, visit the Festival website at http://www.txfoodtruckfest.com/


Thursday, May 17 is the Grand Opening of the Cowtown Chowdown. Fort Worth's second food truck park will be located at 1100 N. Main and will have up to twenty trucks serving serving days a week.  The confirmed trucks, as of today are: Auntie Am's Sweet Shop, The Bacon Wagon, The Butcher's Son, Chile Pepper Grill, Crazy Sisters, Dough Boys Pizza,  Eat Jo Dawgs, The Food Dude, Food Traveler Food Truck, Gandolfo's New York Deli, In A Pickle, Lee's Grilled Cheese, Potato Potahto, Sassy Hot Dogs, Taqueria Los Gueros, Yum Yum Food Truck and Zombie Food Truck. The grand opening celebration will continue through the weekend of May 18 - 20.


Saturday May 26 is Truckstock - The Movie! Coming soon to Sylvan Thirty, the movie event that will leave Dallas twisting and shouting among the food trucks...

Many were there for the first Truckstock and knew immediately that the next Truckstock had be bigger and better. Bigger will be the number of trucks, twenty-four this time; better will be the inclusion of the location transforming in to an outdoor movie theater at 7:00, courtesy of The Texas Theater, who will also be providing gourmet popcorn and alcohol beverages.

Food services starts at 3:00 from The Butcher's SonGandolfo's New York DeliCajun TailgatorsSo-Cal Tacos, Dos PaisanosNammiCoolhausCup-CakinEasy SliderRock'n Rick'sRollin DinerRockstar BakeshopThree Lions,  Eat Jo DawgsFour SeasonsRock and Roll TacosZombie's, The Blue Truck, Jack's ChowhoundGepetto's PizzaBacon WagonTin Star Taco Taxi, The Bomb Fried Pies, and The Weiner Man.  Beat Breakerzwill be spinning tunes and Durty Laundry will have their laundy clean and ready for you.


A Facebook events page has been set up to provide more information and specific details about this free event, https://www.facebook.com/events/390129844342553/ brought to you by Sylvan Thirty, Durty Laundry, Beat Breakerz and Texas Theater.


Monday, May 28, celebrate Memorial Day with fifteen to twenty trucks and  the ponies at Lone Star Park, brought to you by the DFW Street Food Coalition. More details are coming about this event but mark your calendar and plan to be there!



























Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Will Bring in Nine New Trucks to DFW

In April, I told you about six new trucks preparing to roll out. As with many things in the food truck business, things often do not go as scheduled and four of those were delayed, for various reasons.  Expect to see The Food Traveler Truck and Auntie Am's at the Cowtown Chowdown and Cafe Con Leche and Rockn Rick's out on the streets of Dallas,  in May.

Backtracking to April, I failed to mentioned, Free Wheel'n Cafe, which hit the streets of Dallas in Mid-April. This gourmet burger and cheesesteak truck is making the rounds of Dallas, including a weekend visit to the Deep Ellum Brewing Company.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out where they are serving next.

At the very end of April, it was announced that Los Angeles and Austin's favorite ice cream sandwich truck, Coolhaus would be opening a DFW truck, operated by Gary and Teena from Nammi. Coolhaus made their debut at Downtown Frisco StrEATs and as expected, the lines were long as people wanted to taste chicken & waffles ice cream with potato chip cookies or Guinness ice cream on chocolate chip cookies.  Follow Coolhaus on Twitter or check the website for their schedule, which is still in the final stages of planning.

Finally, after months of waiting and many, many people asking, Dallas finally has a sushi truck!  Crazy Fish has their debut on Wednesday, May 2 and will also be out May 3. This will not be your average sushi restaurant, the menu provides something for everyone. In addition to fish, Crazy Fish offers chicken or beef sushi and many cooked options. Follow Crazy Fish on Facebook and Twitter for more information about where they "roll".

May 11 will bring us the Texas Food Truck Festival and the debut of The Fat Truck, billing itself as a MoGo (Molecular Gastronomy) truck. The menu is a combination Latin and Asian with items such as tacos, steamed buns, ramen and bahn mi.  The Fat Truck plans to serve in Fort Worth, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to get exact locations.

As Denton's City Council continues to study the feasibility of having food trucks, Shitake Swerve is planning to open its doors there. This vegetarian truck will feature tacos and sandwiches made with mushrooms or other veggies.  Gluten free options including bread will also be available. Follow Shitake Swerve on Facebook to find out all the details of their opening.

About 2 hours in to the Chef's on Fire event in Dallas this past Sunday, I started getting texts and Facebook messages about a new ice cream truck that was serving.  I have found out that Short N Sweet is an event ice cream truck, operated by dwarfs. Every person who contacted me said the ice cream was amazing and they wished they had ordered seconds, especially of the rice pudding bar. I hope to cross paths with this truck soon to check them out. You can follow them on Twitter to see if they are coming to an event near you.



GOING OUT OF BUSINESS? 


There is some sad news this month, it seems that Fort Worth may be losing two of its trucks. Trough Burger Wagon has posted on their Facebook page that the owners are moving out of town, and they want to sell the trailer and name to someone who promises to keep everything as is. So far, I have not seen that they have found the right buyer.

Crazy Sisters has also posted that they are selling their truck and all the commercial equipment. No other details have been provided but when a truck starts selling equipment, my assumption is that the doors are closing for good. Crazy Sisters was one of the first trucks I visited after starting this blog and their absence from the food truck scene will be a loss for Fort Worth and the Mid-Cities.

With these additions and assuming both Fort Worth trucks close, we will have sixty-one trucks rolling in the Metroplex by the end of May.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food Trucks Draw the Crowds to the StrEATS of Downtown Frisco!

For as long as I have had this blog, there have been two things have been constant: 1. people love food truck events and 2. people continually ask for the trucks to come to the cities in Collin County. This weekend, both of those things merged with Downtown Frisco StrEATS!  Ten food trucks, including, Nammi, Rockstar Bakeshop, Ssahm, Zombie, Cajun Tailgators, The Butcher's Son, So-Cal Tacos, Eat Jo Dawgs, Easy Slider and making their DFW debut, Coolhaus set up in Downtown Frisco for a Food Truck and Live Music Festival, with music being provided by School of Rock.

The event started at 3:00 and I arrived right around that time, in order not to have to stand in long lines for Coolhaus. It was a good plan on my part, my wait was less than 10 minutes and I had a tasty ice cream sandwich in hand and I was off to see the rest of the event.

The event had been promoted as family friendly and people turned out, by the hundreds, with families and pets in tow. This could have been one of the best food truck events that we have seen in DFW, but for one very important thing; there was no room to move.  The ten trucks and hundreds of attendees were crammed in to one city block. The trucks were set up so that two were in a very small parking lot to the side and the other 8 were on the street, nose to tail, 4 on each side of the street. Since this was not a major street, it was not wide  and the end result was that lines criss-crossed, attendees were confused about which lines were for which truck and the lines all met up in the middle.  Since this was a family friendly event, I had my toddler, in her small stroller with me. It was impossible to maneuver through the crowd with a stroller;  with that many people that close together I couldn't let her out to walk either. I apologize to everyone's legs and heels I bruised as I tried to go from one end of the street to the other.

The food trucks were prepared for such large crowds, with most not running out of food until the very end. I had talked to several trucks in advance of the event and we all agreed that this could be the largest attended food truck event, to date. We all knew the number of people in Collin County begging for trucks. I am not sure the event planners understood this otherwise, they would have spread the trucks out over several blocks, to allow for more room. The end result was that as I was leaving, an hour after the event started, for the sole reason that I couldn't maneuver with my child, I talked to three different families, who were leaving, for the same reason. None of those people had eaten at any truck. I posted on Facebook, to try to gauge other attendees reactions and got the same feedback; people showed up and many left without ever trying the food, just because of the layout.

Overall, a great turn-out, Frisco proved that the trucks are in high demand in the northern suburbs and the trucks have taken note.  Recommendations for the next event:

1. More Trucks. There could have been 3 - 5 more trucks, which would have shortened the line times for everyone, kept people from leaving and not had a significant impact to the volume each truck sold.

2. More Room. The standard is that each truck needs the equivalent of 3 parking spots, just to set up. This rule doesn't work well when the trucks are parked on both sides of  a neighborhood street.  Either have all the trucks on the same side of the street or space them so that they are staggered and the lines don't blend.

3. Change the Location. The people that I spoke to at the event suggested moving the event to Frisco Square. I recognize that one of the goals of this event was to bring attention to the downtown area and shops. For that reason, I recommend moving the event to Main Street, so that the foot traffic is directly in front of the store fronts. I would have liked to have visited the shops on Main Street but the traffic pattern was not conducive or encouraging of this.

4. Better estimate the potential number of attendees. I saw articles saying that the planners expected 500 - 1,000 attendees. There has not been an event of less than 1200 since the food trucks rolled in to DFW; especially when the trucks are in an area where they don't serve often. If the only advertising had been on my  own Facebook and Twitter pages, the reach is 5,400 and I was only one of many promoting the event.  The only way this event would have had 500 people was if it had rained on Saturday.

With these few minor changes, the next event in Frisco will be one of the best in the Metroplex.






 
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