Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Monthly Midtown Food Truck Fest to Help Kick-off the Regeneration of Valley View Mall

Recently there has been much talk in the local media about the redesign of Valley View Mall in Dallas. Beck Ventures purchased the property in April and over the next ten years plans to convert the Mall in to an urban development with retail and residences, under the name of "Dallas Midtown".  The first step in property owner Scott Beck's revitalization plan is to bring people back to Valley View Mall. One of several points in that first step is a monthly food truck festival, the Midtown Food Truck Fest.

To date, twenty-one trucks have been confirmed for the July 20-22 Festival: Cajun Tailgators, Crazy Fish, Coolhaus, Cup-Cakin, Dos Paisanos, Dough Boys Pizza, Eat Jo Dawgs, Enticed, Gandolfo's New York Deli, Jack's Chowhound, Lee's Grilled Cheese, Nammi, Potato Potahto, Rockstar Bakeshop, The Butcher's Son, Yes Taco, Yum Yum, The Bomb Fried Pies, Chile Pepper Grill, Cruzin Chef and Austin truck, Chi'lantro Korean BBQ.

The Festival will run Friday from 5:00 - 9:00, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and 
Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Cost of admission is $5 for those 16 and over. 

I was able to visit Valley View and see the layout of the festival and hear some of the long term plans that Beck has for connecting the food trucks to the Mall. The Midtown Food Truck Fest will be held the third weekend of every month. Proceeds from admission to the Festival will be given to a local charity each month. July's charity is Dress for Success, who provides professional attire, networking support and career development tools for disadvantaged women. 

The Food Truck Fest will have a unique layout, with an indoor/outdoor setup. The food trucks will be outdoors, under the cover of the JCPenney's parking structure.  No standing in the hot sun at this Festival! Today when I was at the mall at 1:00 p.m., it was at least 15 degrees cooler under the garage than it was in the sun. Misters and large fans will also keep the heat at bay under the garage. 

The Festival events will take place inside the mall. The majority of the first floor of the mall will be in festival mode with tables and chairs, and DJs or live bands will be providing music all weekend. Bounce houses, a mechanical bull and other activities will keep the kids entertained. On Saturday, the Mall has also be holding, "Arts Fest", to showcase the Gallery at Midtown, space where artists can rent studios and they, along with other local artists will be exhibiting their art work.

A new twist to this Festival is that food will be purchased with tickets.  All food prices on the trucks will be rounded up to the whole dollar and tickets will be sold for $1 each, from ticket booths. The bounce houses, mechanical bull and other activities will also use tickets for access. Additionally, several of the Mall's existing restaurants will be accepting tickets, if you or someone in your group would rather eat at one of those locations.

The CBS Radio Group including Jack FM, KLUV, Lite FM, MEGA, KRLD and Indie Verse are all supporting the Midtown Food Truck Fest and several of the stations will be broadcasting live at various times over the three day weekend. Jack FM will also be sponsoring some Test Kitchens that will be located in the Valley View Food Court.  I'll have many more details about that in the coming weeks but expect to start seeing some of your favorite food trucks set up and sell in these test kitchens on a monthly basis.

Stay tuned for details of each month's Midtown Food Truck Fest, the trucks and activities will change each month so it will never be the same event twice. 
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy 1 Year Blog Anniversary!

What an amazing, crazy year it has been! When I decided to start a blog about Dallas Fort Worth food trucks it was to be a creative release for me, nothing more, nothing less. Never in any dream could I have conjured up any one of the tremendous things that have happened to me this year.

 Things like:
  • Meeting a lot of people who share my passion for food trucks.
  • Connecting with food truck owners and food bloggers from around the world.
  • Being invited to be the DFW representative to Eat St. (which was the inspiration for the blog to begin with)
  • Being interviewed by the CW channel about the food truck scene
  • Being part of a Splash Media SplashCast webcast.
  • First having Pegaus News and now reprint my blog posts.
  • Having Mobile Food News ask me to write for them. 
  • Eating some amazing (and if we are being honest, some not so amazing) food.
  • Having over 4100 Facebook followers and 2600 Twitter followers.
  • Getting to know the truck owners, who are putting their heart and soul in to their creations every day and inspiring me to do the same.

What started out as a hobby quickly became a passion. This year has taken me beyond my original concept for the blog and absolutely outside my comfort zone on a couple of occasions. Thankfully I have a core group of people who have been there as a sounding board for the new ideas and the frustrations, you know who you know how indebted I am to you.

Thank you to the thousands who read every single word I write, your comments on the blog, Facebook and Twitter make all of this fun and keep me motivated.

Mostly, thank you to the food truck owners of the Metroplex, thank you for opening your business to me, sharing your stories and mostly for keeping me fed!

I look forward to the next year of blogging, the new trucks I will visit, the new friends I will make and all the adventrues that start on the streets of Dallas Fort Worth.

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