By Angie Francalancia | PalmBeachPost.com
The Food Truck Invasion roared into the suburbs last week, filling the parking lot of Wellington’s amphitheater with delicious aromas – and a crowd of hungry people.
It’s a scene sure to be repeated every Thursday evening as truck owners and organizers agreed Wellington was ripe for the invasion.
“I’m so excited. It’s nice because it brings all the community out, and it’s a nice night,” said Jamie Shapiro, who was dining on a turkey parfait – baked beans, shredded turkey and coleslaw, served in layers in a plastic cup.
Offerings were abundant – burgers, barbecue, yogurt, sandwiches, Mexican fare, cupcakes, and French fries. And if all that sounds a little too conventional, check out the gator bites from Stocked n Loaded, which also makes regular appearances at the Wellington Greenmarket. With the diversity, a family of four like Shapiro’s can find something to satisfy everyone’s palate.
“We were looking around, and I found Philly Grille,” said first-grader Spencer Shapiro. “Me and (sister) Carley wanted chicken fingers, and we got them.” More like entire chicken fillets, the portions were large enough to share. Spencer’s verdict: “Fantastic.”
With a DJ providing music, the scene was a mini street festival. Wellington’s events coordinator Joe Picconcelli said at least once a month, there will be live music on the amphitheater stage during the Food Truck Invasion, slated to run every Thursday at the amphitheater from 5:30 to 10 p.m. “The nice thing about this is the food is all made fresh,” he said.
If you think some of the trucks look familiar, they might be: Bite Gastrotruck’s gourmet burgers have won awards in food truck competitions, and the Mobile Culinary Kitchen, a Mexican cantina with neon lights and Latin tunes, is featured with LeBron James in a commercial for a new Samsung cell phone, event coordinator Steve Simon said.
At the invasion, BFF stands for Best French Fries, and judging from the constant line at the order window, Frydaddy Food Truck apparently delivers on the promise. Regular or sweet potatoes come baked or fried, with topping choices not usually found on a fry menu.
“These are so good,” said Mayor Bob Margolis, offering a share of his “naked” fries.
“This is amazing,” Shaun Santoro of The Acreage said of the event while waiting in the fries line. I have been looking forward to coming to one of these. My husband’s getting sweet potato fries. I’m saving room for the cupcake truck.”
At Dulce Gourmet Cupcakes, Liana Martinez sold out by the night’s end.
“Our best-seller tonight was the red velvet, and rosewater pistachio was a big seller as well.”
As news of the invasion spread, a late-night crowd came through.
“One lady bought a half-dozen doggie froyos because she saw it on the news,” said Ivan Breger, owner of JOJI frozen yogurt truck, providing treats for human and canine alike.
At around 9 p.m., Ryan Hentz of Fort Lauderdale was dining on a Mac n Cheeseburger from the Loaded Burger food truck, while his friend, Nicole Ginnard of Hypoluxo went for a lighter sandwich.
“We tend to go to a bunch of food truck events together,” Ginnard said.
Alejandro Alvarez of Wellington had spent most of the night at the invasion, unable to choose just one meal.
“I’ve tried probably five different things,” he said. “The Cuban quesadilla is tops, the Mexican gyro is great. And this skirt steak from Che Grille is fantastic.”
He’ll be back to the Food Truck Invasion, he said.
“It’s the greatest idea to hit Wellington since … maybe the mall.”