BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – A platoon of roving restaurants has rolled into Railroad Park, for a food truck and fundraising event complete with kids, dogs and tons of food – literally.
Spoonfed Grill employees, for example, prepared 700 lbs. of pork, 300 lbs. of potatoes, 50 lbs. of lamb, more than 120 bunches of collard greens and at least 16 whole ducks.
The second Trucks by the Tracks food truck festival began at 11 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Admission is free, and guests pay for food and beverages at the 17 trucks and carts – nearly twice as many as last year.
Local musicians Gip Gipson and War Jacket will perform throughout the afternoon.
Almost 10,000 people attended the inaugural event in 2012, and at least that many are expected to show up this year, said Camille Spratling, the executive director of the Railroad Park Foundation, the nonprofit group that runs the park.
Last year’s inaugural event drew a huge crowd, and several trucks sold out of food by mid-afternoon.
Organizers have worked to improve on last year’s festival by increasing participation and blocking off 1st Avenue South. Many vendors have backup plans for when food inevitably dwindles, Spratling said.
The trucks participating are Avalanche Delights, Cantina, Dreamcakes, Hank’s Famous Hot Dogs & Italian Ice, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Melt, NOLA Ice, Off the Hook, Repicci’s Italian Ice, Shindigs, Slice, Spoonfed Grill, Steel City Pops and Urban Wings, as well as Biscuit Love from Franklin, Tenn., and the Birmingham Fashion Truck.
Also, Spoonfed Grill debuted its new Silver Spoon Side Cart, which employees affectionately call a “notdog” cart, as it serves dishes such as duck confit instead of the usual food-cart fare, Spoonfed owner Jason Parkman said. After Sunday, the cart will serve primarily UAB students but will also be open to the public.
At least 10 percent of each truck’s sales will go to the Railroad Park Foundation, which also aims to raise additional money for the park, Spratling said.
“If you’ve been prouder of Birmingham since Railroad Park opened, we hope you’ll give,” she said.
One of the best aspects of Trucks by the Tracks is the fact that it gets people out to experience the “wonderful environment” of the park, Parkman said.
“We’re able to give back to the community and to Railroad Park, to contribute actual dollars,” he said.
No coolers or alcohol can be brought into the park during the event, but beer and other beverages will be available from vendors, including Birmingham’s Good People Brewing Company.