CHINO – It’s been five months since Chino Hills High School student Hana Reddin, 17, ate the chili cheese fries at the Frysmith food truck.
“I’m so satisfied right now,” she said, stabbing the cheesy mess of a meal with her fork. “Last time, I waited an hour and a half and it was worth it. This time I ran to the front of the line.”
On Saturday, the Chino Valley Unified School District hosted its second food truck festival at Don Lugo High School. Its inaugural Chino Valley Foodie Festival five months ago raised $15,000 for the cash-strapped school district.
As school board President James Na touted the attendance and graduation rates during a State of the District speech, hungry food truck fans noshed on well-dressed hot dogs and smothered fries.
To work out all that calorie-dense food, the dance teams from Ayala and Don Lugo high schools conducted a flashmob with a dance routine backed by the school choir. There was also some dancing at a Block Party Game Truck.
Four friends from Riverside, with no connection to the school district, drove out to sample the unusual food truck offerings.
“We each venture out to different trucks, then come back and share,” said Teresa Herrera.
Herrera had just finished her french toast with bacon while her friends were working on a spaghetti taco, Korean beef taco and a grilled cheese sandwich with short ribs.
Riverside and San Bernardino are the only two counties that ban food trucks outside of special events like the school district fundraiser. Although the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors recently relaxed some food truck regulations, these mobile vendors are still not able to roam the way they can on the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties.
That’s fine with Herrera, a self-described food truck fan.
“This is a contained environment; it keeps the uniqueness,” she said. “If they were everywhere, the quality would go down.”
The 14 trucks that lined the basketball courts of Don Lugo were definitely unique.
Lardon, a truck that worships bacon, puts bacon on every thing including their desserts. Their Nutella brownie is sprinkled with sea salt and – why not? – bacon.
The Buttermilk truck, which specializes in breakfast food, serves up red velvet pancake bites with chocolate chips.
Bool, the ultimate fusion truck, stuffs a Brazilian pastry with Korean beef and chicken.
Tonja Bellard of Chino Hills brought her son and daughter to check out the food truck experience for the first time.
Bellard took a bite out her carne asada taco from the Don Chow truck and rolled her eyes back.
“Whatever that sauce is … kill me now,” she said.
Bellard had never been to a food truck fair and is now thinking of introducing it to her church.
“It’s a cool event. I hope it makes a lot of money for the school,” she said. “The coolest part is seeing these kids out there supporting their school.”