By Joe Rubino | Daily Camera
John and Debra Grabowski sat at a picnic table in a crowded festival tent at the Gateway Park Fun Center near Boulder on Friday, carefully putting down several plates of food they had just grabbed from the nearby Street Eats 5280 truck.
The Grabowskis, of Evergreen, were among several thousand people who gathered Friday for “Truck It,” an inaugural Boulder-area food truck party.
The event featured 10 food trucks from the Denver and Boulder County areas including Street Eats and local favorites such as Comida, Heirloom and the Tasterie Truck. The Grabowskis settled in to chow down on a salad and Hawaiian-style Kalbi rib plate, as their grandchildren enjoyed sweet potato fries.
“It’s interesting, and it’s obviously all about the food,” John Grabowski said of Truck It.
The Truck It party idea originated several months back, organizer and Tasterie Truck co-owner Shannon Aten said, but took a while to materialize because truck owners could not get approval to throw the party in city limits.
Gateway, at 4800 N. 28th St., falls outside of Boulder, freeing the trucks to group together, which is not allowed under the 2011 city ordinance allowing food truck businesses.
Aten and her partner Nathan Miller discussed the idea with Crock Spot food truck owner Stephen Daniels, who had thrown similar parties in Denver, and then began enlisting fellow mobile food enthusiasts.
“The trucks were stoked,” Aten said as she, Miller and his parents dished out creme brulee, key lime pie and other sweets Friday. “A lot of us are starting our second year (in business). Year No. 1 was about surviving. Year No. 2, we want to expand and have some fun. Boulder is so thirsty for food trucks.”
On Friday, trucks offered everything from quesadillas to slow-cooked pulled pork to ice cream, as local deejay Zach Johnson provided music and kids played with hula hoops or in Gateway’s outdoor maze.
Laura Bare, of Boulder, attended Truck It with her sons Cole, 5 and Tucker, 9. Bare enjoyed a pasta dish from Heirloom, while Cole and Tucker split a Street Eats burger and some Tasterie treats.
“I love it,” Bare said of Truck It. “It’s really fun. Great atmosphere.”
Beer from Avery and Upslope Brewing was poured by volunteers from Boulder-area nonprofit Parenting Place. The organization, dedicated to preventing child abuse and strengthening families, received all of the beer sales profit to help support its mission.
“Everybody wins at this type of event,” Crock Spot owner Daniels said.
Aten said she hopes the event also demonstrated to Boulder the value of the local food truck industry and encourages officials to loosen restrictions on how late trucks can stay open, where they can operate in the city limits and allowing them to group together in pods.
Boulder spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said the City Council will discuss options for food truck regulations at its Tuesday meeting.