Food Trucks Come of Age at Phoenix Festival

Ice-cream artisan Sweet Republic is among the participating vendors at the Oct. 22 Phoenix Food Truck Festival, A.R.T.S. Project #1, 408 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. - Phoenix Street Food Coalition

By Mandy Zajac | EastVelleyTribune.com

Ice-cream artisan Sweet Republic is among the participating vendors at the Oct. 22 Phoenix Food Truck Festival, A.R.T.S. Project #1, 408 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. - Phoenix Street Food Coalition

Run-of-the-mill lunch trucks they are not.

More than 20 food trucks and carts will dish out caprese ciabatta sandwiches, organic coconut milk-and-spinach lumpias and just-torched creme brulee at the Phoenix Food Truck Festival.

The first-ever event takes place Oct. 22 on a lot in Roosevelt Row, a walkable district of galleries and boutiques in downtown Phoenix.

“They’re definitely not the old ‘roach coach’ you think of; they’re not the traditional white lunch truck. Always, when people visit for the first time, they’re not sure at first if they’re going to like it, but the positive feedback is immediate,” says Jason Fimbrez of the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, a 1-year-old group uniting the Valley’s “mobile specialty food vendors.”

Super Farm Super Truck from Superstition Farm in Mesa will be there. So will Gilbert dessert shop Udder Delights. Other vendors offer everything from Filipino street food and artisan popsicles to barbecue and Cajun-Mexican fusion.

“On a typical day, I could easily spend $30 at three or four trucks. (The festival) gives you unlimited food samples from all the trucks for that price,” says Fimbrez, whose group co-hosts the festival with Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation.

Larger portions will be available for purchase. Four Peaks Brewing Company and Dos Cabezas Winery will serve drinks at a cash bar. Dry River Yacht Club and several other local acts will supply live music, courtesy of indie music store Stinkweeds Records.

Food trucks, which have been increasing in popularity in the Valley over the past few years, assemble at lunchtime on Fridays outside the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar in Phoenix. Some visit farmers markets. Most of the time, they rely on Facebook and Twitter to alert fans to their whereabouts.

Fimbrez says there’s a laid-back, almost slowed-down atmopshere around the trucks — many of which serve organic, vegan or gluten-free fare or ascribe to the benefits of fresh, minimally processed food.

“We want you to be able to come and experience what we’re all about. It’s a different environment, where people are able to come break away from the office or school or whatever it is they’re doing, sit outside, have a good meal and just enjoy thier day,” he says.

The Phoenix Food Truck Festival takes place 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 22 at A.R.T.S. Project #1, 408 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Tickets are $30 in advance through www.brownpapertickets.com/event/197227 and $35 at the gate. Children 12 and younger get in free with a paid adult ticket. For information, visit www.phxstreetfood.org

Phoenix Food Truck Festival

What: More than 20 food trucks and carts offer samples at this event with live bands and a cash bar

When: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 22

Where: A.R.T.S. Project #1, 408 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix

Cost: $30 advance purchase, $35 at the door, free for children 12 and younger with a paid adult ticket

Information: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/197227 or www.phxstreetfood.org

Participating vendors

Beet StrEat (whole, unprocessed foods, vegan options)

Burgermania

Carte Blanche Gourmet Tacos

Duck Duck Pig (sandwiches)

Emerson Fry Bread

Epic Hot Dogs

Fru Fru Pops (gluten free, vegan popsicles)

Hey Joe Filipino Food Truck (gluten free, vegan)

Jamburritos Cajun Grill

La Vida Locavore

Mike’s Kitchen and BBQ

Mojo Bowl (vegan, gluten-free natural shaved ice)

Pizza People (vegan options)

Shine Coffee

Short Leash Hot Dogs (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options)

Strada Bella (Italian street food)

Sunshine and Spice (vegan, gluten-free)

Super Farm Super Truck (farm-to-fork fare)

Sweet Republic (artisanal ice cream)

Taste Rite by Riteway Catering (hoagie roll sandwiches)

T-Licious Teazy Tacos

Tom’s Pig Rig (barbecue)

Torched Goodness (gluten-free creme brulee)

Udder Delights (desserts)