Approximately 2,500 people descended upon a vacant lot in downtown Phoenix Saturday evening for the inaugural Food Truck Festival.
The event was a seven-hour joint effort from the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation and the Phoenix Street Food Coalition featuring approximately 25 local food trucks.
“We saw it as a good way to bring people into the neighborhood,” said Andrea Pederson, events coordinator for Roosevelt Row CDC.
ASU alumnus Brian Greig, 49, attended the festival with his son, Connor, who watches the Great Food Truck Races on the Food Network.
“We knew we had to come when we found out there were food trucks here,” Greig said. “I never knew about them before. It’s amazing what you miss when you live in the suburbs.”
This was the kind of reaction Pederson and her fellow planners were hoping for. Pederson said they wanted people from all over the Valley to become more aware of downtown Phoenix.
Law student Josh Mozell brought his fiancée to the event.
“She’s from L.A. where they have lots of food trucks, so we both love them,” Mozell said.
The food at the festival ranged from the predictable — burgers, shaved ice and hot dogs — to the unique — sweet potato, avocado and pumpkin flavored ice cream from Udder Delights, one of the local desert trucks.
The festival, especially in the early hours, was full of parents with young children who sampled food from the many different food trucks.
The large crowds led to long lines, said ASU alumnus Kyle Foley, 29, of Chandler.
“It’s busy; I’ve been standing in line a lot, but the food’s really good,” Foley said at the festival.
Pederson said many people came up to her and other staff with similar comments. While the lines, particularly the line for beverages, stretched and winded around each other, Pederson said she heard many compliments about both the quality of the food and the event itself.
Mamma Toledo’s made its debut as a dessert food truck at the Festival.
Tonya Saidi, the owner of Mamma Toledo’s, began looking into setting up a homemade desert delivery route five years ago and began selling pies at farmers markets last year. She eventually found a truck on Craigslist to join the Phoenix Street Food Coalition.
“Business has been really good so far,” Saidi said a few hours into the festival. “We’ve had a line since the door opened and a good turnout ever since.”
The Four Peaks Beer Truck and Dos Cabezas Winery provided alcohol, but attendees had to pay an additional price for both alcohol and soda.
Tickets were $30 before the event and $35 at the door, while children 12 and under got in free with a paid adult.