The tickets said it started at 6 p.m. So did the announcements. And yet the tantalizing aromas arising from an array of food trucks in the parking lot of the Alon Market on Northwest Military Highway drew people much earlier than the starting time.
They waited patiently until the gates opened for Culinaria’s inaugural food truck gathering. And while they waited the crowd grew, and it kept growing long after people were granted admission into the area.
Who knows how many thousand people showed up for the event? Not Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, CEO of the food and wine festival, which runs through Sunday. She was out front helping get customers in as quickly as she and her staff could, so that all could enjoy some fine wine, beer and meals from about a dozen mobile kitchens from the area.
Spice Runner offered a variety of spicy sandwiches and pocket pies as well as some irresistible Thai chicken wings with a peanut sauce flavored with coconut, lime and, of course, a bit of heat. Crepe Nation had both savory and sweet crepes to tempt your taste buds, with flavors ranging from shrimp and avocado to several featuring Nutella.
Flour Power Cafe didn’t have wheels, but they had a table with cake balls, while Jason Dady’s Duk Truck offered pork tacos crowned with pineapple, cilantro and jalapeños. Those willing to stand in a lengthy line were rewarded with the likes of cochinita pibil tacos or mealtloaf and mashed potato sliders from 41:10 Mobile Kitchen or Akaushi beef sliders and duck fat fries from Say-She-Ate.
Erika Prosper did what many at the event did. She stood in one line while her husband went to another. They swapped bites whenever they got served. She enjoyed the event, but she hopes that the trucks would add to their staff to alleviate a little of the wait.
The weather cooperated and even made things pleasant with some welcome breezes and comfortable temperatures. Even with the lines, the area was large enough for breathing space to enjoy a glass of J. Lohr Wildflower or Buena Vista Chardonnay.
Culinaria continues Friday with the Best of Mexico tasting at La Villita. For a full list of events, click here.