- SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA EVENTS: STREET EATS FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL-
I want to send a big thanks out to Aaron Studebaker, the Director of Sales and Marketing, for bringing the Street Eats Food Truck Festival to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in the Scottsdale area. It seems Aaron was visiting his brother in Los Angeles and they decided to do dinner at a traveling gourmet food-truck that was going to be in their neighborhood. After waiting over two hours in line for a grilled cheese (that would be mac and cheese with pulled pork) – he was hooked!
We headed out to the Street Eats Food Truck Festival around noon on Saturday. Scottsdale was experiencing some unusually cold weather and I wasn’t anxious to go out too early. As it turned out, it was a bright, clear day and a comfortable temperature for walking around and enjoying the sights.
It was one of the most well-organized events I have attended in a long time. There was great signage from the freeway, parking was included in the ticket price and attendants to guide you into the closest spaces to the event. Walking over to the field location was fun as we had a great view of all of the fabulous practice and training areas for the Diamondbacks. They were having a baseball camp for teenagers and it was fun to see how well some of these youngsters play and how well they were doing in the batting cages.
Entry fee was $10 per person and you could buy tickets for food and drink from a number of different places at $2 per ticket. Once we got inside the Festival area, I immediately went to the tent where they were going to hold a cooking demonstration by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. It was standing room only and Chef Zakarian put on a great show for the audience. He made making risotto seem like a “snap” – a favorite dish of mine, but one that can be tricky to pull off correctly.
We then walked the full perimeter of the area to see what was being presented before we chose a place to eat. We saw a couple of other fun , interesting sights as we strolled along. The “Droid” was there and was a big hit with the little ones. We saw two young ladies making balloon characters for the children. And, I was a bit taken aback when a “horse” tapped me on the shoulder and suggested we try some of the traditional Indian Food from his particular truck. (Didn’t talk – just gestured with his “hooves…”)
One of my favorite trucks was “Taking it to the Streets”. This was the group from the new Isabella’s Kitchen at the Grayhawk Golf Club. I have been looking forward to visiting the restaurant as it has had great reviews. They encouraged us to stop in on Wednesday night – they have Happy Hour between 5 and 8 PM and they said it was a good way to sample several different offerings.
I had two other favorite trucks. The first was a large truck painted like a big bull from the Whiskey River Saloon in North Phoenix. Second was the Rockin Ray’s. A sleek metal trailer with retro chrome and steel tables and stools. It’s pulled by a vintage pick up truck painted in the same gray metal color and totally “tricked out”. The fact that they were serving San Francisco crab rolls might have biased my opinion a bit, as well.
For families, they had a great children’s play area – a 40 foot slide was fun for all ages and they had these large clear balls floating on water that kids could get into and propel along. Just like a hamster!
And, I never go to one event that I don’t learn something new about Scottsdale area. The open bandstand in the back was featuring different rock groups as entertainment. The School of Rock nightclub on Mill Avenue in Tempe sponsored the show. The School of Rock opened in September of 2010 with the purpose of giving local artists (as well as national bands) the opportunity to perform for live audiences. We caught the performance by “Soldiers of Virtue” consisting of three young men. Well, we think they were all young men – one had a horse’s head, but…… we enjoyed the music!
They also had a few contests going on on the stage including a Hot Dog Eating Contest, a Pie Eating Contest, and a Twinkies Eating Contest (wonder where they got the Twinkies?)
All in all, it was a fabulous afternoon. I would highly recommend the event for families as well as “foodies” or adventurous types who want to sample new and different kinds of food and drink. We are looking forward to next year!