This is shaping up to be one of those glorious weekends in which the Valley really is our oyster. The weather forecast calls for temps in the mid-80s, and there’s a glut of fun stuff going on to ensure you get out and enjoy yourself.
There are festivals going on in Chandler, Tempe and Phoenix, a block party in downtown Mesa, and an aircraft display at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Amid all of these worthy options, the Scottsdale Arts Festival is what’s catching my eye.
Sure, it’s lovely to stroll the city’s lush, grassy Civic Center Mall, taking in art from 200 artists, listening to live music, and joining in creative projects in a family activity zone if you’ve got kids. But there’s a new element I’m particularly jazzed about: the food trucks.
They’re kind of a big deal.
Eleven gourmet food trucks will park at the festival and sell a crazy mish-mash of vittles out their sides, from tacos infused with Asian flavors and Cajun-style burritos to wood-fired Tuscan pizzas, artisanal ice cream and wholesome, farm-to-fork fare.
The food truck and cart scene has exploded across the country in the past few years, with mobile eateries cropping up outside traditional food-truck cities like Los Angeles and New York. In Columbus, Ohio, for example, you can buy “Buckeyes on a Stick” and Japanese-style crepes from food carts. Food Network captures the trend on its show “The Great Food Truck Race.”
The Valley’s no exception to the movement. Last September, a handful of truck owners and foodies formed the Phoenix Street Food Coalition. And they’re not pushing roach coaches. Torched Goodness, a truck owned by Cordon Bleu-trained chef Eric Ireland, sells crème brûlée.
The festival goes on through Sunday. Find more info at scottsdaleperformingarts.org. Can’t make it? You can catch the trucks 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, 14 E. Pierce St., where they park each week for a mobile food court. (Not today, though; they’ll all be at the festival.) Some trucks also Tweet their locations. Find out more at twitter.com/PHXStreetFood or phxstreetfood.wordpress.com.
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