The first TheDailyCity.com Orlando Food Truck Bazaar is now history, and it truly was an event of historical proportions. Organized by The Daily City’s Mark Baratelli, the bazaar featured nine trucks that pulled into the parking lot of Discovery Church south of downtown Orlando.
It was scheduled to begin at 7 o’clock in the evening, but by 6 p.m. people were already lined up. And they kept coming, and coming, and coming. One estimate put the crowd at 3,000. Every truck had a line that stretched so far that it was impossible to tell which truck it led to. I spoke to some folks who waited one hour to get food from the Korean BBQ Taco Box. Traffic on Orange Avenue was backed up nearly a mile, and people were parking in empty lots several blocks away and walking to the church. Police were stopping cars to help people cross the street.
But I heard few complaints. The people knew they were getting in long lines, and groups of friends fanned out to separate trucks, meeting up after they finally purchased their food. The only time the crowd got a little nervous was when the Korean BBQ Taco Box lost its power and went dark. A cheer went up from the throng when the lights came back on.
Although the event was scheduled to last until 10 p.m., some of the trucks started to run out of food after 8 o’clock. I don’t think any of the truckers dreamed that the crowds would be this big and ravenous.
So if anyone had any doubts that this food trend has wheels, or that Orlandoans would embrace it, the turnout should settle the issue.
When is the next one? Baratelli is considering his options. And I’m hoping he’ll again allow Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide to be one of the sponsors. I can only tell you that it will be even bigger than this one -- I personally had at least eight people who have existing trucks or one in the works ask me how they could participate in the next one. So stay tuned. I'll have more on the bazaar later. In the meantime, congratulations to Mark for taking the initiative to organize this event.