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Masses munch at Santa Clarita Food Truck Festival

Event: Dozens of vendors convene on Central Park to serve gourmet snacks to hundreds of people

Posted: February 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.

ason Apperson, of Valencia, carries a plate of Korean “pub grub” from the Ahn-Joo food truck at Central Park.

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It was like an outdoor rock festival where the rock stars were burgers and fries.

Parking was jammed, security guards in tight black T-shirts buzzed, and still crowds kept coming to Central Park on Saturday for the Santa Clarita Food Truck Festival.

They came in strollers pushed by young parents and on crutches.

Many came with foldable chairs strapped to their backs ready to make a day out of sampling gourmet food from specialty trucks visiting here on wheels.

About 40 food trucks circled the south end of the park on Bouquet Canyon Road on Saturday morning and began firing up their respective grills, sending plumes of smells wafting under the threatening skies — of grilled beef and chicken, Cajun spices and Indian curry.

“I just followed the smell of chicken,” said Morris Taylor, who confessed his love for grilled food, having arrived in Santa Clarita Valley four years ago from Texarkana, Texas. “After this, I’m making my way to the ATM.”

Nearby, the Alvey family — Robb, Elissa and their daughter Kristen who turns 4 years old next week — found a quiet section of dry blacktop and sat down for a picnic of various gourmet samplings.

“We’re definitely sharing,” said Elissa.

“I already had my list,” she said.

“I looked online and so I knew right where to go. Maria’s (Italian Kitchen) was my No.1.”

As for her husband who had a burger from Baby’s Badass Burgers, he said: “For me, I heard burger and that sounded good to me.”

What gourmet snack did the young Alvey prefer?

She pointed to a plate of curly fries.

If there was a superstar at the food truck festival it was the Nom Nom Truck, which garnered national attention as the runner-up on the Great Food Truck Race televised last year.

Lynn Schlossman, waiting in the Nom Nom line that stretched across the park, said: “All these food trucks were in a competition ... and in the end, it came down to Nom Nom and another truck.”

Chris Alexander, in line ahead of her, turned around and added: “The following they had was amazing. No matter what city they were in, or what state, they had a constant line because of the quality of their food.”

There were gourmet drinks to go with gourmet eats.

“We’re like a gourmet tea truck. Everything is freshly brewed, and we have over 90 kinds of unique teas,” said Liwei Liao at the Boba Truck.

Most popular unique tea served up Saturday? The cherry blossom green milk tea, he said.

BobaTruck neighbor, Dogtown Dog, arrived apparently with some serious unofficial Dogtown endorsement.

“Jeff Ho, you know, started Zephyr Surf Shop —  his favorite dog is the Dogtown,” said Dogtown Dog manager Jonathan Terrio.

It was delicious, according to one totally biased source for this story.

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