The city of Denton enjoyed a wildly successful turnout at Friday Night Bites this weekend as more than 3,000 hungry people huddled around the Denton Downtown Transit Center (604 E. Hickory St.), celebrating the A-train's extended Friday service (past midnight!) to and from Dallas. It was bitterly cold (for this native Texan), windy, but the crowds arrived. Puffs of warm breath could be seen escaping upwards from the hundreds of small clumps of food truck fans.
The trucks lined up in a massive L-shape right across from the Municipal Court, the whirring and humming gradually drowned out by the noise of horde. Through scarves and hooded jackets, I heard countless times the muffled excitement of the crowd, most saying, "Finally, food trucks in Denton."
Denton's lively music scene and rapidly growing craving for all things delicious makes it the perfect town for a food truck, especially after sundown. The population is thick with students and night owls, wielding debit cards and an insatiable appetite for something other than Whataburger. The city is still working on a permanent food truck ordinance, but was more than happy to provide a special permit for this event.
I arrived right at 5 p.m., just in time to nab a parking spot and a place in line for some warm food.
The A-train roared through every few minutes, drowning out the crowd's laughter, the live music and all the chattering teeth. It appeared Rock-n-Roll Tacos took an early lead with a line about 60-90 minutes deep, not to be outdone by The Butcher's Son and their rather impressive hour-wait for sliders and monstrous meaty sandwiches. Three Lions, makers of all thing British, also had a deep line going as rumors spread of warm pockets of meat surrounded by flaky dough. I actually heard someone say, "Meat pie? Feed me a meat pie."
"This is like Austin... but closer because I live here."
(In line for Rock-n-Roll Taco) "I'm going to go get more beer while you wait. When you get up there, order some food."
"Is that a baby?"
"I heard this is the line for hot dogs."
"Are you eating a whoopie pie while you wait in this line for food?"
I may or may not have been a part of that last one.
As the trucks got into the groove, they started churning out piles of whoopee pies, sushi, banh mi, ice cream concoctions, hot dogs, cupcakes, tacos and all kinds of other things that make standing in the cold wind totally worth it. Hopefully this will become a regular event and the distance between Denton and Dallas can feel a little bit shorter, at least on Friday nights.