Earth Day Is Putting Food Trucks on the Ground

It was an innocent question, one I assumed the gentleman at Oak Cliff Earth Day wouldn't be able to answer. "Where are the food trucks going to be?"

"Along Flora Street," he replied without skipping a beat, the same stretch of the Arts District mobile food vendors were stationed during the Arts in October celebration.

My intention wasn't to entrap the Earth Day Dallas representative behind the table at Lake Cliff Park; rather, it was an assumption that because of the event's location (the Arts District) mobile food vendors would be a given at festival. It was after all in Veletta Lill's domain. The former city council member and Arts District executive director might not rule the Big D roost, but as the khaki shorts-wearing gentleman conveyed, "She was instrumental in the placement of the food trucks."

One of those trucks is City Street Grille owned by Hunter Johnson and Jessica Smith. They have been operating with great success since September 1, first as a late-night munchie destination and recently as a Design District lunch spot. "We're still experimenting to see what areas work best," Johnson said.

The couple will be testing a new menu item during Earth Day Dallas: Rolled Gold, their rendition of chicken and waffles, an exclusive offering whose announcement was shared first with City of Ate. The debut selection involves a drizzle of peppercorn gravy and golden-fried chicken wrapped in sweet honey-colored waffle. Yum Yum Food Truck and its tacos and burgers from Fort Worth will also have a presence at Earth Day Dallas.

If neither that nor the Martin Creed balloon room, the EPA Fashion Show or The Bilge Pumps pirate band are enough to lure you to the Arts District this weekend, perhaps you'll find reason to cross the threshold of City Hall April 27 when the city council will vote on a measure that will alter Arts District codes and permit food trucks without required special licenses in the downtown neighborhood for the first time. City Street Grille will be among the food trucks on-site rallying the hungry on-the-run troops. Nevertheless, Johnson said all the regulatory reforms will be meaningless without a demand from customers. "People need to get excited about food trucks," he added. "Without them, we can't exist. We know they want us. They just got to show up."

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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José Ralat Maldonado