Santa Anita food truck fest part II and the alternative…

So the folks at Santa Anita got the message loud and clear about the madness that was the first Food Truck Festival held in February, (see my previous post.)
A separate admission into the festival, 23 trucks, ridiculously long lines, trucks running out of food – there was reportedly 10,000 folks in the festival alone – not the greatest start.
Now, with Food Truck Festival II being held this Saturday, April 2, they hope to make it up to foodies by not having a separate admission fee – yes, just $5 gets you into the park and the infield where the festival will be held – and featuring more than 80 food trucks.
I have to admit, I’m a little skeptical. No separate admission can mean there may be way more people trying to get at least one taste of these gourmet food offerings and there will be some trucks who will be more popular than others, no matter how many are offered.
For me, the idea of a food truck festival is great because one has the opportunity to try more than one truck in one place versus driving around all over SoCal – it’s a one stop shop!
But when there are long wait times and that doesn’t happen, it makes me just want to give up and resort to just following a few fav trucks.
I don’t think I’ve been to a festival yet that features over 80 trucks, so guess I’ll wait and see until after how it all went.
For more info on the festival and a full list of trucks, visit
http://www.santaanita.com/specialevent/2011/food-truck-festival-ii
I will not be able to attend, but if anyone out there knows how it went, or has pictures – let me know. Meanwhile, check out below what’s new in the food truck world.

———————————————————————–

Forget drive-throughs, food trucks and pop-ups are practically bringing gourmet truck and other delicious food to your front door. But for those who still like the sit-down dinner night out, Breadbar presents the Hatchi Truck Stop.
For one night a month for the rest of 2011, a new guest truck will be cooking up a specialty menu of 8 items for $8 a pop at
the bakery and pastry shop’s kitchen in Century City. Yes, inside. No eating in your car or outside the truck (unless you have leftovers after.)
Kicking off the series tonight, March 31, is Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” winner, Grill ‘Em All.
Reservations are essential for all series dinners, served from 6 to 10 p.m., with a minimum purchase of $32 per guest.
Last check in by the Grill ‘Em All team is some spots opened up for tonight’s event which will feature heavy-metal inspired cuisines such as Molson Beer and Cheese Soup with Frise, Lardons, and a Bacon
Vinaigrette; “Behemoth Style” Meatballs with BBQ Sauce, Bacon, Smoked
Cheddar, and Funyuns Onion Flavored Rings; Duck Confit Poutine with
Wisconsin Cheese Curds and Rosemary; and Peanut Butter and Jelly Three
Ways-Canap and more. Microbrews from Humboldt
County’s Lost Coast Brewery will be offered along with the menu.
Call 310-277-3770 to see if you can snag a table tonight, or for any future series events which includes “The Great Food Truck Race” runner-ups, Nom Nom Truck, Frysmith and more. Visit www.breadbar.net for the full list of trucks and more details.
Breadbar is at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles.


Starbucks celebrates 40th (with free goodies)

To celebrate 40 years of taking over every other corner of the world, starting in Seattle, Starbucks has a couple ways to celebrate this year. (I kind of joke about the every other corner part, you know what I mean.)
Not being a coffee drinker since I was probably 12 years old, it took me a lot longer than most to jump on the Starbucks grande latte, no foam, skim milk, coffee craze. (I don’t even know if that’s a real drink.)
It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Frappuccino – frozen cappuccino – less than 10 years ago that I was sucked in. Though it’s not a daily ritual, I admit I like to treat myself to an occasional caramel frapp – being caffeine sensitive, a little of that goes a long way for me.

First, in celebration of this milestone, Starbucks will offer one free Starbucks Petite to each customer purchasing any beverage on Customer Tribute Day, from 2 to 5 p.m. today, March 10, through March 12 at participating stores in U.S. and Canada.

Starbucks Petites are eight petite sweets, perfectly sized
for an afternoon treat, that are made with
only premium ingredients and all under 200 calories. The treats range from whoopie pies to mini cupcakes and more.

50743-IMG00311-thumb-300x220-50742.jpg

I took advantage of this deal today and cooled down with a sweetened iced green tea. I decided to try the red velvet whoopie pie. The size was definitely perfect. If I was a giant, it would be a crumb but trying to be lady-like, I took a few bites to devour this little goodness that was filled with a sweet cream cheese filling and topped with a red little glaze. Careful, there was a lot of red dye in the glaze which left me with pink fingers. This was actually my first whoopie pie and the cake was moist and delicious.

At $1.50 each, it would have to be a special occasion or a bad-day pick-me-up to grab one of these small desserts. I picked up a latte for a co-worker and she tried the birthday cake flavored cake pop with light pink frosting. She said the cake was moist and sweet. She had tried other cake pops before that were crumbly but was surprised how well this one held up.

Starbucks is also launching its Starbucks Tribute Blend that pays tribute to “customers, partners (employees) and the accomplishments of coffee farmers and roasters over the past 40 years.” The new coffee is a blend of four coffees, from three coffee growing regions using three different coffee processing methods such as Aged Sumatra, that is semi-washed and aged; Sun-dried Ethiopian coffee that is naturally processed; Washed coffee from Papua New Guinea; and Washed coffee from Colombia.
The Starbucks Tribute Blend will also be available as Starbucks VIA Ready Brew.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE AT STARBUCKS?