Food truck fever hits downtown for a night of music and flavor
The foodie’s dream is held every second Saturday on North Sixth Street and displays the Valley’s eclectic mix of local food trucks, artists, musicians and fashion.
Each month offers the public a chance to check out different food trucks as they serve up distinctive gourmet bites in the Jackie Gaughan Plaza outside the El Cortez Hotel & Casino.
Local bands, MCs, and DJs provided the soundtrack for the night, which included indie rock, hip-hop, dubstep and house music. Some of the performers were DJ ZO, the Mass Distractors, BPSS and Newsense. Along with live performances, street wear brands like Wasted Americana, Swagg Center Univercity and Deadgirls and Robots set up booths to showcase their apparel and art.
The food trucks that were headlining the festival included some old favorites, such Slidin’ Thru, Sin City Wings, The Funnel Cake Cafe and FukuBurger. A few of the newcomers to the festival were the Lunch Mob and Sauced. Each truck provided festival-goers with their unique twist on traditional junk food classics.
The reasonable prices were the best part of the experience — the majority of items were under $10.
The first stop on my list of trucks to try was Slidin’ Thru. A special Vegas StrEATS offer was a combo of two sliders and a side order of fries for $7. The burgers were cooked to perfection since the meat was neither undercooked nor overcooked. The french fries had just the right amount of salt, pepper and crunch to make the meal the perfect starter for the rest of the festival.
As I worked my way up the row of food trucks, I decided my next stop would be at Sin City Wings. The “first wing truck” in Las Vegas is owned and run by Andy Defilippis and frequents UNLV’s campus to offer a tasty alternative to the dining hall or Student Union restaurants.
Defilippis was originally based in Boston when a friend of his suggested he come out to Las Vegas to try his luck with the local food truck scene. Defilippis got lucky in a big way — he claimed to love the experience of the monthly StrEATS.
The chef noted that he “gets to see how other food trucks are [making out],” and how they continue work on “changing the idea from a ‘Roach Coach’ to making food” that people can really enjoy.
He hopes that he can open a restaurant so his tasty wings can reach the rest of the Las Vegas population. Sin City Wings offers both chicken wings and tenders that are served with an interesting variety of sauces.
The sauces range from the Buffalo Bill, a “not-so-traditional buffalo sauce with Louisiana flavors,” to the Feinberg that has the flavor of “spicy/sweet apricot and spicy chilies.” For the brave diners, Sin City Wings offers the hottest sauce of them all, the Oscar Goodman, which is described to be a sauce of “ghost pepper and buffalo sauce with a XXX burn.”
Following my fiery chicken wing experience, I heard a man shout out “All Chicago Italian, homemade pizzas and more.” This immediately brought my attention to Chicago native Caleb Marks, the owner of the Lunch Mob food truck. The chef claimed to be all about bringing authentic Chicago style food to the Las Vegas valley.
After a failed attempt at his chances in the construction business, Marks took a food truck he already owned, Hot Diggity Dogs, and fixed it up to be what is now the Lunch Mob.
His new food truck serves up a sandwich called The Capone Sub, which is packed with sliced Italian beef, au jus and spicy giardiniera for $7. Also featured on the menu was the Sitck Up, which consisted of six deep fried cheese ravioli served with an Italian blend of cheeses and marinara sauce for only $5.
For dessert, I headed for the Funnel Cake Cafe that offer s’mores, lemon, coffee and caramel flavored funnel cakes to satisfy my sweet tooth. Since I couldn’t decide which one to have, I got the three mini funnel cakes for $9, which allowed me to try all three.
The s’mores funnel cake was surprisingly the best of the three, its melted marshmallow spread and graham cracker crumbs gave it a crunchy and super sweet taste.
Overall, March’s Vegas StrEATS festival marked another success. The festival continues to provide Las Vegas residents and tourists a chance to indulge in quality, cheap eats while enjoying the best of local music and art.