Dining With Denise Neil

Food truck season starts April 6 with rallies, many new trucks

A west-side food truck rally will start this weekend in Wichita.
A west-side food truck rally will start this weekend in Wichita. File photo

The first Food Trucks at the Fountain rally that happened last month was just a test run – a chilly, unpleasant test run at that.

This weekend, food truck season in Wichita gets started in earnest and will include two mega-rallies that will showcase many of the new trucks and trailers that have been added to the ever-growing fleet. One or more food truck events also are planned for the next several weekends.

Wichitans will get a chance to try out a new drink truck serving local craft beer, coffee and tea. They can sample wares from a new ice cream cart, a new taco truck and a new cold-pressed juice business. They also can visit a long list of already established trucks, which serve sandwiches, tacos, burgers, fried chicken wings, shaved ice, cupcakes, brats and more.

The food truckers say they like rallies because they draw good crowds. The more of them gathered in one spot, the more people show up to eat. And the food truck vendors say the notoriously long lines that were a problem at early rallies are no longer a problem. So many more food trucks are participating that the crowds spread out between them. The truckers also have learned that by offering special menus with items that can be prepared more quickly on rally nights, they can keep the lines moving.

Here’s a look at the big food truck rallies coming up this weekend and throughout the rest of the month:

Westside Food Truck Rally

5-8 p.m. Friday, Reflection Ridge Plaza Center, 7348 W. 21st St.

Brown Box Bakery food truck owners Anna and Caleb Hastings got this monthly rally started late last summer and are picking back up with them this weekend. The rallies always will be on the second Friday of the month and will feature a rotating cast of food trucks plus Xclusive Booze Truck, which serves a full lineup of adult beverages. They’ll also feature live music by Damn Kids, a Wichita-based rock band.

Food trucks attending: The Flying Stove, The Brown Box Bakery, Garden of Eatin’, Let’m Eat Brats, B.S. Sandwich Press, The Kamayan Truck, Kind Kravings, Brickhouse BBQ, Funky Monkey Munchies, Kona Ice, Xclusive Booze Truck

The Workroom Third Anniversary Party and Artisan Market

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, The Workroom, 150 N. Cleveland

This mega-party at Janelle King’s hip shop will include seven live bands, more than 50 arts-and-crafts vendors and about 18 food trucks, including many Wichita has never seen. Among the newbies getting their mobile food feet wet are three carts. Jubilee and Ian Miller will introduce Wichita to their Little Lion Ice Cream, which is a cart that will serve homemade, locally sourced ice cream. Adam Bussey will set up his new Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hot Dogs cart. Austin Dugan will be there with his vendor bicycle serving his cold-pressed juices. Owners of Dappery Dodo’s Breakfast Burritos will serve their food, which they normally vend in the late-night hours, out of Mr Natural Soul Kitchen’s truck. And Nitro Joe’s owners Dan McDonald and Justin Bjork will introduce their Drink Local Truck, which is fitted with 10 taps hooked to kegs of nitro-brewed coffee, tea and five local craft beers.

Food trucks attending: The Flying Stove, The Brown Box Bakery, Garden of Eatin’, Let’m Eat Brats, B.S. Sandwich Press, The Kamayan Truck, Kind Kravings, Funky Monkey Munchies, Charlie’s Pizza Taco, Chino’s Parrilla, Lynn’s Curbside Cookout, Mr Natural Soul Kitchen, Ms. Tosha’s Chicken, Sunflower Espresso, 86 Cold Press, Dappery Dodo’s Breakfast Burritos, Little Lion Ice Cream, Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hot Dogs, Drink Local Truck, Xclusive Booze Truck

A Night at the Fountain

5 to 8 p.m. April 15, Wichita WaterWalk, 515 S. Main

Funky Monkey Munchies owner Lisa Palacios and her husband, Eddi, started this food truck rally late last year, too. It happens at the same place where the mega Food Trucks at the Fountain rallies happen on the last Sunday of each month, but this one happens on a Friday night. The first Night at the Fountain rally of the year will include live music from 80 Proof Engine. The rallies will continue on the third Friday of each month except in August, when it will happen on Saturday.

Food trucks attending: Big Chill Ice Cream, B.S. Sandwich Press, The Flying Stove, Funky Monkey Munchies, Garden of Eatin’, The Kamayan Truck, Kona Ice, Let’m Eat Brats, Lynn’s Curbside Cookout, Xclusive Booze Truck, Andra’s Mobile Boutique and 2 Y Enterprise, a German kettle corn vendor.

Gridiron food truck rally

6 to 8 p.m. April 16, Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway

Wichita’s annual satirical stage show is adding a food-truck twist this year. Organizers have invited four trucks to serve outside the theater before the show starts. Ticketholders will get free samples from one of the trucks while they last, but the mini-rally is open to the public. Gridiron tickets are available at the door or at www.selectaseat.com.

Food trucks attending: The Flying Stove, B.S. Sandwich Press, Funky Monkey Munchies, Brown Box Bakery

Food Trucks at the Fountain

11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, Wichita WaterWalk, 515 S. Main

Food Trucks at the Fountain is the granddaddy of Wichita food truck rallies, and it happens on the final Sunday of each month. Organizer Jeff Schauf, who owns The Flying Stove with his brother, Rob, says this one will be the biggest yet with more than 30 food trucks in attendance, including the debut of Sweet Willie’s Hillbilly BBQ’s food truck. It will also feature the first food truck rally appearance by new trucks Gaga’s Grub and Monica’s Homemade Mexican Food Truck. This rally always starts with a nearby yoga class at 10 a.m., and it has live music. The band Bad Mother Hubbard will perform.

Food trucks attending: B.S. Sandwich Press, Charlie’s Pizza Taco, Funky Monkey Shaved Ice, Xclusive Booze Truck, Local Drink Truck, Fried Food Wagon, Sunflower Espresso, Funky Monkey Munchies, Brown Box Bakery, Gaga’s Grub, Sweet Willy’s Hillbilly BBQ, Township Mobile, The Kamayan Truck, Garden of Eatin’, Big Chill Ice Cream, Lynn’s Curbside Cookout, Chino’s Parilla, Falling Star Limeade, Kind Kravings, Kona Ice, Let’m Eat Brats, Flying Stove, Little Lion Ice Cream, Twisted Java Truck and more

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