Lawrence likes to think of itself as a hip city and, therefore, we get very insecure when it comes to our glaring lack of food trucks. So you can bet that folks showed up in hordes to the first annual Kansas Food Truck Festival in the East Lawrence Warehouse Arts District.
But how did it go? Well, we described it that evening as a "delicious clusterfuck." Here are some highlights and suggestions for the future.
Wilma's Real Good Food from KC served us a tasty meatloaf slider topped with caramelized onions. Sadly, long lines later in the evening deterred us from trying one of their coveted frog leg tacos.
The tinga sopes from Indios Carbonsitos, also from KC, were excellent.
And a shout out to the terrifying thunderstorm that kindly skirted the city instead of dumping "hen egg-sized" hailstones on us (though scenesters were totally willing to get killed by hail if it meant the lines might move faster).
Problems and suggestions:
Long lines: This is presumably to be expected at any food truck festival but, by 6:00 or 7:00 pm, many people were waiting in line more than an hour for food. Perhaps having more than six food trucks could have helped.
Confused guests: The main entrance gate was cash only, though this wasn't clearly and consistently announced, which forced many people with pre-bought tickets to be redirected into another, even longer, line. Also, passing out a menu and map to guests could be a good time-saving measure (and really seems like kind of a no-brainer).
Tickets for beer: We always hate having to purchase tickets to procure stuff at festivals (which we've always viewed mainly as a scam meant to encourage people to buy more tickets than they'll end up using). But this Fest was especially annoying in that certain things required tickets (beer...and even water!), while other things did not (cocktails and food). Very strange.
Music stage: Despite a solid line-up of great Lawrence bands, the music element seemed like an afterthought, with a stage relegated to the far end of Pennsylvania Street, on the asphalt, instead of in several grassy areas nearby. There were no tables nearby for anyone who might want to eat while rocking. And, at least for the early sets, there was almost no audience, since everyone was (of course) stuck in long lines for food.
Despite the bitching, however, we mostly enjoyed ourselves, but we're surprised that there weren't at least a few minor stabbings committed by tired and hungry attendees.
Wilma's Real Good Food truck:
We've heard some grumbling from organization-loving nerds because the specific presentation info for Nerd Nite 27 was slow in being announced this time around. But the line-up has finally arrived for the "Earth, Wind, and Fire"-themed event and it looks pretty solid. Find full details here and FB event page here.
There's a timely presentation on storm-chasing, a discussion of outdoor space, and a marvelously-titled presentation called “Making Shit with Fire: How to Burn Yourself Fifty Times to Make a Doorstop."
All this for $1. It's still the best deal in town, grumbly nerds.