There’s a new craze in Tucson, and the Town of Marana recently got a taste of it when hundreds of residents filled the Tower Theatres parking lot on Feb. 6 to go truck hopping.
What’s truck hopping? Well, it’s a fun, and tasty opportunity to sample the wide variety of food trucks that currently do business throughout the region.
It was called Food Truck Roundup, and about 15 trucks filled the parking lot in Marana, which is said to have one of the biggest turnouts for the event to date.
Rodney Campbell, a spokesman for the Town of Marana, said they sold 25 business permits in anticipation of the event.
From pizzas cooked on site by the Vero Amore Authentic Neapolitan Pizza truck, to tasty whoopee pies baked by the Pin Up Pastries truck, it’s really a “what’s your pleasure” kind of event.
Corinne Meinhausen, of the Animal Farm truck, took orders from the growing line. Animal Farm seemed to be one of the hits of the night.
“We opened about three weeks ago,” Meinhausen said. “This is our third (roundup) and they are just getting bigger and bigger every time.”
Another hit was Baja Tacos, which offered a variety of steak and shrimp tacos for under $5. Going with the chef’s suggestion, we tried the tostada de Ceviche for $2.99.
It was flavorful with just the right amount of lime, chipotle sauce and everything else thrown on top.
The cheese and shrimp taco for $3.50, while obviously not healthy, was one of the tastiest entrees of the night.
The Seis Curbside Kitchen also offered a good selection of tacos, with a threesome entrée that had a carne asada, chicken and pork taco. The flavors were good, the chicken was flavorful, but Baja Taco still held the edge.
Food Truck Roundup also offered room for adventure, as D’s Island Grill Jamaican Food, where we had some goat, jerk chicken and other sides. Not a fan of the goat, but the jerk chicken was great.
To some degree, the event has the feel of a state fair with all the food, but no rides.
There were also the traditional trucks to please the young eaters with the Patty Melt truck, and plenty of the participating trucks offering hot dogs.
Then, after the meals and taco tasting, we got serious about desserts. Pin Up Pastries won us over with the chocolate whoopee pie with sea-salt caramel in the center. It was rich, but very good.
They also had a good selection of cupcakes, as we tried the Mexican chocolate selection.
Tracy Trubyfill spoke briefly about the Marana event while busily getting cupcakes ready.
“We’ve usually had these (roundups) at Benjamin Supplies in Tucson, this is the first time in Marana,” she said. “These events let the community know we are here, and we have good food.”
Albert Leyva, of the Street Delights dessert truck, said Food Truck Roundups are extremely helpful to his truck’s success.
“The number of people coming out has doubled every time,” he said. “For those of us who don’t work specific spots and have full-time jobs during the week, these roundups are really helpful because we can’t do it full time.”
Several truck owners were asked how they get so many people to attend the event, and many stressed the power of social media.
The Tucson Food Trucks Facebook Page has more than 1,500 fans, and many of the trucks have their own pages, sporting hundreds of fans.
The craze is catching on, and Marana’s event was so popular that a second outing is planned for Monday, March 5 between 4:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Tower Theatres.
Based on the results of our first Food Truck Roundup, our attendance is likely because there’s plenty of trucks we didn’t get to taste, but definitely added to the list of must try for next time.