I’ve been a little under the weather so excuse my delay in posting for this event. Growing up a mile or so away from this historic race track for most of my life, I jumped at the opportunity to do a giveaway on my blog and attend the festival without any hesitation. Like any other food truck festival in recent history, the first attempt is always experimental and is bound to have many ups and downs. This one was no exception from that trend.
Hordes of people flooding the gates of the food festival.
On an unexpectedly warm day in January, I arrived promptly at 11 in the morning to drop off the tickets of my giveaway winners and get in before the crowds arrived. Little did I know, the masses were already there before me. The race track was flooded with ticketholders and eager, last-minute food truck junkies waiting to see if they could get into the festival, located at a fenced-off portion of the famous infield.
Watching the horse races from the infield.
As a seasoned food truck festival enthusiast that came well-fed, I was in no rush to jump in the already lengthy lines and wait. Instead, I went around snapping away and asking questions to patrons patiently waiting for a taste at the food. Oh and placing a bet (or two) at the betting windows, which ironically came out on the positive side for me, didn’t hurt my day at all.
NaanStop’s masala fries ($2)
I did make one stop at my friend’s Samir & Neal’s grand opening of NaanStop (check out my post from their preview event) to grab a NaanWich and some Masala Fries, which were delicious like always. They had an amazing grand opening and I wish nothing but the best for them in their food truck-ventures!
The Spazmatics brought the house down and allured crowds.
The Spazmatics brought many people to the stage, alleviating the stress from the lengthy lines for a little over 20 minutes, which was a nice change. Their funky attire and renditions of classic 80s music lightened up the atmosphere and got people in the mood to have fun.
A shoddy attempt at a panoramic shot of the long lines for the trucks.
Overall, the feedback was a mix of positive and negative and some indifferent comments. Although there were over 25 food and dessert trucks ready to serve, a gastropub, cigar booth and plenty of drink booths, the long lines seemed to be the #1 criticism for the event. On the other hand, many patrons said they loved the idea of the event, the location and the races and that they would definitely come back if the kinks are all worked out.
Groups of latecomers were directed away from the festival due to the large crowds.
I am a believer in “second’s times the charm” when it comes to these waves of food truck festivals, so here’s to the folks at Santa Anita on an even better second festival, to come soon (or so I hear).
– gmangoman a.k.a hemang
More pictures of food, trucks, booze and more here: Santa Anita Food Truck Festival < Enjoy!