The first Puerto Rico Street Food Festival is taking place this weekend on the Hiram Bithorn Stadium grounds. This event – the first of its kind – gathered around thirty local food trucks and their fans for an afternoon/evening of tastings, music, and fun for the whole family. I was looking forward to this event for some time now – there were a few trucks I already knew about and enjoyed, but there were others I was really looking forward to trying.
The participants were a great representation of the mobile food offerings through the island. I loved the ambiance at the event – chill live music, and people of all ages enjoying the food, bumping into friends, having a great time. No obnoxious drunk persons. It rained, but my group was prepared with umbrellas, as we anticipated the bad weather.
We tasted the following items:
Wings and Fries with Cilantro Aioli from The Famous Ribs Trailer
Ribs, truffled mashed potatoes, and mofonguito from The Famous Rib Trailer
Tripleta Soft Taco from Cibus
Lo Mein from Noula & Doky
The Puerto Rico Street Food Fest was well organized – up until more people than expected showed up. Some trucks were definitely not ready to manage the demands of the activity because of the speed by which they delivered their product or because they just ran out of food. Per the organizers, they sold 4,900 tickets and there were 31 trucks/tents. I counted about 22 when I made my rounds – I did not include the cotton candy/kiddie entertainment and sponsor tents in my tally. I wish I knew what was the contract with the food trucks for the activity as to minimum serving capacity/meals and samples available for purchase – but that’s just me wearing my cost accounting day job hat.
Unpopular as it may sound, if the organizers wanted every visitor to have the same quality of experience, they should have limited the amount of tickets sold for the Puerto Rico Street Food Fest. Just because you can comfortably fit five thousand people on the Hiram Bithorn grounds doesn’t mean that 30 trucks can manage those types of crowds. I have to admit I was surprised that they were still selling tickets at 8pm, when my group and I left. By then at least six trucks had already called it a night, there were still about three thousand persons in the area, and the activity was set to wrap up at midnight. I also wished there were more things to do. If I’m going to be standing in line for at least forty five minutes, I wouldn’t mind being entertained while I wait. The main stage was quite far from where most of the trucks were parked in the lot.
I’m glad that the organizers of the Puerto Rico Street Food Fest got such a great turnout on their first day out. I hope they can fix some of today’s glitches on time for tomorrow’s outing. In the meantime, I’ll make sure visit some of those trucks I missed during their regular business hours.