Treats in the Heat: DFW Food Truck Festival at Sigel’s Fine Wine on Greenville

Three Men And A Truck food truck surrounded by hot, hungry men, women, and children. (photography by Victor Jiang)


The first of what will probably be many more DFW Food Truck Festivals took place Saturday outside Sigel’s Fine Wine and Great Spirits on Greenville Avenue. I’m not sure if the next one will take place in August. At 7PM, it was about 108 degrees. There were also, by my best guesstimate, approximately 2,000 people waiting and eating. Parking was reasonably well-organized with security marshaling people through the Sigel’s parking lot.  Most people either took DART or parked in the retail lots across the street.  Many of the customers headed indoors where Sigel’s offered craft beer and wine tastings. The entire event was orchestrated by Jasper Russo, Sigel’s wine marketing director.

The savage heat and long lines didn't keep folks from waiting to sample Dallas' new food truck scene.

I arrived early, about 5pm, so I could watch the orchestration of the setup. Three trucks of the participating nine trucks were already there. The rest pulled in by 5:30pm. Each of the trucks appeared to have added extra staff, but they all could have used more. The workers piled out and set up umbrellas, canopies, ice, and generators. I could tell they were nervous. For some, their performance at this festival could define their image and bottom line.  At the end of the night, many of the trucks, if not all, probably saw more customers in this one day than the total number of people they have served since being licensed.  Most of the owner/operators have giddily reported record sales.

Saturday night’s festival featured nine trucks: Gandolfo’s NY Deli, Jack’s Chowhound, Nammi Cruisin’ Vietnamese Fusion, Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, 3 Men and a Taco, Enticed Shaved Ice, The Bomb Fried Pies, Trailercakes, and Mr. Cool Ice Cream.

Jump for two new first takes and pictures.

Ruthie's Rolling Cafe. (photography by Victor Jiang)

Since I’ve eaten at most trucks that have been rolling for a while, I started with the newer entrants: Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe and 3 Men and a Taco.

Ruthie’s features design-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches. Start with your choice of bread from Empire Bakery, pick your cheese, meat, and sauce and pay $7.50. Ruthie’s was probably the most organized truck on the outside. They were there early, set up shade canopies, and had plenty of people outside of the truck passing out menus and explaining the drill.  Unfortunately, the kitchen efficiency didn’t match the outside and it took a while to get the grilled cheese sandwich. However, this is Ruthie’s first public event, so we’ll cut them lots of slack. When the grilled cheese did finally come out, it was delivered like a great grilled cheese sandwich should be: nice, crispy, and hot.  I look forward to trying more variations if Ruthie’s, especially if they get to the point of offering a daily schedule.

Service from 3 Men and a Taco was quick and efficient. The flavors of their tacos were good, but they were served on a generic flour tortilla. Sometimes the tortilla was warm and the filling was cold; others came out the opposite. The beet tacos were outstanding, but a bit pricey at $4. I have spent a lot of time discussing the difficulty of starting a food truck with most of the current operators in Dallas and they all agree that while it may look easy, it is an extraordinarily tough venue to start. So I am not going to be too critical of this event. To many this was a test run and a good chance for them to fine tune their products and concepts.  With a sound concept (duh, tacos in Dallas) and good flavors, I would expect 3 Men and a Taco to work out the kinks.

The clear winner on line length was Nammi Cruisin’ Vietnamese Fusion.  With a popular concept and a good following, they had them stacked deep.  By my quick and rough count, I’d estimate there were 90 people in line for Nammi’s banh mi and tacos.

Nammi truck. (photography by Victor Jiang)
Nammi's line snaking around the back side of Sigel's.

Amazingly, there were few grumbles in the crowd due to the long lines and heat.  Everyone was excited about the event.  The biggest problem was simply trying to figure out which line was which.. Parking wasn’t a problem with abundant retail parking across the street and many people walking from the DART rail a couple of blocks away.  As I drove away at about 7:30pm, traffic had slowed on Greenville Ave. as people crossed the streets.  People walked briskly up the sidewalk with excited looks on their faces in anticipation; the same sort of looks on people’s faces at Disneyland at 9aAM when they open the doors.

All in all, the nine trucks that attended in partnership with Sigel’s did a terrific job, creating a great time for Dallas first food truck festival.

Rear view of Gandolfo's. (Photography by Victor Jiang)
Jack's ChowHound (Photography by Victor Jiang)

8 comments on “Treats in the Heat: DFW Food Truck Festival at Sigel’s Fine Wine on Greenville

  1. I’m glad this was a success and I hope they do many more in the future, however, next time it would be great if they could get someone to direct traffic when people have to park across the street.

    I wasn’t able to enjoy the festival, but I did have to run an errand at Michael’s in the middle of the festival and I experienced a potential parking nightmare as people were stacked out on Greenville waiting to get into the parking lot on the Old Town side. Thankfully there were several parking spots open so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but then when I tried to get out of Old Town, that was way worse.

    Not only was it impossible to turn left, but once I finally decided to just turn right and make a u-turn to get where I needed to go, all kinds of people were just walking right into the middle of traffic on that BUSY thoroughfare to get to the food trucks. A couple of police officers to direct foot traffic in that area would have made things safer and less of a headache.

  2. My sister and I went and had a great time. We both had the fried guacamole from “The Boom” it was amazingly wonderful. The lines were long, but worth the wait once you took a bite. I think I would go again if they had another festival.

  3. This event was a bust. The food truck scene in Dallas really needs some work. I understand that this was their first attempt, but it was a fail in my book.

    I really do not wish to stand in line for 2 hours at Chow Hound only to receive a raw hamburger, mediocre fries, and a portobello burger I could have done without. We got excited about the root beer float, yet the operators acted like they had no clue what we were talking about when we ordered them. What? It’s on the side of your truck!? The rootbeer was frozen so we couldn’t get the floats….we also go a full refund (raw hamburger..no thanks!)

    Next stop: Ruthie’s. Been waiting on a long time…..continued to wait a long time. Not only did the operators pull inconsistantly from the batch of orders (several people behind us received their orders 45 minutes before we got ours) but I just can’t live in a world where I wait 2 hours for grilled cheese. We received half of our order after 2 hours and got our money back for the other half that they FORGOT!

    Next stop: The Bomb for some fried guacemole. Oh wait…2.5 hours later, and still a 30 minute wait….no thanks….money back here too!

    The only redeeming factor were the little pieces of heaven that came from Trailer Cakes. Thank you Trailercakes. The chocolate – I want to make love to this cupcake- flavor was the best!

    A side note on Nammi — I have no idea why you would wait 2.5 hours for Nammi truck. Find them at Siegels on Lemmon during the week. It’s not that good….just say’in.

    This festival has massive potential but there are some crucial issues that need to be addressed. Secondly, Dallas is majorly lacking a serious taco truck. Maybe when SoCal tacos comes on the scene this will change…..let’s hope! Perhaps these trucks should go down to the New Orleans PoBoy Festival on Oak Street and see how it’s done by the big boys!

  4. Hey GameChangerDFW!! Apparently you must have a lot of stock in SoCal Tacos. I’m guessing one of the owners perhaps?! Maybe you were bitter you didn’t get invited? According to your time line, you waited a total of 6.5 hours. Funny how the event only ran 4 hours long. I’m thinking you are really someone with other motives, bashing almost every food truck there. You really need to get off your high horse. Seriously, who died and made you the foodtruck rally guru. Oh by the way, I’ve tried Trailercakes, and “it’s not that good, just say in”!

  5. I don’t think GameChangerDFW is that far off base. My husband and I were there as well (we got there at 5:30 and did the beer and wine tasting in Sigel’s first). I waited 30 minutes to order at Nammi and 20 minutes for the food. If only we had realized that was nothing compared to Ruthie’s. My husband waited 30 minutes in line and an hour and a half for the sandwich. No kidding, we timed it. The people were working as hard as they could and were extremely nice and apologetic, but they had grossly underestimated their wait time. Unfortunately I don’t think their product is good for a mass event like that, but would probably be great on a day to day basis. With every sandwich being custom and grilled to perfection, it just doesn’t make sense for serving hundreds of people. But the food was good and the people were nice. Just a super-hot day and some super-long waits.

    I’m glad we went, but I can’t say I’d jump at the chance to go again…at least not in August. :)