Weekly Food Court manned by food trucks offering assorted cuisines is coming to Queen Creek

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Saturday evening will become Food Truck night in Queen Creek beginning on June 6.

An outgrowth of the Food Court for mobile food vendors that has operated in Gilbert every Friday since 2011, the Queen Creek Food Court will host food trucks from around the area every Saturday in Horseshoe Park adjacent to the Horseshoe Ranch and Equestrian Centre on Riggs Road. Operating hours will be from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Saturday.

“The Queen Creek Food Court will have its soft launch on June 6 with about 12 food trucks offering assorted cuisines,” said Casey Stechnij, director of the Gilbert Food Truck group sponsoring the Gilbert and Queen Creek Food Courts and a food truck operator himself. “On June 13 and afterwards, the Food Court will host about 20 food trucks weekly and the trucks present will vary from week to week as will the menus of some trucks.”

Cuisine available will range from the ordinary (hamburgers, sandwiches and pizza) to gourmet foods from around the world. All the trucks have onboard kitchens, so foods will be cooked to order. Prices of individual menu items will be posted on the trucks.

Some notable food trucks that that might turn up include Stacy’s Smoke House (Southern/Soul Food fusion and barbeque ribs), CarH’s Kitchen (New York Spanish Harlem and Columbia menu items), The Great Pho King Food Truck (Vietnamese street food), Cousins Maine Lobster (East Coast Seafood), Flavor Chalet (South African) and Feeding the Masses (Sonoran Mexican). Other frequent visitors will include SuperFarm SuperFood (Country Cooking), Windy City Hot Dogs & Italian Beef (Chicago comfort food), Liberty Biscuits (sandwiches made with fresh-baked biscuits), Roaster Shallot (tacos and bratwurst), Saffron-JAK (stone bread pizza), Triple Dot (bitterballen from Holland), Chef Wade’s Bistro on Wheels (Vegan, grilled sandwiches and calamari) and Rooster’s Kountry Kitchen (chicken, ribs and fish).

There also will be dessert trucks including Kettle Heroes (flavored popcorn) and Udder Delight (ice cream creations).

The variety of food trucks offerings will expand in late Fall as the Phoenix area is the winter destination for gourmet food trucks from as far away as Maine.

“We targeted Queen Creek for our next Food Court because it was a fast-growing community with a need for a broader selection of food choices. We expect some traffic will come from nearby San Tan Valley, an even faster growing community,” Stechnij said.

Which food trucks will be present on a particular Saturday will be noted on an Internet website before each Saturday. The site’s URL will be announced later.

The idea of chefs taking their innovative cuisines on the road dates back only to 2008 when the owners of Kobe look to the road in the Los Angeles area to offer their Mexican/Korean fusion cuisine. From this first gourmet food truck has blossomed an industry far different from the lunch wagons that preceded them, said Matthew Geller, director of the National Food Truck Association.

There are currently more than 20,000 food trucks on the road nationwide.

There will be picnic tables at the Queen Creek Food Court where visitors can eat the foods they purchase from the food trucks.

“One of the fun things about food truck events is that people can sample several different types of cuisines at the same time,” Stechnij explained. “It’s sort of like a weekly municipal food festival.”

Unlike such festivals, most food trucks are stand-alone operations. Only a few are extensions of an existing restaurant. But some food truck operations – if they are successful enough – can grow into storefront restaurants as Luncha Libre (Mexican cuisine) did a few weeks ago in Gilbert.

James J. Hodl (33 Posts)

James J. Hodl is a career journalist who has worked for newspapers, magazines and trade journals. A graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Hodl began his career as a reporter with the Palatine (IL) Herald and the Morton Grove (IL) Review before becoming editor of the trade publication Appliance Service News. In recent years, Hodl has had articles published in Consumers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Home Remodeling, Kitchens & Baths and Salute; and has contributed to trade publications serving the home furnishings, restaurant and casino markets. A native of Chicago, Hodl relocated to San Tan Valley in 2013.


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