Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh what a night: Food Truck Bazaar a hit in Mount Dora, Florida

If you bring the trucks, they will come, and eat, and have a good time…
So it went in Mount Dora, Florida as Mark Baratelli, owner and producer of and its wildly popular Food Truck Bazaar, came to town with the Food Trucks for the first of currently four set dates, leaving in their wake a crowd of filled tummies and smiling faces.
Closing off one of the historic downtown streets and the adjacent parking lot for the action, it easily spilled over into the park, with many folks setting up tables and chairs there enjoying the shade of the trees on a seriously hot night. But even the park couldn’t contain this crowd that spread into the alley, an alley across the way, sidewalk benches and more.
This first night was a tryout of sorts, working to get the setup right, the layout of the trucks and where people will find seating, plus letting the local businesses and restaurants see where they can play a role.
With Mark’s expertise, having put this event on in an increasing number of towns across the Orlando area, the trucks were well laid out in the setting, while lines were filled enough to encourage more trucks will be invited to the next event.
Cathy and Co. from the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce worked to allow local business owners to share information on their business at the Chamber’s tent. Information was offered to those new to town, and hand fans were among the most popular items on this hot and humid summer night.
But summer steam didn’t keep people from enjoying and folks lined up for in some cases an hour to get a much-desired treat. Future events will have more trucks as mentioned, to shorten those lines, but here are a couple tuips for making the most of the event:
* Stop at the dessert truck (Yum Yum) first for a sweet treat. They pack them in a container to go, so you can carry them into other lines, snack while you wait, or save for later.

* Hit the event early. Lines get long fast, so you’re in a better shot to not wait too long.
* Bring along a team, hit the place early, and assign each person a line. You’ll meet back at a single spot and either share or partake of your catch. Lines get longer as the evening goes on, but by the first half hour in, can be extensive.
* Bring a table and chair set up and scope out your spot, then grab your food, and return to a spot where you can gather with your family and friends.
* Look over the list prior to the event, available on TheDailyCity website, then plan what you want to hit ahead of time. Hit those places first, then get back in line for lesser choices later. ** Trucks may change the evening of, so use this as a guide, but not a promise.
* Things sell out quickly, so hit the ones you want first to avoid missing out.

*** Remember when you’re in Mount Dora, you are in a community with plenty of other food offerings as well. Pick you top one, two or three trucks, hit them and enjoy, then grab your adult beverages at one of the restaurants or bars, then if you’re still hungry, grab something after around town.
*** Among the options this time that may be returning: (These occurred but are not promised for future events, but be aware) ** Maggie’s Attic and Pisces Rising are next to the event venue area, offering adult beverages. Maggie’s was providing “to go” cups that were allowed in the event area. ** Merrill’s Market was giving a 10% discount to Food Truck attendees who brought their food down to Merrill’s to eat. ** Live music was offered at a variety of restaurants. ** Cupcake Delights and Operation Deep Freeze Frozen Custard offered discounts this evening with great success, so hit them early. ** Segway of Central Florida had Segways on hand and were offering special discounts. ** A number of businesses were open and likely more will be next time.

Visit the Chamber of Commerce tent for information on discounts and deals, and stroll around Mount Dora to enjoy how all of the open businesses go about showing off this special little town.

This post was written by regular contributor, Rori Paul. Rori is a travel writer and blogger. Follow her blog, Rori Travels Florida, for more on Florida Travel and Mount Dora.


Jen Boys said...

We drove 1 1/2 hours just for the food trucks and it was well worth it! It was also our first visit to Mt Dora...we love it there!

My favorite was definitely Bom Bom because my family from "back home" in Massachusetts is Azorean. My kids loved the barbeque from Firehouse BBQ, and the Cuban. We will definitely be back! The next time we'll make sure we come early to spend more time in the downtown area to enjoy all the shops!

Rori said...

Jen Boys -

So glad to hear you not only enjoyed the evening, but that you enjoyed your time in Mount Dora. The whole idea was to create a place for families and friends to come together, have a nice time together and get to know this terrific town. It feels so great to know that it all worked out so well.

Do come back early next time and spend some more time around town, and if you're interested, there are a number of hotels, Inns & B&Bs right here to make your stay a little longer. Take a look around WTDIMD for more information.

Thank you so much for sharing and looking forward to seeing you and your family next time!

Richard Huss said...

What a success and huge thanks to Cathy and the other organizers ... check out Bill Casey's photos on the Pulse the Magazine Facebook page ... Bill got some great shots of the trucks, the food, the fun and the crowd. A Huge success for Mount Dora ...Richard Huss, Editor, Pulse the Magazine