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Tasty Trucks Trial
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

 

Photo Ann Gardner

 

On a recent early evening young families, some with grandparents, plus soccer players and their moms made up most of the clientele at Del Mar’s new Coast Blvd. food trucks. “I can’t go into a restaurant with these cleats on,” one soccer player grinned when I asked his mom if they would otherwise be going to a nearby restaurant. His mom added, “These kids are coming to eat at their favorite food trucks. They go online to track them, she explained. She was driving three players home from a nearby soccer practice and each one went for a different truck, or I should say given their mom-described “ravenous” appetites, each went to several different trucks. Mom also picked up a meal for herself: “I must admit the quality of the food is really good.”

The families, some with strollers, one dad with a bubble blowing machine and three with a grandparent walked from nearby neighborhoods to get an “easy and simple” meal. “It is nice to take a break from fixing dinner at home, bundle up the kids and meet other residents here,” Scott from Del Mar commented. “The kids can interact while we get to visit; a kind of mingling you really can’t do that at a restaurant.”

 

Bubble blowing machine at Food Trucks. Photo Ann Gardner

 

Gary Skillman brought his two young boys and his mother to “watch the sunset” at Powerhouse Park and then get something to eat as they walked back home. “Let’s get them to open earlier” to take advantage of the sunset, he suggested. Bob Burchell, who lives on 18th St., commented, “Look around and see how people meet their neighbors. I think it is great!” Becky Ferdemon who grew up in Del Mar comes back once a week with her toddler son to visit her mother, longtime resident Elise Kerckhoff, and they came. “It’s different, a good addition to the town. We like it.”

The food trucks are new to Del Mar and some local restaurants have expressed concern that they will take business away from ‘an already competitive environment.’ Everyone, well not counting the soccer players, said they frequent restaurants in Del Mar but for a different reason. ‘We love the restaurants here and the trucks are not going to replace going to a restaurant,’ they explained. It is simply a new community venue, another reason for coming into town and meeting up with neighbors.

The food trucks park at the former King Lot, across from the Powerhouse Community Center, every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. They have business licenses from the City; have the same inspections as restaurants and Del Mar collects both sales tax and a share of the operating revenue from the venture. Tasty offerings range from Barbeque items and Italian food to Crepes and Knish. At any one time 15 to 25 residents are here, either perusing the menus, visiting with neighbors or strolling home, with a meal under their arm.

Update:
At its November 19 meeting the City Council passed a moratorium on any additional mobile vendors, including food trucks, until new regulations are in place.

 

 

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