Geoff Dornan

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July 1, 2012
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Gourmet Food Truck Festival at Fandango draws more than 2,000

The Casino Fandango's inaugural Gourmet Food Truck Festival drew more than 2,000 Saturday, with lines of more than 50 people at nearly every one of the 18 trucks.

Customers such as Steve Castro reported waiting as long as 45 minutes to get fed, but he said he didn't mind.

"It's awesome," he said, working on a basket of garlic fries. "Lots of good food."

Fandango General Manager Court Cardinal said gourmet food trucks have been catching on across the West and that he wanted to bring them to Carson City.

"It's just starting to pick up in popularity," he said.

He said that the trucks came from as far away as San Diego with credentials such as appearances on the Food Network during its Great Food Truck Race competitions. Participating truck Nom Nom finished second overall during the first Food Truck Race in 2010.

Richard Priest, wife Lucy and daughter Crissy Mann said they were waiting in that truck's long line because they saw that television show.

Keith Barr of Smith Valley said the new wave of food trucks is "making things interesting" for diners.

"It's foods you don't normally get off a truck" said Debbie Beemer. "It's cool."

She said she has seen trucks in Reno before but never stopped.

"I'll look for them now," she said.

Val Johnson of Slap Yo Mama drove to Carson City from Los Angeles to participate. She said they have a large following in that area and that customers follow them on Twitter. She said that her husband, Joe, handles the social media.

Cardinal said he was strongly advised to try Mama's soft-shell crab po-boy sandwich.

Joe and Nancy Horn drove the Dish Truck to Carson from their base in Reno. Their Dish Cafe was featured on Food Network two years ago. He said the truck has a bigger kitchen than the cafe.

Lola Aloe of Las Vegas said their truck is based in Las Vegas and offers a variety of wraps and the Thai1on hangover breakfast for those who need it.

And Suzanne Moore was setting up the Tahoe Creamery ice cream truck. She said the Fandango was that new truck's first event and that, hopefully, after some of the spicy Cajun, Hispanic and Thai dishes offered by the other trucks, folks would be interested in a cold creamy dessert. By 1:30, the line was 40 or more people outside her truck.

Cardinal said his staff counted more than 2,000 customers just 90 minutes into the event and that it was going so well that he's considering doing it again before the end of summer. He said the restaurants inside the casino were busy, as well, "so it's good for business in general."

"We may look at doing it twice a year," he said.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 1, 2012 03:19AM Published Jul 1, 2012 02:28AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.