I heard of the Great American Foodie Fest last year, but I never had the chance to go and try it out since we had just moved here to Las Vegas and we were pretty busy doing the whole move thing and settling into our new home. I made the commitment to myself that next year, I would go and see all there was to offer. I am certainly glad that I was able to make it this year because it was an experience that I wouldn’t want to pass on yet again.
After all, this food event is composed of over 50 food trucks many of which were featured on The Food Network, Cooking channel, Travel Channel and History Channel, not to mention just the fact that the food truck industry as a gourmet food option has quickly become the latest food rage across the country. Food Trucks have become an estimated $850 million dollar industry as of 2015 and some numbers show over 4,000 registered Food Truck businesses are registered nationwide. One of the most popular trucks in past years here in Vegas in the 2014 Foodie Fest was White Castle, an American favorite fast-food hamburger chain that has served their ever famous sliders since 1921 and recently opened their first location here in Las Vegas. Regardless of their new location on the Strip, there was no shortage of patrons waiting in line for the ever tasty sliders.
Other featured and popular trucks were The Maine Lobster Lady, which specializes in traditional Maine lobster rolls and similar regional seafood delights. Dude Where’s My Hot Dog, with designer dogs that are winning wieners. Clever Chefs, with smoked meats and fresh-made chips. Oming’s Kitchen, featuring festive Filipino favorites. StripChezze, promising lots of ooey-gooey goodness. Buldogi’s Unleashed, known for its fab fusion dogs. Focoso, with its specialty pizzas. WAFL, savory waffle sandwiches and burgers and sweet desserts. Bowl of Heaven, known for its fresh, frozen and exotic superfruits. Frach’s Fried Ice Cream, with frozen treats surrounded by a cake like layer and a crunchy tempura shell.
Also a First timer at Foodie Fest was Surf-N-Turf who made sure I didn’t leave their booth without a tasty portion of grilled spicy shrimp and fried rice. One of the longest lines I saw was at Jogasaki Sushi Burrito’s truck. Unfortunately, an already full stomach and a short schedule denied me from trying what I can only assume must be one heck of a food item to generate such a large crowd waiting to try out their offerings.
The festival also featured a beer garden, VIP Tent sponsored by Red Dragon with free beverages, food tastings and specialty items only available as part of the VIP experience. The event also featured live stage entertainment and music with a DJ keeping the crowd moving and grooving with upbeat tunes. Opportunities were also given for Truck Owners to come up and promote their Trucks as well as everyday people taking the opportunity to sing the praises of their favorite foods over the loud speakers.
Unlimited general admission to Great American Foodie Fest starts at $8 a day or $13 for a weekend pass per person if purchased in advance, and $10 a day or $15 for a weekend pass if purchased at the gate.
I was given the opportunity to experience the event with my husband and we spent about 4 hours there roaming from truck to truck eating what we could as well as taking time to look at some of the vendor booths that are scattered throughout the event with everything from the typical Home Alarm booths, generic toys and nick-nacks, the ever present Psychic – Palm reader to unique items such as incense, health related items and of course travel agencies. I had a chance to meet and greet the chefs and the owners of some food trucks. I was pleased to see a local artist showcasing his talent as well.
If you have kids or are a kid at heart and are inclined to drop a handsome amount of pocket change, you can also enjoy typical carnival rides & games, eating competitions and more. The overall expense of the event was the only real negative we experience on our afternoon there. A family of four wishing to try out foods at 2-3 different trucks or booths, avail themselves of a ride or game or two, could easily drop $100 before they are done. Certainly not a typical budget friendly family outing, but given that this wide array of truly gourmet quality cooks only get together a couple times per year and once here in Las Vegas, for anyone who enjoys good food and a big variety of that food can’t go wrong visiting the Great American Foodie Fest for a tummy full fun day.