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Manayunk takes a bite out of the food truck scene on Main Street

This weekend, thousands of hungry families, friends, foodies and local residents flooded Main Street for Manayunk Development Corporation’s second annual StrEAT Food Festival. The strawberry-themed event brought together over 50 food trucks, gourmet food and craft vendors, local restaurants and businesses for a spring afternoon filled with live performances, food, hand crafted accessories and more.

Lines filled with 20 to 30 people stretched across a 10-block radius as festival attendees waited patiently for a taste of Philly’s most raved about food trucks. Some of the most popular trucks included The Cow and the Curd, Street Food Philly, Good Phellas, Sum Pig and Philly newcomer, Mac Mart. Food options ranged from oven brick pizza from Nomad, Korean style food from Ka’ Chi, ice cream from Lil’ Trent’s and a host of others.

Jared Paxon and Dan Martin, both new residents to Manayunk, raved about Lil’ Dan’s ‘The Don’ sandwich.

“It’s delicious,” said Paxon while Martin followed suit, “we’re excited that an event like this happens here.” Both men said they plan to return to the next festival.

North Philadelphia resident Aaliyah Mclean said she heard about the event from a friend and wanted to come out and enjoy the weather, adding that she likes the idea of going around and sampling different food trucks.

Trucks in high demand 

In a neighborhood that normally restricts food trucks from vending, the StrEAT Food Festival gives food trucks a unique opportunity to promote their products.

Just three hours into the event, Mac Mart, the only macaroni and cheese themed truck in Philadelphia, sold out of its signature dish.

“Sorry, we are done for the day!” shouted Marti Lieberman, the owner of the bright pink truck. To compensate, Lieberman handed out miniature strawberry desserts to the remaining folks in line. After taking over 300 orders, Lieberman told Newsworks that she was excited to participate in her first food festival.

Zea May’s, a Native American cuisine food truck, ran out of their popular Empanadas but still had a few items for sale, including their chilled strawberry soup, a dish created specifically for the day.

Other strawberry creations from food trucks and local businesses included Street Food Philly’s Grilled Strawberry Peanut Butter and Jelly, Good Phellas Strawberry Chow and local business Laxmi Indian Grille’s Strawberry Lassi drink.

A boon for Manayunk businesses 

Newsworks also caught up with the Executive Director of Manayunk Development Corporation, Jane Lipton.

“Throwing events like this reinforces the type of community Manayunk is,” while referring to it being named a Classic Town by The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2007.

Adding, “Manayunk has a really vibrant food scene.”

Local businesses also joined in and benefited from the festival. Larry Milillo, Manager of the Wine Cellar said, “every time there’s a festival, [business] picks up.”

Store manager Sal Margvelashvili, of Tag Denim shared the same sentiment. “These types of family-oriented events bring in a lot people,” adding, “if there’s long lines for the food trucks they come in stores to kill time.”

“Which is usually a win for us,” she noted.

If you missed the event, there will be another one in the fall. “We want it to be the first food festival of the year in Philadelphia and the last,” said Lipton.

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