Food trucks offer moveable feast in monthly festival

By JoAnna Haugen
Engine 1 PizzaIn a city known for its high-end restaurants, celebrity chefs and extensive buffet spreads, Las Vegas' food truck scene is putting down wheels.

Though an increasing number of food trucks are located throughout the Las Vegas valley every day of the week from dawn to dusk, the heaviest concentration of them can be found at the monthly Vegas StrEATs festival, which occurs outside of El Cortez Hotel and Casino.

Though originally launched in 2011 on El Cortez's Jackie Gaughan Plaza between Las Vegas Boulevard and Sixth Street, it has grown to include the Sixth Street area in front of El Cortez, as well.

Slidin Thru"We think this is one of the events that has really helped downtown grow," said Alex Epstein, executive vice president of El Cortez.

Slidin' Thru, one of Las Vegas' most popular food trucks, sells a variety of specialty sliders including pulled pork and caprese as well as traditional burgers. Though the lineup at Vegas StrEATs changes every month, among the 12 to 15 trucks that frequently make an appearance are Sin City Wings, SnOw ONO Shave Ice and Grouchy John's Coffee. Some offer bite-size samples, enabling visitors to taste from several trucks, and others feature full-blown meals.

The event, held the second Saturday of every month from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., also features live music and vendors selling a variety of arts and crafts. Plenty of space exists for people to eat and relax, as well.

"Las Vegas isn't just about the Strip anymore, and our goal is to get tourists downtown for events such as ours," Epstein said. "Many people don't think Las Vegas has an urban atmosphere, but I think anyone who takes a chance by visiting StrEATs will be surprised by the tremendous amount of culture and artistic talent that exists here."
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