Meals on wheels: Food Truck Festival draws a crowd to the Town Center Pavilion

eshaw@islandpacket.comJune 21, 2014 

Beaufortonians braved first-day-of-summer heat to sample the best bites at the city's first Food Truck Festival on Saturday.

Temperatures hovered near 100 degrees on the blacktop parking lot at Town Center Pavilion on Boundary Street, but that didn't dampen the appetites of local foodies.

Of the festivals nine vendors, the longest lines formed in front of Cool Breeze Shaved Ice, Joe Loves Lobster Rolls and Island Noodles.

Christie Frick of Beaufort sat on a chair in the not-so-abundant shade eating a mango strawberry shaved ice from Cool Breeze.

"It's awesome. Especially since it's so hot out," she said. It was exciting to have a festival event at the pavilion, she added. "I'm glad they're using this space. I've never seen anything going on in here before."

Across the pavilion, Michael Guillott of Beaufort was enjoying a cold beer. His favorite food of the day was a lobster roll from Joe Loves Lobster Rolls, he said. "It was out of this world."

Guillott had one of the 200 lobster rolls that owner Tony Herndon sold in the first two hours of the festival.

"I love it" Herndon said as he toasted fresh rolls on a portable griddle. "This is a great way to get the (food truck) industry rolling down here."

Food trucks are not a frequent sight in Beaufort due to a city ordinance that prohibits motorized food trucks. The provision does not apply to festivals or public events approved by City Council or if the truck is parked on commercial property such as the Town Pavilion.

While Herndon was deftly dealing with his long line, Isaac Vigil of Vigil's Food Stand was handling the Beaufort crowds for the first time.

Vigil is a Beaufort native, but has been operating his Native American food stand on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona for the past six years. He recently moved back to the area with the hope of sharing Native American cuisine with South Carolina. A steady stream of people waited to try it Saturday.

"We've been slammed," said Vigils niece and helper Valerie Cabanilla Vigil. "We're surprised by the excitement, but we're having a good time and enjoying the love."

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