Food Truck Roundup: The start of summer means return of food trucks in Eastern Iowa

 

The food trucks are coming.

Warm weather has finally returned to Iowa, and with it comes the chance to dine al fresco. The Corridor hosts an ever-growing number of food trucks, serving everything from tacos to barbecue to Caribbean to egg rolls and more.

For food truck fans, finding their favorite eats might feel a little like a treasure hunt, keeping an eye on social media to figure out where their favorite trucks are going to be next. Good bets include farmers markets and summer festivals, but there are a few other recurring summer events designed to make the hunt a bit easier.

Food Truck Fridays — Greene Square

Food Truck Friday returns to Greene Square this week. In a shift from previous years, it will be held just twice a month this year, rather than weekly. The event will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 7 and 21, July 12 and 26 and August 9 and 23.

 

Jenn Draper, events planner for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, said they aimed to hold it alternate weekends from the bimonthly Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market.

“It’s just trying to find the right balance between what food trucks are able to attend and what our audience wants,” she said.

Organizers also plan to amp up the “event” aspect of Food Truck Fridays, she said, with children’s activities and entertainment in the park. With construction on Third Avenue SE in front of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the trucks will park on Fifth Street SE and Fourth Ave. SE.

 

This Friday, food trucks scheduled include Moo Moo’s Ice Cream Truck, The Hungry Rooster Catering Company, Rio Burritos, Moys Food From the Streets, Keeping Up With the Jones’ and The Box Lunch. The June events will have “paradise” themes, with the first 50 attendees receiving a paradise-themed giveaway.

Find more details and keep track of vendors scheduled at future Food Truck Fridays at facebook.com/pg/CedarRapidsMetroEconomicAlliance/events.

Food Truck Fridays — Redmond Park

The Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association is unveiling a new effort to promote Redmond Park as a community gathering place. Neighborhood resident Phillip Platz approached the association with the idea earlier this year.

“The idea is to try to turn Redmond Park into more of a neighborhood square and central meeting place for the community,” Platz said. “Every community deserves a really great space.”

The first official event of the effort, a block party to mark the end of the school year, happens from 3 to 6 p.m. today. The park, at 1545 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, will host a grill out, face painting, splash pad, chalk art, a firetruck and more.

 

Starting later this month, the park also will host food trucks each Friday evening, from mid-June through mid-September. Starting either June 21 or June 28, Platz said they plan to host at least one food truck or cart from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each week, along with other activities like live music. His hope is people will come to the park and stay to eat while getting to know their neighbors.

Not everyone wants to go to a monthly neighborhood association meeting, he said, but community events might draw people out. He also hopes to increase people’s sense of safety in the neighborhood and break down negative perceptions about Wellington Heights.

“I was surprised last fall when I moved to Wellington Heights how warm the sense of community was in the neighborhood, the sense of people wanting to help each other,” he said.

He wants to contribute to that sense of community and is betting others do to. Learn more about the vision and plans for Redmond Park and how to get involved at redmondpark.org.

Food Truck Tuesdays — NewBo City Market

With NewBo City Market now open on Wednesdays, their weekly food truck gathering is on Tuesdays this year. Stop by the market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Tuesday through August 27, to find food trucks parked outside the market. Offerings include both regular market vendors and guest food trucks.  

 

Some market shopkeepers also will be open inside the market, and the building is open for bathroom and seating access. NewBo Beer and Wine also will pour drinks inside the market. Find details and the weekly truck lineup at facebook.com/pg/NewBoCityMarket/events.

Science Thursdays

The University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine hosts this weekly event in the courtyard between the Medical Education Research Facility (MERF), Eckstein Medical Research Building, Bowen Science Building and the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, on the west side of campus. The MERF building is at 375 Newtown Road, Iowa City.

 

The event, held each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., through the end of October, is billed as “a community enhancement effort that celebrates scientific discover and promotes cross-departmental networking.”

All are welcome to attend the gatherings, which feature science activities, food trucks and live music. Find more information at medicine.uiowa.edu/research/science-thursdays.

l Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com