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Keep on truckin’: Festival brings together eateries, breweries

Food Truck Festivals of America has once again rounded up some of the best food trucks in New Mexico as well as some popular breweries for its third annual Great New Mexico Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival.

The festival, on grounds of the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, begins at 11 a.m. April 8 for VIP ticket-holders and at noon for general admission eventgoers. It will feature 27 local food trucks and 20 local, regional and national breweries. Participating food trucks include Big Dawg’s BBQ, Curbside Pies, Europa Roaming Kitchen, Gourmet Doner Kebab, Karibu CafĂ©, My Sweet Basil, Saep Fire, Sparky Chicano Dawgs and Street Food Institute, according to event co-founder Janet Prensky. An artisan village and live music also will be part of the festival.

“We want to make sure that we have a variety,” Prensky said of choosing food trucks for the event. “… As a group, our team sits and looks, and even though we may love every truck, we have to say we need a Mediterranean, we need a barbecue, we must have ice cream, and then we vet them. We look at Yelp, we look at Facebook, we look at some of their own websites. We look at what people are saying about them, because we do want the best and the brightest, and we make our selection based on the research and the array of cuisine that we are looking for.”

It’s always good to have a strategy when attending the festival, according to Prensky.

“We do urge people, although it might be a little lonely, is to break up, grab food at one truck, meet back at home base, have a nosh and go get dessert or a latte or whatever you want to get,” she said. “We, of course, always have the strategy of very comfortable shoes. And do I have to say elastic waistbands? No dieting is allowed on this day.”

The breweries are all about local, regional and national, Prensky said.

“Our goal is to be able to come to the festival and find the beer you love,” she said. “You just love that beer from Albuquerque, but also, hey, I’ve heard about Ballast Point out of San Diego, and I haven’t had a chance to try it. I’m going to try that, too. So we do it a little differently with the breweries, because we can. In other words, we can’t have a truck from San Diego. It’s obviously too far to drive. But we certainly can offer beers that you’ve heard about but may not be on tap all the time in a local bar. We mix it up between the locals, the regionals and the nationals.”

Participating New Mexico breweries are Abbey Brewing Co., De La Vega’s Pecan Grill and Brewery, Rio Bravo Brewing Co., Santa Fe Brewing Co. and Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. Sandia Hard Cider also will be part of the festival. There will be a number of regional craft beers from Arizona’s SanTan Brewing, California’s Ballast Point Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., and Lagunitas Brewing Co. Colorado brewers include Avery Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co. and Upslope Brewing Co. Other brewers include Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewing Co., and Texas’ Guns & Oil Brewing Co.

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