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Article updated: 7/10/2013 2:14 PM

Food truck festival at Arlington Park on Saturday

By Melissa Silverberg

Gourmet grilled cheese, Jamaican jerk chicken, tiramisu cupcakes -- all served from a truck. Visitors to Arlington Park will be able to buy these tasty treats and more at the first Food Truck Festival being hosted at the racetrack on Saturday afternoon.

Ten food trucks will be serving tastings of everything from tacos to bagels to dessert on the east side of the Arlington Park pavilion, from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 13 as part of the festival, said Howard Sudberry, senior director of marketing and communication for the track.

"There's a growing popularity of food trucks all over the country," said Sudberry of the growing phenomenon of having restaurant-caliber food served on a mobile truck. "It's going to be a great day of racing and entertainment."

There will be four major races on Saturday previewing next month's Arlington Million, as well as live music at the event, he said.

Pre-sale tickets are $25, which includes admission to the park, two drinks and five tickets for food samples. Beyond those samples, each of the 10 trucks will have small and large portions of food available for different prices, much like the Taste of Chicago, which is also going on this weekend.

"I'm sure it'll be a big hit, I'm excited about it," Sudberry said.

Participating trucks include: Toasty Cheese; The Calle Wagon; Jerk 312; The Meatloaf Bakery; The Fat Shallot; The Big Shish; Glutton Force 5; Bergstein's NY Delicatessen; Porkchop and GiaVia Sweets.

Many of the participating trucks are from the Chicago area, including The Toasty Cheese, which started in Schaumburg in October and is looking to have a second truck so it can be in Chicago and the suburbs at the same time.

The gourmet grilled cheese truck goes to office buildings in the suburbs and is parked at Woodfield Mall every Tuesday and Saturday, said Gina Vincienzo, director of sales and marketing.

"People don't have to get in their cars to go have a good lunch, but we still get them out of the office," she said.

All food on the trucks is made to order, often using locally grown ingredients.

"Food trucks are the trend right now," Vincienzo said. "You can do just as good gourmet food on the truck but you bring it to the people instead of them seeking us out."

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