Reader: Food doesn't have to revolve around trucks to be acceptable

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The Denver County Fair was a hit with just about everyone -- everyone who wasn't particularly hungry. But Jenny An's disappointment in the Denver County Fair fare earned this rebuke from Kimberly:

Food doesn't always have to revolve around the "Denver Five" or food trucks or Frank Bonanno in order to be acceptable.

And Stealth2 summed up the situation with a story:


"A vendor with Fancy Tiger mentioned he'd heard about food trucks, and though he hadn't actually found one, he was hopeful. When I asked a woman working the ticket booth about it, she responded, "Food, in a truck? What's that?" Bad sign."

Bad sign? Why? Are food trucks now the epitome of food excellence?

Sigh...hipsters...


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6 comments
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Mantonat
Mantonat

Almost everything you need foodwise at a county fair is right in that picture. That corndog is bigger than that kid's head! As long as there's funnel cakes and corndogs, everything else is just gravy.

Carly
Carly

So enjoying affordable but not terrible food makes one a hipster?  Well slap my ass and call me a hipster!

Denver Fair Food Commenter
Denver Fair Food Commenter

Here's the thing - food on a truck isn't automatically better (although food from Bonanno is - let's be honest, here). But soggy, mediocre BBQ sandwiches for $9.75 come from KM Concessions having an exclusive deal with the National Western Complex. No competition = poor and overpriced product. Any food vendor who wanted to participate in the fair had to not only pay booth fees to the County Fair organizer, but pay 25% of revenue (not profit, revenue) to KM. In exchange, KM provides no services (in fairness, the rate's normally 30% - it was reduced a bit for this event). Contracts like that may have made sense years ago (I'm not sure how, but maybe), but in an age of food entrepreneurs who are happy to take the risk on a new venue, places like the National Western Complex and the Denver Zoo should eliminate monopoly contracts and open up to all players. Demanding a large percentage of someone else's revenue in exchange for doing nothing is just the mafia in a different costume.

Denver native
Denver native

Denver County Fair organizers - please, please, please work on this event and improve it for next year (and for years to come)!!!  Especially the food situation - what a horrible, pricey, schlocky mess that was!  Take a look at other large city/county fairs across the country to get an idea on how well this can work.  I went to the San Diego County Fair a couple of years ago and had a great time.  The food was varied and quite good - lots of ethnic choices, a little high-priced but in many cases, worth it. BTW - that carnival/midway area at the Denver Fair - what the hell was that?  And the freak show - let it go!

Mantonat
Mantonat

Freakshows are so Portland.

Greenfood
Greenfood

Last time I went to a food truck event I had to wait an hour for a soggy biscuit.... yum.

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