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Food trucks gather at Trucktoberfest

Saturday - 9/22/2012, 5:37pm  ET

(WTOP/Thomas Warren)
The Hula Girl truck was one of 42 trucks featured at Trucktoberfest. (WTOP/Warren Thomas)

Thomas Warren,

WASHINGTON - Mix the spirit of the German-influenced Oktoberfest with D.C. food trucks, and you have Trucktoberfest.

Forty-two food trucks gathered for the festival Saturday in the square directly across from Union Market next to Gallaudet University in Northeast, D.C. Ché Ruddel-Tabisola, executive director of the D.C. Food Truck Association, says the event is one of the largest food truck festivals in the region.

The event, part of the 2012 D.C. Curbside Cookout Series, showcases the variety in food options offered from food trucks around the city, Ruddel-Tabisola says. Brian Farrel owns Basil Thyme -- a truck that specializes in Italian cuisine.

Farrel says what separates the food truck industry from restaurants is the business model of delivering quality food efficiently.

But, with that comes expectations, he adds.

"We have to answer to the public," Farrel says. "If we all of a sudden don't show up Monday at L'Enfant Plaza, there are going to be some very unhappy people."

This year's Trucktoberfest, which included live music and games, is the first food truck festival held at the newly renovated Union Market. Ruddel-Tabisola says he plans to have the event at the same location next year.

"When we talk about the food truck community, it's not just the vendors," Ruddel-Tabisola says. "It's about our followers, it's about our fans, it's about our customers."

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