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Food Truck Fest Selling VIP Passes for Guided Tour and No Lines

By Katie Honan | September 16, 2013 9:09am
 A guest at last year's "Viva La Comida!" enjoys the food.
A guest at last year's "Viva La Comida!" enjoys the food.
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82nd Street Partnership

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Street food from across the city, representing cuisines from around the world, will be featured at an annual food festival that's also offering VIP tickets to the most serious foodies that lets them skip the lines.

Local food vendors like Tortaz Neza, the Arepa Lady Crew and the Chimi Express will be selling their famed grub, along with other unique trucks from around the city, at the second annual "Viva La Comida!" on Friday.

The event, which will take place on 82nd Street between Roosevelt and Baxter avenues, is organized by the 82nd Street Partnership.

Coordinator Jeff Orlick — who gives tours of food trucks around the borough — selected the trucks for this year's festival, and plans to offer even more food than last year.

“This has nothing to do with the generic street fest — it's all local and mom-and-pop stuff,” Orlick said.

Along with local trucks, there will be fare from other boroughs, like The Chipper Truck, which is usually stationed late at night by bars in Woodlawn. They'll be selling curry chips, Irish nachos and sausage.

D’Angelo’s Italian Sausage truck, legendary in the Queens street food scene, will leave its usual perch on Woodhaven Boulevard to hawk sausage and peppers by the 7 train.

Some of the brick-and-mortar restaurants on the street will be selling food outside, too, Orlick said.

A limited number of VIP tickets are being sold for a guided, 90-minute tour of all the trucks.

The tickets cost $100, and are being sold ahead of Friday's event.

Orlick said he doesn’t charge the vendors to take part in the festival, and he hopes they all do well both financially and with introducing their food to a new audience.

“They are the entertainment — they're why people come,” he said. “I tell them that all I want them to do is be awesome and make money.”

In addition to the food, guests can take part in a nighttime dance competition, and compete to win a "ridiculous" trophy that is 3 feet tall and will be on display during the festival.

“This is all about the local entrepreneurs of New York City," Orlick said.