Make us your home page

Food truck rally is Jan. 14 at Riverview's Winthrop Town Centre

RIVERVIEW — The tastiest trend of the Tampa Bay area pulls up to east Hillsborough next week: A food truck rally will gather dozens of vendors in one spot for an afternoon of noshing.

It's the seventh local food truck rally since the events began in September. Following successes in Tampa and St. Petersburg, the Jan. 14 rally will park in Riverview's Winthrop Town Centre.

Organizers say this food truck rally is expected to draw between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

"I think it'll just add flair," said Bryant Martinez, 38, the Winthrop town artist who helped bring the event to Riverview. "The food truck rally is something really fun, very creative and very exciting for the community."

The rally extends a movement that has flourished in more urban locales to Tampa's bedroom communities.

"I have a feeling that this area is ready for it," said Glenn Nagle, owner of Fat Tortillas food truck and a Riverview resident.

Nagle said few trucks are based out of east Hillsborough and few venture to sites in the area. For Tampa or St. Petersburg trucks, it takes extra planning and time to travel farther.

But Nagle said he hopes the rally will introduce more residents to the concept of food trucks, and in turn encourage food truck operators to head east.

With the fast, casual and family-oriented atmosphere of Brandon area dining, Nagle said food trucks fit that niche while also offering a diverse array of gourmet nibbles.

Over the last year, the food truck movement has exploded throughout the region, with dozens of mobile vendors seeking to sell specialty or eccentric dishes from the side of the road. Many move to different locations throughout the week to serve lunch or dinner, challenging patrons to track them through social media.

And it has worked: Food trucks open their doors individually but also fight to be included in bigger events, such as rallies and the Tampa mayor's monthly downtown Food Truck Fiesta.

Most rallies feature about 20 restaurants-on-wheels, said Todd Sturtz, who shepherds the food truck rallies and writes a local food blog called Tasting Tampa. He said he often has to pare down the list from as many as 50 interested vendors.

That's a boon for hungry Floridians. With a wealth of options, each rally sees a different assortment of food trucks.

"You can try something fun and fresh, and it keeps it from getting stale," Sturtz said.

This year, weekly neighborhood food truck rallies may reach farther north into Pasco County and farther south into Bradenton.

"We want everyone in the bay area to get an opportunity to go without traveling," Sturtz said.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.

.If you go

Food Truck Rally

The first rally in the Brandon/Riverview area is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 14. The rally will be held at the Winthrop Town Centre, 11201 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. For more information, go to


Food truck rally is Jan. 14 at Riverview's Winthrop Town Centre 01/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  2. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba


    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  4. Engage Behavioral Health expands into Wesley Chapel


    On Aug. 5, Engage Behavioral Health celebrated the grand opening of a new clinic in Wesley Chapel.

    hillsevbiz081117: Jennifer Phelps is the CEO & Founder of Engage Behavioral Health. Photo courtesy of Engage Behavioral Health.
  5. Former owner of Sirata Beach Resort purchases two Tampa Bay shopping centers

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — After selling the Sirata Beach Resort and Conference in February, Nicklaus of Florida, Inc., has purchased two Tampa Bay shopping centers to diversify the firm's portfolio in the area. Colliers International, representing the sellers, announced the transaction this week.

    Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center, one of Tampa Bay's last family-owned beach hotels, was sold to a Texas-based company, Crescent Real Estate LLC for $108.19 million. [LARA CERRI | Times]