Best Buy’s parking lot might be called Best Fry on Tuesday nights.
“It’s very good,” customer Don McElroy said of a French crepe he bought from Crepes Bonaparte, part of a food truck convoy quietly gathering here since June 5. “They could have added a little sugar to the strawberries.”
For event manager Curbside Bites, however, the deal is sweet—free parking in the electronics retailer’s lot at Fletcher Parkway and Jackson Drive.
“We’ll be coming out as long as the community wants us,” said Morgan Harper of Newport Beach, coordinator of Curbside, a food-truck booking company.
Eight weeks in, dozens of people Tuesday night milled about the lot south of the green strip and shrubbery of Fletcher Parkway, sampling all manner of fare.
Open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., truck operators can close later if business dictates—or shut down earlier if food runs out.
It’s the third such permanent outpost in San Diego County, joining ones at Mira Mesa High School on Mondays and Innovations Academy in northeast San Diego on Thursdays.
Why Best Buy?
Harper, 25, says Best Buy lots have been proved fruitful for truck convoys in Orange County and Los Angeles. Permission was granted by the property owner and the retailer, she said.
It’s a win-win, since Best Buy supplies hungry customers and the food trucks—serving everything from hot dogs to Italian delights—bring business to the store, Harper said.
McElroy, a San Carlos resident, is an example. He came to shop at Best Buy and found himself drawn to the crepes.
Besides the crepe mobile, trucks parked Tuesday night were from Mangia Mangia, serving Italian; Chubby’s of Clairemont, serving sandwiches, burritos and appetizers; Calbi with rice bowls, tacos and burritos; and The Dog Shack with its gourmet hot dogs.
The city of La Mesa wasn’t involved, she said, because the trucks operate on private property. Another collection of food trucks began gathering at Palm and Allison avenues in downtown La Mesa last October—called Friday Food Fest.
Tuesday nights were chosen for the Best Buy gathering because it seemed free of competition elsewhere and the food trucks were available. Promotion is done via a Facebook page and other social media.
Harper, a 2½-year veteran of the gourmet food truck wars, says a couple more outposts are planned in San Diego County.
For the Best Buy site, she says, six trucks are expected in August—as customers hunger for more.