Crowds turn out for last year’s opening night of Congdon’s After Dark, a gathering of food trucks at Congdon’s Doughnuts in Wells. Twice as many trucks will be in this year’s rotation. Staff photo by Gregory Rec

If you still prefer to eat your street food on the actual street, there will be plenty of opportunities to do so this spring. Southern Maine will see an explosion of food trucks parking at Congdon’s After Dark, a food truck park that Congdon’s Doughnuts in Wells founded two years ago.

Congdon’s  saw “a huge influx” of food truck applications this year – more than 40, according to Adam Leech, who organizes the seasonal event. The park will host 29 trucks total this year, about double the number from 2018, Leech said. Nine or 10 trucks will be at the site every day, and the rotation of trucks will be more frequent than last year.

Leech said he thought he had a good grasp of Maine’s food truck scene, “and apparently it’s a lot more (trucks) than even I knew existed.” He said he had to turn down trucks from Boston, and even one from Las Vegas.

Congdon’s is adding parking and 20 picnic tables, and making the area more stroller- and wheelchair-friendly. There will be live music, glow toys and a child-sized food truck for the kids to play in.

The OG from Fishin’ Ships: beer-battered fish and hand-cut fries with tartar sauce and lemon at Congdon’s After Dark. Staff photo by Gregory Rec

The lineup includes food from around the world, including Greek, Asian, Caribbean, Southern/Creole, Japanese, Mexican and Middle Eastern. (Doughnut sundaes and doughnut beer, a collaboration with Barreled Souls, will also no doubt be a popular part of this year’s menu.)

Leech said Congdon’s surveyed more than 700 customers last year, and among their requests were trucks that serve Turkish, Nepalese, Korean and French-Canadian food.

The park will open for the season on May 23, for weekends only until the end of June, when it will open daily.

A much smaller food truck pod just got approved in Kittery. This little park is located at the so-called Mural Building at 230 State Road (the Route 1 bypass) and should be open by Wednesday at the latest, according to Barbara Jenny, who is organizing the project. It will feature a rotation of trucks, three at a time.

Such parks tap into street foods’ ability to create community. Leech said many people have told him that Congdon’s has actually become a “town center” where there is something for everyone, and people interact with each other more than with their mobile phones.

But in the end, it’s still all about the food.

“People are interested in trying something new every night,” Leech said.


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