By Sydia Bell

A few months ago, my Twitter timeline was buzzing with news of the first Street Food Thursday at the Woodruff Art Center.

Since I wasn’t in walking distance but still wanted to sample the good eats from the trucks, I drove down Peachtree Street in search of a parking spot. By the time I got to the trucks, there seemed to be thousands of people in line. In 30 minutes, most of the trucks announced they were out of food. I decided, with my unappeased appetite, that food truck rallies were not for me.

Street Food Thursday is still happening, with more trucks than ever and plenty of food for the lines of hungry people, but waiting in the heat is not my idea of a good way to spend a lunch hour.

So, when Atlanta INtown asked me to go on another food truck adventure let’s just say I was a little apprehensive. I decided to invite a friend, because if I had to do this I wasn’t going to suffer alone. Our destination? Somewhere behind the Willy’s on Howell Mill Road. To which my friend responded, “Behind Willy’s?”

Every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. a gravel lot behind Willy’s becomes the Howell Mill Food Park. You can find a good majority of the city’s food trucks and carts here, including King of Pops, The Tamale Queens, Westside Creamery and The Good Food Truck.

I knew immediately, this wasn’t going to be your usual food truck convergence. As we drove behind Willy’s, a friendly police officer was directing cars to parking. And since there were more trucks, that meant the lines were shorter. There were even picnic benches set up, so we didn’t feel like we had to “eat and run.” Some people sat on the grass to enjoy the food, while many brought blankets to make a picnic.

And not a single truck ran out of food.

We started with tamales, then it was onto the tofu tacos and, finally, the flavor combustion of maple cinnamon ice cream for me and a coconut key lime sorbet for my friend.

By the time we were ready to leave, our bellies were full, new people had been met, good conversations were had, and my mind was changed about food truck gatherings.

To find out more about the Howell Mill Food Park and to see which trucks will be there  each Tuesday, visit facebook.com/howellmillfoodpark.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.