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The down economy meant that 2011 was a bad year for many. But look carefully, and there are people, places and products that have had a good year. NPR News explores the glass half full in business, sports, the arts, pop culture, and politics with a series called "It Was A Good Year For..." With contributions from NPR's desks (Arts, Washington, National, Science, among others), this series airs beginning Sat., Dec. 24, through Dec. 31, on NPR's newsmagazines, Talk of the Nation, and Tell Me More.We also decided to take a look at the local people, places and things in and around St. Louis who had a "good year."We welcome your input, too. Who or what do you think had "a good year" in the St. Louis area? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page, tweet them with the #agoodyearstl hashtag (or use our handy button below), or send us an email at kproud@stlpublicradio.org with "A Good Year: St. Louis" in the subject line.Tweet #agoodyearstl

A good year for mobile cuisine with St. Louis food trucks

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(Screen Capture via Sauce Magazine Video directed by Work/Play)
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Hungry food truck fans line up for something yummy to eat at a Food Truck Friday event with Sauce Magazine in 2011.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-998051.mp3

2011 was a good year for St. Louis food trucks.

The mobile eats trend exploded on the St. Louis scene after one of the first trucks, Pi On The Spot, hit the pavement in 2010. Now, an ever-growing number of trucks and wagons take to the streets each day, tweeting out their locations so hungry diners can line up for a meal on the run.

St. Louisans can now get just about anything they want from pizza to tacos, cupcakes to crepes. Food Truck Friday, a Sauce Magazine summer event series, culminated with nearly 20 trucks in attendance: Guerilla Street Food, Seoul Taco, Street Life, Cha Cha Chow, Go Gyro Go! and Wanderlust Pizza, were among them.

Delicious. Quick. Easy. Many of the trucks are looking for new ways to make the mobile food experience just that. Several truckers are proponents of technology – like Square - from Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native and Twitter co-founder.  It enables vendors to process credit and debit cards using smart phones. 

Truckers are do-gooders too, always looking for ways to connect with the truckie-loving community and to serve St. Louis. Pi on the Spot is currently donating a liberal slice of its sales to charity.  Guerrilla Street Food and Shell’s Coastal Cuisine have initiated similar programs where dollars benefit the community.

In addition to all the attention on food trucks this year, the St. Louis culinary scene received some national attention as well. Highlights include articles in Food & Wine Magazine, the New York Times and several nominations for James Beard Awards.

As we move into next year, I’m excited to see what culinary innovations 2012 will bring.  

*Commentator Allyson Mace is the publisher of Sauce Magazine.

To hear more about A Good Year St. Louis, tune into St. Louis on the Air on Thursday, December 29th.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.