ST GEORGE, UT – For a while there, it seemed as if St. George was letting the food truck craze pass it by.

Wildly popular from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City, food trucks often add a quirky twist to a city’s cuisine options. They are so popular in cities like Portland and Austin that they have the food truck equivalent of mall food courts, where trucks, trailers and carts of all varieties gather, making it easy for loyal foodies to get their fix.

Even here in Southern Utah, there has been a small but vibrant food truck/cart scene in both Cedar City and Hurricane. Not so much in St. George — at least given its comparable size in relation to other nearby towns. There have been some, a taco truck here, a hotdog cart there. But lately it seems as if there has been a bit of a food truck explosion in Dixie.

Some of the credit may go to Jeff Patten, owner of World’s Best Corndogs, a food truck that parks at Hurst Ace Hardware on Bluff Street in St. George. Like others before him who had brought plans for a food truck business to St. George city officials, Patten was originally turned away.

“I just didn’t take no for an answer,” Patten says. “I kept being persistent.”

With that persistence he soon found allies among the city officials and determined there was nothing in the city code preventing him from opening shop. On Nov. 14, World’s Best Corndogs became St. George’s first food truck to operate from a fixed location. Next week, Patten and his son Dallas will begin operating a second truck that will move from location to location, including Cedar City.

“The public has absolutely embraced us and come around and supported us,” Patten says.