As the weather warms, it’s time to get outside and find your lunch at a food truck. After more than two years, food truck operators and Columbus City Council have reached agreement on how the trucks can park along the busy High Street corridor, and other popular areas of downtown.
In the next few weeks, more trucks will fill the air with intoxicating scents and will fill parking spaces in the coveted areas of Downtown and the Short North.
Those limited spaces have been a sore point among truck operators. Previously, the city set aside spaces, but not which truck would get it. With 50 food trucks, that was a problem.
“It doesn’t really work for businesses to pack up, load up their employees, and just drive around in circles looking for an open parking space,” explains Zach James, president of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association.
He says not having a place to sell food already prepared, can cost operators a lot of money. So he’s pleased City Council has helped them find a solution. Now truck operators will be able to go online and reserve a spot ahead of time. “The reservation system (and) actually setting aside spaces that we can plan for, staff for, advertise and market for, makes a huge difference.”
Owner Chris Hughes loves the idea. “I think there’s a nice, a nice space between all of them, and it gives you different pockets of the city where you can find food trucks during the day for lunch.”
Councilman Zach Klein says this is a first step. “Other cities have had challenges facing food trucks, and finding spots for them to park, respecting the right-of-way, respecting public safety. I think this is a great start.”
For customers, it means a changing landscape of food trucks and their tasty treats.
“You get to try tacos today and tomorrow we could have Greek,” says customer Danny Allred. “It’s just a whole bunch of variety.”
This morning, the nonprofit organization announced the details of its 2015 Street Food Season. A total of 10 events are planned, including three Saturday morning “breakfast edition” food truck gatherings on the historic Courthouse Square.
“We’re doing that just to shake it up a little,” said Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chad Emerson. “You’ll be able to come downtown and get your street food breakfast.”
That’s where most of this year’s gatherings will be held, although Emerson said at least one event will take place near the corner of Meridian Street and Cleveland Avenue. Admission is still free.
Here’s the schedule:
(Courtesy Downtown Huntsville Inc.)
April 17, 6-9 p.m. Church Street between Williams and Clinton avenues, music by .45 Surprise;
May 15, 6-9 p.m. Church Street, music by Denim Jawbones;
June 19, 6-9 p.m. Church Street, music by The Beasley Brothers;
June 27, 7-10 a.m. Breakfast edition street food rally, Northside Square;
July 17, 6-9 p.m. Church Street, music by Flannel Umbros;
July 25, 7-10 a.m. Breakfast edition street food rally, Northside Square;
August 21, 6-9 p.m., Church Street, music by .45 Surprise;
August 29, 7-10 a.m. Breakfast edition street food rally, Northside Square;
September 18, 6-9 p.m. Church Street, music by Flannel Umbros; and
October 16, 6-9 p.m. Church Street, music by Denim Jawbones.
Jerry Damson Honda and Acura is sponsoring this year’s Street Food Season, which Emerson said will cover the cost of bands playing deeper into the night.
“It’s really grown beyond food trucks into an evening that’s just an interesting experience,” he said.
Huntsville’s affinity for mobile eats has convinced several new entrepreneurs to jump into the food truck scene since last year. The lineup for the 2015 Street Food Season boasts nearly 40 food trucks, food trailers, food tents and other vendors, including:
Sod winter, summer is coming! That means longer evenings and more time to spend outdoors. We’re pretty damn excited about the prospect of not having to dress like an Eskimo to take the hound for a walk, dusting off the ol’ bicycle and going for a few more runs in particular.
We’re also looking forward to festival season, but that doesn’t (always) mean waking up next to a stranger in a field somewhere with a pounding headache. There’s a great many events pitched at satisfying your stomach as opposed to your inner raver, and these are our top picks for the UK’s best get-togethers for food and drink lovers.
In April, the travelling Great British Food Festival calls at Stonyhurst college in Lancashire (adult entry £7.50; deals for children and families available), where there’ll be a range of events from eating challenges to bake-offs and wine tastings. Down in the Big Smog, the Old Truman Brewery will play host to the London Coffee Festival (tickets from £11.50) as part of UK Coffee Week. More than 250 artisan coffee and food stalls will be there to tempt the 20,000+ attendees, most of whom will no doubt sport immaculate facial hair. At the end of the month, asparagus season kicks off in Worcestershire with the start of the British Asparagus Festival. Highlights include the Great Asparagus Run where people, erm, run with asparagus.
Looking for a short break? Then head to the warmer climes of Jersey and its annual food festival. Expect seafood, Michelin starred restaurants, ale trails and, of course, celebrations of the famous Jersey Royal potato. Alternatively, stay a bit closer to home and celebrate English and Welsh wine week with a bottle or two of proper native fizz. There’ll be a host of events going on in conjunction with the week – the Brighton Wine Festival down by the seaside sounds particularly tempting.
May also marks the first of three Grillstock BBQ and music festivals. This one’s up in Manchester, with day passes available from £25 and an all-in ‘pit boss’ ticket complete with weekend entry, food and drink, and goodies available for £70. Elsewhere, the London Wing Fest will see 11 heavyweight restaurants, pop-ups and street food vendors compete to be named the UK’s best wing slinger. It looks like there’s only one batch of tickets left, though, so pay attention to the event’s Twitter account for the latest information.
To eat well for a good cause, look no further than the Action Against Hunger-backed Auction Against Hunger. Tickets are selling fast (there’s only a few left at the time of this update) and cost £55 for this ‘money can’t buy it’ kind of night, which features a menu from top chefs like Nuno Mendes, Skye Gyngell and Jose Pizarro (and a whole lot more), plus a Champagne reception, full bar and support from some leading names in the British street food scene.
June is a quieter month on the food festival front, but one definite highlight is the annual Taste of London festival. Taking place over a week in Regent’s Park, it gives attendees the opportunity to sample signature dishes from some of London’s best restaurants, as well as a range of boozy tastings, live cooking demonstrations, and hands-on masterclass sessions. Tickets start at £16.
Promising “meat, music and mayhem”, Grillstock hits its hometown of Bristol in July. As well as the dizzying array of smoked and grilled meats, there’s also a chilli eating competition and a proper music lineup headlined by De La Soul. Elsewhere, Cheshire will host the International Cheese Show, boasting more than 4,400 cheeses from 26 countries. Entry is free, but you’ll need an £18 ticket for the Chef’s Theatre to see the demonstrations.
Hopefully, things will really start to hot up in August, but you can cool down with a perfectly poured pint at the Great British Beer Festival. The annual CAMRA extravaganza basically sees London’s Olympia transformed into the world’s biggest pub, and as well as top beer, the quality of food has improved significantly over the last couple of years. Thinking of heading down for a few? Don’t forget to check out our guide to surviving a beer festival first. There’s also Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival in the Cotswolds to tempt you. Headlined this year by Paloma Faith and Groove Armada, it’s a full on festival experience complete with expensive tickets – camping for the weekend will set adults back £150.
Confession time: September’s best food event isn’t actually in the UK. It’s the famous Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival over in Ireland. But if you can’t make it to that, Blighty offers a damn good alternative in the form of the Great Cornish Food Festival, which takes place in the heart of Truro. There’ll be some 60 artisan exhibitors and more than 40 chefs and food experts taking part and, best of all, entry is completely free of charge.
Chilli lovers, however, will want to head down to Brighton for the Fiery Foods UK Chilli Festival, which is one of our picks for the best UK chilli events. The website is busted at the moment, though, so check out the Facebook page for more information and to buy tickets from a very reasonable £5. The Grillstock road show makes its last pit stop of the summer, hitting up London for a final weekend of beer, BBQ, and beats. It’s not the only meat in town, though, with US import Meatopia (curated in the UK by Hawksmoor’s Richard Turner) also hitting the capital, with tickets available from £30.
Did we miss any great UK food and drink events taking place between now and the end of the summer? And what should we keep an eye out for later in the year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Other special activities taking place at Arrowmont as part of the Legacy Weekend.
On April 10, from 7-9 p.m. – Artist-in-Residence Exhibition Opening: “A Naturally Picked Stacked Attraction of Glitz.” The exhibition is the culmination of the five Artists-in-Residence year at Arrowmont. Community invited to wine and cheese opening.
On April 11, from 1-6 p.m. – Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest: Open to the public with tickets which may be purchased at in advance or at event. The festival is a partnership with Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and Tennessee Wine Festivals, Inc and Arrowmont. Tickets are $20.
Legacy Weekend events will be held at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (unless otherwise noted.)
In an effort to model Durham Central Park’s food truck rodeos, Duke Student Government will be subsidizing a free food truck rodeo sponsored by Duke University Student Dining Advisory Council, pending approval from Parking and Transportation Services and confirmation of participation from different food trucks. The rodeo will take place during the afternoon of April 10, before the Old Duke concert.
“It’s kind of a precursor to Old Duke. DSG can tie the two [events] together,” DUSDAC co-chair Brian Taylor, a junior, said at the council’s meeting Monday.
He added that trucks will likely be serving sample-size portions instead of full meals to allow students to sample multiple trucks.
In addition to bringing in current campus favorites, DUSDAC is working to showcase several new food trucks that could become fixtures of next year’s lineup. Members discussed ways in which students can give feedback after sampling the new trucks, eventually deciding on an online survey.
“Not only do you get free food, but it’s really a chance for students to have their voices heard,” Taylor said.
DUSDAC will be facing a tight time crunch in organizing the event, and the lineup for the rodeo has yet to be finalized. Food trucks under consideration for next year’s rotation that may be featured in the rodeo include AmigoSan, Bull City Street Food, Belgian Waffology, Taco Grande and Stuft.
In other business:
DUSDAC sampled Stuft, a gourmet potato food truck based out of Raleigh looking to be added to next year’s lineup.
The truck features baked potatoes with toppings ranging from barbecue chicken and cheddar to garlic-roasted veggies. Stephanie Ruggiro, the owner of Stuft, said all of the ingredients in the truck are homemade and the inspiration for the food truck itself originated within her family.
“When my parents were first married, they had a baked potato booth in a flea market in the middle of New York, so that’s where the idea came from,” Ruggiro said.
Although DUSDAC enjoyed the truck’s offerings, the food truck failed to elicit widespread enthusiasm.
“I don’t think there’s anything with this truck that really popped out to me,” sophomore Nelson Winrow said.
Dunkin’ Donuts, which was voted the newest member of the Merchants-on-Points program in February, has faced delays in being added to the MOP list. Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey said that there have been problems with price negotiations, but seemed optimistic that Dunkin’ would eventually be added to the program.
Correction: an earlier version of this article did not note that the food truck is still in the planning stages and awaits approval from Parking and Transportation Services. It also stated that students would be given seven tokens with which to purchase food at the trucks. A decision on the number of tokens has not yet been made. The Chronicle regrets the error.
Photos courtesy EarlyAt first glace, Early (967 Manhattan Avenue) looks like any other gussied-up Greenpoint coffee shop: reclaimed wood counters, baked goods under glass cloches, organic teas, cold brew. So you’d be forgiven for not noticing the zappie, a cheese-and-mushroom sandwich tucked away in the middle of the menu. But that would be an oversight indeed.
“It’s a really popular Polish street food,” says Marcin Mroz, the chef, who’s been tinkering with the sandwich ever since he learned how to cook. “With the end of communism, people were ready to build businesses, and they’d get these camping cars, and put a little oven in it, and start making zappies, because they had the ingredients easily — mushrooms, bread, regulation cheese. Then investors came in, and suddenly there were chains of zappie kiosks everywhere.”
The zappie, short for zapiekanka (the noun form of the Polish verb for “bake over” or toast, zapiekac), is a hollowed-out baguette stuffed with mushrooms and melted cheese.
“It’s so simple, but we wanted to make it right,” says Mroz, the gleam of obsession in his eye. “We roast the mushrooms for two or three hours so that they get rid of their moisture, which would make the sandwich soggy. Then we intensify the flavor with a touch of truffle oil, and mix in sweet, caramelized onions, and fresh chives for contrast. We toast the bread after we hollow it out so that it’s really crunchy, and we use a great fontina cheese, too.”
This is no grab-and-go sandwich. Each one is made to order, and that takes about five minutes. “It’s worth it,” says Mroz. “The zappie is simple, but I think that when you pay attention to all the details, the simple things can be some of the best things.”
SALADO — This year’s Texas Wine and Rogue Art Festival featured the largest selection of wineries in its seven-year history, but that is to be expected, according to some enthusiasts.
“It’s growing more and more in the state. There’s more vineyards; there’s more wineries. The state has been a big help to a lot of vineyards with all the grants they provide,” said Thomas Mallow, owner of the Dallas Soap Company, a vendor at the event Sunday.
More than 2,500 attendees came out Saturday to enjoy one of the largest wine festivals between Austin and Grapevine. Twenty-three different wineries and vineyards poured 100 different Texas wines from nearby vineyards in Florence, Waco and Meridian, and more distant ones in Poteet, Fredericksburg, Marble Falls, Hye, Pittsburgh and Lubbock.
“Texas is bigger than France,” said June Ritterbusch, festival organizer and winery owner, explaining the different flavor profiles of the wine. “In Texas, we have very different climates, so there can be many different types of grape growing. But here in Central Texas, you find people looking at the dry-wine climates of Europe. So, they’ll explore Spanish, Italian and Southern-French wine-making styles.”
Residents wandered in and out of tents packed with tasting booths and artistic wares during Saturday and Sunday’s sunny weather. There were more than 40 booths featuring art, delectable foods, and handmade goodies such as glass bottle trees and photography from around the globe.
Killeen-resident Maria Sanchez had already circled her favorite type — Pilot Knob Winery’s Franco Rojo — while perusing art tents and more tasting booths with her husband, explaining she wished Killeen would put on an event like this.
“I love my wine. … One of my friends started me off with sweet wine, but I’m doing dry wines now — and I can’t go back to sweet wines. It’s a progression thing that your taste buds have to get used to. When I bring new people to drink wine, that’s what I tell them, start off with the sweet wines and then work your way up to the dry ones,” she said.
Contact Courtney Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7559
It’s no secret that Pennsylvanians are thirsty for craft beer.
Whether it’s the idea of “drinking local” or that Keystone State residents want more than mass-produced brews, people here are driving the market in craft beer.
That strong market in Pennsylvania and the popularity of craft beer will be topics at the “Meeting of the Malts IV” Thursdayat the Allentown Brew Works. The event is sponsored by the Brewers of Pennsylvania.
The Meeting of the Malts will feature three events celebrating Pennsylvania beer, including tastings spotlighting local brews.
A highlight of Meeting of the Malts will be a panel discussion on “The Craft Beer Revolution” featuring heavy hitters of the industry. They are:
•Dick Yuengling, owner of Pottsville’s D.G. Yuengling Son, the oldest brewing company in America.
•Jim Koch, co-founder of Boston Beer Co., the maker of Samuel Adams beer. The company operates a big plant in Breinigsville.
•Bill Covaleski, president of Victory Brewing Co. of Downingtown, Chester County.
•Steve Hindy, chairman of Brooklyn Brewery and author of “The Craft Beer Revolution.” Hindy will moderate the discussion.
We asked Covaleski, Koch and Hindy about Pennsylvania and the craft beer world:
Q: What place does Pennsylvania have in the craft beer industry?
Covaleski: We are fortunate to have a diverse range of breweries in Pennsylvania, including the nation’s two largest independent breweries, D.G. Yuengling and Sam Adams brewery. As of the close of 2013, we ranked No. 2 nationally for beer production by volume, No. 7 in terms of number of breweries.
Koch: Pennsylvania has a long history of brewers dating back to the 19th century when German immigrants came to the U.S. and brought their culture of brewing with them. While Prohibition stalled the growth of breweries nationwide, today Pennsylvania boasts more than 100 craft breweries, which is amazing.
Because Pennsylvania is so rich with brewing history, German heritage and craft beer-loving drinkers, one of the most recognized and celebrated beer weeks in America can be found here: Philly Beer Week. Philly was really the first to launch a “beer week” featuring craft beer festivals and events where drinkers could meet the brewers behind their favorite beers. So many other states emulate Philly’s beer week, and they’ve created their own, but have yet to match the energy you feel at Philly Beer Week.
Hindy: Pennsylvania has an important spot in America’s brewing history, and in the history of craft brewing. The first lager beer was brewed in Philadelphia, and William Penn, the state’s namesake, was a brewer. Sam Adams was first brewed at the Pittsburgh Brewing Co., and is now brewed in Allentown.
Yuengling, a small local brewer in the 1980s, is now the nation’s biggest craft brewer. The first brew master of Brooklyn Brewery was William M. Moeller, a fourth-generation German American brewer. Bill had been head brewer at the Schmidt brewery in Philadelphia and came to work for us after early retirement. There are 108 craft breweries in Pennsylvania.
Q: Why do you think craft beer and small brewers have found such success in Pennsylvania and across the county?
Covaleski: I believe that the citizens of Pennsylvania have created a culture of appreciation that benefits us as consumers and as producers. We have supported the traditional, Germanic lagers of old guard brewers while we have embraced an evolving culinary scene (beer is food!) based on homegrown goodness.
Craft beer only becomes relevant when consumers appreciate flavor. For much of the remaining country, there is only the newer development to speak of as not many “old” breweries exist in most states where craft brewing has blossomed.
Koch: It took almost 30 years for Samuel Adams to become what it is today and we couldn’t have done it alone. Pennsylvania brewers like Yuengling, Victory and many others have helped pave the way by brewing great, flavorful beer and introducing it to drinkers.
In addition to Pennsylvania’s rich brewing history and German heritage, Pennsylvania boasts unparalleled resources such as open space, clean air and great water sources, all of which are crucial to brewing. Additionally, areas like the Lehigh Valley are near major transportation arteries, which are important for shipping beer.
While the natural resources found in Pennsylvania are very important, it’s truly the brewers and drinkers that have propelled the craft beer industry in Pennsylvania and across the country. Pennsylvania brewers from Samuel Adams to Weyerbacher to Sly Fox are continuously experimenting and making great beer available to drinkers. And every time a beer drinker goes to buy beer, whether it’s at a beer distributor, tavern or brew pub, drinkers have a great selection of flavorful, high-quality beers made by small, independent Pennsylvania brewers.
Hindy: The craft beer movement has been driven by the work of thousands of small breweries all across America. Each was started by people passionate about beer and brewing. Each has connected to the traditions of their cities and states and developed beers that express something about those places. The breweries have become important parts of their communities.
The marketing of craft beer has for the most part been by word of mouth. That means thousands, and now millions of Americans, have learned about craft beer on their own and have spread the word to their friends and colleagues. The craft beer movement is a massive organism with thousands of feet that is now growing exponentially.
Q: What’s the future for Pennsylvania in the craft beer industry?
Covaleski: Very promising! We have a great consumer base that pushes our breweries for more and more creativity. The Brewers of Pennsylvania (of which I serve as president) is at an all-time high of 68 members, over 14 of which have joined us in the last four months.
Koch: There has never been a better place to drink craft beer than in the U.S. right now. When I first started brewing Samuel Adams Boston Lager in 1984, there were about 50 breweries in the U.S. Now, there are more than 4,500 breweries operating in the U.S. And more than 13 states now have more than 100 breweries each, including Pennsylvania. This is amazing to see both as a craft brewer and craft beer drinker.
The food disappeared so fast we were hard-pressed to get photos of it. This is a bit of pork kimchi from Boka Truck.
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 11:26 am
Hardywood Food Truck Court starts Thursday
By KARRI PEIFER
It looks like spring may finally be here. For now. Until the next arbitrary spring morning snow flurries.
But let’s now worry about that right now, because the weather looks fine all week – and in the 70s on Thursday, April 2, which happens to be the launch of Hardywood’s annual Thursday night Food Truck Court.
This week, 16 mobile food operators will be on-site to kick-off the season, which will run every Thursday from 5:30 – 9 p.m. through the fall.