Browsing articles in "food trucks"
Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Friday Fills Community

By Thomas Bunn

 

 

This past Friday, the City of Inglewood, in collaboration with KJLH Radio, launched its annual 4th Friday Food Truck Festival on Market Street.  To call it a hit, is an understatement.

 

Some of the best tasting mobile cuisine in Southern California came to Inglewood, as did residents and guests, to sample the great variety of dishes, and socialize with friends and loved ones.  Music blared and the streets buzzed in laughter and chatter.  It was amazing to see the community come alive for something we usually only see in surrounding cities.

 

I had the opportunity to speak with some of the vendors, Simone from Sista Soul said, “This is our third time being here to participate in the 4th Friday event, and we plan to be here every year.”

 

The Rollin’ Lobster truck experienced a line around the corner for a large part of the event. Owner, Pete said, “We fly our lobster from Maine every day, it’s never frozen. I get up at 5 in the morning every day and tell our distributor how many pounds of lobster we need for the day.  It’s on a boat, then a plane, and to me around 10 o’clock, so it’s as fresh as I can get it.”

 

The Rollin’ Lobster wasn’t the only truck to have some truly long lines.  Vendors like BR Burgers, Ragin’ Cajun, and Sweet E’s did really well also. On the strip as well, was Currywurst, India Jones, and even a soft served ice cream truck.

 

Our city was alive and full Friday night. If you’ve worked up an appetite, you may want to make sure you come out to the City’s next 4th Friday Food Truck Festival on September 26 from 4-9pm. See you there.

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

UB’s first food truck to debut at football game

The menu will change every few weeks, but student and staff
favorites will carry over. Prices range between $4 and $8, and
customers can pay with cash, credit and funds on UB cards.

Big Blue will circle the North Campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays, and the South Campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. CDS also
will station the truck on the South Campus on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday nights.

The downtown campus will join Big Blue’s route once
construction on the new School of Medicine and Biomedical
Sciences’ building is completed.

CDS will announce Big Blue’s regular operating hours
before the home opener on Aug. 30.

“As UB grows, we’re limited in physical space to
build kitchens. A food truck gives us that flexibility to serve
different areas relatively easily,” says Ray Kohl, CDS
marketing manager. “We’re going to be where food
isn’t normally readily available, so we don’t see this
being parked outside of the Student Union. They’re already
being served.”

Students can expect to find the mobile kitchen at most campus
events and athletic games as well. The truck also will be available
to students, faculty, staff and alumni for catering of on- and
off-campus events.

If Big Blue is a success, CDS plans to build a second, smaller
food truck, to be named Baby Blue.

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

Chamber tries to boost food truck business

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce says it’s time to partner with food trucks, which are growing throughout the Susquehanna Valley.

Video: Watch Brendan McNamara’s report

So, the Riverside Food Truck was born, and it kicked off Thursday morning in Harrisburg.

Two food trucks set up in the chamber parking lot. They including “The Chicken Truck,” which operates mostly throughout the Harrisburg area. The “Ice Cream Express” truck also showed up.

The chamber says that food trucks aren’t just a different way to eat, but a different way to do business in the Susquehanna Valley, which should be nurtured.

The event is trying to grow the food truck business. While the trucks get to downtown throughout the year, they usually don’t go as far north as the chamber’s location, along the 3200 block of North Front Street.

If all goes well, organizers say the event will become a regular feature. The trucks were set to be serving food from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

Local business Mac the Cheese enjoys the recent Gwinnett food truck trend …

Mac the Cheese employee, Scott DAngelo, prepares some of the mac and cheese while setting up for the Grayson Farmers Market on Wednesday at the Grayson Community Park. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

Mac the Cheese employee, Scott D’Angelo, prepares some of the mac and cheese while setting up for the Grayson Farmers Market on Wednesday at the Grayson Community Park. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

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Food Trucks in Gwinnett

gallery photo

The food truck trend is making its way to Gwinnett County.

For people in major urban areas like New York or Seattle, food trucks are nothing new, but recently the trend has made its way to the suburbs.

Food trucks can now be seen at events all over Gwinnett — Food Truck Fridays or Tuesdays, farmers markets, concerts, movie nights and festivals. Almost all of the trucks that participate in these events travel out from Atlanta, but Lawrenceville residents Beau and Tiffany Hodson, who own Mac the Cheese and The Atlanta Burger Truck, get to do business right in their own backyard.

The Hodsons had entertained the idea of starting a food truck for many years before they actually took the risk back in 2011 — Beau had years of experience in the restaurant industry and Tiffany had just graduated with an MBA from the University of Georgia, so the timing seemed right.

“We had done (catered) parties for friends and family, and they always told us we should do it,” Tiffany said. “When we decide to take the risk it was just starting to get popular in Atlanta. Also, we had watched the shows and thought it’d be fun and it has.”

Both menus were created by Beau, who calls himself a “food enthusiast” instead of a chef, since he doesn’t have formal training. Tiffany said her husband has such a passion and excitement for food that it’s contagious. The Hodsons originally opened a storefront restaurant along with Mac the Cheese and The Atlanta Burger Truck, but it didn’t bring in the same revenue as the trucks.

“It’s just more flexible to just have a truck because you can take it where there’s business, and we work when we work and can take a week off if needed,” Tiffany said.

The Hodsons rarely take a day off, though. During the peak months — April, May, September and October — they work about 80 hours a week.

“Since we’re local, we try to participate in as many events in our county as possible — Suwanee food truck night, Grayson farmers market, Lilburn farmers market, Snellville farmers market and Buford movie night,” Tiffany said. “We have seen such great support in our area for food trucks.”

Tiffany specualtes that the food truck trend has exploded in Gwinnett because the idea is fun and new, as well as “a great way to get fresh, local food at a reasonable price.”

The city of Suwanee was the first to host Food Truck Friday back in May of 2013. Duluth and Lilburn now offer regular food truck events, which draw in crowds of over 1,000 people.

The Hodsons enjoy participating in local events and hope the recent popularity will pave the way for a change in Gwinnett laws regarding food trucks.

“As the law currently stands food trucks are unable to be permitted for mobile food vending in Gwinnett County except for temporary events,” Tiffany said. “It’s a bummer for us because that means we have to leave the county to do most of our business. We are grateful to the cities like Suwanee and Duluth that have opened up their arms to food truck events and are excited to have us here.”

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

An app for food truck lovers: UAH student, designer launching Foodie Radar in … – The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Harvest native Amanda Blanton was in the car searching for local food trucks with her boyfriend early this summer when a debate between the couple sparked the birth of a new business idea.

View full sizeAmanda Blanton, a UAH senior and designer at Modern Smart in Huntsville, is the brains behind Foodie Radar, a new app that gives smartphone users real-time information on local mobile food vendors and their menu options. (Contributed photo) 

The University of Alabama in Huntsville senior and graphic designer longed for an app she could open on her iPhone that showed the closest food trucks and what their menus were for the day.

“Gas is too expensive to spend the time and money looking for them,” she said. “So my boyfriend was like, ‘Why don’t you make one then?’”

A few months later, 22-year-old Blanton and local developer Trent Go are preparing to launch Foodie Radar, an app that gives iOS and Android users real-time information on mobile eateries in Huntsville and their menu options. The app also invites residents to connect with their favorite food vendors on social media.

Foodie Radar will be available to smartphone users within the next two months, while a second version with additional features, such as notifications and customer reviews, will launch next spring. As food trucks gain momentum in Huntsville, Birmingham and across the state, Blanton believes her idea will fill a hole in the local food scene.

Go got on board with Foodie Radar earlier this summer after Blanton asked for help developing the new app on Twitter. She received nearly 30 proposals and price quotes from app companies and freelancers across the globe, but she chose to work with Go because of his work experience and connection to Huntsville.

Blanton, who graduates in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UAH, is a multimedia development intern at Teledyne Brown Engineering and designer for Modern Smart in south Huntsville. She is being mentored by KiDebit app developers Jacob Birmingham and Radhaji Mani.

Birmingham, an information systems expert in Huntsville, launched KiDebit, a child-friendly app that educates kids on how to budget and learn the value of money, in June. He met Blanton a few weeks ago during one of his weekly mobile tech talks in downtown Huntsville.

“I think (Foodie Radar) is a great idea because it addresses a local need,” he said. “The feedback coming out of our mobile tech interest group has all been very positive.”

The app will feature local food trucks, but also include mobile vendors like Piper Leaf and farmers markets. The app will be free for customers, but businesses will have to pay an annual licensing fee to be included.

Blanton, who has received requests about developing Foodie Radar in Raleigh, N.C., Seattle and Denver, is confident the app will do well in Huntsville and beyond as more entrepreneurs trade brick-and-mortar stores for mobile eateries.

“If there’s a problem, we need a solution, so why not be a part of that solution?” she said.

Interested vendors should visit Foodie Radar’s website for details on participating in the new app. Updates about the app are posted to Twitter and Instagram.

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

UB unveils “Big Blue,” new food truck for students, community

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The University at Buffalo is catching the food truck craze with their own creation: “Big Blue.”

The food truck from the university’s Campus Dining and Shops will travel between the North and South campuses serving up gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, varieties of macaroni and cheese, and teppanyaki. It will also be spotted at special events, athletic games, and is available for catering at on- and off-campus sites.

Big Blue makes its debut during the UB football home owner on Saturday, August 30. The menu will change every few weeks, but student and staff favorites will stick around.

Some of the grilled cheese sandwiches include The Pink Goat, which features herbed goat cheese on marble rye with pickled beets and arugula; the Peanut Butter with Sideburns, a peanut butter sandwich with bacon, bananas and a hint of cream cheese; and the Plain Jane, a classic American cheese on sour dough bread.

Macaroni and cheese specials include a spicy option with jalapenos and beef on weck mac. While teppanyaki, a style of grilled Japanese cuisine, includes ramen noodles with beef, chicken, shrimp and vegetarian options.

All items on the menu are between $4 and $8, and customers can with UB Dining Dollars, Campus Cash, cash and credit.

You can follow Big Blue on Twitter @UBBigBlue.

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Aug 29, 2014
Kim Rivers

Philadelphia Food Trucks Converge On Franklin Square For ‘Food Truck Festivus’

By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a “Food Truck Festivus” at Franklin Square Thursday.

A half dozen food trucks lined the sidewalks of Franklin Square serving everything from meatballs to ice cream.

“I have cheese curds with sriracha, mayo and a fresh made lemonade,” one person said.

“I got the pulled pork tacos from Oink and Moo BBQ,” another person said.

“I love food trucks, I love trying new food and this gives you the perfect opportunity to try a ton of food,” said another.

People came for the food, but many stayed for the pop-up beer garden and the free games.

“We have special games, volleyball, horseshoes croquet, bocce, just makes for a fun evening.”

If you missed this event at the Square, there’s no need to panic — they’ll be hosting a Labor Day celebration over the weekend.

For more information, visit: http://historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/special-events/.

 

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Aug 28, 2014
Kim Rivers

Worcester Public Schools’ nutritional focus transitions from summer food truck … – The Republican

WORCESTER — As Maribel Damik and Doreen McElroy handed a yogurt parfait to a young boy and a sunbutter sandwich to his brother, they knew that they had helped to prepare the children for their return to school. 

Throughout the summer months, Damik and McElroy have traveled to city parks, schools and public library branches to distribute nutritious meals to children. In its second year, the public school district’s summer food distribution program is part of an overall initiative to help maintain good nutrition for growing students, some of whom rely upon the meals normally offered during the traditional school year.

“I think it’s the best thing ever,” McElroy said recently. “It’s the last meal of the day for some people and we’re able to provide them with nutritious food that follows the same guidelines we use in school.”

In Worcester, where 74 percent of public school children are eligible for free or reduced priced meals, there were 42 distribution sites (31 of them open and 11 requiring pre-registration), including the city’s main library in Salem Square and at branches. The food truck stopped at more than a dozen of those sites Monday through Saturday.

In 2013, the program, locally administered by the public school system and Friendly House, served only 12 percent of eligible Worcester children. On Tuesday, Worcester schools Director of Nutrition Donna Lombardi said that the program tripled the number of meals distributed. She attributed the increase to greater familiarization with the program, extended hours and the new partnership with the city library system and other organizations, such as the Worcester County Food Bank and Stop Shop’s Our Family Foundation, that helped bring the truck and the food into remote neighborhoods. 

“The school department and the city really are concerned about the well being of the students and it really it does take a village. Our goal is to ensure that these students are well nourished and ready to learn,” she said. 

The district tried to schedule the truck to complement the school lunch program, so that when school ended there was still a constant source of food for students. With summer vacation over, Lombardi and her staff are making the transition back to the in-school nutrition program, which includes breakfast at most schools, lunch and an after-school snack. 

“Recent studies are showing that if there is an interruption in food environment during a student’s growth period it has potential to hurt the learning experience,” Lombardi said.

The program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with support from the Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread, is one of many that operated throughout the Commonwealth during the summer.

In Worcester, Damik and McElroy found themselves almost reaching local celebrity status as people became familiar with the truck and students started to recognize them from school. Damik works in the kitchen at the Norrback Avenue School and McElroy at the Nelson Place School. 

The women said it feels good when they pull into a site and people are waving at them. Residents have come to recognize the truck and the students from Norrback and Nelson Place enjoy getting to see their lunch ladies. 

“It’s been a fun experience, and now I get to see them again on the first day of school,” Damik said. 

Lombardi already has plans for next summer: a second food truck will be on the road and the menu will be expanded.

“We’re fortunate to be able to have this vehicle to serve locally grown fruits and veggies throughout the summer and that they want it. We have the philosophy that if the food tastes good, and that’s where the locally grown and sourced products come in because often do taste better, the kids will want to eat it,” Lombardi said.

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Aug 28, 2014
Kim Rivers

Mid-Week Menu: Taiwan Bento’s ‘Hard’ Opening, Emeryville’s Newest Food …

click to enlarge

    Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

    1) Taiwan Bento’s (412 22nd St., Oakland) self-proclaimed soft opening period ends this Friday, August 29, but co-owner Willy Wang tells me that the Taiwanese lunch spot will keep things fairly low-key even as they head into their “hard” launch. The Uptown restaurant’s streamlined opening menu features four “bentos” (lunch boxes), beef noodle soup, and a few side dishes, and Wang said they’ll likely continue to serve only lunch (Monday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) at least through the first couple of weeks of September. New menu items and expanded hours will be rolled out slowly. Next on the agenda (but probably still about a month away): boba drinks. Read more about Taiwan Bento here.

    2) Eater reports that Off the Grid’s recently launched Emeryville outpost will take place on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the parking lot of the Emeryville Public Market (5959 Shellmound St.) — bringing what one local food writer has called today’s four-wheeled “food court” to a shopping center that, of course, already has a food court. At least one restaurateur in the plaza, Hot Italian’s Fabrizio Cercatore, told Berkeleyside Nosh that he didn’t expect his restaurant to suffer from the competition: “Anything that will bring a buzz to the Public Market is good for everyone.”

    3) Scarlet City Espresso Bar (3960 Adeline St.), the first brick-and-mortar coffee shop for the Oakland-based roaster, is now open in Emeryville, Berkeleyside Nosh reports. The E’ville Eye has a nice profile of the business, which buys all of its coffee beans from women-owned farms in South America.

    4) A quick update: Bay Grape (376 Grand Ave., Oakland), a new wine shop previewed on What the Fork a couple of weeks ago — rumored to be opening very soon — is now officially open.

    5) Also new in Oakland: A still-unnamed chocolate shop and cafe focusing on American-made chocolate bars will open in the Rockridge space currently occupied by Bittersweet Cafe (5427 College Ave.), Inside Scoop reports. David Salowich, the owner, currently heads up Bittersweet’s chocolate and retail program. Look for Salowich’s solo venture to open sometime in October.

    click to enlarge

      6) Uptown Oakland’s Hopscotch is hosting a pop-up Pig Pickin’ party this Thursday, August 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. (or until they sell out). Chef Kyle Itani will be roasting a whole pig in a La Caja China; a $20 ticket will buy you a plate of pork, salad, cornbread, and a pint of Fort Point Beer Co.’s Manzanita Altbier. Additional side dishes, beer, and shots of whiskey will be available a la carte for $5 a pop. The event will be held at Hopscotch’s annex space, a couple of doors down from the main restaurant, at 1911 San Pablo Avenue.

      7) Local chef and food educator Samin Nosrat is giving a talk tonight, August 27, from 6-8 p.m., at the Temescal Mexican restaurant Doña Tomas (5004 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). The event is sponsored by Alice Waters’ Social Eats program, which seeks to educate “Bay Area young professionals” about the food system. Tickets are $15, and some small bites will be included.

      8) Last week I gave a quick plug for the “Taste” event that’s coming up on Saturday, September 13, in which several of the East Bay’s high-profile female chefs will be cooking to raise money for the nonprofit Girls Inc. Pican chef Sophina Uong reached out to say that she’s currently looking for about ten volunteers (preferably with some culinary experience) to help plate food for the event. If you want to help out, shoot Uong a line at sophina.uong@picanrestaurant.com.

      9) The big news out of Copenhagen at this week’s MAD Conference, an annual symposium for the food world’s most influential chefs and thinkers, is that Roy Choi (the Los Angeles food truck and restaurant mogul) and the Bay Area’s own Daniel Patterson are embarking on a somewhat surprising collaboration: The two will work together to create a healthy fast food chain called Loco’l, which they hope will be able to compete with the likes of McDonald’s and Burger King in the food deserts of California and beyond. The Chronicle reports that the first location is planned for San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

      10) Finally, ICYMI, Anula’s Cafe has been forbidden from cooking meat, and East Oakland’s most famous hot dog and grilled links cart serves an Oakland original: a fully-loaded pastrami link.

      Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I’ll read ‘em all.

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      Aug 28, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      I Love Bacon’s Josh Patrick: 3 items Huntsville food truck co-owner always … – Press-Register

      HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - There’s the Public Enemy Mac Cheese and The BLT of Curtis Loew. And some of Huntsville food truck I Love Bacon’s menu items even have literally the same exact appellation as the well-known musicians they’re named for, like Tito Jackson (pork belly tacos), Willie Nelson (a tricked-out barbecue sandwich) and Notorious B.I.G (a bacon and mac cheese sandwich).

      The reason? I Love Bacon’s co-owners Josh Patrick and Keith Hill are also electronic dance music DJs, spinning tunes at places like Sammy T’s. “That’s how we met each other 16 years ago,” Patrick, 36, says. “When we get done here on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays we go straight to the club, so we wanted everything to have a music connotation because that’s been a big part of our lives.”

      I Love Bacon began rolling in mid-April. Patrick and Hill decided on a bacon-themed because it was different than other food truck concepts in this market, it’s Hill’s favorite ingredient and, as Patrick says, “the smell of bacon cooking is something everyone remembers from childhood.”

      They went through about a dozen types of bacon before finding the one they wanted to use on their truck. “It’s applewood smoked bacon from a small farm in Tennessee,” Patrick says. “We cook it too a mid-rare. If someone wants it crispier we’ll take it crispier but we don’t want it to ever be overcooked because you taste more of the bacon, the fat, the smoke, at a mid-rare. It’s an expensive ingredient so that’s why our prices are a little higher.”

      Check I Love Bacon’s Twitter and Facebook pages for updates on locations, days and times of operation. On a recent August evening, they’re parked outside Yellowhammer Brewing on Clinton Avenue. It’s 103 degrees inside the truck right now.

      By day, the Huntsville-based Hill works in IT and Patrick lives in Birmingham where he cooks at fine-dining spot Satterfield’s Restaurant and commutes to the Rocket City a couple times a week. Asked to name three things he typically keeps in his home refrigerator, Patrick says:

      “I make all kinds of mustards. There’s nothing else that tastes like a good mustard, especially if you make it yourself and soak the mustard seeds and puree them. I ike to take roasted garlic and jalapenos and standard yellow mustard and a little bit of Dijon and it makes this awesome jalapenos mustard. I like it on anything … any type of sandwich, eggs, omelets.

      “The other thing is olives, mainly Kalamata olives but depending on what I’m cooking that week I might pick up some queen olives or maybe some Nicoise, but always olives. I’ll buy a can of smoked salmon and make a lot of Mediterranean salmon salads and stuff like that and that’s what I eat a lot of. So I’ll chop those olives up and put them in there. They’re briny, they’re salty, and so I don’t have to add any extra salt.

      “Hoisin sauce. Man, that is the greatest sauce to come out of Asia since sriracha sauce. It’s a plum sauce. I eat a lot of roasted vegetables, so I’ll roast off a lot of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and then I’ll mix together sriracha and hoisin and make like a super spicy plum-based barbecue sauce, and I’ll dip it in those.” 

      Read our dining review of I Love Bacon here.

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