Browsing articles in "food trucks"
Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

Flavor File: Cockasian food truck featured on SNL and an “interesting …

One cheeky food truck name has San Antonio all hot and bothered. Cockasian’s name is a pun of sorts, as Caucasian owner Candie Yoder will be slinging spicy Korean eats once the truck finally launches. Cockasian has been in the development stage since last fall when Yoder launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for the concept, but the process was held up while Yoder found a truck and, later, two food truck builders. The truck has a shiny new paint job with its moniker emblazoned on both sides, but on March 4, it was deemed too risqué by the folks at Port of San Antonio who Googled the truck’s name to find less-than-desirable results. Cue the media frenzy which trickled its way to Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update this past Saturday. Again, the truck hasn’t even officially rolled out yet. At this point, Yoder and co. are prepping days in advance of Cockasian’s Sunday, March 16 launch at The Point Park Eats to make sure they’re covered. I hope they don’t cock it up.

In less scandalous news, The Institute of Chili made yet another Best Chili list, this time in Travel + Leisure. Expect a mention in Texas Monthly soon as Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaugh graced our fair city on First Friday to check out both the Institute of Chili’s The Bomb sandwich and B D Ice House’s (1004 S Alamo, (2100) 224-2337) Bruno, an eye-popping Frankenwich of chopped brisket, mac ‘n’ cheese, slaw and a Shiner-based sauce. For those hoping to get hands on the Bruno, the Dady-meets-Newman BD Ice House will open its doors permanently on Monday, March 17. Can’t wait.

In chef-y news, Cured’s Steve McHugh will be a featured competitor in Food Network’s latest reality show, Beat Bobby Flay. McHugh will face-off against another chef for a chance to compete against Flay. If he makes it past the first round, McHugh will get celebrity chef advice via Giada De Laurentiis and Cooking Channel’s Mo Rocca. The episode airs March 20 at 9 p.m.

Fiesta just got a little more interesting as the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association named Jonathan Goldsmith, AKA Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World, as Grand Marshal for this year’s night parade on April 26. Goldsmith has been portraying the badass beer drinker since 2006. Editor’s note: So, to reiterate, the “Most Interesting Man in the World” is a fictional construct designed to sell beer, but then again, so is Fiesta (or at least that’s increasingly how it feels these days).

Juice Central is days away from opening its second location at 315 E Commerce. The shop, much like its Alamo Heights counterpart, will focus on providing fresh smoothies, salads and juice.

The city had its fill of paella this past Sunday as Johnny Hernandez hosted the fifth annual Corona Paella Challenge at the Pearl Brewery. Tuk Tuk Tap Room’s David Gilbert and The Granary’s Tim Rattray earned first in the contemporary and traditional categories, respectively, and Arcade Midtown Kitchen’s Jesse Perez took home People’s Choice Award.

while grilled, thick-sliced onions top the tacos. A side of borracho beans—heavy on the garlic, in a good way—completes the meal. Oh, there’s also a whole grilled jalapeño to try if you’re feeling brave. Get these minis, ASAP.

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Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

Your Guide to 2014 Food Truck Festivals

Mark your calendars. New England’s biggest food truck festivals are coming.

Food Truck Festival New England

The Food Truck Festivals of New England have announced their 2014 schedule.

Food Truck Festivals of New England has announced their 2014 schedule. The fourth annual series of events will kick things off in Somerville on June 7 at Assembly Row. Participating food trucks will include Captain Marden’s Cod SquadRoxy’s Grilled CheeseBon MeThe Happy TacoFrozen Hoagies, The Latin Spoon, Sweet Tomatoes, Pasta Pot, Maine’ly Lobstah, Moyzilla, and others.

Each festival will host 20+ food trucks this spring and fall throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Trucks from all over the New England region, including many newcomers, will be serving up a variety of fan favorites, including local seafood, barbecue, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches, and all things bacon. In addition to the food trucks, most festivals will have a beer garden, as well as children’s activities, live performances, artisans, and gourmet food purveyors.

Admission tickets will be available for purchase online at All festivals will take place on Saturday and run from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., with the exception of the New Hampshire Food Truck Festival.

The 2014 Planned Schedule Includes:

Saturday, June 7 – The Somerville Food Truck Festival at Assembly Row, Somerville, MA

Saturday, June 21 – The 3rd Annual Worcester Food Truck Festival at Elm Park, Worcester, MA

Saturday, September 6 – The 2nd Annual Cape Cod Food Truck Festival at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds, Falmouth, MA

Saturday, September 20 - The Framingham Food Truck Cultural Festival at Bowditch Field, Framingham, MA

Sunday, October 5 – The New Hampshire Food Truck Festival at Redhook Brewery, Portsmouth, NH

Saturday, October 25 – The third Annual Newport Food Truck Festival  at the Newport Yachting Center, Newport, RI

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Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

Anchorman 2 Spawns a Food Truck

The “AnchorVan” will offer free chicken (Champ Kind’s Whammy! Chicken, of course) and give Ron Burgundy fans a chance to go on-camera to test their teleprompter reading skills.

Following the launch at SXSW, “AnchorVan” will make stops in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and ends its tour in New York City on April 1.

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Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

IBM’s Watson Food Truck Brings The Supercomputer To The Kitchen

Watson, IBM’s artificially intelligent supercomputer, is known for beating the pants off Jeopardy contestants in trivia. But soon it might also be known for giving foodies on Top Chef a run for their money at cooking.

This weekend in Austin, IBM showed off Watson’s Cognitive Cooking program, a system that taps into the supercomputer’s analytics and machine learning tools to whip up novel recipes, depending on user tastes and food preferences. It’s a novel application of Watson, designed to draw more attention to the IBM brand. (The company revealed the service at SXSW with a food truck that had customers lining up–even in the rain.) But the program also demonstrates the types of consumer-facing applications IBM could cook up using Watson in the future. “Let’s say you want to try to make new perfumes, or maybe you want advice for how to dress better, or if you want to create personalized travel itineraries—these are all pretty much like recipes,” says Florian Pinel, senior software engineer in the Watson group.

Click to expand

The Cognitive Cooking system is like Beats Music for food: Enter a bunch of preferences, and Watson will tap into an ever-expanding database of recipes to return the best match for a dish. “We ask you for a few inputs and recommendations, and then we start the creative process,” Pinel says. “There will be trillions of combinations, and we can narrow them down to a few hundred dishes to look at.”

On a tablet, Pinel walks me through the experience. “Which cushiness sound good?” Watson asks, offering a list that includes everything from Iraqi to Cambodian cuisine. Next up it asks for a particular ingredient you want worked into the dish, then offers more specific adjustment options, like, say, whether you want the dish to be vegetable- or meat-based. As a test, we put together a garlic-based, Armenian-style gumbo. Watson spits out a list of recipes. “Four vegetables, three spices, one two kinds of fish or seafood, and so on,” Pinel ticks off. “I think that makes for a decent gumbo.”

We’d have to cook it up to find out just how tasty it is, but Watson also makes predictions, before you start, as to how surprising the dish might taste, how pleasant it will be, and how well the ingredients pair together. In this case, Watson predicts our tastebuds will find it very surprising.

But will it taste good? “We’ve seen a few recipes where I look at it and I’m highly skeptical that it’s going to work,” says James Briscione of the Institute of Culinary Education. “But then Florian will say, ‘No, let’s try it.’ And we do, and it’s like, ‘Wow, this is pretty darn good.’”

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Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

Egyptian food truck rolling into the Lehigh Valley – The Express

Later this month, sink your teeth into the Lehigh Valley’s newest flavor: an Egyptian gourmet food truck.

The concept by Tim Bonner and wife Hala Rihan-Bonner sounds exciting. The truck’s not here yet, but the bright red vessel that boasts a full industrial kitchen is on its way. The business is set to debut March 22.

The menu will feature sandwiches, soups, sides and desserts. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings will be highlighted.

Both Bonner and Rihan-Bonner have extensive backgrounds in higher education but wanted to refocus on one of their passions — cooking, Rihan-Bonner says.

They’ve jumped some of the geographical hurdles that have prevented other food trucks from rolling freely throughout the Valley by applying for approval from several townships.

They plan to be at a different daily spot Mondays through Fridays and have plans to visit Upper Saucon Township (near Stabler Corporate Park), Salisbury Township, Kutztown, Pa., Trexlertown and the DeSales campus area. There are other areas they’re still working to get into, including Allentown.

Still, they are limited to avoid metered spots, restaurant fronts or residential neighborhoods. Keep up with them via their website,, or social media: Twitter: @thetazatruck; Facebook: The Taza Truck.

Here’s a sampling of some of their flavors:

  • Taameya Sandwich – The Egyptian form of falafel made with fava beans instead of chickpeas, which Rihan-Bonner says imparts a deeper, earthier flavor. The mixture is packed with cilantro, dill, parsley and mint, so that when you bite into it, the core is a vibrant green, she says. It can be served with with tahini or garlic paste, and tomatoes.
  • Chicken Shawarma
    , served with tahini or garlic paste, onions and tomatoes       
  • Gibna beyda (8 ounces of crumbled Feta with
    spices, tomatoes, and onions). It’s a Bulgarian feta with a unique sourness to it, Bonner says, and translates literally to “white cheese.”
  • Katayef – light Egyptian pancakes (similar to crepes) that are stuffed with sugar, cinnamon, coconut, raisins and nuts. Katayef are wrapped, then fried lightly and dipped in a lemon and sugar syrup for a sweet, light, crunchy confection, Rihan-Bonner says.

Prices range from $3 to $11.

Find more about Egyptian food and the Bonners’ vision for their truck in the coming weeks.

Did you know? Taza means “fresh” in Arabic.
Have a tasty tip to share? Email me at


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Mar 12, 2014
Kim Rivers

Local committee discusses food truck regulations

COLUMBUS — Members of the city’s Public Property, Safety and Works Committee got a lesson in food safety Monday afternoon.

The committee brought in a state inspector to discuss food trucks that operate in Columbus, but didn’t take any action to increase regulations on the mobile businesses.

Melva Ball, a food sanitarian with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Consumer Protection division, said food trucks must be licensed through the state and are inspected at least once a year to ensure safety codes are met.

“When we see food trailers, we pull over and inspect them,” she said, whether they’re permanent businesses or temporary operations at events such as the Platte County Fair, Columbus Days or Duncan Ribfest.

According to Ball, there are four food trucks that operate regularly along U.S. Highway 30 in Columbus, and she may inspect those businesses more than once a year.

However, Ball covers Platte, Madison and Stanton counties, so there’s plenty of other work to do.

“I do appreciate it if people call me when they see something because I can’t be everywhere all the time,” she said, adding that inspectors follow up on each complaint while keeping the reporting party anonymous.

Ball said the Department of Agriculture receives more complaints about standard restaurants than food trucks — since there are significantly more brick-and-mortar operations — and she couldn’t recall any recent complaints involving Columbus food trucks.

This item appeared on the city council subcommittee’s agenda at the request of member Jim Bulkley, who received photos from a constituent concerned about the food trucks.

One of the photos shows water draining from a food truck onto the pavement near an electrical cord used by the business.

Ball said the water issue is “concerning” and something state food inspectors look for, but she noted that other potential safety hazards that don’t deal directly with food aren’t regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

This includes the electrical cords and another citizen concern regarding exposed propane tanks.

Columbus Police Chief William Gumm said there currently aren’t any local rules and regulations his department enforces regarding food trucks. The department takes a “common-sense” approach when checking up on food trucks, he said, which includes telling the owner when something doesn’t appear to be safe.

Food truck operators who don’t own property in Columbus are required to purchase a vendor permit. These permits cost $10 per day or $100 for four months.

The committee briefly discussed the possibility of regulating food trucks locally, but there were concerns this could negatively affect events that include food sales, such as the fair, Columbus Days and Lawnchairs on the Square.

“You can’t be selective when you draw up regulations,” Bulkley said.

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Mar 11, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck fire injures 4 employees

Green Tidings

Green Tidings

The Green Tidings food truck sits behind Ellicott Dining Hall after a grease fire closed the popular food truck indefinitely.

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:03 am

Food truck fire injures 4 employees

Four employees suffered injuries when the Green Tidings food truck caught fire Friday afternoon.

They went to the University Health Center and were later transported to a hospital to treat their burns, Dining Services spokesman Bart Hipple wrote in an email. Three of the employees were released, as of last night.

“We are all sending our best hopes and wishes for speedy recovery to the staff of the truck,” he wrote. “We are firstly worried about the people who have been injured and then will focus on possible next steps for the food truck.”

The nonstudent employees were cleaning up after the truck closed when a grease fire ignited at about 3:20 p.m. Friday, Hipple wrote.

The truck sits behind the North Campus Dining Hall so a fire marshal can assess the situation. The university fire marshal said the fire started from a cooking accident and did not damage the truck. 

“I think this is tragic,” Hipple wrote. “The staff of the truck is a skilled, energetic, capable group of people who have worked very hard to make every meal great; not just the food but also the whole experience. We don’t yet know exactly what happened and so can’t know how it could have been prevented.”

Green Tidings’ Twitter account and website states the truck will remain closed until further notice, but Hipple anticipates the truck will reopen after spring break.

“I’m actually so devastated about Green Tidings being out of business, even for a little while,” said Nazar Bedi, a freshman economics major. “I found myself going there so often this semester. It’s going to be weird not seeing the truck around for a while, but I just hope …  the truck recovers quickly so I can eat there again soon.”

Even students who do not frequent the truck were saddened by the accident. 

“I just got food from Green Tidings for the first time on Friday, and I thought it was really good, so I was planning on trying more food from them this week,” said Lara Fu, a freshman government and politics major.

Many other students were food truck enthusiasts, such as Josef Danczuk, who became a fan when the truck first opened this summer.

“I love how the menus change every two weeks, and this week’s menu looked particularly tasty,” the junior government and politics major said. “Last week, I had the beef tacos, donuts and clam chowder, but it looks like I won’t be getting those for a while … I’ll survive without Green Tidings, though. I just hope everyone is OK from the fire and that there’s no permanent damage.”

Staff writer Holly Cuozzo is a sophomore journalism major covering College Park business. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter at @emperorcuozzco. 

More about Green Tidings

  • Green Tidings Green Tidings
  • ARTICLE: Students flock to Green Tidings; sales stay strong in cold weather
  • ARTICLE: Good Tidings chef promotes sustainability through UMD Green Tidings food truck
  • ARTICLE: Daily customers for Green Tidings reach about 200

More about Dining Services

  • ARTICLE: Fresh from the farm
  • ARTICLE: 251 North offers diners carry-out option
  • ARTICLE: Students balance on-campus jobs with school, commitments

More about Food Truck

  • ARTICLE: Students flock to Green Tidings; sales stay strong in cold weather
  • ARTICLE: Good Tidings chef promotes sustainability through UMD Green Tidings food truck
  • ARTICLE: Daily customers for Green Tidings reach about 200
  • ARTICLE: Good Tidings unveils new food truck


Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:03 am.

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Green Tidings,

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Mar 11, 2014
Kim Rivers

Watch IBM’s Computer-Generated Food Truck in Action


As previously reported, the IBM Food Truck invaded SXSW earlier this week, offering dishes concocted using entirely-computer-generated recipes (which often resulted in things like porcini mushrooms in pudding and cauliflower-and-cumin poutine). On its Cognitive Cooking YouTube page, IBM has chronicled the past five days’ worth of food experimentation: Each day, the company invited Twitter users to vote for the “dish of the day,” then tasked the food-truck computer with generating a recipe. Institute of Culinary Education creative director Michael Laiskonis and chef James Briscione were on-hand to execute the suggested dish, which they served to SXSW crowds.

As expected, the computer recipes churned out the unexpected. Asking for a fish-and-chips recipe resulted in “nothing like a classic fish and chips,” Briscione says, with the final dish requiring Caribbean snapper, fennel, plantains, and coriander seed. (It’s also a ceviche, because why not.) Day Three’s request for a burrito ended up being an Austrian chocolate burrito featuring apricot, cinnamon, and edamame. Below, watch each of the dishes dreamed up by the IBM Food Truck during SXSW:

Video: SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Vietnamese Apple Kebab

Video: SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Caribbean Snapper Fish Chips

Video: SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Austrian Chocolate Burrito

Video: SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Poutine Chili

Video: SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Belgian Bacon Pudding

· Cognitive Cooking [YouTube]
· All Food Truck Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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Mar 11, 2014
Kim Rivers

Pepe Food Truck Is Back


José Andrés‘ food truck Pepe hits the streets again today after its winter hiatus. Its first stop? Chinatown, in front of the Portrait Gallery.

The truck has some new menu items, including a sandwich with blood sausage, pickled onions, spinach, fig, and herbed cream cheese. You’ll also find some new seasonal soups and salads like the Ensalada Campera with conserved tuna, fingerling potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs, as well as a “Moorish stew” of chickpeas and spinach.

Missing for now: Pepe’s famous $20 Iberico ham sandwich. But a rep for the food truck says it will return as a special every now and then. Other sandwiches on the menu range from $10 to $13.

Check out the full menu below.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

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Mar 11, 2014
Kim Rivers

Hundreds Protest in South Sudan After a UN Food Truck is Caught Smuggling …

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Hundreds of young South Sudanese men marched in protest of the United Nations on Monday following the discovery of land mines inside a U.N. truck that was marked as carrying food.

The rally participants marched through the city and shouted slogans of support for President Salva Kiir while also denouncing Hilde Johnson, the top U.N. official in the country. Protesters accused Johnson of supplying arms to rebels fighting South Sudan’s government.

An internal U.N. security situation report over the weekend said the government impounded 12 U.N. trucks and the deputy governor of Lakes state requested the official cargo list. Last Thursday three South Sudan soldiers stopped and searched U.N. military vehicles on orders from superior officers following the impounding of the 12 trucks, the report said.

On Friday U.N. spokeswoman Ariane Quentier said it was “regrettable” a 12-truck U.N. convoy marked as food was discovered carrying weapons.

“The transport of cargo of general goods belonging to the Ghanaian battalion on its way to Bentiu. Several containers were wrongly labeled and inadvertently contained weapons and ammunition,” she said.

The discovery — as well as a video showing guns and land mines taken from the U.N. trucks that has been making the rounds on social media — has fueled even more skepticism of the U.N. here. Anti-U.N. sentiment began growing in January when President Kiir described the organization as a “parallel government” and ardent supporter of rebels.

Quentier declined to comment further on Monday and the U.N. has not explained why its soldiers would need land mines.

“If the guns found are going to U.N. troops, why do they have land mines too? Does the U.N. use land mines?” said Deng Gerang, one of Monday’s rally participants, voicing a common concern among the protesters.

Another protester, Deng Djames, 24, said South Sudan residents appreciate the U.N.’s assistance, but he said there needs to be a regime change at the top of the U.N. structure. “We want her to go. She assists the rebel leader Riek Machar,” he said.

South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga told the protesters that the U.N. is was a colonial system trying to run the government’s administration. He was also critical of international aid groups for driving their agenda in South Sudan.

“If it’s a colonial system we need to fight, then that is good because now I am old. It makes me young again and I will go into the bush to fight,” he said to cheers and laughter.

The government’s major criticism of the U.N. is the protection its bases around the country provide for close to 70,000 citizens mostly from the Nuer tribe who say they fear reprisal attacks from the dominant Dinka tribe who support the government and Kiir.

Widespread violence broke out in South Sudan in mid-December, splitting the country’s military in two, with some supporting the government and others defecting to support the former vice president, Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

Aid groups estimate that thousands of people have died in the violence. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced. The top U.N. aid official has said that if residents don’t go home to plant crops before the coming seasonal rains the country will face severe hunger.

The latest mass violence occurred last week, when fighting broke out at a military barracks outside Juba. Government and military officials blamed the outbreak over a disagreement over pay, and officials said that five people were killed.

However, the death toll was later revised upward to 65 by a military spokesman. Several soldiers who refused to give their names, however, told The Associated Press the actual death toll was more than 100.

Political unrest in South Sudan has not only left millions of people in need of food, but also very much in need of medical care. Doctors Without Borders is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous places, where they believe everyone deserves access to proper healthcare. Click the Action Box atop this story to support their crucial work in South Sudan and around the world, and share this story to Become the News!

RYOT NOTE: Political unrest in South Sudan has not only left millions of people in need of food, but also very much in need of medical care. Doctors Without Borders is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous places, where they believe everyone deserves access to proper healthcare. Click the Action Box atop this story to support their crucial work in South Sudan and around the world, and share this story to Become the News!

South Sudan Destroyed City
REPORT: The Crisis in South Sudan Has Reached Syria Levels
South Sudanese Patients Shot Dead in Their Hospital Beds
U.N. Calls for $1.27 Billion in Vital Aid for South Sudan

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