Browsing articles in "street food"
Aug 22, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Favorites Go Head-to-Head at Vendy’s Masters Cup

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Vendy Awards: New York’s premiere street food competition, the Vendys are bringing back past winners from the last decade to compete in a head-to-head grilling showdown for the new Masters Cup. The grill-off will take place on September 13 on Governor’s Island, and the finalists are the iconic Calexico (Mexican/Southern BBQ), Hallo Berlin (German Soul Food), King of Falafel (and his infamous chicken shawarma and white sauce), NY Dosas Guy (vegan Sri Lankan food), and Solber Pupusas (Salvadorian tortillas).

Most of the past winners have come a long way since their last trophy, like Calexico, who since their 2008 victory has opened up a fleet of restaurants across the city, and the King of Falefel’s goods can be seen at select grocery stores in the city.

The Vendy Awards themselves have also grown up since starting with a small contest of four food trucks in a parking lot — there are now over 175 vendors competing every year and competitions are held in Philadelphia, L.A. and Chicago. The finalists for this year’s regular competition will also be announced soon.

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi

 

 

 



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Aug 21, 2014
Tim Lester

Kwek-kwek, betamax – hot sells at LA Filipino street food hub

LOS ANGELES—The posts and blogs from the social media were increasing and too many to ignore, so I decided to pay a visit. After all, Dollar Hits Pinoy Street Food was just up my alley, two miles away from work at the LA Civic Center.

The trendy street barbecue fare juts out of Temple Mart in Historic Filipinotown on Temple Street. It is what you would call the poor man’s bunker hub, a few minutes drive from white-collar business center downtown. Temple is dotted with Filipino restaurants that have changed owners over time but still persist because there is a captive market longing for the nostalgic taste of home.

At 6 p.m., the line starts forming, the patrons looking like more of the young millennial college types from Westwood than those of Evans Community College nearby. Elvie Chan, proprietor of the street food, calls out to the waiting patrons: “Malapit na! We have ‘Enrile, Betamax, Adidas, kwek-kwek, pares, goto!”

At 7 p.m. she claps: “Ready na — dollar everything!” drawing a roaring reception from the waiting “kababayans.”

For the unfamiliar, here’s a glossary: “Enrile” is a tempura coated head of chicken; “Betamax” is congealed pig’s blood forming a rectangular shape and grilled to perfection; “Adidas” is marinated chicken feet; “Kwek-kwek” is pigeon’s egg in batter; “Pares” is combination flavored jasmine rice and tender beef tendon and fat with meat simmered with spices; and “goto” or “lugaw” is the Philippines’ national food, basic rice porridge famous for its tripe and chicken ingredients and topped with crispy garlic and green onions. There’s “balut”; for those who are well versed in “Fear Factor,” that needs no further explanation. For the less adventurous, there’s always the go-to staple of the pork barbecue, marinated Pinoy way — copious amounts of sugar and garlic with soy sauce.

The line that has reached a block now startsmoving, patrons seemoblivious to the tedious wait, chatting away. They buy not one or two sticks of barbecue; they fill aluminum trays with the delicacies that remind them of what they’d left behind.

“I spent $35,” says Julius from Corona (some 60 miles away), who heard about “Dollarhits” from Instagram and Yelp (probably posting his own delicious meal on the app later on).

Sisters Josephine, Elvie and Nellie (not in photo) Chan operate the wildly successful Dollar Hits street food.

Mark A. from Anaheim blogged: “Being born in the Philippines, this was a great experience for me. The ambience reminded me of back home when eating street foods such as isaw (intestines), betamax (pork blood), and adidas (chicken feet) was the best alternative for lunch and dinner. The background music added the great experience as well as the friendliness and hospitality of the vendors. Parking is very limited so you may need to park on the side street. Food is already precooked and you can heat it up on the open grill near the food truck. The taste is to look forward to on its own, but it’s the overall experience that makes it fun.”

The line is obviously entertained by Hotdog music blaring in the background:

“Hinahanap hanap kita Manila

Ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga

Mga jeepney mong nagliliparan

Mga babae mong naggagandahan

Take me back in your arms Manila

And promise me you’d never let go

Promise me you’d never let go

Manila, Manila

miss you like hell, Manila

No place in the world like Manila

I’m coming home to stay”

Dollar Hits was started in January this year by the three enterprising Chan sisters and family. Elvie, Josephine and Nellie from Pampanga know from the heart what Manila street food means to the homesick.

“Balik sila ng balik; we’re here Thursday to Sunday from 6 to 12 midnight. Don’t come late on Sunday ‘cause the food is gone early. Sometimes tourist buses come and stop to buy on the weekends. There are customers who spend hundreds to take to potlucks. Vegas residents, people from up North like San Jose, San Francisco, from out of the country come; they who found us in Facebook,” says Elvie.

Owner Josephine Chan serving Filipino snacks.

Most of the food is pre-cooked and colorfully arranged next to the large food truck parked at the old Pinoy market owned by the Chan family. There are three large barbecue pits at the store’s parking lot where patrons heat up their prized buy. There’s an endless bonus of cantaloupe melon drink– “sa malamig” for a dollar.

Despite warning visits from the County Environmental health inspectors, the joint has kept open, optimistic that its compliance with standards (and the inspectors’ own hearts) would keep it operating for a long while.

Other street vendors of various ethnicities have opened similar haunts nearby attracting patrons with the sight and smell of billowing smoke from the outside grills. None of those we passed by offered the same festive atmosphere as Dollar Hits.

Omar from Colombia in South America is among those trying to keep a place in the line with his wife Angela. His favorite is “goto,” of course flavored with patis and lemon, along with its toppings.

“We’re on vacation in LA and my wife introduced me to this place and besides the delicious food, it reminds me of a festival.”

And it’s cheap. A meal of goto and two barbecue sticks would cost $3. We saw families lining up to get their generous amount of dinner for an affordable price. Even though the low prices are countered by the high calories, who’s afraid of cholesterol? Obviously not the young who frequent the place daily.

“Pag may kasamang bata, pinapauna namin; kasi kakain na yung bata,” quips Elvie. Whatever. There’s really no logic to the excitement of both patrons and entrepreneurs here.

“You can take the people out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the people,” laughs screen actor Muni Zano who has come with us for the ride.

An immigrant to LA for more than 45 years, Muni observes that the lines at Dollar Hits beat even the number of patrons of the famous Tommy’s a few blocks away. “I’ve never seen a Filipino street business do this well; what a concept!” he says.

As the song goes: “Miss you like hell, Manila!”

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Aug 21, 2014
Tim Lester

No need for municipal notices on sale of street food: HC

Granting relief to street food vendors in the city, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday set aside two notices issued by the three municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD), which had, in effect, banned street vendors from selling food and fruit juices on Delhi roads without licences.

Food standards are already in place under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act and rules,” the court of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said.

“Where is the requirement for the MCD to interfere? FSSAI will ensure compliance with Food Safety Act. The general guidelines of the MCD give way to the FSSAI Act and rules,” the court said.

The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), stating that public notices banning sale of such food items were issued “arbitrarily without any relevant material in place and the same is ultra-virus to the parent statutory provision under the DMC Act”.

“After going through the various Acts and regulations (on food safety and street vendors), we are of the view that public notices issued by the MCDs need not be in place, in view of the fact that specific provisions have been made with respect to maintenance of safety and hygiene of food… Insofar as street vending is concerned, subject matter is entirely covered by Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. It is an admitted position that survey has not yet been completed. Therefore, provisions of the Street Vendors Act will be applicable and no street vendor can be evicted,” the High Court said.

The court was also informed by NASVI counsel Indira Unninayar that since a survey of street vendors has not yet been completed, therefore “no street vendor can be evicted”.

Unninayar also informed the court that the rules regarding cut fruits and street food were in the process of being created, and the notices issued by MCDs were “harassing the vendors”.

The court, however, told the FSSAI to ensure that food standards were in place.

“You will have to take initiative, you can’t say that till regulations are made people, can die,” the court said.

The CDs had earlier issued a public notice banning vendors without licences from selling food, cut fruits and sugarcane juice in Delhi on grounds that cholera and other diseases were being spread through the contaminated food.

The MCDs had also come up with stringent guidelines for street vendors, which were criticised by the NASVI as being “excessive” and “impractical””

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Aug 21, 2014
Tim Lester

Mamak Asian Street Food to open in Mills 50

Mamak 1

Mamak Asian Street Food is coming to the Mills 50 district.

The new restaurant will be located at 1231 E Colonial Drive [GMap].

Owner Alex Lo tells Bungalower that they will serve a mix of traditional cuisines from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia with a twist.

“We’re trying to mix a little bit of everything,” Lo said.

The menu, he says, will be mostly tapas style so you can come in and try three to four items for what you would normally pay for just one entrée.

Mamak Asian Street Food is expected to open in September.

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Aug 20, 2014
Tim Lester

Live Shots: SF Street Food Fest fills us up quickly

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Octo okono (fried octopus popsicle) from newbie Stones Throw

Aquavit-cured salmon and fennel crostinis from Chef Pelle. Photo by David Schnur

The crew at Sabores del Sur preparing choritos a la chalaca (Peruvian-style mussels). Photo by David Schnur

I want mussels! Photo by David Schnur

Fresh momos (Nepalese dumplings, so good) from Bini's Kitchen

Anda Piroshki, which featured Vladimir Poutine. Photo by David Schnur

Beef pho rolls from Rock Paper Scissors. Photo by David Schnur

It got crowded, but not *so* bad. Photo by David Schnur

The weather was gorgeous, the lines weren’t too long, and the people were friendly — and hungry — at the sixth annual SF Street Food Festival last Saturday.

About those shorter lines, though — that meant we had access to pretty much any food we wanted in less than 10 minutes! (Except for the ever-popular ramenburger from Nombe, the line for which stretched almost the length of a block.) Uh oh, we were faced with unlimited choices, too many for our stomachs to bear, try as we might. And we might!

Highlights for us included the octo okono from Stones Throw (basically a fried octopus popsicle), excellent and tender turkey momos (Nepalese dumplings) from Bini’s Kitchen, Thai iced tea gelato from Secret Scoop, thickly wrapped beef pho rolls from Rice Paper Scissors (with awesome Vietnamese coffee), sharply spiced ahi tuna kitfo (a kind of tartare mixture) from Radio Africa Kitchen, and aquavit-cured salmon crostinis from Chef Pelle Nordic.

Things causing a general sensation: a huge portion of Berber-spiced lamb from The Whole Beast, Hella Vegan Eats‘ potsticker burrito, schnitzel sliders from Little Red Riding Truck, and a smoked salmon rueben from Fine Rare.

This is supposedly the festival’s last year (at least in the Mission), partly due to neighbor complaints about parking (sigh), but I have a feeling we won’t see the last of it. Although you did just see the last of that schnitzel slider you left unattended on your plate, yoink.  

 

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Aug 20, 2014
Tim Lester

Takorea brings fusion ‘street food’ to Dunwoody

Anyone who’s sat in front of a roadside stand munching on a messy foil-wrapped taco knows there’s nothing quite like the taste and atmosphere that comes with street food. That’s exactly what Tomas Lee, chef and partner at Dunwoody’s new Takorea, wanted to bring to the Dunwoody community.

“We want to add something new and exciting to the area,” says Lee. “We want to create a sense of community at our restaurant, and street food really brings people together.”

Takorea, located in the Georgetown shopping center in what was formerly Guthrie’s, had its soft opening July 29.

It has been packed ever since. The concept behind Takorea Dunwoody was inspired by the full-service Takorea in Midtown, owned by Mark Haidet, and the divey Hankook Taqueria on Collier Road in Atlanta, owned by Lee. Haidet and Lee partnered to bring together staples from both Hankook and Takorea Midtown’s menus.

The result? A casual, quick-service street taqueria where professionals can pop in for a lunch break, families can grab a quality meal together and friends can catch up over good beer and nachos.

The unique taco joint features a Korean-Mexican fusion menu, complete with Korean-inspired soft tacos, burritos, quesadillas and the famous Gogi nachos, as featured in Food and Wine Magazine. Much of the secret is in the sauces, including soy, hoisin, red pepper and sweet chili, which give each dish a Korean flair.

Aside from the fusion-style fare, Takorea Dunwoody also offers traditional Korean staples including pork dumplings, kimchi fried rice, and Bibim-Bop, which translates to “mixed rice.” Lee’s Bibim-Bop recipe has been featured on Alton Brown’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and is the dish of choice for both Lee and Takorea Dunwoody store manager Natalie Williams.

But beware – the Bibim-Bop, and many of the other dishes, are Korean spicy! Most dishes can be made un-spicy, though, and Williams recommends the fried chicken tacos, featuring a creamy chipotle aioli, and the beef tacos, complete with soy marinated rib eye, for diners with more sensitive taste buds.

There’s something for everyone, with tofu tacos among the options for vegetarians, and a kids menu featuring chicken nuggets and “Kids Bop,” a kid-friendly Bibim-Bop.

“One of the biggest things we want to do is get people excited about trying unique, high-quality and chef-driven food. If people come in with an open mind and try something they’ve never had before, they may just leave with a new favorite dish,” says Williams.

With no taco over $3.80, and meals that take between 5-7 minutes to come out, it’s hard to believe the food has been inspired and created by an award-winning, classically trained chef. One bite, though, and you’ll understand why Lee’s tacos were featured on Men’s Health’s “Manliest Restaurants in America” list, and his crispy fish taco recipe was featured alongside the Gogi nachos in Food Wine Magazine.

Aside from the food, Takorea features an assortment of craft beers, and is preparing to offer wine and margaritas in the next few weeks. Dessert lovers can try a homemade blueberry and white peach paleta, which will soon be available in “adult form” once the liquors roll out.

Takorea may have answered Dunwoody residents’ pleas for more quality eateries. Whether you’re a street food fanatic or just want to try something new, you can head on down to Takorea at Georgetown to satisfy your taste buds.

Recommended Reading

Aug 20, 2014
Tim Lester

Takorea brings fusion ‘street food’ to Dunwoody

Anyone who’s sat in front of a roadside stand munching on a messy foil-wrapped taco knows there’s nothing quite like the taste and atmosphere that comes with street food. That’s exactly what Tomas Lee, chef and partner at Dunwoody’s new Takorea, wanted to bring to the Dunwoody community.

“We want to add something new and exciting to the area,” says Lee. “We want to create a sense of community at our restaurant, and street food really brings people together.”

Takorea, located in the Georgetown shopping center in what was formerly Guthrie’s, had its soft opening July 29.

It has been packed ever since. The concept behind Takorea Dunwoody was inspired by the full-service Takorea in Midtown, owned by Mark Haidet, and the divey Hankook Taqueria on Collier Road in Atlanta, owned by Lee. Haidet and Lee partnered to bring together staples from both Hankook and Takorea Midtown’s menus.

The result? A casual, quick-service street taqueria where professionals can pop in for a lunch break, families can grab a quality meal together and friends can catch up over good beer and nachos.

The unique taco joint features a Korean-Mexican fusion menu, complete with Korean-inspired soft tacos, burritos, quesadillas and the famous Gogi nachos, as featured in Food and Wine Magazine. Much of the secret is in the sauces, including soy, hoisin, red pepper and sweet chili, which give each dish a Korean flair.

Aside from the fusion-style fare, Takorea Dunwoody also offers traditional Korean staples including pork dumplings, kimchi fried rice, and Bibim-Bop, which translates to “mixed rice.” Lee’s Bibim-Bop recipe has been featured on Alton Brown’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and is the dish of choice for both Lee and Takorea Dunwoody store manager Natalie Williams.

But beware – the Bibim-Bop, and many of the other dishes, are Korean spicy! Most dishes can be made un-spicy, though, and Williams recommends the fried chicken tacos, featuring a creamy chipotle aioli, and the beef tacos, complete with soy marinated rib eye, for diners with more sensitive taste buds.

There’s something for everyone, with tofu tacos among the options for vegetarians, and a kids menu featuring chicken nuggets and “Kids Bop,” a kid-friendly Bibim-Bop.

“One of the biggest things we want to do is get people excited about trying unique, high-quality and chef-driven food. If people come in with an open mind and try something they’ve never had before, they may just leave with a new favorite dish,” says Williams.

With no taco over $3.80, and meals that take between 5-7 minutes to come out, it’s hard to believe the food has been inspired and created by an award-winning, classically trained chef. One bite, though, and you’ll understand why Lee’s tacos were featured on Men’s Health’s “Manliest Restaurants in America” list, and his crispy fish taco recipe was featured alongside the Gogi nachos in Food Wine Magazine.

Aside from the food, Takorea features an assortment of craft beers, and is preparing to offer wine and margaritas in the next few weeks. Dessert lovers can try a homemade blueberry and white peach paleta, which will soon be available in “adult form” once the liquors roll out.

Takorea may have answered Dunwoody residents’ pleas for more quality eateries. Whether you’re a street food fanatic or just want to try something new, you can head on down to Takorea at Georgetown to satisfy your taste buds.

Recommended Reading

Aug 19, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Festival Says Goodbye to the Mission

I awoke on Saturday morning to the sound of furiously popping kettle corn and the smell of funnel cake wafting into my window. It’s rumored that this is the last year that La Cocina’s Street Food Festival will take place on Folsom Street, as it has for the past six years, which I have bittersweet feelings about.

For those of us who live on Folsom, it’s exciting being able to walk out of your front door straight into the festival, but then again, there’s really no escape from the noise, the smells, and the general chaos. Although fifty thousand people and an insane array of dumplings, tacos, sandwiches, burgers, fried chicken, pho, and some other stuff you’ve never heard of (okto okono on a stick?) can be pretty overwhelming, I’ve learned to try to make the most of it.

Most will agree the ideal strategy to actually enjoying the festival is to travel in a pack. It makes standing in long lines less boring and you can try bites of everything your friends get. Here’s what my roommates and I accomplished in a few short hours.

The best thing I ate: Salumeria’s fried chicken. Perfectly spicy and slightly vinegary. For some reason it had poppy seeds on top. No line.

Next best: Turkey Momos from Bini’s Kitchen. Really flavorful little Nepalese dumplings.

Also quite good: Azalina’s Sweet Potato Dumplings. Loved the sauce and the pickled radish on the side. Mmm.

Thoroughly disappointing: Fine Rare’s Smoked Salmon Reuben. As an $8 “big bite,” it left a lot to be desired. Rather than evoking beloved Jewish-deli classics the reuben and the bagel with lox, it instead was a small, weird and flavorless hybrid of the two. When asked if we wanted to add bacon, we shrugged and said, “why not?” as any rational person would do. I quickly discovered there’s a reason why folks don’t usually pair salmon and bacon, much less with sauerkraut. Meh.

I’d like to note that I resisted 4505′s Frankaroni, a deep fried rectangle of mac and cheese mixed with hot dog bits. (Full disclosure: I did try one last year. It was insane. But delicious.)

We tried a few beverages too: Prickly Pear Agua Fresca, Vanilla Hibiscus Beesap (like a more intense jamaica), and something bright pink and strongly rose-flavored full of chia seeds, coconut, basil and mint. We had been tricked into inadvertently eating a salad. It was time to go home.

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Aug 19, 2014
Tim Lester

A serving of Italian street food comes to South Bend

Stacey Duchac-Siciliano

Stacey Duchac-Siciliano

Stacey Duchac-Siciliano works on preparing a salad at BarBici at Eddy Street Commons. (SBT Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES)

Barbici

Barbici

Barbici will officially open Monday at Eddy Street Commons in South

Bend. (SBT Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES)

BarBici

BarBici

BarBici will serve an Italian version of Chipotle.



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      Sunday, August 17, 2014 6:00 am.

      Updated: 9:25 am.

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