Browsing articles in "street food"
Oct 16, 2013
Tim Lester

Trucktoberfest combines music, beer and street food

A monthlong celebration of gluttonous revelry, Oktoberfest events continue to crop up around the city.

Not to be denied, this month’s Pickin’ in the Park presented by the Chattanooga Street Food Project will carry an Oktoberfest theme.

Trucktoberfest will be a festive affair of mirth, merriment and gluttony. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17 in Chattanooga’s downtown Center Park. The park is located in the 700 block of Market Street.

A selection of “seasonal” beers will be available from On the List Catering. Music happens organically with a large jam-session style picking party taking place throughout the event.

What: Pickin’ in the Park’s Trucktoberfest

When: Thursday, Oct. 17., 6-11 p.m.

Where: 700 Market St.

How Much: Free

Click here for more information

As for food, a number of Chattanooga’s food truck outfits will provide special German-themed items.

Nathan Flynt, president of the Chattanooga Food Truck Project and owner of Famous Nater’s World Famous, said the theme of “Trucktoberfest” just worked.

“This is the season for all that,” he said. “That style of beer and cuisine…It’s a good way to get folks out. Everybody loves street food.”

Flynt said a theme is scheduled for every Pickin’ in the Park event. He said Chattanooga is a place where people love to just get together and have a good time.

“This is a big music town and people love to congregate and listen to the music,” he said. “I think the food trucks are doing some of the best food in town. Beer always brings the crowd.”

Though not official, other food trucks that frequent Center Park include California Smothered BurritosRock N’ Tacos, Famous Nater’s World Famous, Local Slice and Mountain Waffle Wagon.

When River City Company announced the opening of Center Park earlier this year it gave the area’s food truck operations a place to gather. The parties followed with the first installment of Pickin’ in the Park over the summer.

Flynt said the park has done so a lot to help business and the community.

“The park that River City that built for us is way more than we could’ve asked for or wanted,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to pull it off without that first ingredient in the recipe.”

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Oct 15, 2013
Tim Lester

Street food – bringing a local flavour

Street food – bringing a local flavour

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, which serves award-winning hand-made ice creams.

A series of pop-up concepts at Manchester Airport means passengers are able to sample some of the best of the city’s street foods. The first of these is a concept called Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, which serves award-winning hand-made ice creams.

The airports with the most enviable reputations are those that not only successfully evoke the atmosphere and culture of the region they serve, but also those that reflect the current trends. This applies to design, the retail landscape, and the overall customer experience – restaurants and bars are no exception.

It’s on the streets where the serious foodie will often find the best of the exciting flavours that are enjoyed by the most savvy locals. But how can these be used to add sparkle to an airport’s FB offer?

Over many decades, SSP has honed the skill of bringing the best of a region’s cuisine to the airport. This includes street food, and earlier this year, its Street Food brand, created with Marcus Samuelsson, made its first US appearance at New York’s JFK airport.

By definition street food is portable, which means it can work well in a busy terminal. It’s seasonal, which helps make it local too – so it’s the perfect choice for an airport looking to underscore the unique attributes of the region it serves.
Another of the appeals of street food is its ephemeral nature – the fantastic van on a Norfolk shore selling sandwiches of freshly caught Cromer crab that is there one weekend and might not be there the next.

All of these charms have been captured at Manchester Airport, where a series of pop-up concepts means passengers are able to sample some of the best of the city’s street foods. The first of these is a concept called Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, which serves award-winning hand-made ice creams. More exciting concepts are planned. SSP is currently working with the creators of the most traditional of UK staples to the spiciest flavours of the cosmopolitan community to explore new ideas for Manchester and other airports across the UK.

Of course scaling up an operation from the pavement to the terminal requires considerable skill and ensuring a brand can meet the stringent demands of the travel environment is strictly for the experienced. However, done well, the colour it can add to a terminal makes it a very worthwhile venture.

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Oct 15, 2013
Tim Lester

Buoyed by large Friday night crowd, Downtown Street Food Gathering in …

Downtown Street Food Gathering crowd horizontal.jpgView full sizeAn estimated 1,200 people turned out for Friday night’s inaugural Downtown Street Food Gathering just off Huntsville’s Courthouse Square. This picture was taken from the city’s Fountain Circle parking garage. (Courtesy Downtown Huntsville Inc.) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Friday night’s inaugural Downtown Street Food Gathering was such a hit that the organizers are considering making it a regular event.

Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chad Emerson estimates 1,200 people turned out over the course of the evening to sample food from mobile vendors, chat with beer makers from Straight to Ale and Blue Pants, and hear the first-ever Rocket City concert by the Goat Hill String Band of Montgomery.

“The crowd really exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Emerson told Monday. “You had families with kids, singles, young and old – just a really good cross-section of Huntsville.”

Most of the vendors sold out of food, he said, and the band played a longer set than planned because of the large crowd. The event took place just off the Courthouse Square in the parking lot for the old Regions building.

Emerson said many downtown restaurants and bars also reported strong Friday night sales. “I think it’s the case of a rising tide lifting all boats.”

Given those successes, Emerson said Downtown Huntsville Inc. will organize a second street food gathering before Thanksgiving. If it also draws well, he said, “this may become a regular activity.”

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Oct 15, 2013
Tim Lester

Food fight: Harrisburg restaurant owners, street vendors still at odds

A nearly three year old food fight rages on along Harrisburg’s Restaurant Row.

This time, a makeshift hot dog stand is the point of contention. 

Tater Harden’s Curbside Grill sets up tables and propane tanks Friday and Saturday nights at the corner of North Second and Pine streets selling sausage sandwiches, potato wedges and cheese steaks.

That has some business owners along the street like Eric Roman of 2nd Street Pizza steamed. Some are saying the vendors like Tater Harden’s are cutting into profits and destroying business, and they question how well the city is regulating street food sales.

“As business owners we should have the opportunity to be able to make it in the city. And at nighttime, with having so many hot dog carts and people selling on the streets, we aren’t going to make it. We are going to shut our doors quickly,” he said.

He said he doesn’t want to be perceived as a bully or selfish. He’s just trying to run a successful business.

On a typical Saturday night Roman said he used to pull in $1,100 to $1,400 and is now lucky if he makes between $700 and $800. He also said he is falling behind in paying his bills, and is considering selling the business.

In the spring of 2011, Roman raised a similar issue as several mobile food trucks rolled into the city.

At the time, about 14 restaurant owners along the street presented a signed petition to City Council, saying they wanted the vendors out of the city. Nothing ever became of the issue.

Roman said about five vendors now set up along the street at various points on weekend nights. About four weeks ago, Tater Harden’s emerged near the Sovereign Bank at 235 N. Second St.

Roman said he has an issue with Tater Harden’s which he claims is operating without the proper permits or a health inspection. In addition, Roman claims open flames and propane tanks are not permitted in the city.

In Harrisburg, vendors must obtain a health license and a mercantile license, and then they are free to roam, but only in spots where they can reach agreements with property owners.

Roman said he and other restaurant owners called the Harrisburg City Police over the weekend to report Tater Harden’s and the fact it was operating without permits but nothing was resolved. Officials with the city could not be reached for comment due to the Columbus Day holiday.

“These people are destroying the businesses that are open late at night,” Roman said.

But Tater Harden’s owner Rena Harden, a retired Harrisburg city police officer who is a caterer, said she has proper permits and a health inspection to operate in the parking space. In addition, her husband, Bill Harden, operates a food cart in front of Stallions Club along North Third Street, and she said he has permission from the club’s owners.

She said she’s going to speak with Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson on Oct. 15, and said she was harassed by Roman over the weekend. Specifically, she said Roman took photos of her stand including her young granddaughter without her permission.

“There’s a lot of people I’ve talked to already who want to come down and do business and don’t want to be harassed. I don’t want to be harassed. If I have to I will take him to the district justice and file harassment charges against him,” she said.

Zembie’s Sports Tavern owner Angelo Karagiannis said he has no problem with street vendors but said Tater Harden’s stand in a parking spot out in the open is not appropriate.

“It’s embarrassing for the city. The city, they have standards and nobody follows them,” he said.

In addition, business owners say the vendors don’t have to pay the same fees as those who own brick and mortar stores. Anthony Palumbo of Palumbo’s Italian Eatery along the street said, he can’t say for sure if the vendors are impacting his profits.

Mainly, because crowds along the street have changed in the past year as night clubs have been replaced with comedy clubs and more restaurants. But he can say the vendors create an unlevel playing field.

“They set up camp … they make a few bucks and leave, and we are the ones dealing with trash pickup. People are constantly using our restrooms.

“Basically, we are supporting them to be outside to make money …and then they take away from our business,” Palmubo said.

Harden, who is a longtime city resident, said it is a free enterprise, and there is plenty of business to go around. She said they decided that setting up on weekend nights would be a way to expand upon their food business.

She’s also not against chipping in to help with fees.

“I don’t have a problem chipping in. How about that? If that’s what it is for that little area for trash, I’ll pay for something. I’ll pay for planters,” she said.

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Oct 14, 2013
Tim Lester

Beyond Pho: Going Off the Eaten Track

He had traveled to Vietnam on business, but he had nothing scheduled until 3 p.m.; Mr. Yap, a Canadian who is based in Istanbul and works in international development, was taking most of the day off to eat Vietnamese street food.

He was greeted by Mark Lowerson, an Australian food blogger and co-owner of Hanoi Street Food Tours, a local business offering visitors a taste of the Vietnamese capital’s most eclectic sidewalk eats. (Mr. Yap had discovered the business’s Web site while browsing the Internet for dining recommendations.)

The two men shook hands and climbed into a taxi. As the driver weaved through motorbike traffic toward the weathered French colonial buildings of Hanoi’s low-rise old quarter, Mr. Yap said he had been to Hanoi seven times, but didn’t speak Vietnamese or feel comfortable ordering street food alone.

Mr. Lowerson, wearing shorts and sandals, nodded solemnly like a doctor preparing to diagnose a patient. “We can break down some barriers for you,” he said. “Next time maybe you’ll have the skills to do it on your own.”

Mr. Lowerson, who moved to Hanoi in 2002 and runs the tour business with his Vietnamese partner and business colleague, Van Cong Tu, said he enjoys introducing tourists to culinary and cultural nuances they wouldn’t otherwise discover.

“It’s very easy in Vietnam for people just to get railroaded in a particular direction when they’re traveling,” Mr. Lowerson said. “People gravitate to us because they feel like they’re getting under the surface a little bit more.”

He is among a small group of foreign entrepreneurs whose business models are rooted in a familiarity with Vietnamese cuisine.

The French chef Didier Corlou has four Hanoi restaurants, three of which serve stylized variations of local favorites. The Australian chef Tracey Lister owns the Hanoi Cooking Center, which offers street-food tours and classes in Vietnamese cooking. Both chefs also write cookbooks about Vietnamese food for Western audiences.

Three entrepreneurs — from Britain, Switzerland and Vietnam, respectively — own Highway4, a group of five Hanoi restaurants serving Vietnamese food and the award-winning Vietnamese rice liquors they produce in a local distillery.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Barbara Adam, an Australian, and her Vietnamese husband, Vo Vu, began offering food tours last year through their business Saigon Street Eats. The American chef Chad Kubanoff and his Vietnamese wife, Thuy Kubanoff, have given food tours since 2010 through their motorcycle-tour business, Back of The Bike Tours, which now has a staff of 20.

In contrast, Hanoi Street Food Tours is still a two-man operation. Mr. Lowerson said he likes it that way and doesn’t plan to hire anyone.

Mr. Lowerson, 48, and Mr. Tu, 36, went into business together in 2009 on an ad-hoc basis, after dozens of tourists e-mailed Mr. Lowerson through his food blog, Stickyrice, requesting guided tours or street-food recommendations, he said.

At the time, Mr. Lowerson was running an educational project financed by the Australian government, and Mr. Tu was the maître d’ at an upscale Vietnamese restaurant in Hanoi. “Initially, because I was working, I’d say, ‘Sorry, can’t help you,”’ Mr. Lowerson recalled. “It took me a while to work out that there was a business opportunity.”

Their half- and full-day tours are $75 and $135 per person, respectively, and most of their clients are from Australia, the United States or northern Europe, Mr. Lowerson said. A local travel agency books 40 percent of their tours, but the rest are arranged independently — even though the couple does no formal marketing.

It helps that Mr. Lowerson has more than 2,000 Twitter followers, a few of them professional food writers, and that his 8-year-old food blog runs to nearly a quarter of a million words.

Guests from several countries have raved about the experience, saying it was a good way to get off the beaten path in a city with so many tourists.

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Oct 14, 2013
Tim Lester

Want DJ BBQ to cook up some delicious street food on your campus?

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Oct 14, 2013
Tim Lester

Street Food Festival at Lulu Al Khor – Peninsula On

The Regional Manager of Lulu Hypermarket Group, Shanavas P M  inaugurating the Street Food Festival at Al Khor Mall yesterday in the presence of Padmanabhan T, General Manager, Lulu Al Khor Branch, Mohamed Basheer, General Manager, Lulu Al Gharrafa Branch, and other officials from the mall and Lulu hypermarkets.

Doha: Lulu Hypermarket at Al Khor Mall is set for a unique Street Food Festival as part of Eid celebrations. 

From today, the mall offers food opportunities — exotic cuisine to traditional fair; the virtually inexhaustible supply of new dishes and flavour — exploring the soul of the ‘Street Food’ — generally defined as the variety of sizzling ready-to-eat food prepared and sold by hawkers and vendors on streets or other public location for immediate consumption.

‘Street food’ is regarded as the first ‘fast food’.

An official from Lulu Management said that coupled with Eid Al Adha activities organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) at the mall, Street Food Festival offers everything from the Middle Eastern favourites — pizza to meatballs to biriyani. It allows diners to eat out and enjoy new food at a lower cost at  more convenience. 

Many restaurants in the mall are joining in the Street Food Festival. Lulu has created a menu featuring street food from different destinations, including Thailand, Mexico, the Middle East, the US, India, Vietnam, and China.

QTA has chosen the mall as one of its destinations to hold cultural activities. From Tuesday, cultural shows such as Shaolin Martial Arts, Magic show, Traditional Parade, Lulu Caty, Carnival Samba, Over Boys, Chicago Boyz, Pink Panther, Carnival Dixi, Talking Friends and Bubble Show will be held from 4.30pm until 9.30pm. 

In line with the festival season, Lulu outlets in Qatar have hosted a ‘Buy 2 Get 1 Free’ promotion on garments, saris, churidhars, ladies bags and footwear until October 20. Customers are entitled to the lowest priced item free when they buy three pieces of any of these items.

Latest collections of international brands and trendy range of fashion wear and footwear to suit all age groups are on display in view of the increased demands of customers. 

Lulu has also set the stage for ‘Toy Fair 2013’, the first of its kind in Qatar. It offers all branded toys and characters at highly subsidised prices. 

This promotion will continue until October 22. Promotions on all food items and electronics are also set at all Lulu outlets in Qatar.

The Peninsula

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Oct 14, 2013
Tim Lester

How safe is street food?

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson

Presenter, Inside Out, North East Cumbria

Chris Jackson running his fake food stall - Jacko's SnackosChris Jackson running his fake food stall at an open air event

We all get seduced when walking around open-air stalls by the sights, sounds and of course the smell of fresh food being prepared.

With my formative years spent in Germany, I’m a sucker for the bratwurst stalls that pop up every now and again.

Personally I’ve never had a bad experience, unlike the 400 or so who fell ill during the Street Spice festival in Newcastle in February.

It turns out that raw curry leaves sourced from Pakistan had been contaminated with salmonella.

They ended up in a chutney and it was that which ruined an otherwise successful event.

Bob Arora

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Street Spice organiser talks about food poisoning incident

Organiser Bob Arora still has nightmares about it and in this video he explains what the event was about and how things went wrong.

For our programme I set up a fake food stall with some pretty bad habits. My producer came up with the name Jacko’s Snackos.

It’s nice and downmarket, and despite my sales patter being deliberately unappealing I still managed to get a few people to peer into my emporium.

Of course I wasn’t actually allowed to sell anything – or even give it away as I didn’t have any proper qualifications or checks.

That should give us all confidence that any unhygienic rogue can’t just set up shop.

What it doesn’t mean, however, is that even a well trained stallholder or employee can’t lapse into bad habits.

Hygiene scrutinised

We visited two open-air food events and saw lots of unwelcome behaviour by those handling food.

We tested samples and found eight out of 13 samples showed unsatisfactory levels of entero-bacteria.

Although it wouldn’t make you ill, the levels present suggest bad hygiene.

While researching this film and talking to experts I’ve gathered some top tips to avoid an upset tummy.

Common sense plays a large part, but take a close look at the stall and the person serving – you can judge a lot from their appearance.

Do they have a sink and hand washing facilities? Is there a fridge to keep food fresh?

Are they potentially cross-contaminating food by handling money or a phone at the same time?

If you’re in any doubt – keep walking.

Inside Out can be seen at 19:30 BST Monday, 14 October 2013 on BBC One in the North East Cumbria and nationwide for the following seven days on the BBC iPlayer.

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Oct 13, 2013
Tim Lester

Film-making competition on VN street food launched for expats

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese, overseas Vietnamese and foreigners can submit their short films about sidewalk restaurants in Vietnam to this competition.

VN street food, film making contest, culinary

This is the first time in HCM City many organizations jointly held a short documentary film contest on the theme of street food of Vietnam.

With the maximum length of 5 minutes, contestants can use all kinds of equipment to shoot their works, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, camcorders, etc. The films may have comments or not.

Mr. Buu Dien, a member of the organizing committee, said the criteria for image quality are necessary but it is not the most important factor. The organizers encourage film-makers to shoot films with simple stories about people who earn their living by selling food on the street, about typical dishes of Vietnam street food.

Dien said that the stories in films should be true stories, which can help the audience feel the friendly hospitality of the Vietnamese people as well as the beauty of the folk distinct culinary culture.

The board of judges has seven members, who are experts in the culinary field and the field of television production, including Mr. Michael Castengera (Senior lecturer at the University of Georgia, USA), Mr Chew Han Tah (Malaysian TV director), Mr. Huy Moeller (academic director of the Saigon International Film School – SIFS), Mr. Robert Danhi – culinary expert, photographer and author of several acclaimed culinary books, Mr. Max Murta (American director living in Vietnam), Ms. Bui Thi Suong, culinary expert, vice president of the Saigon professional chefs association and Mr. Chiem Thanh Long.

Mr. Max Murta said for the first time in Vietnam, he dared not eat any street food because he did not understand this food culture and was afraid of food safety. However, after a period of time living here, he was charmed by street food of Saigon.

“Vietnam’s delicacies are not only pho. I hope that through this film contest, many more cuisines will be introduced to people, particularly foreigners. Previously I never thought of eating hot vit lon but now it is a favorite dish of mine,” he said.

The competition will take place from October 7 through December 7. Total prize value is VND200 million ($10,000).

The event is jointly held by the HCM City Tourism Promotion Center, the HCM City Tourism Association and the Saigon International Film School (SIFS).

T. Van

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Oct 13, 2013
Tim Lester

How safe is food served by pop-up street outlets?

Street food is increasingly popular across the UK with a boom in outlets and festivals dedicated to the cuisine.

But how effectively is street food policed and is this sufficient to ensure public safety?

The Street Spice event in Newcastle upon Tyne in March 2013 resulted in more than 400 people reporting food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting as a result of raw curry leaves contaminated in Pakistan.

Presenter Chris Jackson investigates the practices at two street festivals with food scientist Jim Francis, to check their food hygiene standards.

He also asks Paula Davis, a Newcastle City Council environmental health officer, about how the council checks street food outlets which appear for a short period.

Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One North East and Cumbria on Monday, 14 October at 19:30 BST and nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.

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