Browsing articles in "street food"
Jan 24, 2014
Tim Lester

The Taste RECAP 1/23/14: Season 2 Episode 4 “Street Food”

The Taste RECAP 1/23/14: Season 2 Episode 4 Street Food

On ABC tonight THE TASTE returns another new episode called, “Street Food.”  On tonight’s show spam is the secret weapon when Chef Roy Choi guest judges a street food-themed challenge.  Did you watch last week’s premiere episode?  We did and we recapped it for you right here for you.

On last week’s episode Caviar, Foie Gras, “Elevated” Take Out, and sweet salty decadent indulgences were taking center stage last week as the 14 remaining hopefuls faced off in “The Taste” kitchen to put their personal spin on the mentors’ favorite guilty pleasures. In the end, two more competitors were eliminated.  Chef Aaron Sanchez guest judged during this episode.

On tonight’s show the mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic “street food.” Sandwiches, seafood – and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish chips – are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in “The Taste” kitchen another week.

Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when The Taste Season Two episode 4 returns to ABC. While you wait for the recap, let us know what you think of The Taste?

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates

[8:51:26 PM] Curtis: The teams meet with their chefs, the chefs are talking to their team about the upcoming challenge and how it’s going to be on street food. The chefs want their teams to be getting gold stars with these upcoming challenges; Ludo wants to have four people after the team challenge.

The judges step out and say that the theme tonight is street food, after the team challenge someone will be sent out, they’ll be judged by Roy Choi. Now the mentors are going to talk about the challenge with their teams. Anthony takes his team outside to taste something from a food truck, it’s a sandwich. He says that a sandwich is the way to go when it comes to this challenge; he’s really wanting expecting great things from Shellie. Marcus shows his team how to make this falafel chicken and shrimp meatballs.

Nigella is wanting her team to make the perfect fish chips; Crystal thinks that fish chips are going to be easy. Ludo is showing his team how to make a sandwich, it’s a classic French sandwich. Thirty second are left the mentors are trying giving last minute advice and motivation to their team. Now the teams are off they’ve got an hour to cook, only the best tasting dish of the team will represent them and will be tasted by Roy Choi. Louise is going to be making a bacon ham sandwich. Marina is going to be making a roast beef sandwich. Jeff is going to be making a fried chicken sandwich. Cassandra is going to make a maple fried prosciutto sandwich. Anthony shows his team the secret ingredient, he shows them Spam because it’s something Roy Choi loves. Lee is making bacon infused burger, Dana is making a Greek meatball sandwich, brad is making a coriander and tuna sandwich, Shellie is going to be making a Spam musubi. Ludo visits Anthony’s kitchen and find out their using spam, and that Roy loves Spam; he feels like he’s made a mistake not having Spam. Ludo tells his team that they can’t lose this challenge, especially against Spam. Nigella is trying to help out her team, but they seem to be having some problems. Sarah is making a seared tuna taquito; Shehu is going to make a fish eye soup. Jacquelyn has a runny sauce; Nigella wants Crystal to add more spice in her sauce. Nigella is surprised by how messy Jacquelyn’s messy station. Marcus comes over to Anthony and tells him how Ludo is pissed off by his team using Spam. Nigella’s team is not doing too well, Crystal and Jacquelyn don’t seem like they know what they’re doing; they don’t seem like they’re wanting to learn from Nigella.

Ludo is helping Cassandra with cutting bread, though she doesn’t know how to do things, her attitude in learning is something he likes. Shellie is trying to get ready, she’s struggling wrapping the seaweed around her dish and she might not make it in time. Shellie ended up finishing in time; he decides to use Shellie’s mainly for the Spam. Nigella ends up choosing Crystal’s dish. Marcus decides to go with Shehu’s dish. Nigella is having a hard time with her team; they’re very unorganized and can’t work together. Ludo decides to go with Jeff’s dish, since no one would tell him which he should decide. Roy Choi will now blind taste the dishes, whoever has the worse dish will be sent home. Roy tastes Shellie’s dish first, he looks like he really enjoys it. Roy tastes Shehu’s fish eye soup, he really likes it. Now he’s up to taste Crystal’s fish and chips, he doesn’t understand the components that well. Roy tastes Jeff’s dish, he likes it, but the bread isn’t right. Choi likes the most is Shellie’s Spam, Ludo doesn’t look too pleased about this. Roy’s second best was Shehu’s dish. Now Jeff and Crystal’s dish are the least. The worst dish for Roy is Nigella’s kitchen, Nigella isn’t surprised because of how her chefs acted in the kitchen, and they don’t have the attitude to win. Nigella says to them that they each have an attitude problem, that when she talks none of them listen to her. Nigella wants to know why Crystal should stay, then she asks why Jacquelyn should stay in the competition; both should go home, but Nigella decides to send Crystal home. It’s sad seeing people like Crystal and Jacquelyn on a show like this, having an opportunity to learn from a great chef, but not listening or trying to learn is disrespectful.

Anthony’s team will get a special lesson from Roy; Anthony says to Nigella her speech is riveting he can tell she’s mad. Nigella wants Jacquelyn to aim high, but she doesn’t seem to notice how low she currently is. Ludo is pissed off that Anthony one if first team challenge with Spam. Roy is going to show them how to make a quesadilla; he puts his entire soul into this dish. The other contestants want Jacquelyn to leave the competition, because she isn’t trying hard enough. Nigella speak to Jacquelyn and says to her that she’s not taking herself seriously, Nigella tells Jacquelyn to be more organized and focused in the next challenge. Nigella tells her good luck.

The contestants have one hour to cook their own individual dish to be tasted by the mentors, Sarah is making a Fish Chips. Shehu is going to be making Johnny Cakes. Nigella talks to her fellow mentors that she’s scared that Jacquelyn isn’t going to be able win this. Jacquelyn is going to be making empanadas; she doesn’t want to let Nigella down.

Shellie is making fried chicken tacos. Lee is going to be making a halal style lamb over rice; Brad is making a surf turf flatbread. Louise is making a peanut and potato chip crusted caramel apple. Marina is making a caramelized cinnamon banana; Jeff is going to be cooking curried lamb meatballs. Cassandra is making a falafel pita sandwich; she’s worried not having a guest judge helping out in the kitchen. Sarah’s fryer keeps turning off; she’s getting a little worried. Lee says that Jacquelyn is a bad cook and doesn’t deserve to be in this competition. Shellie is thinking the exact same thing. Brad appreciates the help from the guest judge. Cassandra is having problems working without a guest judge, because her questions can only be answered by her fellow team mates. There’s only fifteen minutes left, they’re now rushing to get their food plated and ready to go.

Cassandra calls over a medic, because she’s cut herself for the second time in the competition.

She’s cut herself mainly due to the high pressure she’s feeling in the competition; Jeff says that he’ll help out Cassandra a bit whenever he has the free time.

The contestants’ time is up, now it’s time for the four mentors to taste each dish blind. First up is Jeff’s dish, the mentors really like it, especially Nigella. Dana is up next, the mentors find that it’s not too good. Lee is up he’s confident about getting another gold star; they like the flavours, but didn’t get how to eat it. Shehu’s up next, the judges don’t seem to like it and the dough is a bit raw. Marina’s dish is up next, the judges seem to like it, and Anthony hates sweets but likes it. Cassandra’s dish is up next, the judges don’t seem to like it that much because of the texture. Brad’s dish is up now with his surf turf, the judges really like his dish. Louise’s caramel apple is up now, the judges surprisingly liked it. Shellie’s fried chicken tacos if now up, she didn’t get the feedback she was hoping for. Sarah’s Fish Chips is up now; the judges seem to really like it. Jacquelyn’s up now, she’s got a lot of pressure on her being the last of Nigella’s team left, the judges didn’t like it because of how under seasoned the dish is and how the dough wasn’t cooked that well. The judges will now decide on what are their best and worst dishes of the night.

All the contestants enter the break room; Shehu is worried about being eliminated from the competition tonight. Jeff really wants Jacquelyn to leave. Louise finds that Jacquelyn is completely delusional in her cooking skills. The contestants believe that Jacquelyn needs to go home; she doesn’t even know how to explain how she cooked her dish properly.

The judges have all chosen their worst and favorite dishes; Anthony’s best dish was cooked by Sarah, giving her first gold star. Marcus’s favorite dish was cooked by Sarah also, giving her two gold stars. Nigella’s favorite dish was cooked by Marina. Ludo’s best dish was cooked by Marina as well. Marina and Sarah now both have two gold stars being the best cooks of the night. Marcus wants to know more about Sarah’s dish, he really enjoyed the dish. Anthony thought was awesome; Nigella says that it was a perfect fish chips. Ludo asks Marina how she made it, he was surprised she made a dessert and is happy how it turned out so well. Now it’s time for their least favorite dishes of the night. Anthony’s worst dish of the night was made by Cassandra. Marcus’s worst dish tonight was made by Shehu. Nigella’s least favorite dish was cooked by Shehu as well. Ludo’s worst dish was cooked by Shehu as well. Shehu looks very upset, knowing that tonight may be his time to go home.

Jeff doesn’t believe that the bottom two belong there. Anthony asks what Cassandra cooked, he tells her that it was mushy and wasn’t anything great.  Ludo says that her choice was great but the execution wasn’t right. Shehu explains how he made his dish and the decisions he made, Marcus tells him that he liked how he tried to bring something new, but the execution wasn’t there. Anthony says that Shehu has a ton of skill and credentials. Shehu and Cassandra told the judges why they should stay in the competition. The contestants go to the break room; Marina and Sarah get their gold stars on them. Shehu isn’t feeling too good about this situation, Cassandra doesn’t want to go home because she feels she has so much to learn. Anthony is stunned that Shehu is in the bottom, he doesn’t understand how this happened. Shehu is confident that he’s going to be going home. The judges are fighting over who they want to go home, Nigella and Ludo want Cassandra to stay while Marcus and Anthony want Shehu to stay.  Marcus and Ludo are fighting to keep the people in their team. Ludo is getting extremely pissed off with Marcus.

[9:58:19 PM] Curtis: Cassandra says that they both don’t deserve to go home; she talks about how hard they work in the kitchen. Jeff is confused how Jacquelyn’s dish wasn’t picked as the worst. The contestants come out to hear who’s going home; Cassandra and Shehu will be going home tonight. The judges tell them how difficult it was to come up with this decision, Anthony tells them how Shehu is a talented chef, but his dish today was horrible. Anthony then tells Cassandra that she’s capable of great things. In the end it looks like Cassandra is going home tonight, Ludo tells her that he believes in her and is so proud of her. Cassandra says she’s grateful for being a part of this competition. Cassandra is upset, and the judges are also very upset with the outcome it was heartbreaking. Shehu wanted Cassandra to go home, but he never wanted her to leave the way she did. Cassandra enjoyed her time in the competition; she really liked learning from Ludo.

THE END!!

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Jan 24, 2014
Tim Lester

This new app helps you personally get to know Taiwan’s finest street food sellers

Taiwan Street Food

Many cities across Asia have vibrant street food cultures, but Taipei might serve as the continent’s gold standard for cheap eats. Turn any corner and you’ll find vendors selling roasted sweet potatoes, Taiwanese rice balls, onion pancakes, fried rice, and an endless assortment of other tasty snacks.

But busy Taiwanese seldom have time to get to know the talented chefs that work their favorite stands every day, many of whom have stories to tell. Luckily, a team of Taiwan college students is working to change that with a new app Haoshi Ditu

Haoshi Ditu (which roughly translates to “Good Deed Map”) helps users locate the nearest street food stalls. It also provides brief tidbits of information about the vendors. Sometimes the blurb will reveal a little about the vendor’s background, other times it will simply comment on his or her outfit or smile. As I open the app, it’s already pinpointed the lady who sells porridge a few blocks from my apartment every morning.

haoshitudipic

There’s a prominent “social welfare” element to Haoshi Ditu, as the app encourages users to support food stall vendors, many of whom are caught in unfortunate and difficult circumstances. To that end, the app also succeeds in helping draw much-needed attention to the sidewalk chefs who collectively make Taiwan such an exciting place to live (and eat in).

Haoshi Ditu is only available in Chinese, and its listings are few in number for the moment. Even though the app sits firmly in “school project” territory, it’s a useful tool not just for finding the nearest danbing stand, but also for turning typically mundane transactions into an opportunity for forming new relationships.

You can download Haoshi Ditu for iOS here.

(Editing by Steven Millward)

(Top image via Flickr user randomwire)


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Jan 24, 2014
Tim Lester

Guerrilla Street Food parks at Element for pop-up dinner Feb. 24

Have you always wanted to try the Filipino cuisine from Guerrilla Street Food, but never have the time to track the food truck down? Or perhaps you’re opposed to eating off a truck on principle?

Well, now you have one fewer excuse.

Owners Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty have announced that Guerrilla Street Food will take over Hardesty’s other venture, the new restaurant Element, for a pop-up dinner on Monday, Feb. 24.

“It’s going to be all-new dishes,” Crespo says of the six-course meal, “using the same approach as the Guerrilla Street Food truck — taking Filipino dishes and reinterpreting them in our own way.

“And giving people a lot of bang for their buck.”

The cost is $50 per person. Alcohol pairings will be an additional $25. (Crespo says the exact nature of the beverage pairings are still being worked out.)

Crespo considers the dinner to be “testing the waters.”

“We’re hoping to do a series of them if it works out,” he says.

Reservations are available through Element at 314-241-1674. According to Crespo, the single seating of the dinner is filling up quickly.

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Jan 23, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Cartel founder to open new Glasgow restaurant

The founder of Glasgow pop-up dining specialists Street Food Cartel is to open a new restaurant in Glasgow.

Jonathan MacDonald, who also runs the street food brand Scoop, will launch Ox Finch at 920 Sauchiehall Street in the coming months.

“We’re opening a premises in a few months on Sauchiehall street, opposite the Lorne Hotel. It’s a big part of my focus for 2014,” said Jonathan.

He continued: “It’s an entirely separate venture but it will be linked in terms of our kind of style. The ethos will be the same.

“We’ll take the best stuff but keep it casual. Unstuffy and unpretentious. Really good meals, but all very accessible.”


  (Street Food Cartel)

via STVvia STV

The restaurant will take over the former Konaki Greek Taverna site which changed names and premises to Elia at 24 George Square.

Ox Finch will be situated directly across from the Lorne Hotel and its in-house Indian eatery Bukharah, with Mother India and several other restaurants nearby.


  (Street Food Cartel)

via STVvia STV

With a background influenced by his travels across the globe as a chef for McLaren F1, Mr MacDonald is confident his cuisine will stand out in a similar way to Street Food Cartel’s novel approach to quality pop-up food vans.

Jonathan said: “It will definitely step up from our street and festival food. That’s tasty, but it’s quick and simple because people don’t have time and it’s a small kitchen.

“With a bigger space and more time, it’ll be a big step up, but with the same kind of style of cooking. Our festivals burgers are cracking Scottish mince with homemade relish and smoked brie, and there will be some dishes along those lines.”

Look out for our detailed interview with Jonathan on his culinary career so far on the app later this week.

Have you got the App yet? Download it free for all the latest news, food and entertainment in your city.

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Jan 23, 2014
Tim Lester

THE TASTE A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE


THE TASTE: A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE

Details

Category: The Taste

Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:07

Hits: 361

THE TASTE: A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGETHE TASTE

A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE

 

Thursday at 8/7c on ABC

SPAM IS THE SECRET WEAPON WHEN CHEF ROY CHOI GUEST JUDGES. A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE, ON ABC’S “THE TASTE
 

Street Food” –The mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic “street food.” Sandwiches, seafood – and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish chips – are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in “The Taste” kitchen another week.
 
Chef Roy Choi is guest judge this week where Anthony Bourdain shares a secret weapon with his kitchen. Spam! Find out who wins on “The Taste” THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
 
“The Taste” features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre, and joining “The Taste” this season, chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. It is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is the director.
 
The Taste” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-14,L parental guideline.
 
For more information on “The Taste,” visit ABC.com/The Taste.
 
Follow us on:

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheTasteABC
Twitter: Twitter.com/TheTasteABC
Tumblr: http://thetasteabc.tumblr.com
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/thetasteabc/


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Jan 23, 2014
Tim Lester

Calle Tepa dishes out tasty street food

It’s always nice to see a restaurant doing well, especially in a location that has seen its share of failures.

The spot at 6151 E. Broadway, which now houses the fast-casual Calle Tepa — Mexican Street Grill, has been home to no fewer than five other eateries since I started working at the Star a decade ago.

Thai, Chinese, Puerto Rican, health food. Nothing would stick.

Then Calle Tepa moved in last year, the brainchild of JorDan Fuller and his mom, Emma Vera, who owns the Guadalajara Original Grill on East Prince Road.

Their concept: quick-and-easy Mexican street dishes at affordable prices.

It’s a formula that seems to have worked.

The restaurant was packed during two recent visits, from its heavy wooden tables and booths near the large windows facing the bustling traffic of Broadway, to the cozy bar area toward the back, surrounded by flat screen televisions.

We imagine the atmosphere was probably a big draw.

The restaurant is inviting. High energy Latin dance music plays on speakers amid hanging tin stars. On one wall in the main dining area is a large mural of a Mexican street scene. Across from it is the menu, painted floor-to-ceiling in bright oranges, yellows, greens, reds and blues.

Customers are invited to look it over, then order at the counter in a Sauce/Pei Wei/Chipotle fashion.

The open kitchen allows you to watch the cooks at work, preparing food that we found to be tasty and a good value for the money.

Calle Tepa offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, tortas and other traditional fare, most of which can be ordered with different types of meat or vegetables and with or without different styles of beans and rice.

We skipped the sides so that we could sample as many headliners as possible.

Our dining experiences yielded more hits than misses.

The manchego quesadilla ($5.99) was among our favorites. Served in four generous slices, the cheese gooed out from the soft flour tortilla surrounding it and provided a mild, lingering sweetness, not unlike a good Colby.

We delighted over the torta ($6.99), which we ordered with carnitas, served between slices of fresh baked bread from Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory, with lettuce, onion, cilantro, mayo and guacamole. The bread was soft and the carnitas tender. It definitely ranked high on our top 10 tortas of Tucson list.

We decided to take advantage of the restaurant’s vegetarian options with a taquito con papa ($2.49) which came in a corn tortilla, lightly grilled, or “tepa” style, with chunks of potato, lettuce, cheese and pico de gallo. The potatoes were soft in texture, almost fluffy — not a terrible way to get your daily carb intake.

We liked it better than the carnitas “tepa” taco ($2.99), which was light on the carnitas and heavy on everything else, namely the lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. It was so packed with toppings, that they completely drowned out the taste of the meat.

The grilled mahi street taco ($2.99), came covered in a creamy Chipotle sauce with a light, yet crunchy grilled mahi underneath, while the Sonoran hot dog ($3.99) came with a plump dog and a bounty of toppings, including a tasty mix of mustard and mayonnaise.

Our one and only disappointment during either trip was the two enchilada plate ($6.99), which was saturated in a thick, red sauce. Obviously, red sauce is a staple of many an enchilada dish. But this particular sauce was too much, too rich. It completely overpowered the taste of the barbacoa within.

Every meal, even the best of the best, got an extra kick from the multiple salsas provided at the salsa bar. Options included a salsa verde and “house hot” salsa.

Service was quick. Another plus that we hope will keep Calle Tepa around for the long haul.

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Jan 22, 2014
Tim Lester

THE TASTE: A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE


THE TASTE: A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE

Details

Category: The Taste

Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:07

Hits: 79

THE TASTE: A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGETHE TASTE

A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE

 

Thursday at 8/7c on ABC

SPAM IS THE SECRET WEAPON WHEN CHEF ROY CHOI GUEST JUDGES. A STREET FOOD-THEMED CHALLENGE, ON ABC’S “THE TASTE
 

Street Food” –The mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic “street food.” Sandwiches, seafood – and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish chips – are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in “The Taste” kitchen another week.
 
Chef Roy Choi is guest judge this week where Anthony Bourdain shares a secret weapon with his kitchen. Spam! Find out who wins on “The Taste” THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
 
“The Taste” features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre, and joining “The Taste” this season, chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. It is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is the director.
 
The Taste” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-14,L parental guideline.
 
For more information on “The Taste,” visit ABC.com/The Taste.
 
Follow us on:

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheTasteABC
Twitter: Twitter.com/TheTasteABC
Tumblr: http://thetasteabc.tumblr.com
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/thetasteabc/


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Jan 22, 2014
Tim Lester

The Dosa Factory Elevates a Traditional Indian Street Food to Delicious Perfection

There are more than 34,000 McDonald’s locations in 119 countries worldwide. Dunkin’ Donuts operates about 15,000 franchises, and Starbucks has spread to 62 countries, opening nearly 21,000 locations in just 40 years. This is what America has given to the rest of the world. This is our fast food, our cheap food, our classic street food.

But in Seoul, women have been frying squid outside of shopping centers for decades and selling rice cakes for centuries. In Paris, pedestrians stop at stalls for fresh crepes filled with ham and cheese, while night owls in Mexico City munch on street tacos into the wee hours of the morning. And in cities across southern India, as soon as the sun comes up, people head to work, dosas in hand.

It’s the dosa, a traditional fermented crepe popular from Mumbai to Malaysia, that I recently found myself obsessing over every time I’d get a pang of hunger day or night. I’d stumbled across The Dosa Factory — a small, luridly lit, sterile shop sandwiched between a couple of clubs and an abandoned Darque Tan — while lost near Richmond and Fountain View, and was intrigued by the Kelly green and school-bus-yellow color scheme. “The Ultimate Indian Crêpe Experience,” read the sign outside. Tired of driving in circles, I parked my car. I wanted this ultimate Indian crepe experience.

Gobi Manchurian and a slightly crispy dosa will take you away to the streets of Chennai, if only for a while.

Location Info

The Dosa Factory


5959 Richmond Ave., 160
Houston, TX 77057

Category: Restaurant
Indian

Region: Galleria

Details

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Masala dosa: $6.99

Chettinad spicy dosa: $7.99

Manchurian dosa: $7.99

Pizza dosa: $8.49

Onion vada (2 pieces): $2.99

Manchurian idli: $4.99

Samosa: $4.99

Gobi Manchurian: $6.49

Desserts: $4.49

Mango lassi: $2.99


Ten minutes later, I was seated at a blindingly clean white table with a dosa the size of a car windshield loosely rolled and waiting on a plate in front of me. Dosas are meant to be eaten with your hands, so I tore into it, discovering first the slightly sour flavor that comes from the fermented batter. There’s no wheat in these dosas, just rice and black lentils and a little salt, blended together and allowed to ferment before being spread on a flat griddle and cooked for less than a minute on each side. They’re thin and crispy around the lacy edges and soft and pliable in the center, where anything from traditional masala to pizza sauce and cheese is stuffed.

Eventually, I reached the mushy yellow potato filling in the center, dotted with bright green peas, onions and flecks of orange carrot. Tearing off a piece of dosa, I dragged it though the mix and dipped it into the coconut chutney and sambar provided free at the front of the restaurant. I let the flavors mingle on my tongue — first rich tamarind and spicy chile powder, then cool coconut and mint, and, finally, earthy turmeric and cumin.

Screw hamburgers, I thought to myself, reveling in the symphony of spices. This is good street food.
_____________________

The Dosa Factory has one location so far, but the owner’s goal is to begin franchising and opening Indian vegetarian fast-food restaurants across the country. Niraj Shah devised the concept while selling dosas from a food booth outside the George R. Brown Convention Center during events. Shah is already co-owner of a franchise of Sankalp: The Taste of India, located in Sugar Land, so the transition to creating his own restaurant seemed natural. What doesn’t seem as natural is the look of the place.

When the street-food concept is elevated to fast food or fast casual, you expect that it will maintain a little of the gritty street charm of a food cart, but The Dosa Factory went in the opposite direction. It’s inviting in the way that a pristine fast-food chain in a third-world country is inviting: polished laminate floors, white tables and chairs, sleek silver stripes running the length of the impossibly green walls. It looks like a foreign fast-food chain, but the decor belies the talent hidden behind those garish walls and the two viewing windows that look into the kitchen.

Friends have told me that when The Dosa Factory first opened in late September 2013, the lines were so long that it wasn’t worth the wait to sit and eat there. Now that the novelty has worn off, I’ve found myself with my choice of empty tables on each visit. There were still plenty of people in the space (all of whom appeared to be Indian, actually), but The Dosa Factory has established a rhythm to get people in and out. It helps that the employees behind the counter know the menu by heart and are eager to recommend a dosa from the list of nearly 30 varieties.

Were it not for an employee’s suggestion, I wouldn’t have discovered the chile paneer dosa, filled with small chunks of creamy Indian cheese and soy sauce-marinated bell peppers, cabbage and onions. It’s one of the more Indo-Chinese-inspired dosas on the menu, which also take inspiration from northern India (paneer tikka masala), Italy (pizza) and Mexico (cheesy fajita).

The masala dosa is most true to the cuisine of south India, where dosas originated, but it’s lacking the signature spice found in most foods from that region. For a dose of heat, try the Chettinad spicy dosa, named after a region in the state of Tamil Nadu in southeast India. Like many dishes at The Dosa Factory, it makes use of cauliflower, here grated and mixed with green beans, peas and carrots in a thick onion and garlic gravy that contains a big dose of chile powder.

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Jan 22, 2014
Tim Lester

Downtown Huntsville to host ‘largest congregation of street food vendors …

-35d0bca52020ee1d.jpgView full sizeCrave Heat is one of 11 mobile vendors scheduled to participate in Huntsville’s 2014 Street Food Season. (Image courtesy Crave Heat) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Downtown Huntsville will play host in
2014 to what organizers are calling “the largest congregation of street food
vendors anywhere in Alabama.”

The Rocket City’s first-ever “Street Food Season” will kick
off in April and run through late October featuring 11 mobile vendors selling
tacos, cupcakes, barbecue and other on-the-go cuisine.

Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chad Emerson said public street
food gatherings will be held on the third Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m. They will take place at various
private parking lots in the Meridian and Quigley downtown arts and
entertainment districts.

The first street food event of 2014 is scheduled
for Friday, April 18, near the corner of Meridian Street and Cleveland Avenue.

“The street food vendors are really fired up about this,”
Emerson told AL.com Tuesday. “We think it’s going to reach a new set of people
who may not have typically come downtown.”

The following mobile food vendors are expected to
participate: Badd Newz BBQ; Crave Heat; Dallas Mill Deli; Earth Stone
Wood Fired Pizza; Food Fighters Bustaurant; Meaux’s Sno Balls; On-On Tacos;
Peppered Pig; Piper Leaf Teas; Rocket Dogs; and Sugar Belle Cupcakes.

Emerson said all the events will feature free admission, live
music and food challenges. June will be the Battle of the Food Trucks, with the truck that sells the most winning money for its favorite charity. In July, food
vendors will compete to create the best beach-themed dishes. The Back to School
Fusion Challenge in August will offer modern takes on classic school cafeteria
food.

“Our goal,” said Emerson, “is for downtown Huntsville to
eventually host the largest street food season of any city in the Southeast.”

In late December, the Huntsville City
Council amended the zoning ordinance to allow food trucks in most commercial
areas across the city
including downtown, John Hunt Park and Jetplex
Industrial Park near the airport.

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Jan 22, 2014
Tim Lester

Listen for sizzle of Korean street food

SEOUL — On the streets here, find your next meal by listening for the sizzle. Street food is everywhere, and food carts and stalls selling a short list of foodstuffs or specializing in only one item attract long queues at all hours of the day. A pojangmacha — a Korean word that translates as “covered wagon,” and refers to a movable, street-side restaurant draped in tarps — offers more of a complete meal: set menus, a greater number of options, more complicated dishes, and, often, tables for customers.

Street food plays a significant part in Seoul’s culture. Students might stop by their favorite stall for a quick, cheap bite after school or before going out for the evening. Crowds of professionals will descend after the workday ends, and on into the night. And then there are the late comers: taxi drivers and other graveyard shift workers who appreciate a hot meal or snack, at any hour.

Marja Vongerichten, wife of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, hosted and co-produced the 2011 TV show “Kimchi Chronicles,” a travelogue-style exploration of Korean food, including street food. Marja Vongerichten was born in Korea (her mother is Korean and her father an African-American serviceman) and adopted and raised by a family in the United States. She learned about her culture through Korean food. She is also author of a cookbook based on the series, “The Kimchi Chronicles: Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen.”

“I think street food is so popular because it’s cheap, quick, and it’s just like the flavors of home when you eat it,” says Vongerichten on the phone from New York, where she lives. “Every culture has their own street food, and it’s interesting to get the story behind what makes street foods popular. I find that in Korea, you walk around, and you end up eating about five times a day — it’s like, wow, I want to have a little bit of that!”

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Options range from the familiar, such as dumplings and sweet potato fries, to more exotic foods. Perhaps the most popular is tteokbokki, stubby tube-shaped rice cakes served in a sauce made with gochujang, a popular fermented hot pepper paste. This dish is endlessly variable and can incorporate many other foods, like fish cakes, vegetables, seafood, or rice.

Cristin Nelson for the Boston Globe

A pojangmacha is a Korean word that translates as “covered wagon,” and refers to a movable, street-side restaurant draped in tarps.

With noodles, the dish becomes labokki. Or, order a plate of fried foods, such as dumplings, with tteokbokki ladled over the top. Other popular dishes are chicken, beef, or pork kebabs, and soondae, stuffed intestines similar to blood sausage, which might be boiled or fried and served with a spicy red sauce.

Odeng is a fish cake served on a skewer, boiled in a light, clear broth made with kelp and anchovies. Customers sip on a cup of intensely savory broth — seen as a digestive aid — alongside the fish cakes. The snack is especially popular in winter, when the broth warms and nourishes.

Vongerichten always looks for bindaetteok, a mung bean pancake, traditional peasant food made from soaked mung beans and vegetables. “It’s one of my favorite go-to dishes,” she says. “It’s like crack in a pancake.” Her version, adapted from a friend’s mother, mixes kimchi into the mung bean batter.

Boiled silkworm larvae, another common street food, were a childhood snack for Vongerichten, who says she used to eat it by the cupful.

While filming “Kimchi Chronicles,” however, the food didn’t have the same allure. “My producer made me eat it, and it was like a ‘Fear Factor’ moment,” she says. “It tasted like bugs; it tasted like it smells. If you were to imagine what a bug smells like and tastes like, it’s exactly like that.”

Cristin Nelson for the Boston Globe

Customers line up at a pojangmacha.

Several neighborhoods in Seoul are hot spots for street food. In the Insadong neighborhood, a blend of historic and modern that is home to many art galleries and antique shops, and Myeongdong, a district known for high-end shopping and tourism, one can find plenty of good eating at carts and pojangmachas.

In Namdaemun, a large open-air market in Seoul, food carts compete with restaurants that line the market’s alleyways, which often spill out into the streets to entice customers with wonderful smells and tableaus. In the street, you can find specialties like budae jjigae, or, as it is literally translated, “army base stew.” The thick soup was invented during the Korean war, using US Army surplus rations, and usually includes hot dogs, Spam, and sometimes American cheese. Many Korean children were raised on this dish.

But if you’re looking for something just as authentic, but more exotic, go anywhere in the city and just listen for the unmistakable sounds of food cooking.

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