Browsing articles in "street food"
Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

More Street Food On The Way In Scilly

town hall rear 2013There’s potential for more street food in Scilly, to offer choice and value for locals and visitors. That’s the view of  two islands’ businesspeople who will be operating mobile food stalls in town this summer.

The latest trader to be licensed by the Council, Carrie Graham, says she has been inspired by her outdoor eating experiences during 9 years of travelling, especially from the time when she lived in Laos and Cambodia.

Carrie won’t be selling hot food but intends to provide homemade sandwiches from 11am to 3pm at Little Porth, Town Beach, The Strand and Well Cross. She’ll operate throughout the season, starting from gig weekend.

Pete Reynolds started a successful mobile crepe business last year. He says he welcomes more competition and says it will help keep the restaurants on their toes, too. Pete sells his pancakes from a bicycle-drawn stand and says the vehicle itself attracts interest and adds to the experience.

Carrie shares that view. She says she couldn’t find a suitable stall off-the-shelf, so she’s commissioned a bespoke wooden stall from the mainland, which she hopes will create a ‘beach food’ vibe.

Now she says she’s hoping that a local artist or artists will offer to help her personalise it and make it look distinctly local.

The pair could be joined by additional food vendors soon.

St Mary’s pasty maker Traci Badcock has also applied for a licence to trade for four hours a day in the Mermaid car park and Silver Street.

But Pete feels that a space, like the square behind the Town Hall, could provide a perfect base  for both food and craft stalls. That, he says, could widen the islands’ food and activity choices.

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Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

Chuck sniffs out street food

Chef Chuck Hughes discovers tasty treasures and more in famed cities of the United States in his latest food show, writes Aref Omar

CANADIAN chef and restaurateur Chuck Hughes of AFC’s popular cooking show Chuck’s Day Off is back with another mouthwatering offering. This time the 37-year-old explores the streets of San Francisco, New Orleans and other famous areas across the US in the new series, Chuck’s Eat The Street.

In each episode he uncovers the food, history and legends behind these famous roads, from Mission Street to Magazine Street and more. The Montreal-born chef began by attending culinary school before working at the hottest kitchens around town. Driven by his undying passion for food, Hughes opened his own restaurant, Garde Manger, with two best friends in 2006.

Four years later, the popular joint’s kitchen became the regular setting for his TV show, Chuck’s Day Off, which showcased his cooking skills in preparing delectable delights for friends, family and suppliers on the day his restaurant was closed. A defining moment was when he became the youngest Canadian chef to win on Iron Chef America, and the only Canadian chef to beat the legendary Bobby Flay.  

Hughes, who sports a host of tattoos of his favourite foods on his arms, talks about his appetising adventures:

What were some of the interesting things that you discovered in San Francisco and New Orleans while doing this show?

In New Orleans, I was surprised at how deep French influence ran, well beyond the image of the Fleur de Lys. And in San Francisco, we filmed quite close to the Golden Gate Bridge and I knew it was a great US landmark but thought “big bridge in sunny, calm California, big deal.” But when I got close to the water it surprised me how turbulent it was and how the bridge and the straits had this raw and rugged feeling with this element of danger. It was eerie instead of a dreamy Californian feeling and that surprised me.

Best food moments there?

One of the best moments in New Orleans was going to a crawfish festival. I don’t think it made the show as it was a last minute place we checked out, but it had the biggest crawfish steamer I had ever seen! It was at least 3.6 by 1.8 metres and there was this mechanism that enabled it to tip over and spill all these perfectly cooked crawfish onto this giant metal table. Everyone would then just head for this giant table and dig in. It was delicious!

In San Francisco it was another moment that didn’t make it into the show. I got to fulfil one of my life long dreams of eating at The Swan Oyster Depot. I had been waiting my entire life to eat there! It’s a small place, only 20 or so seats, and it has not changed in 100 years. The wait is long (one to two hours) but well worth it as the seafood is amazing and the staff are terrific. Sometimes, when you finally experience something you’ve been waiting your whole life to experience, it’s actually a let down, but this was better than I had ever expected.

What are the differences in terms of food and cuisine between the two cities?

In New Orleans there is a heavy underscore of French influence in their techniques, but then they have their own unique twists, as well as ingredients and a cooking style which makes for some mouth watering dishes.
In San Francisco the influences tend to be Asian and Mexican reflecting its history. I would also say that San Fran has some of the best seafood in the world.

How would you describe food in Montreal?

Twenty years ago we were really influenced by French cuisine. Now it’s much different. Chefs here are travelling more and not just to France. They are bringing back different techniques and unique ways to use ingredients. Montreal is the city with the best 40-seat restaurants. On every corner you will find one and have a great meal. Part of the reason is that the focus right now is for chefs in this city to use really fresh local ingredients.

What do you think about food culture in Canada?

In Canada we are blessed to have very different regional cuisines and some of the best products in the world. From the east coast where you have oysters and seafood, to the west coast’s salmon and spotted prawns, and of course, from the Prairies you have great beef. So I love travelling around Canada and trying all the different dishes.

What’s the weirdest dish you’d recommend to someone?
I have three! Mexican truffle (known as huitlacoche in Mexico), balut and, if you ever go to Newfoundland in Canada, you have to have moose as steak, burger or in a stew — doesn’t matter how but you just have to try it.

What’s your guilty pleasure for food?
French fries… No wait, chocolate chip cookies…. No, ice cream…

Why do you love food so much?
I owe my love of food to my mum. She loves cooking and always lets me help her in the kitchen. She was adventurous with food and always encouraged me to be adventurous as well.

Catch Chuck’s Eat The Street: Season One exclusively on AFC (Astro Ch.703) tonight at 10pm.


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Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

Fast food chain Man’oushe Street to open 90 new outlets

Man’oushe Street, the fast food restaurant serving Middle Eastern street food, has signed franchises that will result in the opening of 90 new branches across the UAE, Europe and Egypt. Five outlets are planned for Abu Dhabi.

“We are very pleased at the overwhelming response that we have been receiving for Man’oushe Street,” said Lebanese national Jihad El Eit, the founder and chief executive, Man’oushe Street.

“With this in mind, we have now embarked on a new roadmap towards the further development of the Man’oushe Street brand. Looking to add more Man’oushe Street branches in the global map, we are now currently working on potential franchise deals in Saudi Arabia, the US, India and the UK.”

Formerly called Man2ooshe and Company, the restaurant only opened in 2010 but has quickly grown to nine outlets in Dubai, signing a franchising deal with UAE-based Bloom Restaurant Management for expansion in the capital.

The first of the Abu Dhabi branches is set to open in the next few months. Bloom expects to invest US$4 million over the next four years. Wadi Degla Holding, the leading Egyptian conglomerate, has signed a franchise agreement and an investment of $35m for the opening of 35 Man’oushe Street branches in Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, and 50 new branches in Egypt.

“Bloom Restaurant Management remains upbeat that our plan to open five new branches across Abu Dhabi will also result in the same overwhelming response that it has received in Dubai,” said Mowaffaq Al Sabbagh, the Bloom chief executive. “Man’oushe Street’s signature offerings will definitely be a crowd favourite in the UAE capital—a winning combination for those who want a fast meal that is nutritious yet light on the budget.”

The UAE is in the middle of a fast food boom with the retail analyst Euromonitor forecasting the sector could double in value to $400m by 2017.

Abu Dhabi-based Just Falafel has grown to 48 shops since it opened in 2007, operating in the UK, US and Australia with plans for an IPO.

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

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Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

One stop destination for street food

It has been  many years since I last visited Bengali Market. One expected the taste of the street food to have changed over the years, as also the character of this iconic marketplace.

How pleasantly surprising and wonderful it was to find that the taste and quality of the food has stayed true to the original. We had dinner at Bengali Sweet House in Bengali Market. We gorged on gol gappas and aloo tikkis standing on the street side. The sweet and hot chutneys were just as remarkable as ever,” says the Pushpa Bajpai,  who recently visited City and especially Bengali Market after a long time.

The Bengali Market is one of the oldest market in the City and is located close to the more famous Connaught Place. Nevertheless, its importance cannot be diminished given that for decades it has sated the hunger pangs of the City’s culture buffs, aspiring and well-established theatre and cine artistes, painters and dancers owing to its close proximity to the Capital’s cultural centres Kamani Auditorium, Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Shri Ram Centre for Arts, Triveni Kala Sangam and National School of Drama (NSD). At a stone’s throw from the market are Le Meridien Hotel, The Lalit and Janpath Hotel offering comfortable accommodation.

The creation of Bengali Market in the late 1930s is credited to Moradabad iron industrialist Harishchandra Lohiya, who named it ‘Bengali Mal Market’, after his late father. He bought the land in an auction in 1938-39 and the market became operational by 1941-42.

Nathu’s and Bengali Sweet House are two famous eateries here and were established at about the same time. They are a must visit for a quick meal – and they are inextricably part of the market’s history. It truly adds to the market’s reputation as a food haven. Thanks to these shops, the Bengali Market is famous and  is one stop destination for typical North Indian street snack foods.

Amidst the mix of eateries, convenience stores like Radha Krishna and Gupta stock crisps, chocolates, tea, shampoos and other commodities for daily needs.  The market has some good photo studios, readymade garment shops, bakeries, gift shops, dry cleaning shops, clinics, book shops, grocery shops, and stalls for fresh fruits and vegetables and florist. But apart from the marketplace, there are a number of residential quarters, government flats, swanky bungalows inhabited by the Capital’s who’s who and, some affordable inns around the area adding to the appeal of a ‘Bengali  Market address’!

The market, these days, is undergoing a much-needed renovation. The garden at the centre of the market has been demolished and owing to a surge in vehicular traffic finding a parking space is a problem. But the chaos notwithstanding, the place retains its quaint, wholesome charm.

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Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

Food trucks: Serving street food with a side of placemaking

While placemaking is principally focused on creating public spaces with good form, where good form is lacking, attractions such as food trucks can contribute to place by attracting people, enlivening an area and stimulating other business activity.

A food truck in Washington D.C. Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes

Placemaking is about creating a physical environment that helps activate a public space with the presence of people, whether passing by or lingering to socialize. Good design is a principal component of placemaking. What else is there? We know that a mixture of uses helps to activate a space by providing diversity in terms of activities and 24-hour use. But what if a space lacks good form or a mixture of uses? Can a space absent one or both of these key attributes become a place that attracts people without redevelopment?

Enter the food truck. A mobile form of food vending, food trucks are emerging in cities big and small and in suburban office and industrial parks as a source of unique ethnic food and a social condenser. “If you want to seed a place with activity, put out food,” William Whyte wrote in The social life of small urban spaces, because “food attracts people who attract more people”. It would be an oversimplification to suggest that if a food truck pulls up on a sparsely-populated street that people will just show up, but increasingly, cities are allowing food trucks to do business in struggling districts of the community as a way to enliven an area, stimulate other business activity and provide healthier food choices where few previously existed.

From an economic development standpoint, food trucks have also been promoted as a relatively low cost food business startup opportunity and a transitional business to help food-entrepreneurs ‘grow’ into a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. Additionally, the allowance of food trucks in a community signals to budding entrepreneurs that government is helping to create and support an entrepreneurial culture.

Of course, food trucks are not without their share of potential problems. Existing bricks-and-mortar restaurants may perceive them as unwelcome competition and aspects of food truck operation, such as permissible locations, time of operation, provision of seating and trash receptacles, signage and more are aspects that should be discussed and potentially regulated. For these reasons and more, any community exploring the expansion of food trucks should do so in a thorough way and include various stakeholders in the development of the regulations/permissions.

The National League of Cities studies food trucks thoroughly in their report Food on Wheels: Mobil Vending Goes Mainstream and recommends five overall considerations for cities looking to address food trucks (and other forms of mobile vending) in their jurisdictions:

  1. Hold town hall forums and private meetings with core stakeholders.
  2. Encourage dialogue and the building of relationships among competing stakeholders.
  3. Implement pilot programs to determine what regulations to adopt.
  4. Use targeted practices as a way to address underserved areas of the city.
  5. Identify private vacant lots and create partnerships for mobile vendors to gather and vend in the same location.

Additionally, the American Planning Association recently published a Zoning Practice resource on Food Trucks. In Michigan, numerous cities have already addressed food trucks by amending their ordinances, some of which include Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ferndale, Traverse City and Grand Blanc Township, and Michigan State University Extension educators can assist communities as they manage this placemaking decision.

For more information about food trucks and placemaking:

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Mar 18, 2014
Tim Lester

Booze-Fueled Mexican Street Food Spot Opens on Upper West Side

Orale and Savoury Opening on UWS

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UPPER WEST SIDE — A new Mexican restaurant aimed at a young, boozy crowd opened Monday night on Amsterdam Avenue, replacing the more upscale Café Frida.

Orale Mexican Kitchen will serve “fun Mexican street food” along with dozens of specialty cocktails, including an all-you-can-drink weekend brunch, said co-owner Alex Mendelsohn. He partnered with restaurateur Louis Alvarez to open Orale’s second location, on Amsterdam Avenue at West 97th Street, after debuting the first together in Jersey City last April.

We are a little bit playful,” Mendelsohn said of Orale’s approach to food, which includes a Mexican take on macaroni and cheese called “the Gringo” and a massive taco called “the Machine” that includes pork belly, roasted bone marrow and cabbage.

The Beyond Restaurants Group owns both Orale and Cafe Frida, which has another neighborhood location on Columbus Avenue at West 77th Street.

We wanted to put in a younger and a bit more hip restaurant for the growing area, especially being near Columbia. We wanted to hone in on that,” Mendelsohn explained.

To lure in students and young groups, Orale will offer a two-hour, $20 all-you-can-drink session for weekend brunches beginning in about two weeks, he said. Happy hour will feature $5 frozen margaritas and sangria, as well as $3 beers, he added. 

There’s a heavy focus on drinks, with a long list of cocktails and an entire section of classic American cocktails like the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac served with tequila. 

On weekends, the outdoor patio will feature a keg of beer as part of the all-you-can-drink deal, running from 11:30 a.m. up until dinnertime, Mendelsohn said.

Murals of graffiti art and a wall of colorful Mexican sodas contribute to the youthful, fun atmosphere, he added.  

The restaurant seats 60 people inside and 30 on the backyard patio, with lunch service starting in about a month. 

Other Openings in the Neighborhood:

The father-son duo behind the Amsterdam Avenue Indian restaurant Swagat are opening a fancier offshoot of their eatery this week on Columbus Avenue at West 83rd Street.

Savoury, which seats 75 people, is aiming to attract groups for dinner, said Avishek Sharma, 26, who will manage the restaurant with his father Lala Sharma, 49, who will oversee the kitchen. 

And while Swagat has a more traditional sensibility, with its emphasis on curries, Savoury has a broader range of dishes from across India featuring an array of fish and meat dishes, Avishek Sharma said. 

The Sharmas’ goal is to make their food flavorful and enjoyable, but also healthy, he added. 

“People have this perception that Indian food is greasy,” he said. “We’re trying to change that.” 

The restaurant, which used to be a Lenny’s Sub Shop, has a narrow front leading to a larger space at the back that Avishek Sharma hopes will work in their favor.

Like Swagat, he wants Savoury to feel warm and inviting for families, but also entice the handful of celebrities living nearby who frequent Swagat.

Savoury will open its doors Friday, serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. 

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Mar 17, 2014
Tim Lester

Hebden chef Jim Hirst cooking up new street food venture

Hebden chef Jim Hirst cooking up new street food venture

Jim Hirst, who is teaming up with Dan Palmer to launch the street food initiative

The latest buzz in foodie circles is “street food”, which is an exciting and affordable way to try different cuisines and quality food at low prices.

Hoping to tap into the market are Hebden chef and entrepreneur Jim Hirst and business partner Dan Palmer, who have launched a Grub and Grog Shop.

It is a street food business which specialises in soups, stews and hot meals from around the world, made using fresh local ingredients.

It is currently a part-time venture, with Jim and Dan also working as chefs elsewhere, but they are keen to grow the business into a full venture. To do this, they need “wheels” and their aim is to convert a Land Rover Defender into a mobile shop.

“There are so many exciting opportunities in Skipton and the Dales over the coming year, with agricultural shows, festivals and, of course, Le Grand Depart,” said Jim. “Being fully mobile will broaden our potential customer base immensely and will hopefully put us on the local map.”

To help them achieve their aim, the two men have signed up for a “crowdfunding” initiative with Kickstarter.

It is a new business model which aims to attract sponsors, each of whom takes a small stake in a business idea while contributing towards an online funding target.

In return, rather than getting a monetary stake in the business, sponsors receive rewards. Some of Jim and Dan’s rewards include cookery lessons and personalised meals for ten.

“We have 30 days to raise the money with Kickstarter. We are really hoping our campaign will touch a chord with people,” said Jim.


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Mar 17, 2014
Tim Lester

Food Trucks: Coming (Back) To A Street Near You?

According to Smith, leaders hope to expand the program to a number of city parks during Friday nights this spring and summer. Those include: Historic Fourth Ward Park, Candler Park, Perkerson Park, Center Hill Park, East Lake Park and John A. White Park.

Under the new program, the city would cap the number of parking spaces at 18 at any given time, available to vendors on a first-come, first-served basis, Smith writes. Those spaces would be available from 7 a.m. to midnight. The program would be something of an about-face for the city, which was shutting down food-truck operations in Virginia-Highland and even the Atlanta Food Truck Park in 2012, citing licensing issues. Come to think of it, the Inman Park food truck lot didn’t last long, either.

· Is Public Right-of-Way Vending Coming to Atlanta? [ATL Street Food Coalition]
· Atlanta Police Raid … Food Trucks? [Curbed]

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Mar 14, 2014
Tim Lester

Trotter croquettes anyone? Street Food Cartel reveals latest menu

Trotter croquettes anyone? Street Food Cartel reveals latest menu

The culinary wizards at the Street Food Cartel are at it again this weekend. They’re at the Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross tomorrow night from 6pm.

They have just released the menu and it includes a few items that would make even Heston Blumenthal blush.

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