Browsing articles tagged with " food carts"
Nov 17, 2013
Kim Rivers

Escapes: SoCal food-truck legend makes Bay Area appearances


Chef sighting

The mere mention of Roy Choi’s Korean short rib tacos sends foodies drooling.

Earlier this month, Choi, the Southern California native credited with launching the mobile food revolution with his fleet of Kogi BBQ trucks, released a memoir published by Anthony Bourdain’s Ecco book imprint.

“L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” documents Choi’s nontraditional culinary journey. It’s peppered with 85 recipes that reflect each stage: Abalone porridge reminds him of childhood; ketchup fried rice comes from his drugged-out, bad-boy phase; seared scallops with chive beurre blanc harkens back to culinary school; and kimchi-and-pork-belly pupusas signal the start of his food truck career.

Northern Californians can get a taste of Choi’s style at a book signing at Oakland’s Hawker Fare restaurant (2300 Webster St.) from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Choi will also make an appearance at San Francisco’s Omnivore Books at 3885 Cesar Chavez St. for a talk at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Both events are free, and more info is at


Holiday cheer

What: Can’t wait until December for all the holiday hoopla? Get a sneak peek at Chico’s 36th annual Christmas Preview, where shops unveil festive decorations, carolers roam the streets and Santa

arrives by horse-drawn carriage.

When: 4-8 p.m. next Sunday

Where: Downtown surrounding Third and Broadway streets, Chico

Cost: Free



Model railroads

What: A series of special holiday shows give model train enthusiasts several chances to gawk at more than 4,300 feet of hand-laid track. The Diablo Valley Lines is one of the world’s largest and most mountainous model railroads.

When: 8-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek

Cost: Adults: $3. Seniors and children 6-12: $2



Bee-ing grateful

What: Michael Thiele teaches a class about bees that goes far beyond honey. In honor of upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, contemplate a bee colony’s social order and wisdom, and become thankful for bees.

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Healdsburg Shed, 25 North St., Healdsburg

Cost: Free



Nature’s gifts

What: The 29th annual Arboretum Gift and Wreath Sale features succulent planted art pieces and wreaths among other handcrafted items by local artists. Proceeds benefit the Arboretum’s educational programs at UC Santa Cruz.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday

Where: Norrie’s Gift and Garden Shop, 1156 High St., UC Santa Cruz

Cost: Free



Feeling crafty

What: The fourth annual Jingle Fest brings artists, designers and their wares directly to holiday shoppers. A free crafting station adds DIY ornaments to the mix.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Napredak Hall

Montague Expressway, San Jose

Cost: Free


– Janelle Bitker

Order Reprint

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Nov 17, 2013
Tim Lester

Piada Italian Street Food to open Friday; free food to first 100 customers

By Sue Botos

Rocky River

Some people say there is no such thing as a free lunch these days. But don’t tell that to the hardy folks who will be braving the early blast of winter and lining up for the chance at a free meal every day for a year when Piada Italian Street Food opens its doors on Friday.

The Columbus-based casual dining chain began the food frenzy last year, according to company officials, by offering the first 100 customers at a store’s grand opening a free entree every day for a year. According to reports, it’s not unusual for fans to camp out overnight in hopes of snagging a prize. Chris Doody, Piada owner, is the co-founder of the Brio and Bravo restaurant chain. He sold his share of these franchises in 2006, and launched Piada.

Piada’s website,, features a clock ticking down the days, hours and minutes until the opening of the Rocky River store, the chain’s 17th and the first on Cleveland’s West Side. A location in South Euclid opened last year.

According to the website, Piada is “a fast casual, authentic Italian eatery serving hand rolled Piadas, a type of Italian sandwich, pasta bowls and chopped salads.” The concept is similar to the Mexican-themed Chipotle, as diners watch workers assemble their orders. Entrees are personalized with a choice of grilled items, like steak, Italian sausage, chicken, sauces and fresh vegetables. New on the menu will be the Piada meatball pasta, a 6-ounce meatball atop angel hair pasta with pomodoro sauce and Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

If a diner is overwhelmed with choices, the website offers instructional videos, and orders can also be placed online. The average cost of a meal is about $9, and the Rocky River location at 19925 Center Ridge Road will be open daily from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Nov 17, 2013
Tim Lester

New England street food

Taking inspiration from street food cuisine offered around the world, New England chefs are going mobile. They are hitting the streets, creating modern, delicious snacks and meals to go.

“For diners, it offers a quick way to eat well,” says Mike Martini, former chef and co-owner of Newport Gourmet Food Tours. “For chefs, there’s no high overhead, no front-of-the-house hassles, and no more filtered feedback on their food. The customer is eating it right there in front of them.”

We’ve sleuthed out some of the best gourmet grabs in the region. (Check Facebook pages or websites to find out where they are located on any given day.)

Continue reading below


Pamela Wright for the Boston Globe

La Tour Eiffel truck, the mobile venture arm of popular Paris Creperie in Brookline, serves sweet and savory French pancakes.

“Oh my god,” the person in front of us groaned as she bit into her grilled cheese sandwich. “This is heavenly.” We had a similar reaction to Roxy’s ( cheesy concoctions. It’s hard to stray from the braised short ribs and melted fontina cheese squished between crispy hunks of bread ($5-$7). Don’t pass on the truffle fries.

One bite of Area Four’s ( hand-stretched, grilled, sourdough flatbread, stuffed with an inventive blend of ingredients, will change your definition of a sandwich. “Our food truck allows us to be playful,” says co-owner Michael Krupp. The custom-designed truck, outfitted with a grill and oven, serves a rotating lineup of four or five piadinas ($6.50-$8.50). Favorites include the Fish Chips with tuna salad, cheddar cheese, greens, and crunchy potato chips, and The Classic, with prosciutto di Parma, arugula, and a blend of fontina and house-made mozzarella.

It’s no wonder that Pennypackers ( snagged a Best of the Festival award at this year’s Food Truck Throwdown, pitting Boston against New York. The family-run business, with two food trucks (and a brick and mortar in the works), serves a variety of daily-changing, fresh-made soups and sandwiches. Their roasted, Italian-style, tender porchetta sandwich ($7) transports us back to Tuscany with every bite.

You can’t miss the bright orange La Tour Eiffel ( truck, the mobile arm of popular Paris Creperie in Brookline. And, you won’t soon forget their sweet and savory pancakes. There’s a build-your-own option: Pick a meat, choose your cheese, add some veggies. But we’re confident in the daily specials, say, a rosemary chicken crepe with warm brie, sauteed mushrooms and onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and slices of tender, roasted chicken ($7.95).

Husband and wife Patrick Lynch and Ali Fong head up Bon Me (, winning kudos and a loyal following (they have three trucks and a restaurant in Kendall Square) for their creative twist on the traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich ($6). Theirs starts with a toasted baguette, slathered with pickled carrots and daikon, pork pate, spicy mayo, cucumbers, red onion, and cilantro. You can add a filling from a slew of rotating options, such as miso-braised pulled pork, rosemary fennel chicken, and Asian spicy chickpea. There are also flavor-packed rice bowls and noodle salads.

Whenever we spot the colorful blue and yellow Mei Mei truck ( there’s usually a line, but the wait is worth it. The scallion pancake sandwich with pesto, cheese, and two soft poached eggs is popular ($7), but we love the well-seasoned beef dumplings (three for $7.50), which never disappoint.


This foodie city is chockablock with mobile eateries, and still Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ ( stands out, attracting a near cult following. The mother-son team serves authentic recipes including house-made kimchi, dumplings, steamed veggie pancakes, rice bowls, wraps, and sliders ($3-$7). We’re addicted to the pork kimchi ($3) heaped between two slices of sweet bread and the spicy Korean short ribs, drizzled in a unique pear-sesame oil and served in a hot wrap.

Let’s face it: Taco trucks are aplenty, but Poco Loco ( is among the best. Made-from-scratch fare, fresh ingredients, and cheap prices win us over every time. You can’t go wrong with the chorizo and potato taco ($2) or the PBJ burrito ($7) made with pork, black beans, jalapenos, and cheese, doused in a sweet-spicy BBQ sauce. Squirt a few drops of fresh lime and the flavors pop.

We weren’t overly excited when we heard the specialty at Rocket Fine Street Foods ( was sliders. Then we tried their locally-raised boar, mozzarella, and onion slider, and the sweet potato, black bean, rice, and corn slider. These were sliders at their finest ($3.50-$6.75). We haven’t tried the fried egg slider or the house-made mac and cheese, but we’ll be back.


Cast caution aside at the El Corazon food truck ( and go for the Sonoran hot dog, wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, cheese, guacamole, mustard, and aioli sauce ($3.50). There are tamales, burritos, and taquitos, too, and the Baja fish taco we tried on our second visit was perfect — a delicate, crispy fish filet paired with crunchy slaw.

We hunt down Wicked Good Truck ( for this: tender, fried chicken breast with a cornflake crust, drizzled with maple syrup and sandwiched between two fluffy Belgian waffles ($7).


One of our favorite eat-and-go trucks in the city is Hindquarter ( where the ever-changing menu is always a delightful surprise, from house-made duck mortadella to pork scallopini with turnip slaw, catfish Reuben sandwiches, house-smoked pastrami on pretzel rolls, braised chicken tortas, and more — all fresh, creative, and delicious ($8-$10). Best place in town to get your barbecue fix is Southern Smoke (, with an eclectic lineup of daily specials that might include slow-smoked pork shoulder, Creole crab cakes, house-smoked turkey, bourbon-marinated brats, and grilled peanut butter and bacon sandwiches ($6-$8). Just remembering our last meal here — a tortilla stuffed with slow-simmered, smoked brisket, soft caramelized onions and peppers, and creamy, rich mac and cheese — gets us thinking about a road trip.

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Nov 16, 2013
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Diaries Vol. 35: Lucky Girl Café

Food Truck Diaries Vol. 35: Lucky Girl Café

“They call you lady luck..”



on Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I have a problem: I’m obsessed with food trucks. 

Last night I went on my nightly walk around my neighbourhood and ended up at Tap Bottle. There’s always a different food truck parked out front, and the Lucky Girl Café caught my eye. I was staring at the well designed dry erase board and felt completely overwhelmed with the six choices I have never tried before. One of the truck cooks was standing behind me talking to someone they seem familiar with. The gentleman asked the cook what he would suggest and he replied, “I always suggest ‘The Original’ to adventurous.”

click to enlarge

  • Photo by Henry Barajas
  • “The city doesn’t know what to do with us,” Lucky Lady chef and co-owner’s comments about how rapid and uncharted the food truck industry is.

So I ordered the Original Lucky Bun and entered Tap Bottle to enjoy a glass of Border Land’s Las Almas. Then my food arrived. I lifted the burger and the aiolis—ginger and Thai chili drip= from the red meat on to my paper plate and fingers. They gave me the works. The burger was full of  fresh herbs, pickled carrots, jicama, cucumber slices and sweet onion. I’m glad that I picked the Asian Slaw over the chips because it was such a refreshing, crisp snack.

After completing my meal, I had to introduce myself and get to know the people that crafted my dinner. Ian Hodges and his mother Nancy Lynn Bright were the cooks manning the truck that night. They just started their family owned business in June.They hope to establish the brand and move to a brick and mortar. They spend most of their days trying to find a parking space in the downtown/Fourth Avenue area or teaming up with local businesses to help each other out.

click to enlarge

  • Photo swiped from the Lucky Lady Café Facebook Page
  • The Original Lucky Bun

Bright shared a touching story behind their signature dish. I’m glad she published it on her website because my retelling wouldn’t do it justice:

My daughter-in-law, Mary, is Vietnamese and Lao and we have a shared love of writing and cooking. A number of years ago she asked me to read a short story she was working on. In the story the central character is an Asian girl named Kat. Kat works for her single father at his restaurant, a Chinese restaurant/truck stop, which is famous for his hamburger. The restaurant is named Lucky’s and the short story is titled Lucky Girl.

As I read the recipe in the story I asked Mary, “is this a recipe you use?” She said she just made it up but had never tried it. So we did, and after some tinkering with the ingredients and processes, and perfecting the presentation, the Lucky Bun was born and Lucky Girl Café was created.

The girl in the logo then is a symbol of our family and our flagship sandwich. It is the blending of cultures, as are Mary and Skye’s two little daughters . . . our lucky buns!

I suggest that you don’t be shy and go up to the Lucky Lady and ask for her lucky buns. You won’t regret it. Click here to visit their Facebook page to find their location schedule.

Tags: , , , , ,

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Nov 16, 2013
Jim Benson

Portland food cart to feature Echo canola oil

Echo canola oil

Echo canola oil

Kent Madison of Family Generation Foods demonsrates the fully automated system that processes rapeseed into canola oil at the company’s facility outside Echo.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 9:43 pm

Updated: 9:45 pm, Fri Nov 15, 2013.

Portland food cart to feature Echo canola oil

By Colin Murphey
Hermiston Herald

The Hermiston Herald


Hungry mouths in Portland could be salivating over a new product from Umatilla County in the coming months as a popular late-night destination in the city tries a new brand of canola oil from a farm near Echo.

Kent and Laura Madison of Family Generation Foods will have their new brand of canola oil put to the test next week during a tasting sponsored by Oregon Oils, a recycling firm that promotes local products.

© 2013 Hermiston Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Friday, November 15, 2013 9:43 pm.

Updated: 9:45 pm.

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Nov 16, 2013
Tim Lester

Piada Italian Street Food Opening In Troy Nov. 22

A new, healthy, made-to-order food concept is coming Michigan thanks to successful Ohio restaurateur Chris Doody. Piada Italian Street Food will premiere its thin crust bread that is hand-rolled with premium ingredients at its newest location on Friday, Nov. 22 at 2038 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy.

Piada Troy is a new genre of fresh fare with Northern Italian roots. It is quickly rising in popularity in the Midwest and hailed as a “Hot Concept” by Nation’s Restaurant News. At the counter of Piada Troy, guests choose the creation of their dish step-by-step. The price of the average meal is $9 and the order is typically completed within 60 seconds.

Guests choose from three entrees:

·      The Piada – It begins with a stone-baked Italian crust dough made from organic and natural flours and extra virgin olive oil. Then, it is filled with high-quality ingredients and from-scratch sauces of the guests’ choice

·      A custom-created chopped salad

·      A personal pasta bowl

Guests customize their entrée selections with items such as steak, Italian sausage or salmon; sauces including Pomodoro, Alfredo and pesto; a selection of sautéed and fresh vegetables; and salad toppings of cheese, pancetta and much more.

A long-standing passion for Italian food led Doody to the streets of Italy and back to create the one-of-a-kind Italian dining spot. In just three short years, Piada has grown from its first location in Columbus to a burgeoning restaurant company with eight locations throughout Ohio and one in Indiana. The meals appeal to a broad range of time-challenged, value-minded, and health-conscious consumers.

“We feel that despite their hectic lifestyles, our guests shouldn’t have to sacrifice freshness, quality and ambiance for speed or value,” says Doody, co-founder of the Bravo and Brio restaurant chains.

The interior design is a blend of white subway tiles, Carrara marble, brushed aluminum, and painted brick with warm, custom hewn-wood furniture and stained concrete floors. The restaurant’s sophisticated, contemporary European design is a dramatic departure from the typical old-world Italian décor. The approximate 3,000 square-foot restaurant will seat 69 people inside, and will employee of staff of about 40.

Piada Troy also is introducing a new Chef’s Menu highlighting items such as “The Piada Meatball Pasta” which features The Piada Meatball — a 6 ounce meatball made with ground beef, ricotta, fresh herbs and spices — placed on a bed of angel hair pasta, covered with Pomodoro sauce and topped with Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.

Street side items include Piada sticks in choices of Parmigiano-Reggiano, pepperoni or artichoke plus dipping sauce; calamari; and lobster bisque and tomato basil soups. Beverages include Italian sodas, teas, soft drinks and bottled water.

The restaurant, a popular spot for both lunch and dinner, attracts a broad range of customers, from the food savvy Gen X and Millennial to families with young children, baby boomers and business people who enjoy locally sourced, fast, healthy, flavorful meals.

Piada Troy will be open from 10:45 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.

Piada is a Columbus-based restaurant founded by Chris Doody where at the counter, guests choose the ingredients of their Italian street food meals step-by-step. Named a “Hot Concept” by “Nation’s Restaurant News,” the Piada starts with a thin crust Italian dough baked on a stone-grill and is then filled with high-quality ingredients. There are 14 Piada restaurants in Ohio including Beaver Creek, Bexley, Canton, Centerville, Dublin Avery, Dublin Sawmill, Easton, Gahanna, Hilliard, Hyde Part, Kettering, South Euclid, Upper Arlington and Worthington with an additional location in Carmel, Indiana. Locations coming soon include Beachwood, Mason and Rocky River, Ohio and Troy and Shelby Township, Michigan.  Hours at all locations are 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Visit for menu and further information.

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Nov 16, 2013
Tim Lester

Asia’s greatest street food city? – CNN

It’s 8:30 a.m. 

I’m facing down an incredible breakfast buffet at one of the hottest luxury hotels in George Town, Penang — the Eastern Oriental.

Cheese, pastries, curries, French toast, beef sausage, dim sum, fresh fruit.

The problem is, I don’t want any of it.

I’m preoccupied with what’s waiting for me outside — some of the finest street food in Asia.

Eater’s paradise

Shophouses built from the early 20th century have been carefully preserved and most are still run by relatives of the founders.Penang food is a mix of traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes, as well as fusion cuisines such as Baba Nyonya, or Peranakan, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.

All of it can be found in hawker centers and shop houses throughout George Town.

Combine this with the city’s collection of historic buildings in various styles, from old English colonial mansions to classical Chinese shophouses and Islamic mosques, and you have a city made for walking and eating. 

My first meal in the city is a plate of lamb rendang, a traditional Malaysian curry made with coconut milk and spices, slowly simmered to allow the meat to absorb the flavors.

From that moment, I’m like a kid seeking out a sugar rush. 

Stomach space becomes precious. I obsess over where and when I’ll have my next meal.

My mission: to enjoy as many of the island’s famed dishes as possible in three days.

More on CNN: 10 best islands for a Malaysia holiday 

What makes Penang special?  

Nasi kandar restaurants are extremely popular curry shops. Most are open 24 hours and run by Indian Muslims. Penang-born Malaysian chef and restaurateur Norman Musa has written several books on Malaysian cuisine and hosted his own cooking show. 

He’s considered an ambassador of his country’s food, which he promotes through overseas food festivals and his UK-based restaurants in York and Manchester, called Ning.

“I agree 101% that Penang is the food capital of Malaysia,” he tells me.

Musa says it’s not just the food that makes Penang incredible, but the atmosphere. 

“Watch the food being cooked on the streets, the buzz, the smell, the sounds,” he raves. “That’s what you get in Penang. You can’t get that anywhere else in Malaysia. You don’t get the authenticity.” 

Penang-based Wall Street Journal street food columnist Robyn Eckhardt, who’s working on her first cookbook, explains what makes Penang’s food scene stand out from its Malaysian counterparts.

Char koay teow, a Penang must-try according to well-fed experts.

“This is a place where old trades still thrive – sign-making, rattan weaving, tin smithing, paper-effigy making, incense making.

“There are still craftsmen and artisans here who do work not to titillate tourists, but for the locals who create the demand for their work. Things are still done by hand, stocks are still made with chicken and seafood.

“There’s an asam laksa vendor who is boning anchovies by hand at his stall to place on top of his noodles!”

This “small-batch” culture carries over into street food, she says, noting that ingredients still produced on Penang, such as shrimp paste and soy sauce, “are made the old-fashioned way in barrels that ferment in the sun.”

More on CNN: Cameron Highlands: Malaysia’s enduring ‘Little England’

Advice for first timers

With all its choices, George Town can be overwhelming for a newcomer with limited time and only one stomach.

Eckhardt has a number of tips.

First, she says, if you’re new to Penang/Malaysian food, try not to get caught up in what’s “best.” Don’t become obsessed with hitting the most popular stalls or “thinking that you need to go where Anthony Bourdain did.”

She also points out that “street food here is safe — I’ve never heard of anyone getting sick — and so is ice.” 

On coffee shops: “Go into a coffee shop knowing how to order and pay — drinks from the shop owner, dishes from the individual vendors, everyone is paid separately. This will give you confidence.”  

A vendor cooks up a serving of Hokkien char, made with fried egg noodles and seafood. Hawker stalls are found in every corner of George Town. A grazing mentality is helpful.

“Many servings here are relatively small, which means you can try a lot of different dishes,” Eckhardt says. “And they’re inexpensive — so don’t feel obligated to finish everything.”

Also, be on the lookout for holes-in-the-wall.

Eckhardt even touches on the very issue I’d been flummoxed by. The dreaded hotel buffet.

“Get out of bed in the morning and skip your hotel breakfast,” she says. “Start walking.” 

Eckhardt says there’s plenty of great food to be had in the morning, and it’s worth keeping in mind that some dishes are more readily available at certain times of day than others.

“Asam laksa, for instance, comes out around 2 p.m. and stays around till 5 p.m. or so; it’s seen as more of a snack than a lunch or breakfast.” 

Eckhardt’s don’t miss dishes: Char koay teow, asam laksa, nasi kandar, thosai and/or roti (savory, it’s not served sweet as in Thailand), lor bak and koay teow th’ng. 

A few of Musa’s Malaysian favorites: Nasi lemak, beef rending, char koay teow, roti canai. 

You can find most of the above dishes on this list of Malaysia’s 40 top foods

More on CNN: Malaysia travel: 10 things to know before you go

Food tours and cooking classes

Sambal udang is a Peranakan dish created by descendants of 15th- and 16th-century Chinese immigrants.

For something personalized, Eckhardt offers private tours, which need to be booked at least five weeks in advance.

Her most popular excursion is on foot and hits George Town’s culinary highlights, taking two to three hours. Visit her website for more info. 

Another option is Penang Culinary Tour, which offers customized itineraries. Options include visits to a local wet market, hawker food tastings, Nyonya private dining and stops at heritage coffee shops, a traditional soy sauce factory and belacan (shrimp paste) factory.

To learn how to cook some of Penang’s most popular dishes, Nazlina Spice Station offers regular classes in a small shop house in central George Town. 

Sessions include a visit to nearby markets and last three to five hours.

Owner Nazlina (highly recommended by Musa) also does private dinners for two or more, by reservation only. Her website has information on days/times/menus.

More on CNN: Asia’s best street food cities

CNN Travel’s series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries and regions we profile. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reports. Read the policy.

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Nov 15, 2013
Kim Rivers

The week in Austin food news: happy hour offerings, a food truck preps to park …

Editor’s note: We are pleased to present the first installment of a new weekly column offering up the best, quirkiest and most interesting things in Austin food and restaurant news. Check back every Friday for a new roundup.

As you can imagine, our city is quite the breeding ground for anything and everything food, so we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with all the excitement going on around town.

Here’s what you need to know this week in the world of Austin fare:

All hail the sousTime magazine gave a shout out to qui sous chef Jorge Hernandez in the recent Gods of Food issue. While Hernandez is a welcome addition to the prestigious chef family tree, the national magazine is getting a lot of backlash for hardly mentioning any female chefs in the feature. Where’s Sonya Cote when you need her?

Farewell kids’ meals? – According to KEYE, Austin City Council is considering a resolution that would restrict fast-food restaurants from inhabiting spaces that are too close to child-centric areas. The resolution is being considered as a way to combat childhood obesity. Should the resolution pass, it would restrict fast-food restaurants from operating in areas that are close to schools, municipal parks, child care centers and libraries. Not surprisingly, many locals are telling their government officials to mind their own plates.

A lesson in culinary history – Austin author Melanie Haupt has put together a new book that chronicles the history of our city’s dynamic, evolving culinary scene: Historic Austin Restaurants: Capital Cuisine Through the Generations. The new book begins its journey in the mid-1800s and takes readers through decades of Austin food history while highlighting such favorites as Kerbey Lane Cafe and The Driskill Hotel.

Food on display – The Houston Center for Photography is featuring a special food exhibition called “See Food: Contemporary Photography and the Ways We Eat” from November 22 – January 12. The photographs study food and its overall cultural relevance. Notable Austin food photographer Jody Horton is showcasing his acclaimed images alongside well-known photographers from San Antonio, Houston, and other food-centric cities. In other words, this exhibit is worth the three-hour drive.

A happy hour not to miss – The newly opened Arro is hosting a new booze/food daily special called Cinq à Sept (literally meaning 5 to 7). The new happy hour features $5 and $7 food and drink specials from 5 pm – 7 pm during the week. Menu options include a charcuterie spread for $7 and lamb ribs with white beans for $5. Um, is it 5 pm yet?

Oh pie, oh my! - Jodi Elliott, pastry chef and co-owner of Foreign Domestic and the soon-to-be Bribery, is taking orders for fall pies until November 22. Each of the homemade pastries costs $30 and serves up to eight guests. The three flavors available include maple pecan chocolate custard pie with salted caramel sauce, buttermilk pie with cinnamon apples and cider sauce and pumpkin sweet potato pie with marshmallow gingersnap topping and butterscotch sauce. To place an order for any of these delicious treats, visit the Foreign Domestic website.

There’s more – Also, if you haven’t joined Foreign Domestic’s Indie Chefs Week email subscriber list, you should do so right away. Pre-sale tickets for the five-day January dinner series went on sale November 14 to email subscribers only. In addition to an exclusive evening for Austin chefs, the feasts feature an array of culinary talent from across the U.S. and Canada. Visit the Indie Chefs Week website to learn more about tickets and participating chefs.

Food truck parks it - The Peached Tortilla is hosting its Argus Cidery pop-up dinner on November 15 at 7 pm. The four-course meal is a preview of the popular food truck’s upcoming brick-and-mortar location.

Barbecue shuffle – The La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana” trailer is moving to a new location on East 6th and Waller Streets behind the Uptown Sports Bar. The popular barbecue trailer will finish out sales this month in its South First Street location and then close to reopen on December 4 in East Austin.

Chef auctionEdible Austin is hosting a live auction at The Allan House on Thursday, November 21 to benefit the Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots. The fundraiser commences at 6 pm with libations and bites followed by a live auction at 7 pm. Guests can bid on an array of dining packages prepared by such chefs as Paul Qui of qui, Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine, David Bull of Congress, Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop in Houston, Tatsu Aikawa Tako Matsumoto of Ramen Tatsu-Ya and more. Last year, the quarterly publication raised more than $30,000 for local non-profits. To purchase tickets to the event, visit Edible Austin.

New in Town – The first-ever Austin Meatball Festival launches next Saturday, November 23 at Winflo Osteria. A handful of the restaurant participants include Mulberry, Max’s Wine Dive and Benji’s Cantina, among others. To purchase tickets to the weekend event, visit the Meatball Festival website.

That’s all for this week, folks. ‘Til next time: eat, drink and be merry.

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Nov 15, 2013
Kim Rivers

Want to run a food truck? Can’t do much better than Tampa

TAMPA – Tampa made food truck history last August by assembling the most vendors in one spot ever.. 99 trucks at the Florida State Fairgrounds.   

Now, food trucks can turn up anywhere, from the streets of Downtown to the garage at Tampa General.  The lunch crowd loves  them.

“It’s different than what we usually get in the cafeteria. It’s nice to have some variety” said Lisa Biss, a TGH employee on her lunch break.

The rolling restaurateurs like Scott Brown of “Dude and his Food”,  by and large love the lifestyle.

“I’ve been a chef my whole life. I just wanted the independence. I was tired of working for someone else” said Brown.

Now on the front page of trade publication, ‘Mobile Cuisine’ we learn that Tampa ranks second only behind San Antonio, Texas as the best city to open a food truck.

It seemed destined to happen.  Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has long championed the food trucks as a way to enliven the sometimes moribund downtown.

And though there’s been some friction between brick and mortar restaurants and lower overhead trucks, Tampa Bay Business Journal writer, Chris Wilkerson says Bay Area cities have been supportive of the food truck trend.

“The ones around here have had laws that are favorable to food trucks. Their licensing costs tend to be a little lower and that’s what this website found about Tampa that made it higher in the ranking” said Wilkerson.

‘La Petite France’ owner, Glenn Cryer believes there’s room for more food trucks. 

But newcomers should be prepared to work.

“It’s a hard job. I wake up at 3:30 in the morning to make everything fresh and everything good.”

 Other key factors that put Tampa near the top of the “Mobile Cuisine” ranking? The weather and a population of adventurous diners.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Nov 15, 2013
Kim Rivers

NYC Food Truck Lunch: Thanksgiving Sandwich From Mexicue At Broadway Bites

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Even though we heard about Broadway Bites a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t get a chance to check it out until this week. Broadway Bites is set up between Broadway 6th Ave, running from 32nd-33rd St.

A lot of the same vendors from Madison Square Eats are here including favorites like Roberta’s, Asia Dog, Sigmund’s, Bar Suzette and a bunch more.

What brought us here was a chance to preview Thanksgiving, with Mexicue’s Thanksgiving Sandwich ($9).

Although we’re writing this up for our weekly food truck column, the Thanksgiving Sandwich is ironically not available at the Mexicue truck. It is available at their store located at 345 Seventh Ave (btw 29th-30th St), and of course, at Broadway Bites.

The Thanksgiving Sandwich starts with chipotle cheddar mashed potatoes on the bottom of the roll. They’re similar in color to mashed yams, but cheesier, with a little kick from the chipotle.

On top of the mashed was chorizo stuffing. Stuffing is not usually one of our favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal, but this was nice and herby…and it had chorizo!

The next level was where the house smoked turkey was found. We’re not talking thin slices of turkey breast, but several large chunks of smoked turkey. The smokiness was even discernable.

(credit: New York Street Food)

(credit: New York Street Food)

Our favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal (other than dessert) is cranberry sauce. At home, our cranberry sauce is generally heavy on clove and cinnamon, but Mexicue’s cranberry sauce was chili oriented. It’s not something we’ve tried before, but the chili cranberry sauce was damn good!

Mexicue’s Thanksgiving Sandwich was really delicious – a spicy Thanksgiving meal on a bun. Initially, we were wary of a sandwich with mashed potatoes and stuffing on a roll (among other things), but it worked out great.

The Broadway Bites market is open every day from 11am-9pm, through Sunday, November 24th. With their evening hours and location by Herald Square and Penn Station, you can get lunch, or a great dinner on your way home.

The complete list of Broadway Bites vendors can be found here. There are plenty of excellent ones to choose from, and you still have another 10 days to enjoy them.

(credit: New York Street Food)

(credit: New York Street Food)

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