Browsing articles tagged with " food carts"
Feb 14, 2014
Kim Rivers

Hula Girl Pops Up in Cleveland Park

hulagirlIf you can’t escape the snow to Hawaii, there’s always this: The Hula Girl food truck begins a pop-up at Cleveland Park’s Pulpo tonight.

Hula Girl chef/owner Mikala Brennan will serve up Hawaiian staples like Spam musubi and a poke of the day as starters. Plate lunches ($12-$15) include Kalua pork and cabbage, hula-hula chicken, and teriyaki plates with a choice of chicken, steak, or tofu. The plates come with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad or tossed salad. The menu will expand as the pop-up continues, but check out the opening menu below.

Bartender Tommy Magnanelli will feature Hawaiian cocktails like the Crispy Ginger with Gosling’s Black Rum, ginger syrup, ginger beer, and ginger chips as well as a passionfruit, jalapeño, and lime margarita with li hing mui (salty dried plum) and Hawaiian salt rim. Hawaiian beers and pure sugarcane sodas from Waialua Soda Works will also be available.

The restaurant itself has also been transformed with Hawaiian photos adorning the exposed brick walls, mid-century Pan Am artifacts, grass-skirted hula girls, vintage longboards, and more. Every table will have Spam containers to hold chopsticks and squeeze bottles with a variety of sauces.

The pop-up is slated to run four to six weeks and will be open for dinner and weekend brunch. After that, Puplo owner Dino Tapper, who also runs Fed Restaurant and Floriana, plans to revamp the space into a new yet-unnamed restaurant. Director of Operations Dave Hansen says they’re working on developing something that will incorporate “multiple elements and styles” under one roof. He’s been playing with menus ranging from international barbecue to “stylized street food” to “a revolving, tight yet highly stylized core menu that skirts close to a Paul Liebrandt inspired palette.”

Hansen says there’s no rush to open the new restaurant after the pop-up: “We’re chasing perfection.” In the meantime, they’ll be working to give Floriana a refresh. The Dupont restaurant recently hired chef Daniel Hlusak, a Roberto Donna protégé, and also plans to also refurbish the decor.

Hula Girl pop-up, 3407 Connecticut Ave. NW

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Feb 14, 2014
Kim Rivers

San Diego City Council to look into food truck regulations

SAN DIEGO – Proposed municipal code amendments that would clarify rules for the 78 food truck operators in the city of San Diego were forwarded out of committee Wednesday to the full City Council, but without a recommendation for passage.

Food truck vendors have been frustrated with code provisions that make it difficult to operate on public streets and illegal to conduct business on private property except in downtown — and that’s only if the property-owner obtains a conditional use permit. Such trucks have exploded in popularity due to improved menu quality and options.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria told 10News in a statement that city leaders gathered input from all parties involved and that he supports the changes.

A staff report to the council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee said the city’s limitations on sales in the public right-of-way “are not consistent with the current desired mobile food vending business model.”

The other problem has been how to resolve concerns by restaurant owners that nearby mobile purveyors of meals are cutting into business.

“It’s a tough one for me. Being a small business owner, I can see some of the merits on both sides,” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “It’s one of those tough decisions we have to make here.”

The proposed regulations would not only make it harder for customers to find their favorite foods, but could hurt business for truck owners like Christian Murcia.

“A lot of these guys have second jobs, working late at night and they’re supporting families, be it single mothers, single fathers, and they need the extra income and it’s really hurting them,” said Murcia, owner of Curbside Bites.

Some food truck operators have posted signs in their windows hoping their customers will help convince city leaders that the regulations are too strict.

Not everyone is against stricter rules for food trucks.

“It impacts us really, really bad; our sales went down 70 percent every Wednesday,” said Maria Weaver, manager of Sabrina Cafe Deli.

Weaver said they recently had to fire two employees because they’re losing customers to the mobile trucks.

“I understand everybody has to make a living but don’t go where [there are] already established businesses,” Weaver said.

Committee Chairwoman Lorie Zapf said there are a lot of good places for food trucks to conduct business, but brick-and-mortar restaurants have made huge investments and have to support employees.

“We’re talking about people’s lives and livelihoods,” Zapf said.

The committee members voted unanimously to have staff and the City Attorney’s Office fine-tune the proposals and bring them back to the full City Council at a later time.

The proposal seeks to create an entirely new land use category for food trucks that clarifies where they’re allowed to operate and which land use regulations apply, creating what city staff calls a “reasonable” approval process.

The trucks would be allowed to operate without a permit in industrial, commercial and high-density residential areas. The proposal would generally prohibit them from low-density residential neighborhoods, the restaurant-heavy Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy, streets near the beach and roadways close to the city’s three major universities.

They would generally be allowed on private property with a permit that would cost up to $935, which the staff report says is consistent with other cities.

Among other proposed regulations:

– the trucks would not be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, general merchandise or commercial services
– no equipment aside from refuse containers would be allowed outside the trucks
– operators would be required to collect litter within a 25-foot radius of the truck before changing locations
– no amplified music would be allowed
– pedestrian and vehicular traffic should not be impaired

Food trucks would not be allowed to operate between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, or 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday, within 500 feet of a residence. The regulations also set out how large the vehicles can be and how far away they need to park from intersections and schools.

Amanda Lee, of the city’s Development Services Department, said most of the prohibitions in the plan have exceptions. Also, an earlier proposal to keep food trucks a certain distance from restaurants was not included because it would not be consistent with state law.

Regulations would go into effect in most areas of the city after being adopted. However, the rules would not apply near the shoreline until the California Coastal Commission granted its approval, or near local airports until the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority weighed in.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Feb 14, 2014
Kim Rivers

NYC Food Truck Lunch: Tonkatsu Curry Rice From Domo Taco

This lunch you’re going to read about was another testament to the fact that you should stroll through our Mobile Munchies Twitter feed before heading out to lunch. You never know what Daily Specials food trucks will have.

Domo Taco generally  serves tacos, burritos and quesadillas with Japanese-influenced meats and sauces, but we read on Twitter that the special of the day was tonkatsu with curry rice for $8. They had chicken or pork. We chose pork, and eagerly headed back to our office.

For the uninitiated, tonkatsu is a pounded pork or chicken cutlet, kind of like a Japanese version of schnitzel.

Of course, the breading is different from schnitzel, with panko bread crumbs used as the coating in tonkatsu.

In this case, you can see they left the cutlet in the deep fryer a little too long. The breading was much darker than it should be. Tonkatsu should have more of a golden color.

(credit: New York Street Food)

(credit: New York Street Food)

The meat still tasted good, especially with the curry sauce, but less time in the deep fryer would have been better.

The yellow curry sauce was exactly what you would expect. It was thick, with a nice curry flavor, and was not spicy.

There was a little bit of a second sauce in the dish, which was darker brown, and had a slightly sweet, vinegary flavor. It worked well as an accent, and would have been too strong as the main sauce.

This was a more traditional Japanese dish than what the rest of their menu looks like, and we enjoyed it.

You can find Domo Taco on twitter Twitter here or on our Mobile Munchies Twitter feed. Their facebook is here.

(credit: New York Street Food)

(credit: New York Street Food)

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Feb 14, 2014
Jim Benson

Vancouver rolls out details on food cart changes

Plans to change up Vancouver’s food-cart system to crackdown on licence-lords renting out city permits for a profit, include limiting the number of locations each business can have.

Coun. Heather Deal said Thursday the changes could, for example, potentially limit the expansion of the successful Japadog business that now has three street-vending locations around the city — or any other business that has multiple street locations.

The proposed bylaw revision would mean businesses could have a maximum of four street-food-vending locations, with three of them allowed to be mobile.

Under the proposed changes, the city’s enforcement mechanisms will also be streamlined and renting or selling food-cart permits is prohibited.

Deal noted 17 locations around the city are currently empty — despite having permit holders for those spots.

She said those holders would be given a “limited time” to field their own businesses at the spots or they would come up for grabs for new applicants.

“In the case where somebody is (currently) subletting their permit, they’ll have an opportunity to open a cart on their own spot.”

Kaboom Box food cart owner Andy Fieldingis is permitted for two locations. He’s currently waiting to see how the changes might play out when council is asked to make a decision Feb. 19.

Coun. Kerry Jang said the city’s numbers show less than a third of the 110 stationary-cart licenses are being rented out.

“That’s why it’s a problem,” he said. “We’ll help those people who are … being gouged right now.”

Deal added halting the issuing of new permits would, however, continue to be in effect even after a bylaw revision is approved.

Japadog owner Noriki Tamura wasn’t immediately available for comment.







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Feb 14, 2014
Tim Lester

BEST OF THE WEST: Winter markets

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Street Food Market Exeter

The popular Street Food Market in Exeter’s Guildhall Shopping Centre is expanding as it begins its second year. Returning when the market reopens in March are James Strawbridge and his Posh Pasty Company; local companies Eat Like a Greek, Noodle Wagon, Hunters Brewery and Kenniford Farm, cooking pork and bacon rolls using meat from their free range RSPCA certificated pigs. Tasteful Tapas is run by an ex-Marine from Exmouth who learned how to cook perfect tapas and paella while advising the Spanish army and Exeter-based Dan’s Americano, using local ingredients to create American classics. New this year will be Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine.

Producer fairs,Crocadon Farm

Each month 30-50 stallholders display their produce at the heart of this 130-acre organic farm at St Mellion, 15 minutes from Plymouth. On offer are fresh local meats, fish, vegetables and sweet treats alongside a wide range of arts and craft producers. The cafe has cake and locally sourced refreshments beside the log burner. Free parking and free entry for the event which is held on the third Saturday of every month from 9am-3pm, which the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted is today. Crocadon is constantly evolving and on March 29, they will hold their first pig and poultry fair – a mixed market of livestock, all things pig and poultry related with local produce.

Good Food Market, Plymouth

The Royal William Yard in Plymouth is the ideal location for this monthly event. In days gone by this Grade I listed site was a victualling yard for the Navy, supplying the entire fleet and with its own slaughterhouse and brewery. In its new incarnation, it is home to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtsall’s River Cottage Canteen and a number of good restaurants. The fair is held on a green open space at the Yard on the first Sunday in every month, the next one being March 2, from 10am to 3pm. Those taking part include including River Cottage, the Red Earth Kitchen and Cornish with more than 30 other regular stallholders. After browsing the stalls you can eat at one of the nearby restaurants.

Farmers’ Market, Watergate Bay

The Extreme Academy car park, adjacent to Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay is the magnificent location for the Spring Farmers’ Market being held from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday, March 15. Join the restaurant’s local suppliers and growers to celebrate the start of the growing year showcasing everything from fresh fish to local meat, from store cupboard chutneys to artisan cheese and bread. Regulars will tell you about the popular chef’s demonstration kitchen where this spring you could see Paul Ainsworth from Number 6, in Padstow, Emily Scott at the Harbour Kitchen, Port Isaac, and Tom Hunter from the Scarlet Hotel at nearby Mawgan Porth.

Love, Food


The Cider Press Centre at Dartington is home to Cranks, established in London in 1961 as the country’s first vegetarian restaurant. Generations later it’s still going strong, making Dartington the ideal location for the regular Love Food event. Local producers – including Blueberry Brothers and Eastcott Vineyard – take part and there is live music on hand and food in Cranks and the Venus organic cafe and takeaway. Organised by the shops at Dartington, entry is free and the next event is on Saturday, February 23 between 10am and 4pm.

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Feb 14, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Friday: Roti, Doubles, and Shark in Trinidad & Tobago

But don’t be fooled. This is preciously what makes Trinidad Tobago a great, well-rounded destination. Trinidad still has plenty to offer tourists in the way of beaches and adventure travel, but its main draw is its unspoiled culture, as the island is about as authentic as they come thanks to the fact that it’s not dependent on tourism. During a recent visit, we fell for the local food — the street food — that goes down easy along the way.

Bake and Shark

Two words: Fried Shark. In the case you are skeptical of eating shark, consider what it would taste like fried. The place to have it is Maracas beach. If you don’t like the shark, the scenery will certainly help, and you’ll have no trouble making friends to clean your plate.


The Caribbean burrito! Roti refers specifically to the flat, flour tortilla-esk wrap, but it is also used to describe the dish in general. It’s filled with chicken, beef, goat, chick peas, curry, plantains, or whatever else the kitchen has laying around. The meat is usually cooked and left on the bone for flavoring, so be wary of your bites.

Buss Up Shut

Buss Up Shut is a dish where the roti “skin” is served separately from its fillings, pulled apart as if you were ripping up a shirt to make a scoop and dip situation. Oh, what’s in a name?


Thank the Lord for photographer Richard Cook, because we had a hard time capturing this snack in an appealing way. Doubles can be quite messy and unappealing to the untrained eye, but make no mistake: The curried chick peas, called channa, is worth seeking out. The small taco is referred to as “Doubles” because the chana is between 2 “barra” — the Trini name for fried flat bread. Some order a “triple,” but we recommend pacing yourself.

Tiny Crabs

These baby blues are endemic to Tobabo, and locals crack and eat them with their hands. Don’t get caught using a cracker. If so, you’ll miss out on one of the best parts: Licking the curry sauce from your fingers.

[Images: Will McGough/Richard Cook]

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Feb 14, 2014
Tim Lester

Indo-Pak expo: Ethnic clocks,Lahore street food rule on day 1


A gaint wooden square frame with hand-carved work and a clock in the middle remained the centre of attraction for the visitors at the Indo-Pak International Expo that began at Hotel Gulmor on Thursday.

A closer walk through the stall — Medieval India — showed how gracefully the clocks with pure historic and ethnic touch can give a new dimension to our daily activity of watching time multiple times a day.

Talking to Newsline, Sameer Bakshi, director of Medieval India, on their first visit to Ludhiana, said: “We have forgotten the importance of wall clocks with the advent of phones and laptops but we aim to re-define the experience of wall clocks. We have been manufacturing these ethnic clocks for 15 years and this visit to Ludhiana is the first one. We are manufacturing them in Jaipur.”

A clock with Buddha replication or zodiac signs carved out in copper, or the one with all ancient coins — every clock told a different story from history. “This clock is made of coins which are not available now like 1 paisa, 2 paisa, 5 paisa and annas. Similarly, every clock has something to do with history and all are hand-made,” said Bakshi, adding that “clocks range from Rs 800 to Rs 85,000 to suit every pocket”.

Another attraction was the street food from Lahore which also won an award at the Trade Fair held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Kashif Azam from Gawal Mandi, Lahore, said, “Our specialties are sheikh kabab, halwa puri and malai tikka. It is our ancestral business and we have also visited Amritsar, Delhi and Jalandhar. We are famous for street food of Pakistan.”

However, the low footfall on day 1 irked Pak traders. Imran, a cloth trader, said, “There has been a below average response and footfall is very low. We think that the event was not publicised properly and this will lead to huge losses for traders from Pak who have spent a lot to come here.”

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Feb 14, 2014
Tim Lester

MSU hosts 32nd International Street Food Bazaar Feb. 15

Preparing for the International Street Food Bazaar

Preparing for the International Street Food Bazaar

Students slice onions Thursday night in preparation for the 32nd annual International Street Food Bazaar this Saturday at Montana State University.

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:00 am

MSU hosts 32nd International Street Food Bazaar Feb. 15


Montana State University’s 32nd International Street Food Bazaar will be held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in MSU’s SUB Ballrooms.

More than 30 countries will be represented at the fair. MSU international students will prepare native foods, which will be available for purchase in a market-like atmosphere. Food costs will range from $1-$7 per serving.

International students will perform traditional music or dance in the Union Market.

Admission is free for MSU students with a CatCard, courtesy of Associated Students of MSU. Children under the age of 10 are also free. For others, admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students ages 10-18.

For more information, contact the Office of International Programs at 406-994-4031, or, or visit

© 2014 Bozeman Daily Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Friday, February 14, 2014 12:00 am

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Feb 13, 2014
Kim Rivers

Rolling with the good eats at food truck Friday in Ventura

Food Truck Friday  
(third Friday of every month)
Pacific View Mall parking lot, near Trader Joe’s
3301-1 E. Main St.
Price varies

With all the hype around food trucks, it’s hard not to be drawn to them, especially when there are a dozen to choose from in one setting. While quality food and great service in a sit-down restaurant really can’t be compared to what food trucks offer, the reality is, sometimes people just want a different type of venue. And so that is what I found at the Pacific View Mall in Ventura on the third Friday of the month (and every month). (The ongoing event is co-sponsored by the Midtown Ventura Community Council.)

The trucks were ready and open for business around 5:45 p.m., which may in fact be the best time to show up. The event doesn’t officially start until 6 p.m., but the lines grow fast. Picture it: a DJ blaring pop songs over the loud speakers, children boogieing in front of the DJ table, a woman painting faces, all surrounded by a dozen or so food vehicles, including normal trucks, a hearse full of desserts, a van or two and a trailer. A family-friendly event, to be sure, with only one drawback: If you want a beer garden, you won’t find it here. No alcohol onsite as far as my companion and I could tell.

Semi-overwhelmed by the options, we tried to stay away from trucks that were local to Ventura County for one reason — one of the VCReporter reviewers will probably try out a local truck at another location so we wanted to avoid being redundant. With that in mind, it was all in the name and the overall scene.

When it comes to plastic picnic tables and chairs, the word “slider” (mini-burgers) first springs to mind. From Slammin’ Sliders, which is based in Rosemead, we went with the spicy pulled pork and the Kobe beef bacon and white cheddar sliders. Note: The chefs of Slammin’ Sliders take special pride in the quality of the beef they serve, listing several facts about the quality of life and origin of the delicious meat. It only took about a minute or two for my companion to eat his two Kobe beef sliders — cooked perfectly, nice and juicy with smoky bacon and mild tangy cheese, served on soft and sweet Hawaiian bread. My friend actually started to wax nostalgic for days of his youth when he used to eat Hawaiian bread by the package. I had the spicy pulled-pork slider, an indulgent little treat, the pork saturated in semi-spicy barbecue sauce balanced out with crunchy julienned carrots and cabbage and again, served on that sweet Hawaiian bread — so good I could’ve considered it dessert.

Off to the next. Because my companion was griping that hot dogs have never sat so well with him, the Greasy Weiner food truck was knocked out of the running. I wasn’t feeling The Grilled Cheese Truck — options such as mac and cheese stuffed in a grilled cheese sandwich just wasn’t appealing, though, judging by the line, I was in the minority. We opted for the truck with the longest line: Cousins Maine Lobster out of L.A. Maybe just the word “lobster” conjures up images of the elite and fine dining and by default makes the truck attractive. Or maybe it’s just that good. Whatever the case may be, it certainly drew a crowd, even with its basic menu featuring lobster rolls (hot and cold), lobster tacos, lobster bisque, lobster tail and a few others, such as shrimp tacos and clam chowder.

After a half-hour in line (attendees are particularly friendly so it doesn’t feel that long), we placed our order for a hot lobster roll and lobster tacos. A few minutes later, we got our order and parked it. The hot lobster roll is deliciously basic — big chunks of slightly sweet, chewy yet flaky lobster served on buttered and toasted soft rolls. The tacos were a little underwhelming. We knew there was lobster but it certainly wasn’t a stand out. The pico de gallo, heavy on the tomatoes, and the cilantro lime salsa may just have been too much for the lobster to contend with. Nevertheless, we happily scarfed it down.

The only notable drawback is that with each vendor, there isn’t a big portion of food per dish. I didn’t see any sides with the dishes and on average we spent about $8 per dish; so for the price, we weren’t necessarily feeling that our hunger was satisfied. I suppose there’s a cost to pay when food truck owners refer to themselves as “gourmet.” I feel certain, though, that where one vendor may have failed to satisfy in one way or another, surely another truck will succeed. And so, for those who are looking for that unique night out with the family, this event has something for everyone.

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