Browsing articles tagged with " food carts"
Aug 28, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck event to rock, roll at Camarillo Ranch House

CAMARILLO, Calif. – The grounds of the historic Camarillo Ranch House will be the setting for Ventura County’s newest food truck event when it debuts this week.

The Throwback Thursdays Food Truck Fest from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday will include appearances by local trucks Scratch, Kona Ice, Sweet Arleen’s and The Underground Gourmet Food Truck.

Also participating will be Cousins Maine Lobster, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Steamy Bun Truck and Tokyo Doggie Style, a Los Angeles-based truck that specializes in grilled-meat rice bowls, lychee lemonade and milk teas with boba.

The monthly gathering is designed to help raise funds for the Camarillo Ranch Foundation and its programs. It also is meant to draw attention to the landmark property, which is only partially visible from Highway 101.

“We’ve found that, unless they’ve been here for a wedding or an event like Taste of Camarillo, a lot of people don’t realize the Camarillo Ranch House is here,” said Marissa Lopez, associate director of the foundation.

Those attending the event are urged to bring blankets and folding chairs for seating on the lawn in front of the house, a Queen Anne-style Victorian built in 1892.

Guided tours of the house will be available. DJ Jerry Gutierrez of GTZ Entertainment will provide lighting in addition to playing music from the 1960s and ’70s, adding to the “throwback” theme.

Beverage selections will include beer and wine from Surf Brewery of Ventura and Magnavino Cellars and Herzog Wine Cellars, both of Oxnard.

The event typically will take place on the final Thursday of the month, although it will shift to avoid holidays in November and December, Lopez said.

Seating will move to the heated barn on the property in those months when the weather turns chilly.

The Camarillo Ranch House is at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road. For information, call 389-8182 or go to website http://bit.ly/V82fmf.

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Aug 28, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck event to rock, roll at Camarillo Ranch House

CAMARILLO, Calif. – The grounds of the historic Camarillo Ranch House will be the setting for Ventura County’s newest food truck event when it debuts this week.

The Throwback Thursdays Food Truck Fest from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday will include appearances by local trucks Scratch, Kona Ice, Sweet Arleen’s and The Underground Gourmet Food Truck.

Also participating will be Cousins Maine Lobster, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Steamy Bun Truck and Tokyo Doggie Style, a Los Angeles-based truck that specializes in grilled-meat rice bowls, lychee lemonade and milk teas with boba.

The monthly gathering is designed to help raise funds for the Camarillo Ranch Foundation and its programs. It also is meant to draw attention to the landmark property, which is only partially visible from Highway 101.

“We’ve found that, unless they’ve been here for a wedding or an event like Taste of Camarillo, a lot of people don’t realize the Camarillo Ranch House is here,” said Marissa Lopez, associate director of the foundation.

Those attending the event are urged to bring blankets and folding chairs for seating on the lawn in front of the house, a Queen Anne-style Victorian built in 1892.

Guided tours of the house will be available. DJ Jerry Gutierrez of GTZ Entertainment will provide lighting in addition to playing music from the 1960s and ’70s, adding to the “throwback” theme.

Beverage selections will include beer and wine from Surf Brewery of Ventura and Magnavino Cellars and Herzog Wine Cellars, both of Oxnard.

The event typically will take place on the final Thursday of the month, although it will shift to avoid holidays in November and December, Lopez said.

Seating will move to the heated barn on the property in those months when the weather turns chilly.

The Camarillo Ranch House is at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road. For information, call 389-8182 or go to website http://bit.ly/V82fmf.

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Aug 27, 2014
Jim Benson

Latin American appetizers star at El Salvadoreno’s food cart

On a recent Saturday morning — before a loop through the Overland Park Farmers Market to buy heirloom tomatoes and kombucha from the Broadmoor Technical Center and cranberry-walnut bread from Ibis Bakery — I stopped to browse the items listed on a chalkboard in front of El Salvadoreño’s new food cart.

The two pupusa or two pastel for $5 deal immediately caught my eye. These are the same trusty Latin American appetizers that you can order at the restaurant, but starting this summer they’re also being served from a California-style mobile food cart that features a sizzling flat-top grill, a deep fryer, steam tables and a hand-washing station.

The mobile vending setup supplements the walk-in traffic to the quaint cafe, which has offered a long picture menu of appetizers, traditional entrees and desserts in a charming space with a distinctly tropical vibe since it opened across the street from the market back in 2011.

Ninety-six percent of those who voted on Urbanspoon gave the restaurant a thumbs up, and it has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. But why wait for people to walk through your doors to make them converts when you can bring your food to the streets?

“We’re reaching out to those who are apprehensive that all Latin American food is Mexican,” owner Benjamin Sol says. “It gives us a chance to explain our own culture.”

For example, an empanada becomes a pastel. Other items, like a pupusa, are unique to El Salvador. At any rate, combine these appetizers in twos and threes, and it’s easy to create a sort of Latin American Lunchable.

I highly recommend starting with a pupusa: the thick, handmade and griddled corn tortilla is filled with your choice of cheese, beans, shredded pork or loroco, an edible flower commonly eaten in El Salvador and similar to broccoli rabe. The pupusa comes with a side of slightly spicy cabbage slaw and a generous squirt bottle of salsa roja, a cooked tomato-based sauce.

Add another pupusa to arrive at your Five Buck Lunch, or change it up with a filled pastel, in this case a conical-shaped breaded and fried snack stuffed with ground beef or a filling of freshly shredded zucchini and carrots.

Starting in the fall, look for fried yuca, a starchy tuber similar to a potato, for $5. Meanwhile, two chicken tamales wrapped in banana leaves go for $6. A traditional El Salvadoran breakfast (an egg, pureed beans, a tortilla, sweet plaintains and crema) or an 8-ounce carne asada with sides are a bump up to $8 (add an egg for another dollar). All items are gluten-free.

You can also get sweet plantains stuffed with a creamy custard then rolled in sugar for $3.50 an order.

You can take your food to go or grab a packet of plasticware and eat lunch at a nearby picnic table in the market courtyard or a table behind the wagon. That’s where I bumped into Elliot, a talkative and entertaining 5-year-old dressed in Thomas the Tank Engine bathing trunks who was eating his first-ever tamale with a spoon while playing with the piece of banana leaf folded into the foil packet it came wrapped in.

“These are good,” Elliot told me.

But soon he was ready to head for a dip in the fountains while listening to strains of Dixieland from a local band.

El Salvadoreño

7926 Santa Fe Drive

Overland Park

913-871-6165

Hours: Cart is open 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays until Nov. 22 and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Wednesday (Sept. 3 and 17) at the Overland Park Farmers Market.

Parking: Street parking

Don’t-miss dish: Pupusas and pastels, two for $5.

Seating: Take your food to go, or eat in the market courtyard.

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Aug 27, 2014
Kim Rivers

New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens: The pre-game food truck lineup at … – The Times-Picayune

You’ll need energy on Thursday (Aug. 28) to cheer on the the New Orleans Saints against the Baltimore Ravens in the second preseason home game. So stop by the local food trucks, which again will again be set up in Champions Square. The lineup of trucks is the same as the first preseason game on Aug. 15. Superdome officials, however, said they’ll be subbing in other trucks during the regular season.

Before the game, Rebirth Brass Band will play a free concert at Champions Square.

Champions Square opens at 5 p.m. Kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The renovated Club XLIV at Champions Square will also open for the first time this season. Entry to the air conditioned lounge costs $10, which includes a free drink.

Here are the food trucks you’ll find this week out at Champions Square:

Food Drunk
Cuisine: Eats for the inebriated.
Sample menu items: Duck fat fries with rosemary sea salt; andouille sausage burger; barbecue and cheddar burger; chilled Gulf shrimp over tomato and corn salad; crab and crawfish mac and cheese.

Frencheeze
Cuisine: Creative sandwiches with melted cheese.
Sample menu items: The Percival with goat cheese, raspberry preserves and hoisin-glazed brisket; The Gary with goat cheese, grape jelly and bacon on a croissant; slider with hoisin, pickled onions, cheddar cheese and sriracha mayonnaise.

The Holy Grill
Cuisine: Middle Eastern with a twist.
Sample items: Constantine’s Cuban melt with “JoJo” fries; Cairo’s gyro burrito with steak, chicken or vegetables; vegetable platter with saffron rice; Bethlehem bread pudding.

Rotolo’s Pizzeria and Dixie Concession will also be selling food before the game.

***

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Aug 27, 2014
Kim Rivers

Revived Wigwam gift shop adds food truck, North Berkshire tourism info

NORTH ADAMS — After several years of dormancy, the Wigwam gift shop on the Mohawk Trail is back in action.

Local businessman Keith Bona has teamed up with property owners Roger and Colleen Hurst to reopen the popular tourist spot at the top of the Hairpin Turn along with a new addition — a food truck operated by Colleen Hurst.

The shop and eatery opened last Friday.

Along with the view, the operators hope the food truck — known as the Mountain Top Grill — and the gift shop will serve as an attraction to get folks to stop, get a snack, check out the shop, and think about stopping to see the attractions in the North Adams area.

According to Roger Hurst, who is retired from the security business, the couple are in the final stages of moving from their 18-year home in New Rochelle, N.Y., to the house adjacent to the shop, which overlooks the entire valley.

“It has great views, and it has the added advantage of having something to keep us busy,” he said.

He noted that a lot of people drive by their spot, and many of them stop just to see the view.

And a number of the folks who live on Florida Mountain have stopped in to welcome the Hursts to their new place.

“They’re happy to see somebody here again,” Roger Hurst said. “It’s been vacant for so long.”

The landmark viewing spot was built in 1914 along with the Mohawk Trail. The Wigwam site opened in 1930, at a time when motoring on the Mohawk Trail was popular.

The husband-wife team Hans-Werner and Inna Gertje owned the tourist site for nearly 30 years. They sold the property in 2005 for $425,000 to Stephen Andrews and his wife, Karen.

The Berkshire Natural Resources Council bought the property and about 730 acres of abutting land in 2009 for $470,000 to launch the Hoosac Range Trail for hikers.

In 2010, Nancy Fitzpatrick, owner of The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, bought the 3.88-acre site, which includes the house and gift shop, from the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for $275,000.

But plans for the site didn’t work out, so the Fitzpatricks sold the site to the Hursts earlier this year.

Bona, who is also partner and operator of the Berkshire Emporium on Main Street in North Adams, manages the shop.

“It’s a unique (business) relationship — we split the responsibilities and we split the profit,” he said.

He said the shop provides an opportunity for more than just selling some food and souvenirs — it’s a chance to educate some of the visitors about what they can see in the Berkshires.

“The majority of people are travelers stopping for the view, but they don’t know what they’re looking at,” Bona said. “What I’m hearing is that they don’t know what’s down the road and don’t plan to stop.”

But once they learn what’s down the hill — attractions like MASS MoCA, Mount Greylock and The Clark — “they can be pretty easily persuaded to change their route.”

He plans to mount more signage and a tourist’s guide map on the fencing along the ridge to educate more folks about what’s in store for them in the Berkshires. On the sign over the door, shoppers can see that the shop offers antiques, gifts, crafts and information.

Bona noted that more than 200 people stopped by on Saturday alone. They were coming from places like Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Sweden, Germany, England and Japan.

“It’s a great spot to grab tourists and draw them into North Adams,” Bona said. “And it’s absolutely a historic landmark, so I’m excited to be a part in getting it open.”

To reach Scott Stafford:
sstafford@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 663-3741, ext. 227.
On Twitter: @BESStafford

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Aug 27, 2014
Kim Rivers

Let There Be Bacon food truck from Cleveland moves into fourth place on ‘Great … – The Plain Dealer

The ‘Bacon’ has started to sizzle.

Cleveland’s food truck Let There Be Bacon moved from near elimination in the first episode to fourth place in Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” on Sunday. Jon Ashton, Dylan Doss and Matt Heyman are moving on to Austin, Texas for the third of eight shows (9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31), hoping to end up winners of a new truck and $50,000 in cash.

The rise in status had them singing – and Tweeting — a new tune Monday morning.

“We figured it out this week,” said Heyman, who said they fixed their potable water shortage for the second show. “And we saw how social media gets the message out to people.”

“I was not sure what a Tweet was before this show,” said Doss.

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Each of the seven remaining teams got $100 to spend on marketing in the episode that ran Sunday night. For the Bacon crew, that meant a megaphone, business cards, new jingle and a whole lotta Twitter and Facebook messages.

“There was definitely a lot of hashtag bacon love floating around,” said Heyman.

Heyman also sent another good-natured shot at the California truck fronted by a woman in a bikini top and shorts.

“I wish I had a bikini,” Heyman said on-air, “’cause I’d go head to head with them and I’d win.”

Even at 5-feet, 9-inches and 275 pounds?

“I’m not real shy,” he said Monday. “If it will sell bacon, we’d get it done. I’m sure there’s a triple-X size bikini bottom out there somewhere.”

The restaurant-trained crew also stripped down their cooking operation. Their original baked apple jam for burgers was a slow reduction sauce that took 1 ½ hours.

“It’s really delicious, one of my favorites, real savory,” said Ashton. “But we changed over to green chili and bacon jam and saved ourselves a lot of time. It just freed us up.”

While thrilled by their rebound, Heyman said a bit of homesickness set in after the second episode. They also had to say goodbye to the second truck to be eliminated, Gourmet Graduates, a New York crew of culinary school graduates who had become friends along the way.

“Everybody brought their leftovers and we had a family meal after the episode,” said Matt. “It was tough saying goodbye. They were passionate and now they’re out of business. We’re wishing them the best.

“We also tried to continue the family meal idea after each show. We wanted the team going home to be sent off in style.”

They just don’t want it to be them.

For that reason, they’re doing some research for the Austin trip, finding a youthful city with its own bacon-centric restaurant and a barbecued pork style that merges nicely with their bacon theme.

Heyman has a cousin there, and their Twitter accounts are getting a workout.

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Aug 27, 2014
Tim Lester

Letter from: street food and sanctions in Kaliningrad

It’s not without irony that I find myself travelling to an international food festival in Kaliningrad at a time of sanctions against US, European, Australian and Japanese produce in Russia. I hop into a taxi at the airport and am soon hurtling towards the Radisson hotel. My driver is a boy racer who chats on the phone the entire time while weaving in and out of cars at high speed. Luckily, there’s free Wifi so I spend the journey letting loved ones know that I might not make it. Secretly though, I enjoy it because the experience is a synthesis of two very Russian things: bad driving and ubiquitous free Wifi. I couldn’t ask for a better welcome.

When I arrive at my hotel, I’m told that before the festival, there’s a conference on street food and can I give a short talk on the London scene. It’s a topic I know nothing about, except for the fact that I like eating and live in east London where it’s almost impossible not to bump into a truck serving Korean burritos or some such foreign delicacy, authentic or otherwise. I get the impression I wasn’t the number one choice, but, unfortunately for those at the conference, the food trucks travelling from Europe failed to make it past the border and a handful of other street food savants didn’t get their visas on time. So now, my unscholarly thinking on the subject — there is street food in London, it is good — is in serious demand.

One pair, the purveyors of Woop Woop liquid nitrogen ice-cream make it to Kaliningrad from Berlin minus their van, which they leave behind in Poland. It’s not the embargo on western foodstuffs that proved a challenge though; apparently, the packets of white powder and high-tech contraption in the back, assembled by physicist-turned-confectioner Boris, one-half of Woop Woop, made for an unconvincing ice-cream van. Rolling meth lab perhaps, but ice-cream van? As if.

At the conference, the speakers from Moscow bemoan the challenges — red tape, high rents — they face in their line of work. Never mind the sanctions, getting a permit to sell street food is tricky enough. The aim of the conference and festival, organised by Moscow supper club and street food festival experts Stay Hungry, is to convince local bureaucrats to ease off restrictions and help the scene in Kaliningrad grow. The challenge lies in persuading them that street food is no longer about selling dodgy kebabs to drunken revellers at 3am but about gourmet burgers made from classy meat in classy buns.

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    Waffles from the Bakersville at the Stay Hungry Street Food Festival in Kaliningrad. Photographs: Vova Chernyakhovskiy

  • Kaliningrad

    Finnish chef Richard McCormik making Vietnamese baguette from locally sourced ingredients

  • Kaliningrad

    A Vietnamese baguette made using locally sourced ingredients

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    A DJ plays music at the street food festival

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    Kaliningraders flock to the Stay Hungry Street Food Festival

Mitya from Moscow street food stall The Hummus jokes about the common narrative among the Muscovite vendors who have come to regale locals with inspirational success stories: “I used to work in advertising, but it just wasn’t fulfilling enough and I thought what am I passionate about? Eating. I do it every day after all.” What emerges at the conference is that this aspiration isn’t shared by Kaliningraders who see street food not as a passion project but as a route into a restaurant business to rival KFC or McDonald’s. The ideological chasm between Muscovites and those in the regions couldn’t be starker. The event, sponsored by Rosenergoatom, which oversees Russia’s nuclear power industry, is a further source of amusement with quips about fusion cuisine throughout the day.

When the conference ends, I set out to explore Kaliningrad, the capital of an eponymous Russian region roughly the size of Northern Ireland. Although a part of Russia, Kaliningrad is geographically isolated from the motherland, an exclave, wedged between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. I head straight to the House of Soviets, a never completed building that was intended for use as the offices of the central administration when construction began in 1970. Along the way, I pass a standard selection of Russian architecture: concrete tenement blocks, five-floor Khrushchev-era apartments and grandiose Stalinist structures with neoclassical flourishes.

There are no ghosts of a bygone era here, no forgotten dust-covered trinkets to evoke a sense of melancholia. Visitors to the building aren’t here to indulge in nostalgia or to observe the innards of a beautifully decaying structure.

Every now and then, I spy a stranger in their midst, a reminder that Kaliningrad was under Prussian and German ownership for 700 years until its annexation by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. Before it became Kaliningrad — named after Mikhail Kalinin, a diehard Bolshevik who sent his own wife to a Siberian gulag — it was Königsberg, a city founded by the Teutonic knights in the 13th century. The most striking examples of its German ancestry are the seven surviving 19th-century gates built in Gothic Revival style, remnants of the city’s ramparts. After the war, Kaliningrad was subsumed into the Soviet Union and the city underwent a speedy Russification. The German inhabitants either fled, were killed or deported while Russians flooded in from the mainland, rebuilding the city, which had largely been flattened during the war, in their own image.

The House of Soviets is a sight to behold. Nicknamed unaffectionately by locals as “our monster” or the “buried robot”, it resembles the head of an automaton emerging from the ground. The facade, spruced up with a lick of baby blue paint and shiny new windows for a visit by President Vladimir Putin in 2005, belies the interior, which is little more than a concrete skeleton with construction abandoned after the foundations proved too flimsy. Today, for a 200-rouble backhander to the security guard, you can climb the 21 floors to the top and watch the sun set over the city.

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    A young Kaliningrader tucks into a burger. Photographs: Vova Chernyakhovskiy

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    Locals wait for food at Moscow street food stall The Burger Brothers

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    A local cat enjoys the view from the Stay Hungry car

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    Street food conference organised by Stay Hungry

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    Participants listen to speeches at the street food conference

Never functional, the House of Soviets lacks the eeriness of most derelict buildings. There are no ghosts of a bygone era here, no forgotten dust-covered trinkets to evoke a sense of melancholia. Visitors to the building aren’t here to indulge in nostalgia or to observe the innards of a beautifully decaying structure. Instead, it is through these forbidden sunset ascents that the House of Soviets finally has a reason to exist. On my climb to the top, I pass a couple on a date. She, tall and blonde, bravely mounts each step in a pair of cigarette-thin high heels, while he, in an all-denim number, provides her with the support she needs. The sunset doesn’t disappoint as it slowly sinks over the horizon, bathing Kaliningrad’s distinct cityscape in a warm glow.

Much ink has been spilled on the Kaliningrad’s unique position, politically, geographically and historically speaking. Although politically a part of Russia and an important military base — it houses the Russian Baltic Fleet — European cultural influences continue to seep in from all around. Despite state-subsidised flights to Moscow, locals still prefer to pop over to Poland to stock up on cheap food and furniture from Ikea. Following Moscow’s Crimean land grab, some Russia watchers have turned Russian logic regarding “historical rights” on its head, calling Kaliningrad’s current ownership into question given the city’s German past. It’s a sore point: in June, three activists were arrested for raising a German flag outside the Russian Federal Security Service offices in Kaliningrad. Like Pussy Riot before them, the three men now face charges of hooliganism.

The menu back at the Radisson seems not to have received the memo regarding food sanctions. Dishes containing mozzarella and prosciutto are still plentiful. Breakfast too is an epicurean dream

Later that evening, I put the question of ownership to Vadim, a local journalist helping out at Kvartira, an art-cafe frequented by the city’s more liberal-leaning residents. Despite the worsening geopolitical crisis, he assures me that Kaliningraders have no desire to return to German control. Like so many I meet here, he simply doesn’t want to lose the privileges that the region has with its neighbours. Of all Russia’s provinces, Kaliningrad is arguably the most affected by Moscow’s deteriorating political ties with Europe; Warsaw is already contemplating rescinding the visa-free agreement that allows Kaliningraders to cross the border for their shopping sprees. It isn’t long before our conversation turns to the food sanctions, in particular the hike in the price of apples, which are now being transported from Siberia instead of neighbouring Poland. A kilo of apples, he says, is more expensive than a chicken.

The menu back at the Radisson seems not to have received the memo regarding food sanctions. Dishes containing mozzarella and prosciutto are still plentiful. Breakfast too is an epicurean dream, with plates heaped with cheeses and cured meats from across Europe. While I tuck into some Camembert the following morning, I read news of lorries carrying food from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad that have been stuck at the Lithuanian border for days, driving an even greater number of locals to Poland for groceries. The festival proves a hit with locals, who seem undeterred by the rain or long queues. In cities around the world, tough economic times have sparked food culture revolutions. Perhaps now, at a time of sanctions, Kaliningrad too will develop a taste for street food. 

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