Browsing articles tagged with " food carts"
Apr 16, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck robbed at knifepoint

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STOCKTON – A taco truck vendor was held up at knifepoint in the vicinity of March Lane and Kentfield Road around 9:50 p.m. Monday, police reported.

The 28-year-old victim was just closing down his food truck at the corner of Kentfield and Gateway Court when three male juveniles showed up brandishing large knives and demanded his money. They fled the scene with cash and some of his property, according to a report.

The victim told police the robbers were all between 16 and 17 years old and of different races.

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Apr 16, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Stops: April 15

Happy Tuesday, food truck followers! Today’s rainy weather is keeping a number of trucks off the road, but you can still find a few specials, such as the Gujarati thali at Chatpat Truck.

Farragut Square (17th and I sts., NW), where you’ll find What the Pho? and Phonation (nearby at 20th and L).

L’Enfant (Sixth St. and Maryland Ave., SW), where you’ll find Dangerously Delicious Pies.

Metro Center (12th and G sts., NW), where you’ll find Chatpat Truck, DC Empanadas, Pho Junkies, and Steak Bites.

Navy Yard (First and M sts., SE), where you’ll find Beltway Latin Cuisine.

Northern Virginia, where you’ll find Crepe Love (Herndon) and Village Cafe Express (Tysons).

State Department (around 21st St. and Virginia Ave., NW), where you’ll find Brown Bag.

Union Station (North Capitol St. and Massachusetts Ave., NE), where you’ll find Yumpling.

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Apr 16, 2014
Kim Rivers

Churches on the Streets Utilizes Food Truck to Feed the Homeless

churchesonthestreet.jpgHanding out Fortel’s pizza at the food truck. | Churches on the Street

Last year, the health department shut down an organization that was giving out hot meals to homeless people. A lot has changed for Churches on the Streets since then. It has recieved nonprofit certification, is awaiting a health permit and is serving the hungry and homeless out of a food truck.

See also: Group Can’t Serve Hot Food To Homeless Without Permit, Says STL Health Dept.

The change started with a front-page story in the Post-Dispatch. The story was picked up nationally, and organizer Angela Valdes got calls from big news organizations like the Huffington Post. The attention lead to an anonymous gift: Someone donated a 25-foot food truck.

Churches on the Streets meets every Monday night at 1400 North First Street and serves cold sandwiches to around 225 to 250 people, plus it hands out blankets and clothes. It doesn’t have permission to serve hot food yet, but Valdes says they are close and the health department has been “really fantastic.”

churchesonthestreet2.jpgThe food truck just got its refrigerator and stove installed, plus a new logo and truck lettering. | Churches on the Streets

After the Post-Dispatch article, Churches on the Streets was approached by local pizzeria Fortel’s about a partnership. Now, Fortel’s donates and serves (hot!) pizza every other Monday at the 1400 North First Street location.

The program has been so successful that Churches on the Streets has expanded to Thursday nights; it takes pre-packaged cold meals (sandwiches, etc.) around Soldiers’ Memorial.

“We’re expanding outreach. Through the truck, we’re able to mobilize in a greater way with more control,” Valdes says. “[This month] we’ll start going to parks where kids and families are out and about because there are other people that are hungry, too.”

Churches on the Streets also does work with disaster relief — it has been involved in helping Joplin residents since the devastating tornado — as well as human trafficking. Valdes serves on the city’s trafficking taskforce; the nonprofit is partnering with the St. Louis Rescue/Restore Coalition for a workshop this Thursday.

If you want to help, you can e-mail Valdes at churchesonthestreets@gmail.com or call the Churches on the Streets office at 618-251-0039. You can also follow its progress on its Facebook page.

“We are expanding our reach, which means our resources are growing. We’re always looking for people and restaurants to donate,” Valdes says. “It’s so amazing to see how many people care about those that are hungry and on the streets.”

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.


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Apr 16, 2014
Kim Rivers

Millie’s Bar-B-Q food truck set to roll by mid-summer, according to report – The Times

A new food truck is set to roll through Mid City and downtown Baton Rouge in the next two months, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report. Millie’s Bar-B-Q will offer barbecue sandwiches, burgers and chicken from its mobile kitchen six days per week.

Millie’s owner Claudia Gray hopes to have wheels on the ground by June, according to the Report, and she aims to have a second trailer rolling sometime in the future.

Gray, who previously worked at her brother’s now-closed restaurant, Ray’s BBQ, operates out of Mid City Tower. The building is also home to Gray’s second business, EC Management Group.

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Apr 16, 2014
Kim Rivers

City council to hear testimony on food truck bill

Honolulu Hale

Testimony is being taken for a new city law regulating food trucks.

The new law requires food truck operators to obtain a permit in order to park and do business around the state Capitol.

The bill became law late last month without Mayor Caldwell’s signature.

The city has scheduled a meeting for the public to express their concerns.

It will take place Thursday, Apr. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Mission Memorial hearings room.

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Apr 15, 2014
Kim Rivers

DUSDAC considers rearranging food truck lineup

  • Serrano Delicafe may be a contender for Merchants-on-Points, but its limited hours are holding DUSDAC members back.
  • Baguettaboutit and Captain Poncho’s scored low on the food truck survey.
  • Foster’s on the Fly could be bumped off food truck rotation to make room for Deli-icious.

The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee deliberated Monday on what food trucks and Merchants-on-Points restaurants should be recommended to Duke Dining for next year based on a survey administered to the student body.

Parlez-Vous Crepe and Foster’s on the Fly received the highest number of votes for favorite food trucks in the survey. Those receiving the lowest number of votes were Captain Poncho’s, Baguettaboutit and Chirba Chirba. Mac-Ur-Roni and Deli-icious had highest ratings as potential food trucks to be added. Among the lowest-rated Merchants-on-Points vendors were Skewers Hookah Bar and Grill, Palace International, Nosh and Pizza Mia Italian Grill.

DUSDAC members expressed concerns over the opening hours of Serrano Delicafe, a potential Merchant-on-Points vendor and a local delicatessen. The vendor’s Facebook page reveals that the restaurant has limited hours—it is closed on Sundays and Mondays. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 or 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays., from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and on Saturdays it is open from 4 to 11 p.m.

“That’s a lot of days when they are not delivering during prime hours,” said co-Chair of DUSDAC Chris Taylor, a senior.

Junior DUSDAC member Gregory Lahood noted that Serrano Delicafe could be a huge market for lunchtime delivery, especially for students who want to stay in their apartments and do not want to go out and get lunch.

Barbara Stokes, assistant director of dining operations, proposed solutions to the students’ concerns over Serrano’s operating hours.

“We could vote on Serrano contingent on their being able to deliver until at least midnight or on the weekdays. We will try to negotiate that,” Stokes said. “If they are willing to come to the table with what [DUSDAC] asked, we can sign the contract.”

The committee also discussed Skewers—which garnered the least votes from students among Merchants-on-Points vendors—and Pizza Mia, which the committee thinks will overlap with other pizza places on the list.

Some members noted that Skewers’ delivery is very slow and that Pizza Mia’s website is “very sketchy.”

Upon reviewing survey results for food trucks, the committee took note that the low rankings for Captain Poncho’s and Baguettaboutit were hard to differentiate. Based on the results of the survey, 12 percent of participants voted for Captain Poncho’s as their first choice and only five percent listed Baguettaboutit as their first.

Some members said that Captain Poncho’s should remain on the list because there are few Mexican food places on campus.

The committee also considered the similarity between Foster’s on the Fly and Deli-icious, a highly rated potential food truck from Raleigh that serves gourmet paninis.

“If we take off Foster’s, we’d be adding something similar,” Lahood said. “If we take off Ponchos we’d be adding something really different.”

Other members noted that the reason why Foster’s is popular is that it has a big name, but that its menu is limited and prices are high.

Committee members additionally considered the possibility of adding more than one food truck. Potential food trucks include Mac-Ur-Oni, Deli-icious, Bang Bang Banh Mi, Mama Duke’s and CJ’s Street Food.

“Adding another food truck would look good for us,” said sophomore DUSDAC member Abhi Shah, a contributing writer for The Chronicle. “It’s showing that we are taking actions to bring something new to us.”

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Apr 15, 2014
Kim Rivers

Boulder may relax food-truck rules, but operators say it’s not enough

Boulder is considering a slight relaxation of the rules for food trucks operating in the city as truck operators continue their push for fewer restrictions.

Boulder city staffers are recommending allowing more mobile food trucks — four instead of two — to operate on private property downtown in specific areas.

The change was requested to allow for more diversity in food offerings, potentially increasing business.

If you go

What: Boulder City Council

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Boulder Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway

Info: The meeting has been moved to today from Tuesday due to the Passover holiday. To read the memo on the food-truck rule changes and to see the complete agenda, go to bit.ly/1nn6sLZ.

The city also is recommending letting food trucks operate in designated city parks again this summer, based on a pilot last year that received positive feedback from operators.

The City Council is scheduled to take an initial vote on food truck rule changes Wednesday night, with a second vote and public hearing likely to follow in May.

Licensed food trucks now can operate in rights-of-way in industrial zones and in business, mixed-use and downtown zones with property owner approval, but they cannot operate within 150 feet of restaurants and residential districts.

The rules on operating times and locations were created three years ago in an effort to strike a balance between the food trucks and brick-and-mortar operations.

Last summer, a pilot program allowed the trucks to set up in popular Boulder parks, and offer late-night business at the Park Central Building’s parking lot, near Arapahoe Avenue and Broadway. Few food trucks took advantage of the late-night option, with operators citing limited foot traffic and not enough lighting for safety.

Zebulon Randall looks up at the next ticket as Rebecca Simonds prepares an order in the Top of the Hill Grill West food truck at its location on Walnut

Both the park and late-night options are expected to be available again this summer, said Lane Landrith with the city’s Downtown and University Hill Management and Parking Services Division.

While not included in the current recommendation to the City Council, the city’s Planning Board also suggested allowing food trucks at Boulder Junction, which is still being developed.

In a memo to the City Council, city staff members supported exploring allowing food trucks in more areas — outside of downtown — because “they can easily energize an area with activity and provide a valuable service in areas without many brick-and-mortar restaurants.”

‘Help people find us’

Shannon Aten, owner of the Tasterie Food Truck, said she was glad to see the City Council place the question of hours and locations on its agenda, though she described herself as cautious and skeptical about the possibility of significant changes.

While she probably wouldn’t do late-night service herself, the ability to serve between roughly 10 p.m., when many restaurant kitchens close, and 2 or 3 a.m., when bars close, would make a big difference to many food truck owners.

As it is, many food trucks drive all over Boulder County and even to Broomfield, Westminster and other parts of the metro area in order to make enough money.

They’re often invited by homeowners associations and other groups to monthly events. Aten said many Boulder-based food truck owners would love to have that same opportunity in Boulder, but right now, they can’t serve after 9 p.m.

“A majority of our revenue comes from outside of Boulder,” she said.

Food truck owners also want some easing of the restriction that they can’t park within 150 feet of a restaurant, even when it’s not in operation.

For downtown, that leaves a few very limited locations, mostly along Canyon Boulevard, where there is little foot traffic.

Calvin Morrow looks over his order at the Top of the Hill Grill West food truck at its location on Walnut Street in Boulder on Monday

Aten said she understands the concerns of restaurant owners who have traditionally opposed allowing food trucks downtown, but she would like to see an opportunity similar to the Farmers’ Market, where a large group of food trucks could park on a closed-off 13th Street, perhaps on a Tuesday night.

“I would love to be able to park for lunch or dinner downtown, but I do understand where the restaurants are coming from,” she said. “But if we could go where the Farmers’ Market is for dinner, once a month, that would really help people find us instead of having to go to the outskirts of town.”

‘No-brainer’

John Sethney, one of the owners of Verde, also likes the idea of being able to “pod up” on 13th Street a few times a month. He said it would be good for tourism and good for residents and good for business.

“We’re not allowed opportunities in high population areas,” he said.

All summer, he takes his Mexican food truck to concerts, festivals and neighborhood parties, mostly outside of Boulder.

“If you’re going to make it, you can’t limit yourself to Boulder,” he said. “We’re based in Boulder, and we would love to be here more. The less I have to travel, the better.”

He describes late night service as “a no-brainer.”

“People stay out and drink,” he said. “We’re not going to take business away from restaurants.”

The board of Downtown Boulder Inc., the nonprofit organization that represents the area’s businesses, voted to remain neutral on the proposed changes because they’re minor ones, Executive Director Sean Maher said.

But, he said, Downtown Boulder continues to oppose allowing food trucks to operate in the downtown core, noting restaurant operators have expressed concerns about losing business.

“We have more than 100 food establishments downtown,” he said. “They pay some of the highest rents and taxes in Colorado. We have to be sensitive to allowing food trucks to pull up in front and compete against them at almost no cost.”

Contact Camera Staff Writer Amy Bounds at 303-473-1341, boundsa@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/boundsa.

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Apr 15, 2014
Jim Benson

Bon appétit: Food cart season is here – University of Wisconsin

The popular food carts on the State Street Mall open today, and will soon be on the move to make way for construction that will yield a new and improved mall.

Photo:

The first robin.

Chairs on the Terrace.

And food carts.

They are a few sure signs of spring that we can all look forward to, especially after what was the longest winter in the history of the universe – or maybe just felt like it.

While a few carts brave it through the winter, today marks the first official day of the food cart season, bringing with it the aroma of all sorts of goodness lingering in the air.

But next month, if you don’t find your favorite vendor in the same place, don’t panic. Sustenance is likely just a short walk away. About 20 vendors will be relocated between May 19 and Oct. 31 due to construction in the Library Mall area.

The new locations are still being finalized, but many will be in the East Campus Mall area near the University Club and several on North Lake Street between State Street and Langdon on the Memorial Library side, says Madison Street Vending Coordinator Warren Hansen.

Construction is scheduled to begin after the semester ends and is planned to conclude before the beginning of the fall semester, says Gary Brown, director of campus planning and landscape architecture.

Architect’s rendering of new mall area

An architect’s rendering, looking west on State Street, shows the area where the East Campus Mall meets the newly constructed State Street Mall. Click for larger image.

There will be all new paving, lighting, new seating areas and a new raised pedestrian crosswalk at North Park Street.

“It’s really going to be a new space,” Brown says. “A much livelier and contemporary space.”

New landscaping and public artwork should also make the area more inviting, Brown says.

“Right now, there isn’t a whole lot going on in that area,” Brown says. “This is a good chance to change that.”

Architect’s rendering of new mall area

This drawing shows a bird’s-eye view of the area at the East Campus Mall and State Street once construction is complete. Click for larger image.

Hansen has been working closely with vendors to help them pick a good alternate location while construction takes place.

“The good news is that the whole space is being rethought,” Hansen says of the reconstructed Library Mall area. “I think it will be easier for vendors to get in and out. There will be more space in general.”

Hansen has been the street vending coordinator for Madison since 1998 and has seen the popularity of food carts continue to grow, not just in Madison but nationwide.

“They really are everywhere,” Hansen says.

But Madison was food carting before it was cool. The city had its first food cart in 1977, Hansen says. By 1990, there were 20 food carts downtown. Now you’ll find them spread out in numerous locations.

Starting last year, food carts appeared at University Research Park. They’ll be back by popular demand again Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting this week.

Food cart devotees will most likely be willing to take a few more steps to find their favorite cart – and get a bit more exercise.

“After the winter we’ve just experienced, I think Madisonians are eager to be able to spend as much time outside as they possibly can,” Hansen says.

A State Street/Library Mall stakeholder’s pre-construction meeting will take place at 10 a.m. April 29 at Memorial Union, Class of 1924 reception room. More information can be found here.

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Apr 15, 2014
Tim Lester

Preview: Soi 38 Brings Thai Street Food To The West End



West End office workers are getting a new power lunch spot, and it’s a mighty slick one at that. But Soi 38 is a far cry from the buttoned-up downtown restaurants of yore. Thai street food, golden graffiti art, a 50-seat patio, and a top-notch cocktail program are set to make Soi 38 worth a visit any hour of the day.

So what exactly is Thai street food? During a pre-opening media tour, DCist did the hard work of sampling a number of dishes and drinks for the edification of our dear readers. Owners Nat Ongsangkoon and Dia Khanthongthip wanted to develop a menu that reflected the food they ate at home, instead of the same dishes that grace the menu at practically every Thai restaurant. As a result, prospective diners will recognize some familiar names, but there will also be many new dishes for adventurous fans of Thai cuisine. Some examples: Succulent coconut milk-marinated pork belly skewers with in-house made lime chili sauce; juicy chicken folded into fragrant pandan leaves; and pad thai hor kai, a variant of pad thai swaddled in a tender egg crepe. Whole fried chicken featuring an airy, crackling crust and umami-packed dipping sauce was a particular standout. Chef Mitchai Pankham, who hails from northern Thailand, has other intriguing items planned, including ped roti (roasted duck wrapped in roti bread) and kor moo yang (grilled pork neck with lime and chili). Dishes will run $10-18 during lunch and $14-25 at dinner.

The cocktail program, developed by local mixologist J.P. Caceres, is also nothing to sneeze at. Caceres has taken the flavors of East Asia and carefully blended them into a very modern cocktail program. Bottled drinks feature riffs on classic cocktails and martinis. Smoky Chinese pu’er tea and chili bitters kick up the Thai Manhattan, while kaffir lime lends a heady, floral perfume to the Pretty Little Lime, a fresh take on a gin martini. But it’s not all serious behind the bar (there is, after all, a giant glowing dragon eye emblazoned on the wall). There are coconut-laced tiki drinks which can be ordered as a single or shared portion, complete with ridiculously long straws. Meanwhile, The Emperor’s Punch — a sweet-savory brew of tamarind syrup, lemon, whiskey, and chili bitters — is served out a blue and white tea set. Singapore Slings will also be available on tap and are likely to become a fast favorite at happy hour. For teetotalers, there will also be creative soft drinks, such as lemongrass and pineapple soda and Vietnamese-style iced coffee.

If you believe dining is a fully sensory experience, Soi 38 will not disappoint. The boldly decorated space marries slick modern lines with rustic beams, wicker basket light fixtures, and fantastical golden murals. Dragons snake across the ceiling, curling around the bar, while elephants parade over the booths lining the wall. These creatures are the work of Gaia, a Baltimore-based street artist commissioned by architecture firm Design Republica to create a transporting dining experience. A communal table and partially open kitchen are meant to give diners an additional flavor for the open air cookery common in Bangkok’s night markets.

Soi 38 is located at 2101 L Street NW and anticipates opening late this week or early next week for lunch and dinner service. The restaurant hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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