Philly’s food trucks, which began appearing decades ago on the Penn and Temple campuses as unglamorous providers of cheap sustenance for starving collegians, have come a long way. As Craig LaBan reports in The Inquirer, membership in the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association has ballooned from 34 at its founding in 2012 to 104 a year later, with 40 of those members not yet selling to the public, according to George Bieber, the group’s treasurer and membership director. Everything from braised duck buns to arepas, cassoulet, and Korean cheesesteaks has appeared on menus. See his article here. LaBan also checks back with some of the relative old-timers in the food-truck game and believes that some are putting out even better food now. Read that article here. Your guides to where the food trucks roll Reviews: The “Truck Stop” column There’s a Ph.D. behind the wheel Scientist Jihed Chehimi leaves the lab and boards his Chez Yasmine food truck at Penn, serving global fare with a mission: to educate about food. Read here. Camden gets trucks on Fridays “Food Truck Friday,” as it’s being called, is drawing interest, including the three that will start next week: deli-on-wheels Reuben on Rye, Cupcakes 2 GoGo, and Lil’ Trent’s Treats. Read here.
Philly’s food trucks, which began appearing decades ago on the Penn and Temple campuses as unglamorous providers of cheap sustenance for starving collegians, have come a long way.
As Craig LaBan reports in The Inquirer, membership in the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association has ballooned from 34 at its founding in 2012 to 104 a year later, with 40 of those members not yet selling to the public, according to George Bieber, the group’s treasurer and membership director.
Everything from braised duck buns to arepas, cassoulet, and Korean cheesesteaks has appeared on menus.
See his article here.
LaBan also checks back with some of the relative old-timers in the food-truck game and believes that some are putting out even better food now. Read that article here.
Your guides to where the food trucks roll
Reviews: The “Truck Stop” column
There’s a Ph.D. behind the wheel
Scientist Jihed Chehimi leaves the lab and boards his Chez Yasmine food truck at Penn, serving global fare with a mission: to educate about food. Read here.
Camden gets trucks on Fridays
“Food Truck Friday,” as it’s being called, is drawing interest, including the three that will start next week: deli-on-wheels Reuben on Rye, Cupcakes 2 GoGo, and Lil’ Trent’s Treats. Read here.
A trio of food trucks will be pulling up to the Camden waterfront every Friday at lunch beginning May 10 and continuing throughout the summer.
Organized by the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership waterfront development corporation, “Food Truck Friday,” as it’s being called, is drawing interest from a variety of gourmet trucks around the region, including the three that will start next week: deli-on-wheels Reuben on Rye, Cupcakes 2 GoGo, and Lil’ Trent’s Treats dessert truck.
The organizers hope the number and variety will grow once these trucks test the logistics and response.
“It’s a good business decision,” says Haddonfield-based Ginny Moles, who notes the difficulty in finding crowds elsewhere in South Jersey, especially in summer. The major difference in Camden, she says, are the throngs of families and field trips visiting the Adventure Aquarium, and the thousands of neighborhood office, law, and medical workers who have few options for food. “I think it’ll be a great opportunity.”
George Bieber, treasurer and membership director of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association (PMFA), said several of its members were considering inclusion in Food Truck Friday.
“A nice spot like this would be awesome,” says Bieber, who considered signing up his own Sunflower Truck Stop for the summer. “You get a few [trucks] and it becomes like a party.”
That’s exactly the feel Cooper’s Ferry is trying to cultivate. By adding food trucks near Fountain Park, already equipped with colorful chairs, tables, and umbrellas, it aims to develop a parklike atmosphere on the riverfront block that’s primarily used as a walk-through by visitors.
The downtown/waterfront area already hosts sidewalk carts that sell the usual hot dogs and pretzels. But because Camden doesn’t ordinarily allow food trucks on public property, Cooper’s Ferry is securing a waiver to designate truck parking in a specific lot behind the aquarium. The organization hopes Food Truck Friday will persuade city council members to expand permissions to other parts of the city.
“A quality food truck is a quality amenity for a visitor or a resident of the city,” says Jake Gordon, Cooper’s Ferry’s vice president, who envisions trucks parked next to Rutgers-Camden and the county courthouse.
In mid-April, one food truck, Reuben on Rye, did launch in Camden by parking, with permission, in a law firm parking lot, across the street from City Hall. The operators say their strong opening-week sales persuaded them to start serving breakfast as well as lunch.
“Although we have just been open for a short time, the people of Camden are responding,”says David Serata, who partnered with the owner of Cherry Hill’s Kibitz Room to launch the first of what they hope will become a fleet of Reuben on Ryes.
Their truck serves a scaled-back Kibitz Room menu from the offices of Zucker Steinberg Sonstein Wixted, at 415 Federal St., every weekday except Friday, when they’re on the waterfront.
There have been complaints that city and county annual permitting fees (about $600) far exceed all others in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill ($200 annually) and Haddonfield ($350) without allowing them to leave the designated “food pod.” And Pennsylvania operators face some sticker shock over the New Jersey law that requires food trucks to be equipped with fire suppressant systems, which Bieber says run about $900 to install and take up valuable space that could be used for extra rolls and additional supplies.
Despite the inconveniences and costs, vendors like Jess Iannuzzi and Steve Koste of Bucks County’s Sum Pig Food Truck say they can’t wait to get their permits.
Koste believes a successful Food Truck Friday could enhance the waterfronts of Camden and Philadelphia.
“Anything that can bring more money into Camden and change its perception by boosting fun and boosting the [RiverLink] ferry would be pretty cool,” he says.
What kind of person robs from a hungry man?
An attempted robbery took place on the 60th block of Degraw Street in Brooklyn on Sunday, April 28 at 8 a.m., cops said. The victim, 36, told police that two unknown males attempted to steal his food cart while he
was in a garbage retrieving food.
One individual pulled out a knife
and slashed the victim in the finger, causing him to need stitches, cops said. The pair of thugs then took off to parts unknown.
Wanted is a male, white, age 30, 5 foot 11, weighing 170 pounds with black hair and medium complexion, who was born in Egypt and goes
by the name Abraham.
The second unknown accomplice is described as a male, Indian, 6 foot, weighing 180 pounds, with medium complexion, who was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt. The investigation is ongoing, police said.
Stay with Patch for updates.
The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the “Best Dish” of the year.
The Filipino fried chicken from Guerrilla Street Food | Ian FroebI don’t need much of a reason to track down Guerrilla Street Food (@guerrillastreet; 314-529-1328). The truck serves amazing food, including my top dish from 2012, the “Flying Pig.”
But when I learned that co-owner Joel Crespo was planning to introduce Filipino fried chicken to the menu, I started checking the truck’s Twitter feed religiously.
When could I get my hands on that?
This week is the answer. Listed on the menu as “Iron Manok” — a play on the Tagalog word for chicken and Iron Man 3 — the fried chicken is unlike any other you’ve eaten.
The chicken is marinated in a blend of fish sauce, vinegar, garlic and calamansi, giving its natural flavor an incredible depth and, thanks to the fish sauce, a wonderful (but not at all overpowering!) funk. The meat is sous vided and then fried to order, resulting in a tender, but not greasy, texture. The batter is crisp, but light — think tempura, but more flavorful.
A thick, spicy sauce and a garnish of avocado, green onion and cilantro top the chicken. The sauce’s heat is moderate; its flavor, thanks to a shrimp-paste base, is complex. The two pieces of chicken sit atop a sort of slaw of cabbage, sweet and tart, exactly the right notes to accent the fried meat.
You still have three days this week to try the chicken. If you must drive a bit to find the truck, you can take comfort knowing that the dish itself, at $7, is a steal.
Is there a dish that you think belongs among the Gut Check One Hundred 2013? Let us know!
@guerrillastreet, St. Louis, MO
Sustainable Business Oregon editor- Portland Business Journal
On No Fish! Go Fish!’s last day, co-proprietor John Doyle gave away soup to all the regulars.
“There was no real work involved, he just got to say goodbye,” said Sean Brown, Doyle’s business and real-life partner. “It was less stressful than a real work day.”
After 16 years, Brown and Doyle closed the venerable soup and Korean street sandwich stand last month and settled into their new jobs. Both are now working for the government, with Brown landing a gig in Washington County and Doyle recently starting a job with the state.
“This isn’t the business to be in in your 50s or 60s,” said Brown, who just turned 50. “It’s not like we’re 30 any more.”
For its many regulars — whether they (ahem) scored a free soup the last day or not — No Fish! was an institution. Doyle was a familiar site at the corner of Southwest Fifth Avenue and Yamhill Street, a few feet from where the MAX train passed by him every few minutes. He dispensed hearty and inventive soups and the unusual sea creature-shaped “no fish” sandwiches that were filled with savories (spinach and feta) and sweets (a chocolate caramel concoction that tasted like a gourmet Milky Way bar).
As they call it quits, it’s worth noting that Brown and Doyle were ahead of several trends. Their 1997 opening pre-dated the city’s food cart mania by a good 11 years. They also canned and sold their own line of soups, a convention that many cart owners today follow with their sauces or, in the case of DC Vegetarian, seitan.
The duo made what was likely the first successful transition from a cart to a brick-and-mortar restaurant when they opened a location on North Killingsworth Street. They eventually moved to Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and, among other events, hosted a popular Strip Jeopardy series in which, well, you can guess how contestants were penalized for incorrect answers.
Andy Giegerich is editor for Sustainable Business Oregon.
The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Parfaits.
The Facts: Parfait refers to a frozen dessert made from a base of sugar syrup, egg, and cream. A parfait contains enough fat, sugar, alcohol and/or to a lesser extent air to allow it to be made by stirring infrequently while freezing, making it possible to create in a home kitchen without specialist equipment. The fat, sugar, alcohol or air interferes with the formation of water crystals, which would otherwise give the ice cream an uncomfortable texture in the mouth. The formation of ice crystals is managed in the making of regular ice cream by agitating the ice cream constantly while it freezes or chemically by adding glycerol.
- The American parfait, is made by layering parfait cream, ice cream, and/or flavored gelatins in a tall, clear glass, and topping the creation with whipped cream, fresh or canned fruit.
- Although parfaits were originally served on decorative plates, today they are typically layered in tall, thin glasses.
- Origin of PARFAIT: French, literally, something perfect, from parfait perfect, from Latin perfectus.
- May 1st is National Chocolate Parfait Day.
- November 25th is National parfait Day.
Parfait Facts We Missed
Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.
Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Parfait
Around $5,000-worth of food that was supposed to go to hungry families is instead rotting in the dumpster outside of Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca because of a burglary.
“That’s quite a bit, taking food out of hungry people’s mouths. And kids and seniors who would ordinarily get that food are not going to get it,” said Paul Rodriguez, the director of operations at Second Harvest.
Over the weekend, thieves broke into the food bank’s refrigerated truck, eventually taking off without closing the door behind them. All of that food was left to spoil in the heat.
“We’ve had break-ins, with them coming and taking batteries from our trucks,” Rodriguez told FOX40.
Workers have learned to park their trucks in very tight patterns to prevent these types of crimes. But due to delivery schedules, the safeguards don’t always work.
“Once in a while, we get a load in like we did on Friday and we just don’t have enough capability to store it all in the coolers inside, so we leave it in the [refrigerator] truck outside and try to keep it as secure as we can,” Rodriguez said. “But, evidently, it wasn’t good enough this weekend.”
This loss of food hits the food bank and the community hard. Second Harvest supplies food closets throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties twice a month, feeding more than 3,000 children and 3,800 seniors.
James Myers filed this report.
Happy May Day, food truck followers! It’s a gorgeous day, so get out in the sunshine for spring-y specials like smoked salmon and asparagus quiche from Cirque Cuisine, a new lamb kebab platter at Village Cafe Express, and a crab bowl aboard Go Fish.
Chinatown (Seventh and G sts., NW), where you’ll find Porc Mobile.
Farragut Square (17th and I sts., NW), where you’ll find Peruvian Brothers, Far East Taco Grill, Stella’s PopKern, Curbside Cupcakes, DC Greek Food, Halal Grill, Best Burritos, Yellow Vendor, What the Pho?, and BonMi; Dangerously Delicious Pies (nearby around 20th and L).
Franklin Square (13th and K sts., NW), where you’ll find Far East Taco Grill, Lily Pad on the Run, Cirque Cuisine, Mr. Miyagi’s Teriyaki, Curbside Cupcakes, Tasty Kabob, Phillies Phamous, and Tops American Food.
L’Enfant (Sixth St. and Maryland Ave., SW), where you’ll find Crepes Parfait, Cathy’s Bistro, Halal Grill, DC Empanadas, DC Slices, Fojol Bros. (Merlindia), Mojo Truck, Pho Junkies, and Salsa Room Empanadas.
NoMa (First and M sts., NE), where you’ll find Tasty Kabob.
Northern Virginia, where you’ll find Bratwurst King (Tysons), District Taco (Clarendon), Ducky’s Grub (Dulles), Willie’s Po Boy, Mama’s Donut Bites, Green Eggs and Burgers (Ballston), Lime Tree (Court House), Sang on Wheels (Herndon), and Seoul Food (Rosslyn).
On Monday, we joined Mayor Annise Parker and her staff at City Hall for a live web chat on CultureMap — and repeat reader questions indicated the issues at the forefront of your minds, from the Astrodome to foodie problems.
Polls on the chat showed that 34 percent of the people want “quality of life” to be the Mayor’s top priority, while “infrastructure” wrangled 31 percent of the vote. Eighty-seven percent of readers think that Houston is heading in the right direction, and 57 percent say that the best thing about Houston is its people and diversity.
Here are five major issues that emerged from the exclusive CultureMap chat:
“Not my decision. It will be decided by 4 county commissioners and the county judge,” Parker wrote. “However, I personally believe there ought to be something we can do to preserve it, or at least the steel skeleton as presented in the UH Grad Student Ryan Slattery’s proposal.”
Sidewalks and streets
“We’re working on Complete Streets policy. . . The challenge with sidewalks is that the city of Houston was developed without sidewalks and it would require retrofitting thousands of miles of sidewalks,” Parker responded.
“The [ReBuild Houston] program has only been fully operational for 1.5 yrs and we’ve spent $180M on 46 projects with 38 planned for this year.”
“[The three lines currently under construction] should be up early next year and quadruple the number of miles of light rail in Houston,” Parker said.
And regarding the contentious (but hella convenient) line along Richmond Avenue? “METRO and I remain committed to the University Line, but it is dependent on the availability of federal dollars. Two of our four light rail lines have been locally funded. We’re the only city in America that’s been forced to do that.”
Parker talked up her One Bin for All initiative, which will use “innovative, cutting-edge technology” to divert solid waste to the recycling stream.
When it comes to meals, Parker admitted a preference to stay in — or at least close to home. “There are three breakfast spots within walking distance from my house — Canopy, Harry’s and the Breakfast Klub. They’re all excellent choices, although I’ve also been known to hang out at La Mexicana.”
She also supports food trucks and intends to pass a new ordinance “as soon as practical” — and hopes that Houstonians will encourage their council members to vote in favor.
But Parker’s response revealed the challenge of getting the current rather restrictive food truck ordinance changed.
“I clearly support food trucks and wish to see the restrictions on food trucks downtown lifted,” Parker wrote. “I’m not in the business of embarrassing Council Members, nor am I inclined to bring something to a vote that I know cannot pass. However, I intend to pass a new food truck ordinance as soon as practical, and I’m NOT going to give up.
“I encourage you to reach out to your council members!”
It’s that time again, folks. Come Saturday, a fleet of the best and brightest food truckers culled from Boston and New York City will set up camp on the Greenway and go head-to-head in this spring’s Food Truck Throwdown. Admission is free, and if last October’s star-studded bout was any indication, the chance to chow down en masse should by no means be missed.
“Both cities have some fantastic trucks,” says Mei Mei Street Kitchen co-founder Irene Li. “Not only do we get to eat each others’ food, but we also get a little time to talk, compare notes and learn from one another.”
The sibling-run Mei Mei Street Kitchen joins a roster of trucks armed to the teeth with talent — outdoor lunchers can count on appearances by favorites Bon Me, KickAss Cupcakes, Chubby Chickpea, and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, among others.
“The last Throwdown feels like it happened ages ago,” Li says. “We’ve put dozens of new items on the menu since then, so we really tried to look at all of our dishes and pick the ones that are the most streamline-able and the most delicious.”
“Plus, we started making bacon,” she adds. “Expect lots of bacon.”
“Eighteen trucks… daunting. I am afraid I’ll miss something,” he says of the challenges that arise when faced with a Greenway littered with gourmet fare. “Judging this will be more about the cohesiveness of the foods, styles and overall flavor.”
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese founder James DiSabatino, the winner of last year’s Best Truck Design, is more than ready for the influx of meals on wheels. “The city didn’t allow food trucks three years ago, and now we have trucks from other cities visiting. That’s really cool in my book,” he says. “But, we still plan on kicking their a—es in the Throwdown.”
Last fall’s event fed more than 1,000 hungry city-dwellers, a wave that nearly brought the Roxy’s team to their knees. Not this year, DiSabatino assures. To boot, the grilled cheese experts will be offering a category dedicated to one event sponsor: Maker’s Mark. According to DiSabatino, “it’s going to knock some socks off.”
“It’s a food revolution. It’s changing the way people dine in urban areas,” he continues. “It had to happen.”
2013 Food Truck Throwdown
Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Greenway (between State and India streets), Boston
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