Browsing articles tagged with " Food Trucks"
Aug 26, 2013
Kim Rivers

‘Tikka Tikka Taco’ Truck Stars on Food Network

Check out these flavor combos: Chikka Chicken Tacos (a tandoori chicken taco with garlic spinach and raita) and Bikka Beef Tacos (a taco stuffed with spiced, grilled sirloin). And be sure to save room for the Naanchos: Toasted naan pieces smothered in your choice of meat, raita and feta cheese. 

That’s what’s on the menu at Tikka Tikka Taco, a popular eatery in St. Louis, Mo., that has just hit the big time as a contestant on the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”

The show kicked off its fourth season Aug. 18 with host Tyler Florence.

Eight teams of contestants are each loaned a food truck, and Florence follows them as they travel around the U.S. facing new challenges in each new city. The winner gets to keep the food truck and a $50,000 prize.

“Our target market is really the entire country,” T3 co-owner Michael Swaleh told India-West in an e-mail July 24. “Of course, we will start in the St. Louis market but we plan to grow beyond that. I believe our participation in this show will help greatly.  

“I want our food to reach people that may have never otherwise tried Indian food or Pakistani food because of stereotypes that they have heard, or their aversion to try new things. Let us be their introduction — their gateway food — into a delicious genre.”

Swaleh’s grandparents spent time living in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma before moving to the U.S. “Having been raised in the United States by their son and my Italian mother has made me a very American man with a very ethnic taste for food,” he said.

Swaleh’s creativity shines in the Naanchos recipe, the genesis of which he explained to India-West.

“The creation of the Naanchos is a cool story, and really sent us down the path of realization that we can take most common Mexican dishes and give them a middle-eastern or Indian twist,” he explained.

“I had a BBQ at my home one day for some friends to try out some different recipes. On that day, we had bought frozen naan and were warming them in the oven.  For about 10 minutes, I completely forgot the last batch of naan was in the oven, and when I went to pull it out, it was slightly burnt. Coincidentally, it was quite delicious and had a chip-like crunch. 

“I realized that pita chips were common, but naan chips were not, and were even tastier.  I then thought about how good it would taste dipped in raita. Then, what if I topped it with chicken tikka? One thing led to another, and this perfect dish was born.”

T3 launched a Kickstarter campaign last year which failed to bring in enough money to start the business, but Swaleh and his family didn’t give up: they started a seed money fund on IndieGogo, which was able to raise the first $6,000 for the Indian American restaurant. 

On “The Great Food Truck Race,” T3 will compete against Aloha Plate (Los Angeles, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii), Boardwalk Breakfast Empire (Sea Bright, N.J.), Bowled and Beautiful (Los Angeles), Frankfootas (New York), Murphy’s Spud Truck (Los Angeles), Philly’s Finest Sambonis (Philadelphia) and The Slide Show (Los Angeles).

“Everyone, regardless of background, has been impressed with the taste of our food,” Swaleh told India-West. “I recall one couple in San Francisco in the opening week of the race that admitted they often try to make creative Indo-Fusion dishes at home and were anxious to judge us in comparison. Sheepishly, they admitted we had aced it.”

Follow T3’s exciting journey online at

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Aug 26, 2013
Kim Rivers

Former Baylor staff member opens sweet treat food truck

The Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake ShoppeThe Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe

The Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe, located at 520 Franklin Ave. on August 21, 2013.

Michael Bain | Lariat Photographer

The Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake ShoppeThe Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe

Becky Chollett, owner and operator of Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe and her son Garrett, serve a Monster Ice Cream Sandwich on August 21, 2013.

Michael Bain | Lariat Photographer

The Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake ShoppeThe Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe

The Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe on August 21, 2013.

Michael Bain | Lariat Photographer

The Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe, located at 520 Franklin Ave. on August 21, 2013. Michael Bain | Lariat PhotographerBecky Chollett, owner and operator of Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe and her son Garrett, serve a Monster Ice Cream Sandwich on August 21, 2013. Michael Bain | Lariat PhotographerThe Monster Ice Cream Sandwich at Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe on August 21, 2013. Michael Bain | Lariat Photographer
By Ada Zhang
Staff Writer

For 31 years, Becky Chollett worked at the Baylor law school as the assistant dean of admissions. She said she recalls her time at Baylor with fondness, saying that her job was rewarding. However, Chollett said her life came to a crossroads a year ago when she felt God’s calling for her to do something different with her time and talent. From there, Chollett said she decided to take a leap of faith and do something she had wanted to do since her 20s—start her own business.

Months of planning and a vintage food trailer purchase later, Chollett now has her own mobile bakery, Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe, parked at 520 Franklin Ave.

Chollett did not immediately pursue her endeavors after leaving Baylor in 2012. She put her business on hold at first so she could be involved in her 10-year-old son’s life.

“I assumed presidency of the parent’s society at St. Lewis Catholic School,” Chollett said. “I wanted to take advantage of the opportunities at my child’s school. I think it’s important.”

Busy with her role in the St. Lewis Parent’s Association, Chollett did not embark on her business until summer when her son, Garrett, was on break.

Chollett said she always aspired to be an entrepreneur but felt unsure in the beginning of her strengths. She chuckled and said that she once considered opening a coffee shop.

“But then I realized I don’t know a lot about coffee,” Chollett said. “I drink Folgers.”

Lacking a sophisticated palate for coffee, Chollett explored other options.

A couple years ago, she took notice of the food trailer trend in its peak popularity and had a sudden epiphany. In the past, Chollett had thrown parties and delighted guests with her baked goods. She said she enjoyed the mobile aspect of a food trailer better than the traditional brick-and-mortar facility.

“It sets the bakery apart,” Chollett said. “It gives the bakery personality.”

Once the idea of a mobile bakery stuck, Chollett searched for a vintage airstream trailer. With the help from her husband, Galen, she finally found a trailer on Craigslist that perfectly suited her needs, and her son affectionately named the new addition “Bob.”

When the bakery made its debut at the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market in June, Chollett was elated by all the positive response she received from customers. For her, it was an emotional experience.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so vulnerable in my life,” Chollett said. “I put a lot of love and attention into my baked goods. I’m putting it all out there for everyone to taste.”

That same love and attention seems to be paying off for her. The sweet stop’s Facebook page already has several hundred likes, and users have commented on the page to voice their approval of the treats.

“It is moist and rich,” wrote Sugar Land junior Sarah Nguyen after trying one of the salted caramel cookies. “Super delicious!”

Cookies are the shop’s main attraction, each weighing three ounces or more and made with only high-quality ingredients, Chollett said. Customers can order a “Monster,” a huge ice cream sandwich made with two cookies and a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream in the middle.

When it comes to adding new menu items, Chollett is brimming with ideas. In the coming months, customers can expect a variety of baked goods such as scones, cinnamon roll cake and bread pudding. Chollett also intends to add more vegan and gluten-free options.

Currently, the bakery is under small operation with only a three-member staff, including Chollett, her husband and son. Open-minded to the idea of expanding her business, she said she has considered opening a savory food trailer named “Betsy” in the future.

For now, Chollett said she is enjoying the adventure of running Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe with her family, and she can now cross “be an entrepreneur” off her bucket list.

“I’m taking it one day at a time,” Chollett said. “As long as I continue to produce quality products and make people happy.”

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Aug 26, 2013
Kim Rivers

Celebrate Labor Day with food truck rodeo

Food trucks on Labor Day weekend: A food truck rodeo with more than 60 mobile vendors is planned to be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at Durham Central Park.

In addition to the food truck sales, there will also be live music, beer sales by Fullsteam and Triangle Brewing Co., and handcrafted items.


Northgate sale: Northgate Mall stores will be holding a sidewalk sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Allison Savicz, a spokeswoman for the mall, said many merchants will have clearance items offered for sale on tables in front of their stores during the sale hours.

In addition, more than 50 merchants will also be offering deals throughout the Labor Day weekend at the mall, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

In addition, Northgate is holding a fixture sale at its outdoor plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The sale will include lighting fixtures, display cases, counters, cash registers, countertop displays, chairs, and desks.

Savicz said the sale is of items that the mall’s owners have accumulated over time that they’re ready to get rid of.

“It’s kind of a mixed bag,” she said. “That will take place outside on the plaza.”


More on Main Street pet supply shop: The Other End of the Leash, a new pet boutique and bakery, is targeted to open in September at 1000 W. Main St.

The shop will offer pet supplies such as nutritional supplements, food, toys, as well as treats for dogs and cats in 1,300 square feet of space.

There will be an on-site bakery where dog treats will be made fresh daily. The store will also offer informational workshops, professional speakers and special events.

It will be owned and operated by Durham residents Diane Groff and LeAnn Hinson, who were inspired to launch the store after as a result of the special dietary needs of their dog Bailey.

“Our goal is to create an environment that is as fun as it is informational where our knowledgeable staff can present the highest quality, off-the-beaten-path products right in the heart of downtown Durham,” she said.

The boutique and bakery will be open seven days per week.


Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at or at 919-419-6636.


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Aug 26, 2013
Kim Rivers

‘Great Food Truck Race’ Week 2: How’d the St. Louisans do?


In Week 2 of “The Great Food Truck Race” (8 p.m. Sundays on Food Network), St. Louisans Tikka Tikka Taco took their Indian street food to Portland, Ore., where the trucks were caught in a chilly rain that should have made diners crave spicy food. But did it?

In Portland, food trucks can park only on private property, and the Tikka team joined a pod of food carts on a slow Sunday morning to serve three chicken-based dishes including the naan-chos (naan flatbread instead of chips) from last week. (I’m going to need a plate of those naan-chos soon.)

In a twist, trucks were told they couldn’t restock when they ran out of food, and Tikka (brothers Mike and Shaun Swaleh and their uncle Sam) sold out, waiting in a supermarket parking lot until they could shop. Then came another twist — host Tyler Florence delivered a special ingredient: geoduck, pronounced “gooey duck,” a huge clam native to the Pacific Northwest. At that point, all their food had to be geoduck-centric.

Few of the teams knew exactly how to prepare geoduck, which is shaped like, oh, let’s say an elephant trunk, as one competitor described it. The Hawaiians and the New Jersey truck seemed to be best off, but most made tasty looking dishes. For the Tikkas: geoduck tacos; what else? All were told they needed to sell $100 of geoduck dishes to race for a $500 bonus; then, the total was changed to $200.

Finally, in an “Amazing Race”-like scramble including lots of bad navigation,  the “Bowled and Beautiful” truck won the bonus. The Hawaiian truck finished the leg in first place by a thousand dollars, though, and Tikka Tikka Taco again came in third. That’s a good, solid finish, but maybe it’s time to spice things up some more, guys.

Eliminated was Boardwalk Breakfast Empire, the New Jersey truck whose restaurant was lost in Hurricane Sandy. But the other teams agreed to donate the weekend’s profits to Sandy survivors.

Next week: Pocatella, Idaho, “the smile capital” of the United States.








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Aug 25, 2013
Tim Lester

Rim Fire Smoke Affects Local Air, Schools, Events and More

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  • Symptoms from Smoke
  • Smoke Could Make Pets Less Playful
  • Smoke Impacting Events Across Northern Nevada
  • Smoky Skies – Unhealthy Air

Photo courtesy KOLO viewer Jojo Cann

Photo courtesy KOLO viewer Jojo Cann

Washoe County Air Quality and Fire Information

RENO, NV – Smoke filling northern Nevada skies from the Rim Fire near Yosemite has changed several weekend plans, after already leading the Washoe County School District to cancel Friday recess and outdoor athletic activities.

Friday and weekend public outdoor events are scheduled on a case-by-case basis, depending on what happens with the smoke. So far, the Reno Street Food Event at Idlewild Park scheduled for Friday night is postponed. It’s still scheduled for next Friday. The Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Giveaway Day Saturday has also been postponed, as has the Carson City HopeFest cancer fundraiser. The Lake in the Sky air show in South Lake Tahoe has been canceled, as have some events for the Lake Tahoe Triathlon. Friday night’s Nevada soccer match against San Francisco is postponed. The Pop Warner Jamboree, scheduled for Saturday at the Churchill County Fairgrounds has been canceled.

Sierra Front confirms the smoke hitting the Reno area is not coming from the American Fire in the Tahoe National Forest; instead, it’s coming from the Rim Fire west of Yosemite National Park in California.

Thick smoke and even ash are the norm Friday in the Tahoe Basin, Douglas County, Carson City and into Reno, plus surrounding rural areas.

Here is the health alert from the Washoe County Health District:

AQMD is notifying the public of the potential for poor air quality conditions through Tuesday, August 27, 2013 due to smoke from the Rim Fire and American Fire in California. Widespread haze and smoky conditions will continue to affect Southern Washoe County especially valley locations including Reno and Sparks.

The smoke is highly dependent upon the wind direction and fire activity which can change rapidly. Expect smoke to become more concentrated in lower elevations during the evenings and early mornings with partial clearing in the afternoons as atmospheric mixing or favorable winds lifts the smoke out of the breathing zone.

Air quality is currently in the Unhealthy range (meaning for everyone), and especially for sensitive groups due to fine particulate matter. It is expected to remain in either the Unhealthy range, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range or the Moderate range as wind and weather conditions change.

Fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 is comprised of microscopic particles that can travel deep into our lungs and is the pollutant of concern found in wildfire smoke. While everybody may experience varying degrees of symptoms, persons in the sensitive groups category include children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory and heart conditions are of greatest risk at experiencing more aggravated symptoms and serious complications. Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose.

If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse. People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath.

In general, if you smell smoke and feel it’s affecting you, then take precautions such as:
• Staying indoors with the windows and doors closed and air conditioner on.
• Limiting prolonged or heavy exertion and physical activity while outdoors.
• Drinking plenty of fluids.
Persons experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctor if they have any questions.


Here is Friday’s warning from Carson City and Douglas County:

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) air quality
monitors in Gardnerville and Carson City indicate extremely elevated amounts of particulate matter in the air due to wildfires in California. The levels of particulate matter equate to “Very Unhealthy” on the Air Quality Index (AQI) level of health concern. The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality and what associated health effects might
be an issue.

In conditions that lead to a “Very Unhealthy” designation, all residents may begin to experience adverse health effects. Members of sensitive groups (young children, the elderly, people with asthma or other respiratory issues) may experience more serious affects. People should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outside and consult with their health care provider if needed.

Based on National Weather Service forecasts, NDEP expects very unhealthy air quality conditions to remain in Carson City and Douglas County throughout the weekend.

Due to unhealthy air quality levels in northern Nevada, Carson Tahoe Health encourages the public to be
aware of the following:

• Air quality is so bad that even the healthiest of individuals
could be in danger if they spend too much time outdoors

• Shelter in place, stay indoors.

• Keep hydrated to progress a cough and help prevent smoky air from settling in the lungs

• Use air conditioning if possible, to help filter air throughout a house

• Keep all doors and windows shut in both home and vehicles, if in a vehicle make sure the air conditioner is set to reticulate the air

• Humidifiers will help the air quality in a home or building

• Masks are available for purchase at hardware stores and can really help filter the air and aid in comfort.

Seek emergency care if:

• You are having trouble breathing or can’t say more than four words without having to stop and take a breath

• You experience excessive sweating

• Your lips are turning blue

• You are confused or lose consciousness


Update: The Rim Fire has burned an estimated 125,620 acres, and is only 5% contained as of Friday night. Highway 120 in the area is closed and 2500 structures are threatened.

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Aug 25, 2013
Kim Rivers

Traveling food pantries serve a growing need

by Julie Siple, Minnesota Public Radio

ST. PAUL, Minn.
A new kind of food truck is driving around the Twin Cities.

These trucks aren’t serving gourmet fare. Instead, they’re packed with canned goods and produce — free food for people who struggle to afford enough on their own.

A growing number of food shelves in Minnesota have launched mobile pantries to take food directly to those who need it. Among those that have is the NorthPoint Food Shelf in Minneapolis.

Twice a month, NorthPoint workers load an old delivery truck with food and head to places like St. Anne’s Community Center, which provides below market rent for seniors.

“People are having trouble getting to the food, so we try to make it much more accessible for them by bringing it out to them,” Marquis Wise, food shelf lead for NorthPoint said on the way there. Many of the seniors at St. Anne’s use walkers or motorized scooters and don’t have cars.

While the truck is en route, Francisca Rivera, a community health worker at NorthPoint, already is taking orders at St. Anne’s.

Larger view

“You can have chicken, beef, white or brown rice,” Rivera tells St. Anne’s resident Ineze Ellis. “The brown rice is really good, have you tried it?”

Ellis, 77, sits on her walker, skeptical of brown rice. But she said having the mobile food shelf park outside her apartment building is a big help. She cannot afford to buy fruit regularly and does not have an easy way get to the local food shelf.

“I have no car, and I got nobody who lives in town with cars, to get any place,” Ellis said.

NorthPoint launched its mobile unit in May with a $50,000 grant from the Greater Twin Cities United Way and another $45,000 from Hunger-Free Minnesota.

In a surge of grant awards, Hunger-Free Minnesota, the United Way, and the state of Minnesota have given nearly $400,000 in the past year to mobile food pantries.

Larger view

A task force composed of several nonprofit groups that have such programs began meeting in May to figure out the best and most cost-effective ways to run a mobile food shelf.

Meanwhile, mobile pantries are expanding beyond urban areas.

In the southeast Twin Cities suburbs, another mobile food pantry stops outside Inver Hills Community College, which serves many non-traditional students. A recent survey at Inver Hills found 40 percent of students need food assistance.

“I think that the campus was shocked,” said Katie Halcrow, director of Service Learning at Inver Hills Community College.

The survey also showed that it’s tough for students to get to a food shelf because they’re short on both time and transportation. “If you’ve got two kids, and you’re working, and you’re going to school, it’s just a lot to juggle,” Halcrow said.

Larger view

To meet the need, the campus began working with Eagan and Lakeville Resource Centers. Its executive director, Lisa Horn, wasn’t surprised to hear students were struggling to find transportation to the food shelf, a common problem for clients in the suburbs.

“We do have a lot of folks that call at the last minute and say, ‘I can’t come because my ride cancelled on me, or my car’s not working, or I don’t have enough gas in my vehicle to get to your food shelf,’” she said.

Horn paid $10,500 for the truck, and spends about $700 monthly in gas and insurance. But she said that’s cheap compared with rent and maintenance for a regular food shelf.

David Dayhoff, director of partnership engagement and advocacy for Hunger-Free Minnesota, would like to see more mobile food units to serve areas of the state where people don’t have easy access to food aid.

“So you have to figure out — if we were to have a food shelf there, how could we do it? One alternative would be to open new brick and mortar food shelves,” Dayhoff said. “But in fact in many cases that’s probably not as good of an idea as having an existing food shelf launch a mobile program to go target those areas that are underserved.”

So far, the Eagan mobile food pantry has served 1,840 households at three locations since it first launched last September. The NorthPoint mobile unit has served about 150 people in eight visits. Organizers of both mobile programs expect those numbers will continue to rise.

Larger view

Dayhoff isn’t arguing that traditional food shelves should disappear. Indeed, mobile units depend on them to organize and store food. But he said those mobile units can be very cost-effective, as long as they serve enough people at one stop.

The traveling food shelves also are more flexible. If poverty rises or falls in particular areas, Dayhoff said, they can be diverted to places they are needed most.

In Minneapolis, NorthPoint is taking its mobile food service one step further by also sending health workers.

On the recent visit, LaTrisha Vetaw, a community health worker for NorthPoint, took Ineze Ellis’ blood pressure. And her numbers weren’t good.

“You should try to take your blood pressure medication every day at the same time,” Vetaw said.

As Vetaw sees it, a person who needs food likely needs other services.

“If people have a hard time getting into a food shelf, more than likely they have a hard time getting in to doctor’s visits as well,” Vetaw said. “So we lure them in with the food, and then we talk to them about all the other important components of their health.”

She sends Ellis away with a final nudge.

“Next time we come back the pressure is going to be lower, right?”

Ellis leaves with food — and a promise to take those meds.

Julie Siple

Julie Siple is a reporter covering hunger and related issues for MPR News.

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Aug 25, 2013
Kim Rivers

A bacon truck, french fry heaven, and North End’s Mexican food

  • Tenoch Mexican is coming to the North End. Yes, Mexican food. To the North End. Alberto Sandoval tells us that he’ll open a second branch of his Tenoch Mexican restaurant at 3 Lewis St. in the North End within the coming weeks. Right now, Sandoval operates a popular Medford sit-down restaurant with burritos and enchiladas, as well as a food truck that serves tortas. Sandoval’s tortas just might be the best deal in town — it’s tough to go wrong with the signature Choriqueso with Telera bread, melted Oaxaca cheese, chorizo, chipotle mayo, beans, onions, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes for a cool $6.50.

  • Recommended Reading

    Aug 25, 2013
    Kim Rivers

    How About a Food Truck at the MARC Station?

    Thousands of commuters head to Odenton each day to travel into Washington, DC or Baltimore, and the town’s MARC station is one of the most popular on the entire Penn Line. 

    The recently renovated Halethorpe station is also a popular spot for commuters, and has one extra-nice enhancement—a food truck.

    Several media outlets report that married couple Stephanie and Dominick Greco are serving breakfast and coffee to Penn Line riders. 

    According to the Sun, Food dishes include:
    “The Penn” - two eggs made to order
    “The Brunswick”  - an omelet with cheese and a choice of filling
    “The Camden”  - egg sandwich on a baguette.
    “The Sloppy Boh,” a National Bohemian bratwurst, sunny-side-up egg with cheese, and arugula on a baguette roll.

    Would a food truck be welcomed in Odenton as well?  

    The Odenton station already has the White Rabbit coffeeshop, located in the historic bank building. But perhaps there’s enough commuters to support both the coffeeshop and a food truck. 

    A food truck in Odenton would not be unprecedented, as a waffle truck is a frequent visitor at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena on weekends. 

    Would you like to see a food truck at the Odenton MARC station?

    Recommended Reading

    Aug 25, 2013
    Kim Rivers

    Corn Roast in Canton, Food Truck Rally in Northville

    Canton Corn RoastIf slow-roasted corn on the cob served up with hot dogs and baked beans sounds like your idea of the perfect summer meal, join the Canton Lions Club on Ridge Road south of Cherry Hill Road at 11 a.m. today. Oh, and did we mention there will be ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy and watermelon, too?

    Northville Food Truck Rally: Nine Detroit-area food trucks will descend on downtown Northville today from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Paired with a Bier Garden and live music, it could be the perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon.

    Wyandotte Polish Festival: Enjoy Polish food, music, dancing and games all weekend long in Wyandotte. There will also be rides and games for kids. Click on the link above to get the address and schedule details.

    Restaurant news

    Stucchi’s in Dexter Closes: This long-time Ann Arbor-area ice cream staple served its last customers on Friday. Locals say they’ll miss their premium cold treats.

    New West Bloomfield Tim Hortons Slates Job Fair: The restaurant will open in a new commercial building in the northwest corner of Maple and Orchard Lake Roads.

    HenriettaHaus Coffee Roasters Makes Final Round of Hatch Detroit Voting: The coffee roaster sells at Ferndale’s Rust Belt Market, and is based in Wyandotte. Hatch Detroit is a small business incubator that lets voters determine which contestant will receive funding, exposure, education and mentoring. 

    Newest Middle Eastern Bakery Opens in Dearborn: Zaatar W Zeit opened three weeks ago at 10303 West Warren Ave. and serves spinach and meat pies, jelly pies, pepperoni, broccoli, and spinach rolls, chocolate rolls, Lebanese sausages (makanek), and Sambousek (a fried stuffed pastry), among other items.

    Post Bar Sets Sights on Downtown Plymouth: The chain’s plan in the city would be more of a casual bistro setting, a departure from the nightclub atmosphere in its locations around Metro Detroit.

    Recommended Reading

    Aug 25, 2013
    Kim Rivers

    Orange confidential: Food-truck purveyor scores top honors at New Paltz Ribfest – Times Herald

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    After the Times Herald-Record published a story Monday about the second-place finish of Cory Wirthmann and Matt Daum — both New Paltz natives — in the ninth annual Hudson Valley Ribfest last weekend, the reporter covering the story received an email from Ed Randolph: “I just wanted to follow up on the ribfest story you wrote today …” the letter began. Buddies since high school, Wirthmann and Daum were perfect subjects for the barbecue contest story, because both were local — few of the contestants were from the mid-Hudson region — and because neither had entered a seriously competitive cook-off before the event. The two also faced extreme challenges, including the destruction of their grill, just before the contest, adding suspense to the narrative. What could have been better?

    Turns out Randolph also had a story.

    He too was local, from the hamlet of Wallkill, just five miles away from the Ulster County Fairgrounds, where Ribfest is held. He’s the owner of a mobile food cart called Handsome Devil, and he’s kind of a big deal around these parts among barbecue enthusiasts, he told the reporter.

    Like Wirthmann and Daum, Randolph was an unlikely contestant in the cook-off, but for more than just one reason. He was called at the last minute by the Highland Rotary Club, which organized the event, because one of the food vendors had dropped out.

    That gave his team just 48 hours to find 2,300 pounds of meat to smoke and barbecue for the event. They cooked for two days, sold 300 racks of ribs, 44 butts, 25 briskets, 250 pounds of beef short ribs and 20-plus trays of mac cheese.

    And, they managed to win first place in the ribs category in the cook-off.

    Surprisingly, Randolph doesn’t even have his own restaurant yet. He caters events and sells his barbecue out of his truck on the weekends in a parking lot on Route 17K and Rock Cut Road.

    If you live in the mid-Hudson Valley, come down for a visit, he implored.

    John Sullivan

    Take a tour of Middletown

    The Orange County Citizens Foundation is hosting a “placemaking tour” of Middletown on Sept. 28.

    Placemaking, the foundation said in a news release, is an approach to planning where you look at and talk to the people who live in and use a public space and use this information to create a vision for its future.

    The guided walking tour is from 9 to 11:30 a.m., starting and ending at the Paramount Theatre. It will include presentations by community and government officials. There will also be a light breakfast.

    Nancy Proyect, president of the Citizens Foundation, said many people are looking for walkable communities with strong downtowns, but that many local downtowns are struggling.

    “We believe that by helping communities create new areas where people want to ‘be,’ Orange County can remain competitive economically and maintain a positive quality of life,” she said.

    The tour is free and open to the public. For information, to sponsor, or to register, contact the foundation at 469-9459 or

    Nathan Brown

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