Browsing articles tagged with " Food Trucks"
Nov 6, 2013
Kim Rivers

New food truck: Marty’s Waffles

Marty Meersman of Alexandria has launched a new food truck, Marty’s Waffles.

Amy Scalf of the Community Recorder reports:

 

Marty Meersman of Alexandria is rolling in the dough with his new food truck business, Marty's Waffles.

Marty Meersman of Alexandria is rolling in the dough with his new food truck business, Marty’s Waffles. / Amy Scalf/The Community Recorder

Meersman of Alexandria started making his own waffles two years ago after tasting one from a Cincinnati business.

“I failed miserably the first few times, but I’m stubborn. Then, 2,000 waffles later, I had what I think is the best waffle recipe ever,� he said.

Soon, the Northern Kentucky University art professor was taking the (waffles) to school and family events, and neighbors began ordering them by the dozen.

Meersman started rolling the truck out to private events in August and pulled into public events, such as Cincinnati’s Beerfest and Night Owl Market, in September.

He makes the waffles fresh each day.

“To me, the best waffle is right off the iron. Give it about 15 or 20 minutes to cool,� he said. “There’s a doughy airiness to the inside, and the outside has a beautiful caramel brittle to it. There’s really no comparison.�

Then, he tops each waffle for the order.

Some waffles get a sprinkle of sea salt, then get topped with maple-bourbon whipped cream and caramel. Or sweet waffles could get covered with pumpkin spice whipped cream and white chocolate drizzle. Meersman also uses Nutella hazelnut-chocolate spread or peanut butter and banana, and has many other toppings.

He’s going to experiment with more savory toppings next.

“The waffle is the perfect vehicle for a lot of combinations,� he said. “Sweet toppings are obvious pairings. I would like to try more unusual combinations.�

Meersman posts events and new toppings on his Facebook page, and any other business changes will be found there as well (https://www.facebook.com/MartysWafflesCincinnati).

“I hesitate to follow a business plan. I’d rather let things evolve organically,� he said. “If I let the process and business evolve, it will tell me where it want to go.�

Meersman says his waffles have 'a doughy airiness to the inside, and the outside has a beautiful caramel brittle to it.'

 Meersman says his waffles have ‘a doughy airiness to the inside, and the outside has a beautiful caramel brittle to it.’ / Amy Scalf/The Community Recorder

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Nov 6, 2013
Kim Rivers

Muskegon County free food truck sites in November 2013

food truck site photo.jpg 

Local mobile pantry truck sites in Muskegon and Oceana counties have been scheduled for November 2013.

The sites are part of Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank Inc., a regional food bank in Comstock Park, according to information provided by Muskegon County Cooperating Churches. The local truck program provides people in need with “fresh produce and often dairy products, which are not usually available from a church pantry.”

The program is supported by various community groups and companies. 

Free area food truck sites in November 2013 include:

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 5 p.m., Hackley Hospital, 1675 Leahy St., Muskegon, 231-672-3032.

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 10 a.m., Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church, 2435 Riordan St., Muskegon Heights, 231-733-7301.

Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, 3:30 p.m., Orchard View Senior Center (sponsored by Sanctuary at the Park), 1054 Shonat St., Muskegon, 231-672-2751.   

Friday, Nov.15, 2013, 10 a.m., Fifth Reformed Church (Northside), 2330 Holton Rd., North Muskegon, 231-744-4781.

Saturday, Nov.16, 2013, 1 p.m., Samuel Lutheran Church, 540 Houston Ave., Muskegon, 231-722-7308.

Monday, Nov.18, 2013, 6 p.m., Laketon Bethel Reformed Church, 1568 W. Giles Rd., North Muskegon, 231-744-1749.

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 10 a.m., West Michigan Grinding Machine, 1188 E. Broadway Ave., Muskegon, 231-739-4245.         

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 10 a.m., Timberland Charter Academy, 2574 McLaughlin Ave., Muskegon, 231-767-9700.

For more information, including food truck listing updates, contact 2-1-1 (or 231-733-1155) or Muskegon County Cooperating Churches at 231-727-6000 or go online to www.cooperatingchurches.com.

 

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Nov 6, 2013
Kim Rivers

Food truck rolls into Quincy

Mohamed Nahas’ Tuesday soup menu may have looked familiar – lentils, chicken noodle, broccoli and cheddar – but it was different. Quincy lunch customers were ordering it freshly-made from a food truck.

Gourmet food trucks have been gaining popularity on the streets of Boston for a few years. Now Nahas will be parking his bright blue Soupah Soups van around Quincy every day, and maybe in surrounding towns as well.

Along with pints and quarts of soup, the Quincy native and owner of the Molly Moo’s ice cream shop in Wollaston also offers beef stew and mac and cheese. He also tucks a piece of artisan bread and a cookie from Molly Moo’s into every takeout bag.

Before Nahas opened Molly Moo’s in the spring of 2012, he had run a shoe shop in Boston’s North End.

He likes selling ice cream, but ice cream is a seasonal business, and Nahas said that had a lot to do with his decision to get the food truck rolling.

“I need a winter gig,” he said, as he ladled a pint of Mediterranean-style lentil soup for a customer in a Crown Colony Drive parking lot.

Nahas got the city’s health department approval Oct. 28. He didn’t even have to buy a truck – the Soupah Soups van doubles as his summer ice cream truck.

He’ll keep customers posted on his daily schedule of stops on his Soupah Soups website and via Facebook and Twitter.

Two of his Crown Colony customers, Clare and Ed Barrett, drove across the city from Houghs Neck to check him out. They’re fans of Molly Moo’s, so Clare Barrett said they figured his soup offerings would be tasty too.

“And now he’s here!” she said.

Nahas hasn’t settled on a regular route yet. He said he may drive to surrounding towns in the future. But for now, he’ll be back at Crown Colony on Wednesday.

“This is the first day,” he said. “There are a lot of good places to go.”

Reach Lane Lambert at llambert@ledger.com or follow on Twitter @LLambert_Ledger.

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Nov 6, 2013
Kim Rivers

Take a cue from Crock Spot food truck: Let a slow cooker do the job

Take another look at your trusty slow cooker, and think of it as an oven. A small, inelegant oven.

Crock Pots: They’re not just for soup any more.


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They can slow- roast meat and bake breads.

They can caramelize onions and bake potatoes.

They can bake that popular Chex Party Mix that people love all the time but especially embrace during the holidays.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Mark Bittman and Gordon Ramsay aren’t too proud to use slow cookers. Plus, slow cookers free up the stove and oven during high-traffic holiday cooking, and arguably are more wallet-friendly, to boot.

Many cooks love their slow cookers for the same reasons their mothers and grandmothers did: They can toss in the ingredients, turn a knob to High or Low, walk away, and come back a few hours later to a meal that needs only to be dished out and served.

“You put something in the slow cooker in the morning, go to work, come home, and it’s ready to go,” says Mandy Birks, who with her fiance, Stephen Daniels, runs the popular Crock Spot food truck.

In fact, the Crock Spot started when Daniels, then a bachelor living in New York City, received a slow cooker as a gift.

“He wanted to get the most out of one meal,” Birks said.

“He wanted to cook something, and then come home from work and for four days, eat the same thing, but in different forms.”

That concept later inspired the Crock Spot’s menu. During their first year, Birks and Daniels used slow cookers to develop variations of beef, pork, chicken, turkey and vegetarian dishes. As their business became more successful, they expanded to other forms of slow cooking, using the same slow-roast concept.

“We’ll roast meat up to eight or nine hours in the oven, nothing super-fancy, just optimizing natural flavors with salt and pepper,” Birks says.

“What flavors up our food are the sauces we add, and the different things we put in the bowls.”

Their modus operandi: Two kinds of grain or other base, often Thai jasmine rice and pearled barley but sometimes caraway potatoes or quinoa; four types of protein (including a vegan option, like lentils); and five sauces. Those include chimichurri, sriracha sour cream, boursin cheese, fresh herbed mustard, hoisin haberno, gado gado (an Indonesian peanut sauce) and Cuban mojo.

Adding sauce can change a basic roasted protein, like meat or lentils, into something exotic. In November and December, the Crock Spot sauce options also include cranberry-wasabi.

“We like the idea of offering something that’s traditional, with a little nontraditional twist,” Birks says.

That also describes many of the recipes in “Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook,” an update of Phyllis Good‘s series of slow-cooker guides. Good’s innovative slow cooker recipes include both yeast and dessert breads baked in a crock pot, roasting new potatoes, and oatmeal.

The Shoofly Loaf in “Fix-It and Forget-It” is a real revelation. Instead of pouring the batter directly into the slow-cooker liner, Good advises using a greased loaf pan, set on risers (like a small metal rack or canning jar rings).

Keeping the batter away from the sides and bottom of the liner eliminates the burnt-on-the-edges, raw-in-the-middle problem. The result is a moist, crumbly dessert.

Another revelation: Good’s King Turkey recipe. It’s perfect for anyone planning a Thanksgiving dinner for three or fewer diners. Chopped onion and celery go on the bottom, with a skin-on, bone-in turkey breast on top, then a cup of wine, a cup of chicken broth and some spices. (You could add potatoes or yams, too.) That’s it, and the result is tender and dewy.

Of course, using a slow cooker involves following a few rules.

Dense roots and vegetables, like carrots, beets and potatoes, should occupy the bottom layer, with more fragile ingredients, like cauliflower and broccoli, resting on top, or even added late in the process.

For best results, a slow cooker should be at least two-thirds full. (This rule doesn’t apply in certain situations, like baking bread, especially in a loaf pan.)

The cooking temperature must be 165 degrees or higher. (The Low setting on most slow cookers is about 200 degrees.)

Finally, n ever store or reheat food in a slow cooker. That’s a recipe for food poisoning.

Claire Martin: 303-954-1477, cmartin@denverpost.com or twitter.com/byclairemartin

Slow-cooker recipes From “Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook” by Phyllis Good

King Turkey

Makes 10-12 servings. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours. Ideal slow cooker: 4-or 5-quart size.

Ingredients

5 to 6 pound turkey breast, bone-in and skin on

1 medium onion, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

Half-stick (¼ cup) melted butter

Salt to taste

Sprinkle of lemon pepper

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup white wine

Directions

Wash turkey breast. Pat dry. Place onion and celery in cavity. Brush melted butter along sides and bottom of slow cooker. Place turkey breast with onion and celery in bottom of cooker.

Pour melted butter over turkey. Season with salt and lemon pepper.

Pour broth and wine around turkey.

Cover. Cook on Low setting for 5 to 7 hours, or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees (make sure thermometer does not touch the bone).

Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Autumn Harvest Pork LoinMakes 4 to 6 servings. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 4½ to 5½ hours. Ideal slow-cooker size: 5-quart.Ingredients1½ whole butternut squashes, peeled and cubed1 cup cider or apple juice2-pound pork loinSaltPepper2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and quartered

⅓ cup brown sugar¼ teaspoon cinnamon¼ teaspoon dried thyme¼ teaspoon dried sageDirections

Put peeled and cubed squash into slow cooker. Add cider or juice. Cover and cook on Low for 1½ hours.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of pork loin. Place in slow cooker on top of squash. Lay apple quarters around the meat.

Sprinkle everything with brown sugar and spices.

Cover. Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. At 3 hours, begin checking meat temperature by inserting meat thermometer into the center of the loin. The meat is done when the thermometer reads 140 degrees.

Remove pork loin from cooker. Cover with foil to keep warm, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then cut loin into half-inch-thick slices.

Serve topped with apple and squash. Pass the cooking juices, transferred to a small bowl or jug, to drizzle over the meat, squash and apples.

Shoofly LoafMakes 16 to 20 servings. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 3½ to 4 hours. Ideal slow-cooker size: 6-quart oval.

Ingredients1 cup whole wheat flour1 cup all-purpose flour1 cup brown sugar½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened1 cup boiling water¼ cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses¼ cup mild baking molasses1 teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon saltDirections

Combine both flours, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Measure and reserve ¾ cup of crumbs for topping. Combine boiling water, both kinds of molasses, and baking soda in a heat-proof bowl. Pour water mixture over remaining crumb mixture. Add cinnamon and salt. Mix well into a batter.

Pour batter into a well-greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

Place a small trivet or metal jar rings in the bottom of the slow cooker. Set loaf pan on top. Cover, propping open the lid with a chopstick or wooden spoon handle to vent.

Cook on High for 3½ to 4 hours, until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf pan emerges clean.Carefully remove pan from slow cooker. Allow the loaf to cool inside the pan for 2 hours.

Slide a knife around the edges of the loaf. Serve directly from the pan, or remove carefully to leave the crumb topping intact

Apple Cranberry CrispM akes 8- 10 servings. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 4½ to 4¾ hours. Ideal slow cooker size: 4-quart.

Ingredients3 cups apples, chopped and unpeeled2 cups raw cranberries ⅓ cup white sugar 1½ cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (uncooked)½ cup brown sugar ⅓ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup chopped pecans

1 stick (½ cup) butter, melted

Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

In a greased slow cooker, combine apples, cranberries, and white sugar. Mix thoroughly to blend. Cover. Cook on Low for 4 hours. As apples and cranberries cook, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, pecans and butter in a medium bowl. Mix until crumbly. Set aside.

When fruit mixture finishes cooking, scatter the topping over the hot fruit. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until the topping is warm and beginning to brown around the edges. Serve warm with whipped cream.

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Nov 6, 2013
Kim Rivers

Houston’s secret food truck haven: This often overlooked treasure comes with a …

When I think about the marriage of food and art, I tend to think of those fabulous dinners at Triniti where Mercury plays period music to accompany each course. Or I think of the swell little cafes nestled inside so many museums — the ones where you can pause to sip a cappuccino before more art gazing.

All very European and chic.

But the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston takes eats to the streets with its Fine Art + Food Trucks.

“The Museum of Fine Arts has the best food truck program in the city, hands down,” says Adrian de la Cerda of Ladybird food truck. “It’s the perfect location with lots of shade trees, ample parking and comfortable seating in the Cullen Sculpture Garden.”

“The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, launched Fine Art + Food Trucks just in time for spring break 2012, to provide an additional on-campus dining option for museum visitors and employees, as well as the surrounding community,” says Linda Kuykendall, the museum’s special events director. “It’s an ongoing, curated selection of Houston’s finest mobile food sources present daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.”

 With the cooler temps, dining in the sculpture garden amid Rodins is a perfect lunchtime experience. 

Besides Ladybird’s upscale comfort food, you can find everything from Filipino street food to gourmet grilled cheese, waffle sandwiches, smoothies, pita pockets and pastries.

You can find a full list of current trucks here, with links to their menus.

“We were the first truck to be included in the program,” de la Cerda says. “It’s been fun seeing it grow over the last year and a half. We attribute much of our early success to the exposure afforded to us by the museum. We have many regular customers who come by every Friday for lunch, even in the heat of August.”

De la Cerda adds that many museum visitors stop by, curious to see what’s on the menu and are pleasantly surprised to learn that they can get in for free that day by purchasing lunch from one of the food trucks.

A Free Bonus

The Lunch + Look program offers free same-day general admission, between noon and 2 p.m., if you show a receipt from one of the food trucks from the parking lot. The trucks operate seven days a week. It’s a win-win situation for the truck operators and museum goers.

And with cooler temperatures, dining in the sculpture garden amid the Rodins and Matisses is a perfect lunchtime experience. Then getting to linger all afternoon in the MFAH is just icing on the cake.

 “We attribute much of our early success to the exposure afforded to us by the museum. We have many regular customers who come by every Friday.” 

You’ll also find the trucks parked nearby for Happy Hour Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

But getting back to the Lunch + Look program, you probably don’t want to totally pig out at the food trucks before touring the museum. One of the exhibits you will see right now is the fascinating Calaveras Mexicanas: The Art and Influence of José Guadalupe Posada. It celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913), considered the father of Mexican printmaking. A great deal of his work involves prints of calaveras (skulls), or prints depicting skeletons of famous heroes, politicians and revolutionary leaders.

Looking at a bunch of bones may totally make you regret that second croissant burger you ate at Yummy’s Kitchen or having engulfed Ladybird’s Tokyo Dog — a devilish bacon-wrapped frank with smoked goat cheese, cucumber, jalapenos and unagi sauce.

On the other hand, lunching via food truck might just call for strolling through the halls of the MFAH for a couple of hours so you can work off all those yummy calories.

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Nov 6, 2013
Tim Lester

Erisvaldo’s Roscas: Dirty Doughnuts


Erisvaldo Correia dos Santos selling roscas to a customer, photo by Jimmy Chalk

Erisvaldo Correia dos Santos dreamed of being a star. He saw himself as a humorist, a singer maybe, and most certainly an artist. But the scrabbling northeastern immigrant came in 2005 to Rio, the Brazilian city of dreams, with just 20 reais – about $9 – in his pocket and a family to feed.

“When I came here, I was hard as a coconut,” dos Santos says, meaning he was hard-up for cash.

Nothing a little self-deprecation and naughty jokes couldn’t make up for. Food and guilty pleasure have a long, intertwined history, going all the way back to Adam and Eve. In that vein, snickering Brazilians have long appropriated the verb comer (“to eat”) to mean a more carnal type of consumption. Rosca, the word for “screw,” has been turned into something even more blush-worthy, referring to other, fleshier things that can be screwed and is also used to refer to a nicely round doughnut.

In particular, rosca has come to be used to describe a “screwable” lower part of the body (think doughnut hole and extrapolate from there). Capitalizing on Brazilians’ fondness for roscas (the edible kind) and big bottoms – the behind is to Brazilian men what breasts are to their American counterparts, with dirty magazines here often showing pictures of ample naked women from behind and one of the country’s celebrities a woman who calls herself “Mulher Melancia” (watermelon woman) in reference to her juicy tush – dos Santos found a gastronomical gimmick cariocas are both delighted and a little nervous to comer.

“One, two, three, four! Do what’s cool and thrust your rosca up high!” dos Santos belts out to announce his arrival to the streets of Catete and Largo do Machado each day of the week. The short, 40-something performer then swivels his hips as he balances a cooler-size plastic case of steaming, cakey doughnuts on top of his head.

Erisvaldo's roscas, photo by Jimmy ChalkFlashing smiles that blur the line between cool and creepy, dos Santos carries his routine for blocks, from Rua Pedro Américo down to the Largo do Machado plaza.

“Come look at my rosca, it’s wide and sweet!”

“All ages can eat my rosca.”

Senhora, you’ve been eating my rosca every day!”

“Come and get it now, my rosca is on fire.”

“Hi lady, do you want to eat my rosca today?” A passerby giggles. “Not today!”

“My rosca used to be 50 cents. Now it’s three reais. But it’s wider.”

“There are people who call me at dawn to eat my rosca.”

“She’s eating my rosca in the middle of the street!”

Dos Santos’s doughnut is cakey and soft but not glazed; he advertises it as sequinho (very dry). He tops it with a generous helping of cinnamon and sugar and returns home after a 10 a.m.-to-2 p.m. shift for a lunch break, after which he cooks up more hot roscas for the afternoon. In winter, when cariocas want a warm treat, he sells 400 roscas a day to the doormen, newspaper stand owners and dedicated fans who follow him down the neighborhood’s streets.

He’s often asked if he’s gay, and dos Santos will laugh it off and say he has a kid. “Even my son asks: Is my dad gay?”

As a female client makes a joke to dos Santos so crude that we will not spoil appetites by repeating it here, he turns to us, visibly alarmed, and says the joke has gone too far. “For me, this is just work!”

Address: From Rua Pedro Américo to Rua Corrêa Dutra, Rua do Catete and Largo do Machado plaza. Occasional walks on the Rua das Laranjeiras.
Telephone: +55 21 92225 3749 and +55 21 98285 4053
Hours: 10am-2pm, 5-8pm
 

 

(photos and video by Jimmy Chalk)
 


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Nov 6, 2013
Tim Lester

Inside The Rabbit Hole, a Korean Street Food Wonderland


Click here to view the full photogallery.[Photos: Katie Cannon/EAMPLS]

With yesterday’s soft opening, The Rabbit Hole adds a full-on dining destination to the eateries of Midtown Global Market. Owned by the Left-Handed Cook‘s Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard, the restaurant hardly feels like it’s in the middle of the Midtown Exchange. Entering the fully enclosed space (this one’s a full-on restaurant, not a stand), brings the diner into a world of dark wood and shining steel, plus a variety of Wonderland touches, from the halo of books on the host stand to the variety of semi-trippy light fixtures.

Eater Minneapolis sent photographer Katie Cannon to shoot the space—to go down the rabbit hole, if you will (no, we couldn’t help it). Take a look.

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Nov 6, 2013
Tim Lester

Second Huntsville Downtown Street Food Gathering on Nov. 15 will be cooking …

Second Downtown Street Food Gathering flyer.jpgView full sizeCourtesy Downtown Huntsville Inc. 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The first Downtown Street Food Gathering in early October was so successful that the organizers are planning an encore.

The second Downtown Street Food Gathering is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15, from 6-9 p.m. in the parking lot at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Holmes Avenue. Admission is free.

Downtown Huntsville Inc. said 11 food trucks are other vendors will be on hand. You can also listen to live music and meet beer makers from some local microbreweries.

The following food vendors are expected to participate: Badd Newz BBQ; Blue Pants Brewery food truck; Crave Heat; Dallas Mill Deli food truck; Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza; Food Fighters Bustaurant; I Love Bacon; On-On Tacos; Rocket Dogs hot dog cart; Samovar Gardens; and Sugar Belle Cupcakes.

The first Downtown Street Food Gathering on Oct. 11 drew more than 1,200 people to a tiny parking lot just off the Courthouse Square. The new location – the Yarbrough Building parking lot behind Humphrey’s Bar Grill – has more elbow room and is still inside the Quigley entertainment district.

That means you can grab a beer “to go” from any bar or restaurant within the district and bring it to the food fest.

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Nov 6, 2013
Tim Lester

Comida delivers Mexican street food at The Source

Street food has generated plenty of buzz in the past three-plus, thanks to the proliferation of trucks and carts rolling into parking lots and public spaces.

This being Denver, much of the chatter has involved the street food of Mexico: Tacos, tortas, tostadas and the like.

Restaurateur Rayme Rossello caught the wave early. The former co-owner of Proto’s Pizza fitted out a big van back in 2010, painting it a vivid pink and naming it Tina. Thus was born Comida. And like the most successful local cart purveyors, including Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs and Pinche Taqueria, she has opened brick-and-mortar operations.


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The first non-mobile Comida went up in the Longmont’s Prosepct neighborhood in 2012. In late summer of this year, Rossello launched a second Comida at The Source, the big multi-market space on Brighton Boulevard in the RiNo district.

The Source is a former foundry, repurposed by developer Kyle Zeppelin into a 26,000-square-foot warren of restaurants and markets. The place aspires to be something akin to Seattle’s famed Pike Place, though people familiar with the latter might cock an eyebrow at the ambition of that comparison.

But The Source is certainly cavernous, with a sprawling floor and soaring ceiling. It boasts industrial touches such as concrete floors, exposed brick and ductwork, plus massive wooden rafters.

Comida is a quasi-open air space. Most of the seating is outside the restaurant proper: Think street cafe inside a warehouse. Or, if you’re feeling less charitable, food court. The crowd tends to be young and trendy. For starters, there’s a fairly high pork-pie hat quotient.

Inside, there is a U-shaped bar surrounded by festive, chromed stools with red tops — shades of a bygone malt shop — and on a recent evening, an arrangement of lilies. The bar staff is as cheery as the servers on the floor, quick with smiles and explanations of the menu. (Smart wine, beer and cocktail menu, and terrific agua frescas such as jamaica, watermelon and horchata.)

Not that the menu needs much explanation. It is straightforward in its creativeness. Inexpensive, too, with nothing over $10 and the vast bulk of items in the $3-$4 range.

On one recent visit we started with tortilla chips and a trio of salsas. The chips were the size of silver-dollar pancakes, warm and crisp. A cucumber-jalapeño crema strongly recalled an Indian raita, while a carrot habanero fulfilled all the fiery promise of its bright-orange color. The house salsa had an appealing smokiness.

Soft corn tacos arrived in waves.

The pork carnitas taco featured tender, flavorful pork, but the rest of the filling — a sweet potato mash with smoked gouda — didn’t eat as well as it read. The creaminess of the mash somewhat undercut the pork’s texture.

A griddled taco with shredded roast chicken offered excellent texture and flavors. Simply packed with three cheeses — cotija, asadero and smoked gouda — it was beautifully balanced, topped with a dollop of spicy guacamole.

A south-by-southwest taco with spicy shrimp and jalapeño grits delivered the same pleasure.

Also enjoyable was a quesadilla, packed with that cheese trio, plus roasted poblanos and black beans. A fat gordita bore poblano and onions, with green cabbage with crema and wedge of lime.

Perhaps the most rewarding dish of the two visits was a taco dubbed “The Sirloin Situation,” which our waitress described as “sort of like a pot roast dinner in a tortilla.” She was right.

The sirloin was slow-cooked in Negra Modelo, one of Mexico’s classic dark beers, then served with that smoked gouda-sweet potato mash with roasted onions and a tart crema. For some reason, the marriage of the beef with the sweet potato mash worked much better than it did with the pork.

I like Comida and wish it well. It’s worth the short drive from downtown to the RiNo neighborhood.

One caveat, the numerical address — 3350 Brighton Blvd. — is pretty useless in finding The Source, especially for first-timers. Look for a massive 19th-century brick complex set back from the road across a parking lot. Yes, it has “The Source” painted on it in big white letters, but there’s really nothing roadside to let you know you’re there.

William Porter: 303-954-1877, wporter@denverpost.com or twitter.com/williamporterdp

COMIDA

Mexican. 3350 Brighton Blvd., inside The Source, 303-296-2747, eatcomida.com

**½Very Good/Great

Atmosphere: Picture an open-air cafe in an industrial warehouse.

Service: Knowledgeable, accommodating

Beverages: Beer, wine, cocktails, Mexican agua frescas

Plates: $3-$10, with all tacos in the $2.50-$3 range

Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Details: A bit hard to find, since the address is not marked. Look for a large, old brick building called The Source set back from the street. Lot parking.

Two visits

Our star system:

****: Exceptional

***: Great

**: Very Good

*: Good

Stars reflect the dining reviewer’s overall reaction to the restaurant’s food, service and atmosphere.

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