Browsing articles tagged with " Food Trucks"
Dec 12, 2013
Tim Lester

Gherkin is back on the menu for street food

STREET food has evolved from a proliferation of greasy chip vans to the height of gourmet cuisine in a relatively short space of time in the UK.

But strict bylaws banning street trading in many parts of the City of London, mean us City folk often miss out on the gourmet grub.

But KERB, which began life at King’s Cross, has been granted some festive reprieve and following an enforced break from its temporary home at the Gherkin, it’s back today for the second of two Christmas specials, replete with mulled wine as well as the ubiquitous pulled-pork.

KERB had been resident at the Gherkin for nine months until it had a run in with the City of London Corporation in August over planning permission.

“It was a real disappointment to stop in the summer but we’ve make some tweaks, pared back what we’re doing and hopefully, pending a committee meeting at the Corporation we’ll be able to stay,” KERB founder Petra Barren told The Capitalist.

The Capitalist also had a word with the City of London Corporation to get the skinny on KERB’s Gherkin residency.

Apparently, the private land it was operating on didn’t have planning permission for a change of use and the Corporation is considering its new planning application – in the meantime it granted the two special dates as a temporary measure, “in the spirit of Christmas.”

Ahh doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Dec 12, 2013
Tim Lester

Birmingham Airport opens Asian street food concept Deli Hub

Birmingham Airport opens Asian street food concept Deli Hub

Published: 12/12/13

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Helen Pawson

UK. Birmingham Airport has added to its food beverage offer with the opening of Deli Hub, an outlet serving Asian street food.

Deli Hub, an extension of well-established Birmingham based Kababish restaurants, boasts a Halal menu and sub-continent street food classics such as pakoras and samosas. Passengers can also create their own deli naan wraps with a wide range of fillings to choose from.

Birmingham Airport Commercial Director Martyn Lloyd said: “We’re pleased to welcome Deli Hub to Birmingham Airport, which I’m sure will prove to be tremendously popular with our passengers, especially for those who like their food a little bit spicy.

“We hope the Asian inspired decor and authentic street food menu will create an exciting atmosphere inside the terminal. The great tasting food will speak for itself.”

Kababish Managing Director Sydd Sadiq commented: “Deli Hub is a new and exciting concept for us, featuring some of the dishes and ingredients that have become so popular at our Kababish restaurants in Moseley and Sutton Coldfield. We’re delighted about this latest venture with Birmingham Airport and we have every confidence Deli Hub will be a big success here.”

Deli Hub is located inside the terminal and is open seven days a week between 10am and 10pm.

For more information, please visit

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Dec 12, 2013
Tim Lester

Street Food Discoveries: Pasta, this time it’s Mongolian

Pasta tosses up in the air and lands perfectly in the pan. Sparks of fire fly from the charcoal furnace and gradually melt the grated cheese. Bubbling and bursting, the cheese blends with the gravy, veggies peep out from the sizzling pan, and the air filled with its aroma, pulls people from all over the city and beyond to this pasta haven, near the World Trade Center in Mumbai.

Cars of all sizes cover the entire stretch  of this usually quiet lane at Cuffe Parade on Sundays, when it is abuzz with hungry voices placing orders and people crowding around the open kitchen.

Manoj Gupta’s stall serves a variety of pastas (in macaroni and penne), pizzas (on bread and khichya papad), maggi and corn. He was the first hawker in Mumbai to serve Italian, and the rare street-delight, Mongolian pasta. How did he come up with it? Well, in 2005, Gupta put up a hot corn stall at a wedding, which had a grand spread of diverse cuisines and fusion foods, including Mongolian pasta. He didn’t like its bland taste, but realising it was a ‘hit’ with guests, he decided to introduce it at his street stall, although with a difference.

“Maine pasta mein apne tarike se masala dala aur hamare regular customers ko bahut pasand aaya” he had told me the first time I ate there. 

Even after all these years, I haven’t come across Mongolian pasta in restaurants; his spicy version consisting of finely diced cabbage and bell peppers, seasoned with oregano, paprika and secret flavours continues to be a favourite among many.

In a proud moment, Gupta once told me, “Koi ek bar idhar khata hain to zaroor wapas aata hain.” Although he passed away over a year ago, his wife Rakhi Gupta and five sons carry on his legacy. 

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Dec 12, 2013
Tim Lester

Street Wars: The Secret Life of Street Food Vendors

A close look at the lives of two pushcart owners — the bitter competition, the passion for their craft, and their relentless will to succeed.

Andrey Babaev and fellow co founder, Aryat Muleev, own Crepes and Waffles, a waffle and crepe specialty pushcart that brings accessible, delicious French cuisine to the streets of New York City. Around Columbus Circle at 59th Street, you can find these two broad shouldered-Russian immigrants inside of their vendor’s truck, pouring secret mixes onto a flatiron or waffle press, and finely crafting your meal with traditional wooden tools. Always smiling and engaging with customers, it is hard to believe these men face a constant and frequently dangerous battle: competing with other food vendors.


“We tried a bunch of times, like in the Rockefeller Center and Times Square. But it’s a community of [older street vendors] and they do not let us stay there. They know the very good corners.”


After creating our lunch, two crepes covered in chocolate and strawberries, Andrey shared the experience of life on the other side of the counter. He told me about migrating to America, “Because of ‘The Dream.’ The American Dream,” and the challenges he faced, arriving without a word of English.


We talked about his meager beginnings as a pedicab driver. Mr. Babaev described having nothing: how pedicabs funded his first year in New York, and how he created a network that became the foundation for a future in entrepreneurship. He told me about beginning as a renter of one cart, and eventually making enough to buy and then rent out four.

“My first time in New York, I was walking in Central Park and I met people who spoke Russian. They said they used to work in the pedicab. And they said it’s a good job; you work on your own. There’s no boss, there’s no owner. You’re the owner.”

From here, Andrey said he connected with Aryat, who was also a pedicab driver, and they decided to take the next step, apparently as many other pedicab drivers do, into street vending.

“We’re cooking on the table and people see how we cook. We don’t [pre-make] — they see what we do and they know it is fresh. They see what they’re going to eat. That’s quality.”

Andrey described the day-to-day, beginning work at 5 a.m. on weekdays; and on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, they are there until 4 a.m. He told me about the lines of eager customers that frequently run down the street. And then I learned of the less tasteful side of street food.


He told me about a longtime rivalry amongst all of the pushcart vendors, and how certain ones maintain their control of the boroughs. There is an unwritten rule that permits only the oldest street food companies to sell on the most trafficked, or best streets. If any new vendors break these rules, as Andrey and Aryat unwittingly did in their first months of business, they face the wrath of the entire community.

“You see this corner?” Andrey pointed across the street as we sat and ate, “It’s only [a Halal vendor] who have been there for 20 years. If we try to stay there, he will come with his family and do something to us. It’s everywhere we try to stand. All the good spots.”

“It was the beginning of November, and we had found a very good spot. It was available, nobody stayed there, and we came with our pushcart. We put our pushcart on the sidewalk but… [older vendors] came and said, ‘You have to leave this place because this is our space.’ We said, ‘We found available spots over here.’ They said, ‘No, leave it, If you don’t leave it, you’re going to have problems.’ Then they came with about 20 people, and we had to leave.

The men have literally been driven off of sidewalks by the families of their competition. This forces them to locate less trafficked, but much safer areas.


Right now, they stick to Manhattan, mainly Columbus Circle, where they rent sidewalk space per day by a third party landowner. And after many years of struggle, they are finally making it.

“Many people think they’re going to stay here and make a lot of money, but for some people, it’s [too] hard. America, it’s only for the strong… You know, we had a lot of friends who came here and then left. We do not leave.”

From landing in America without a word of English, to driving pedicabs through harsh NYC seasons, to becoming entrepreneurs and opening Waffles and Crepes, and fiercely competing with other street food vendors, these men have truly proven what it means to live — and survive — the American Dream. I asked them what they learned despite all of these challenges, and what five tips they could share with would-be entrepreneurs:

“1) Never give up. Every time you fail, define it as a learning experience, and regroup and start again

2) Do the research on your business. Crepes and Waffles spent the first several months learning the business and getting the sign right.

3) Focus on a self-seller. Andrey and Aryat’s special recipes melt in a person’s mouth — they organically attract people.

4) Learn your costs. The founders know all of their costs, including both food supply and labor.

5) Get the location right. They have acquired one of the best, safest locations for a pushcart in Manhattan.”

In the future, Andrey and Aryat dream of starting their own franchise of Waffles and Crepes pushcarts. “With the pushcarts, we are trying to recreate the city — to give more food, to give different food, to make everything great. I mean — it makes the city much better. Clean and beautiful.”

I am forever cheering for Andrey and Aryat. They both have a passion not only for small business, but also for creating an experience — showing New Yorkers what it is like to eat a delicious European meal, just as they would overseas. As they have demonstrated through entrepreneurship and ownership, anyone has the potential to become a business owner, and to succeed as an independent person in America!

Special thanks to Maya Horgan for helping research and edit this story.

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Dec 11, 2013
Kim Rivers

Dining Services: Let students use their points at the food truck

Today's Guest Column

Today’s Guest Column

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Dining Services: Let students use their points at the food truck

Allison Gray

The Diamondback

Most days I’m torn: go buy the subpar food at the dining halls that I already paid for thanks to my meal plan or splurge additional money on the treasures of Green Tidings? I have to decide: roasted butternut squash soup with cinnamon cream or the dining hall? Twenty-four hour spicy braised short rib with Asian pear slaw, mustard greens and potato bread … or the dining halls?

The food truck’s rotating menu of gourmet options sometimes teases me with just the right description so that I have to try something. But why should I have to pay Dining Services more money on top of what I’ve already paid for my dining plan to get decent food?

This university’s catering service, Good Tidings, operates the food truck on the campus. However, the food truck is owned by Dining Services. Essentially, Green Tidings could take dining points but instead forces students with a meal plan to use another method of payment, and then Dining Services sucks up students’ leftover dining points at the end of the semester because most students can’t stand to eat at the dining halls every day. It’s a genius revenue plan for Dining Services. But it’s unfair to students who have already invested money in this university’s food services. The dining point to dollar ratio is 1:1, so it should be no problem to accept both payment methods — not to mention the fact that the food truck would see a huge increase in business if it accepted dining points.

Furthermore, Dining Services discriminates against South Campus residents based on their geographic location by denying them equal access to 251 North. South Campus and North Campus residents both pay $2,123.50 each semester for the traditional meal plan. Yet North Campus residents get 14 built-in 251 North meals per semester while South Campus residents are only allotted four.

Each additional visit that goes above a resident’s allocated number of visits to 251 North costs 18 dining points. So for a South Campus resident to visit 251 North 14 times, it would cost him or her an extra 180 points. Though Dining Services might argue that South Campus residents get 120 more dining points than North Campus residents, that’s still 60 points that South Campus residents have to pay for better food — food that’s already included in a North Campus resident’s dining plan.

The Department of Resident Life defines 251 North as a “completely renovated, all-you-care-to-eat dining hall” that offers “a new and unique dining experience for UMD students.” 251 North has better kitchens, better equipment and better food than the other two dining halls on the campus. There’s no arguing with that.

The Dining Services website explains this injustice by stating: “All students are welcome at 251 North but we know its [sic] a hike across campus when a delicious dinner is available close by at South Campus Dining.” Last time I checked, chicken Pacific served with an exploded ranch baked potato wasn’t as “delicious” as the Pho-style brisket, cornbread-stuffed pork medallions and fire-grilled salmon offered at 251 North. Dining Services charges all students the same price for a traditional meal plan but offers them different benefits.

I don’t see this as fair.

Most students accept the practices of Dining Services without really questioning them. What we forget is that students can push to change the rules. Dining Services’ rules limit student access to the great food we all know this university has via the food truck and 251 North through the payment methods they accept and the number of gourmet dining hall visits we’re allotted.

If you agree with me, please sign my petition on to get the food truck to accept dining points and offer all students — not just those who live closer — equal access to the best dining hall on the campus. Maybe with some student pressure, Dining Services will change its policies.

Allison Gray is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at

More about Petition

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  • ARTICLE: Students petition for removal of Chick-fil-A

More about Dining Services

  • ARTICLE: Dining Services to extend finals week hours
  • ARTICLE: Catering to students’ needs
  • Dining Services extends hours Dining Services extends hours
  • ARTICLE: Rage against the vending machines


Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:33 pm.

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Dining Services,

Green Tidiings

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Dec 11, 2013
Kim Rivers

New Food Truck Brings Belgium Liege Waffles

Waffle2MyWaffleCrushFacebook.jpgWaffle CrushBelgium Liege waffle, Nutella, bananas, homemade cream.When it comes to Belgium’s culinary gift bag of treats, Liege waffles may be one of its hardest to find.

Impossibly indulgent, the buttery-sweet oblong waffles are crisp on the outside, soft and chewy within, and feature a luscious, glistening coat of caramelized sugar that can be topped with things like fresh fruit, Nutella, and ice cream.

Childhood friends (and with a family of four kids each) Erica Brenay and Rachel Durling love Liege waffles. And when they couldn’t find any in the Valley, the two decided to make the Belgium treats themselves by way of their food truck, Waffle Crush.

See also: Hao Bao Food Truck Rides Again

WaffleCrushFoodTruckFacebook.jpgFacebookThe Waffle Crush Food truck hit the streets in November. Inspired by the Liege waffles consumed during their travels to cities like New York, the two Utah-born friends, who both love to bake, came up with the idea for Waffle Crush seven months ago.

“We pulled a bunch of recipes together then changed things and added things,” Brenay tells me. “We made so many waffles.”

And to keep them as much like the real-deal as possible, Brenay and Durling ordered 30-pound Liege waffle irons from Belgium, found a special high-gluten flour, and use imported Belgian pearl sugar.

“You just can’t get the same taste and caramelization without a Liege waffle iron,” Brenay says. “Some have a more yeasty taste, others are soft, but we feel like ours is the perfect combination. And they can be fussy to make. You have to get the temperature just right so the sugar doesn’t burn.”

Waffle Crush, which hit the road in early November, offers four kinds of signature Liege waffles (as well as a build-your-own option) that include one with a Biscoff cookie spread, strawberries, and cream; and another that’s topped with Nutella, vanilla ice cream, and a stick of chocolate. Prices are $7.50 and $8.

Given that Brenay lives in Queen Creek and Durling in Gilbert, Waffle Crush stays mainly in the East Valley but occasionally makes stops in Phoenix and Scottsdale (“When the travel and kids thing works out,” Brenay says laughing.) Find out where it will be next by checking out its Facebook page.

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Dec 11, 2013
Kim Rivers

Lexington council extends downtown food truck pilot program

The Urban County Council gave final approval Tuesday to extend by three months a pilot program allowing food trucks in parts of downtown Lexington.

The council had approved the six-month pilot program set to expire this month that allows food trucks in six zones during the day and allows trucks to park wherever the owners wanted after 5 p.m., as long as they are not within 100 feet of a residence or open business. Council member Shevawn Akers, who had pushed for the pilot program, originally proposed extending the program until December 2014, but other council members said they wanted to hear from brick-and-mortar restaurants on how the pilot program affected them.

The ordinance approved Thursday extends the food-truck program until March 1 and requires that the Economic Development Committee hold a hearing about the pilot program.

Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter:@HLCityhall.

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Dec 11, 2013
Kim Rivers

Riverside County Eases Limits On Food Truck Vendors

RIVERSIDE ( — Food truck vendors in Riverside County will soon be frying, grilling, and barbecuing their way to a profit on county streets.

The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to repeal Ordinance No. 580 (PDF), which allows food trucks to sell only steam-cooked hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones or shaved ice, coffee and cocoa-based drinks, and other pre-packaged foods.

Adopted in 1980 and upheld in 2007, Ordinance 580 was passed in response to illegal street food vendors — often referred to as “roach coaches” — that were known for food poisoning, poor sanitation and other health issues.

Under a proposal from Supervisor Ken Jeffries, mobile food operators will be allowed to dramatically expand their menus, offering chicken, burgers, steaks and other fare to compete with similar operations in neighboring Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The revised ordinance will classify mobile food vendors according to what they sell. Food trucks will also be required to undergo inspections by county health officials and obtain annual permits.

Similar to Los Angeles and Orange counties, trucks will be letter-graded for health standards much like brick-and-mortar restaurants. Any facility that fails to score a grade of 90 percent or better would be given five business days to correct the deficiency or face penalties of up to $1,000.

Under the new guidelines, food truck operators will still be prohibited from parking in some locations throughout Riverside County.

Supporters say food trucks are good for small business and will give consumers more choices, while critics worry the trucks won’t be adequately inspected to meet public health standards.


Riverside County Looking To Legalize Food Trucks

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Dec 11, 2013
Tim Lester

No nose picking: Indian street food vendors get hygiene lessons to help curb …



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    NEW DELHI — The millions of food vendors peddling tasty morsels from roadside stalls and rickshaws across India have long been an emblem of the country’s boisterous, chaotic spirit.

    But now, Indian officials have a stern message for these often-unregulated roadside chefs: Wash your hands after using the toilet. Don’t sneeze into the food. And, above all, please don’t pick your nose.

    “A lot of street food guys are not very scrupulous,” said Tejinder Singh, 48, who serves up spicy black lentils known as daal makhani from a stand in New Delhi. “We are not sons of gods. We have a lot to learn.”

    Singh was among about 500 vendors who took part in an October training seminar in New Delhi on the basics of food safety and hygiene, an attempt to curtail the infamous “Delhi belly” that has struck down many an adventurous snacker in India.

    Launched by India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority and the National Association of Street Vendors of India, the seminar offered a primer on safe drinking water and disposable gloves, along with a list of food-handling do’s and don’ts.

    Number one on the forbidden list? Don’t pick your nose. Also banned are cleaning one’s ears, smoking while handling food and spitting into the wash basin or sink.

    The goal of the program is to create “safe zones” in popular areas, but is it really possible to sanitize street food in India, where suspending any fastidious concern for hygiene has always been part of the deal?

    Many Indians already have ways of finding the freshest and most succulent chaat, the small plates of savory snacks sold on the streets.

    Dharm Singh, an 18-year-old high school student in New Delhi, said he only goes to places recommended by others and where there are no flies on the food.

    He also pays special attention to where the vendors wash their utensils. He learned that lesson the hard way, through a brutal stomach infection he contracted by eating chole bhature, a dish of spicy chickpeas, from a vendor who used dirty dishes.

    “He washes his utensils right next to the sewer,” said Singh, who was tucking into a plate of lentils, cucumbers and warm bread known as roti on a recent afternoon. “I was sick for a week.”

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    Dec 11, 2013
    Tim Lester

    Unusual and Outrageous Street Food in Asia

    Street food in Asia is a veritable cornucopia of sights and flavors previously unfamiliar to me. Many different species of vegetables and fruits can be found, and several are unknown to those of us in the Western world. 

    For me, the best and worst thing about the food in Asia is one and the same: it’s different. The most noticeable thing about the food all over Asia is the variety. At each corner I turned, during my trip throughout China, Cambodia, and Thailand, I was presented with a strange new food item. 

    Click here to see the Unusual and Outrageous Street Food in Asia (Slideshow)

    Sometimes I would see picture of a pig, and knew for certain that the dish was pork-related. I was able to recognize a banana with some certainty, and I was fairly sure that I could ascertain a piece of fried chicken when I saw one. However, there were many food items that were completely foreign to me. To quote Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

    For an English-speaking person, unable to read a single letter in Cambodian, Chinese, or Thai, often the best I could hope for was to recognize something familiar about the foods, and then just go for it. 

    There were times that I was tempted to eat foods upon which the locals were chowing down, and often I did take that risk. But it is a crapshoot, as they say. The best way to order something it to just point and smile, because even if you ask what it is, you will get the answer in a language that you don’t understand. 

    All that being said, my mind was open and I was hungry for adventure.

    I hadn’t planned intentionally to eat any snake, insects, or dog, but there was one moment in my journey when I chomped down on something unfamiliar and boney, leading to another Tom Hanks moment (remember the mini corn in Big). When I spied a dog, that had been toasted and grilled, I had to walk away, feeling just a little bit nauseous inside.

    Which brings me to the fact that as a Westerner, my stomach wasn’t always ready for street food. I did wake up one morning incapacitated by food poisoning in Cambodia, and spent most of the day praying to the porcelain God. Fortunately, the pharmacists in Siem Reap are prepared for people like me. I was able to get some medication to help the “situation.” 

    To see some of the strange foods, and one or two recognizable street food dishes, from my journey, click here.

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