May 3, 2013 |
The lunch-hour rush is under way at the convoy of food trucks that line Spruce Street near the University of Pennsylvania campus. From inside the cramped Chez Yasmine, Jihed Chehimi is serving gourmet street fare from around the globe - heaping salmon sandwiches sprinkled with caviar, homemade couscous, and cups of Indian red lentil soup - all with a side of conversation that occasionally turns to the science of AIDS. For more than two decades, the Ph.D. in viral immunology was an HIV/AIDS researcher, first at Penn and then at the labs of the Wistar Institute, where the senior scientist explored innate and adaptive immunity.
November 22, 1994 |
This should have been a success story. Last year, Manuel and Marisol Polanco - both born in the Dominican Republic - left their crime-ridden New York neighborhood in search of a better, safer life for their children. They landed in a new city, bought a small home, and worked exhausting, 20-hour days. Marisol Polanco rose at 5 a.m. to cook heaping platters of arroz con gandules, chuletas, tostones y pollo (rice with pigeon peas, pork chops, fried plaintains and chicken). Then, the couple stood near parks and busy intersections, selling the appetizing Latino-style dishes to passersby.
January 30, 2014
B ARBARA DEVAN, 32, of Southwest Philadelphia, is chef, owner and CEO of Tasties, a soul-food restaurant on 52nd Street above Girard in West Philadelphia. This month she got city approval to run a food truck in University City. She plans to open a second Tasties restaurant next month on Germantown Avenue near Queen Lane in Germantown. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Tasties? A: I started Tasties in North Philadelphia in 2007. But after a year, I took a break to really find myself.
April 4, 2014
THERE'S a certain cinema-stoked romance behind the idea of the ronin, the masterless swordsmen who roamed feudal-era Japan, willing their skills to the highest bidder as mercenaries with little to lose. Movies will have you believe that these stoic warriors, cast out into the wilderness by some evil turn of events, eventually have their day, adhering to a moral code that rewards the just-minded. Ryo Igarashi doesn't quite buy into it, and he's Japanese. "It's an unemployed samurai," said Igarashi, chuckling at the chivalrous connotation.
July 26, 2013
What to eat : Don't even think of trying anything else before you've had Adriano Redante's signature item, the hamburgão. Ingredients include sirloin steak, corn, ham, bacon, provolone cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and homemade green mayo. It's like the love child of a Schmitter and a cheesesteak that got drunk on caipirinhas in São Paulo and had a one-night stand. So, yeah, it's good. Tip: Eat a light breakfast. Also try: In addition to the hamburgão ($8), there are several other interesting items on Redante's menu, including a Brazilian-style cheesesteak with homemade chimichurri ($6)
February 8, 2013 |
Go ask Rob Mitchell what a cheese curd is. A few years ago, he himself didn't know. Now they're his life. Like many schoolteachers, Mitchell, of Philadelphia, had a summer job to keep cash flowing. He runs a mobile food concession feeding the masses at soccer and lacrosse games, rock concerts, carnivals, and strawberry festivals in five states. Much like urban food-truck ooperators, festival vendors need something to set them apart. Mitchell, 40, raised this issue with his wife, Laura Windham, a psychologist.
October 18, 2013
UNDRGRND DONUTS What you'll find: Delicious doughnuts. Custom doughnuts, if that's your thang. Michael Ostrofsky, owner and "chief doughnut engineer," is willing to get crazy when it comes to doughnut creations. "The other day, a girl came up with vanilla with mango swirl and coconut," said Ostrofsky, whose truck has a flat-screen TV that was playing reruns of "The Ren & Stimpy Show" when we stopped by. Choose your own dunks, swirls, toppings and dusts to create the doughnut of your dreams.
August 11, 2011
"DUDE, YOU KNOW what would be so rad? A food truck. We should totally start a food truck. " If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that one over the years, I could probably . . . start my own food truck, dude! The first time I heard the idea was years ago in a smoky, hazy dorm room at the University of Vermont. The patchouli-smelling guy who uttered it eventually did go on to nominal food truck success, selling grilled-cheese sandwiches at Grateful Dead and Phish shows. The last time I heard the sentiment was a few weeks ago, when a friend told me her dream was to quit her job and sell organic pancakes from an Airstream trailer.
February 7, 2013
What is it? Homestyle comfort food, served up by charismatic chef Verna Swerdlow: "We make stuff we have hankerings for, nothing too over the top. " Expect sandwiches, mac n' cheese and other classics straight from mom's kitchen. What to eat: Verna's menu rotates seasonally, and this winter's top dishes are the tender and juicy flank steak sandwich with chipotle mayo, and the pulled-pork grilled cheese. Come summer, the truck will switch to jambalaya and banh mi - the Vietnamese equivalent of hoagies, yo. Not a carnivore?
November 1, 2013
What to eat: Get your deli on at the "best meat on the street" truck. Hot corned beef, pastrami and brisket, grilled chicken, roast beef, turkey, tuna, Reubens, salads, matzo ball soup, knishes, kosher dogs, latkes. We could go on, but we're getting hungry. Suffice it to say, the menu is huge, as long as you're not on a low-carb diet. Details: In a city full of food trucks serving tacos and desserts - and, trust us, we have nothing against tacos and desserts, particularly in that order - Reuben on Rye is a nice change of pace.