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.
March 8, 2014 |
When Bill Hadden sets up his Center City food truck about 6:30 a.m. Friday, the sun will be just starting to rise. When he sets up at the same time Monday, it will be pitch black. All because daylight saving time - that change in our clocks that creates an extra hour of sunlight in the evening - begins at 2 a.m. Sunday. The shifting will not bring an immediate halt to a wicked winter that has walloped the region with snow, ice, and bitter cold, but it does signal the beginning of brighter days.
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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
August 23, 2012
What to eat: In a city long underserved by Thai cuisine, Robert Zapata has taken the food truck world by storm with a Thai and Mexican lunch fusion. There may not be a more original dish in Philadelphia than Cucina Zapata's Cap'n Crunch-crusted tilapia burrito. If you aren't a fan of the flaky white fish for its texture, the Cap'n makes it crunch with an unmistakable childhood flavor before it is piled with avocado, a mild pico de gallo and a tangy peanut sauce. Insane value: Two juicy Thai short rib tacos ($6)
November 29, 2012
What is it?: This imaginative food truck offers up unique dishes comprising fresh produce, meats, and cheeses from sustainable Philadelphia area farms. On the menu are soups, salads and sandwiches for $4 - $8, and desserts for less than $5. Menu: Being more of a grilled cheese and french fries person, I have to be convinced, cajoled, sometimes even tricked into sampling more healthy fare than is typically found on the kids menu at a local diner. But as soon as I rolled up on Yumtown I was sold.