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 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.
May 16, 2014 |
IN "CHEF," we learn that revenge is a dish best served never. The lesson comes courtesy of a trendy chef named Carl Casper (Jon Favreau, directing himself and some pals) whose hip restaurant has reached a stodgy phase. A scathing review (from Oliver Platt) causes a fuming Carl to roast the critic in person, an unhinged confrontation that goes viral, costing Carl his job. "Chef" then converts to a road movie - Carl takes his neglected son (Emjay Anthony) on the road in a revamped food truck, falling in love again with cooking and with his neglected son. All of this happens at the urging of his gorgeous and helpful ex-wife (Sofia Vergara)
April 18, 2013
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of April 16, 2013: Craig LaBan: Saturday night I was drafted by my daughter to be pizza chef for her birthday sleepover party. So, a field trip to South Philly (Faragalli's for dough, Claudio's and Di Bruno's for cheese, pesto, and meats) then I FIRED UP THE BIG GREEN EGG! Yeah, I'm a little enthusiastic. Here's my fave, an admittedly free-form round topped with prosciutto, mozz, and some organic tomato puree that went from tart and bright (when raw)
November 1, 2012
What is it? The owners of Calypso (formerly of the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market) went mobile last year with Mini Trini, featuring a simple menu of delicacies from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Real street: Owner Iman Marcano said their most popular item is the traditional street food called double. "The same way you buy hot dogs on the street, [double is] what people are selling on the corners in Trinidad," Marcano said. A double is fried dough (bara) filled with curried chickpeas (chana)
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 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?
February 21, 2013 |
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: First, a big congrats goes out to all the local chefs and restaurateurs who were nominated as national semifinalists for James Beard Foundation Awards: Vernick Food and Drink (best new restaurant); Marc Vetri (outstanding chef); Vetri (oustanding service); Fountain Restaurant (outstanding service); Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. (outstanding bar program); Andre Chin and Amanda Eap, Artisan Boulanger Patissier (outstanding pastry chef)
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)
September 22, 2011 |
FOOTBALL, EVERYBODY from Domino's to Doritos will tell you, isn't only about winning, losing or playing the game. It's about how much junk food fans can consume from approximately two hours before coin toss until the final pom-pom wave. It's about cheesesteaks and hoagies and cookouts and all-u-can-drink beer. Garden salads need not apply. So it's seemed odd for the past eight years that when it came to handheld grub, Lincoln Financial Field never, well, satisfied. It wasn't that the fast fare wasn't there - by the end of last season, Chickie's and Pete's was selling crab fries from eight locations - it just seemed hard to find.