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.
July 27, 2015 |
Ibrahim Shah was working the grill at his uncle's food truck across from City Hall on Friday, grilling up breakfast sandwiches for a busy crowd. The day before, on a large building just around the corner, a world-famous artist had begun work on a giant mural - a mural of Ibrahim. But by Friday morning, Ibrahim had yet to see the mural - had yet to see his face so high in the sky. "I have been too busy here with my job," he said, cracking eggs on the grill. He would go when he could get a break.
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)
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 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)
February 4, 2013 |
Jaeden Lieberher is a South Philly kid at heart, but lately, he's gone Hollywood. He has a starring role in a Super Bowl ad, playing a kid who uses a Hyundai Santa Fe to recruit a team to beat the neighborhood bullies at football. "It was a really fun commercial to film," Jaeden, 10, said from his home in Los Angeles, where he moved two years ago, after his father began operating a food truck there. In the spot, a bully pushes Jaeden off the football field and tells him to come back when he has a team.
November 10, 2015
Y AZMIN AULI, 45, of Northeast Philadelphia, and Cesar Guzman, 48, of Crescentville, co-own El Coqui Panaderia Y Reposteria, a Puerto Rican bakery/restaurant. In 2012, it relocated from Kensington to larger digs on I Street near Venango in Harrowgate. I spoke with Auli. Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I came to Philadelphia in 2001 and made cakes and pastries in my house. In 2007, I opened my first bakery in Kensington but I wanted to grow and needed more space and parking.
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.
August 25, 2014 |
A day in the life of a Philadelphia pop-up beer garden begins hours before the suds start to flow. At 11:30 on an overcast Sunday morning, Jason Blacketer was doing battle with mulberries, clearing the spiky orange-reddish fruits that had fallen from a giant tree in the once-fallow lot tended by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society at 15th and South streets. Blacketer wiped the remnants of the early morning rain, from the tables and chairs. More unwelcome weather was forecast.