January 24, 2014 |
Over the last few years, Philly's mobile-food industry has finally begun to catch up with the city's impressive restaurant scene, as dozens of chefs and entrepreneurs debut creative concepts well beyond gyros and soft pretzels. Now, those food trucks selling pork-cheek tacos and grass-fed burgers are spurring a secondary market: new and improved commissaries designed just for them. The facilities are equipped not just with basic prep tables and sanitizing sinks, but also with full commercial kitchens, secure parking, and lots of extras.
November 12, 2013 |
WHEN RYAN KUCK pulls up in front of the Older Adult Sunshine Center in West Philadelphia in his converted bread truck each Wednesday, he's like the ice-cream man on a 95-degree day. Seniors line up to cradle Kuck's cucumbers, inspect the onions and pore over the potatoes. "These are people who are used to cooking," said Sandi Ramos, the center's director. "They're used to living off the land. They want to get all the parts and pieces that go in it. " Kuck's truck - better known as the West Philly Fresh Food Hub - gives them the opportunity to do that in an area that he and Ramos consider underserved.
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.
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.
October 4, 2013
What to eat: Ice pops! Any of them. They're all good. The truck: Bright and striped, the Lil' Pop Shop truck is the mobile arm of Jeanne Chang's brick-and-mortar operations in West and South Philly. The truck's selection of fresh, handcrafted ice pops is seasonal and always changing. The details: We tracked the truck down at the Navy Yard and were particularly impressed by the coconut cherry lime - made with juicy cherries, not the dead, flavorless cherries you'd find in store-bought ice cream, for example.
September 20, 2013
What you'll find: Their motto is "globally inspired gourmet comfort food. " Their menu is basically pork, pork and more pork, with the perk that it's hormone-free and organically pastured, from Leidy's, in Souderton. Come hungry: This is no place for dieters. And better get the stain-stick ready. Sandwiches come heaping, dripping and greasy - in the best possible way. The details: The Western is smoked pork, sharp cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon and barbecue sauce ($9); Penguin's Pub is smoked pork, provolone, sautéed onions and jalapeño relish ($9)
August 9, 2013
What to eat : You really can't go wrong with any choice on the "Korean with a twist" menu, which is why Ka'Chi is one of this Truck Stop reviewer's favorite spots in the city. The details: The spicy pulled-pork sliders with pickled cucumbers (two for $7) hit the spot, but Ka'Chi also sells lots of Bulgogi (beef) and soy-ginger chicken tacos (one for $3 or three for $8) and rice bowls ($8), made with red cabbage and vinaigrette slaw. Get a side of cheese fries with house-made kimchi ($4)
July 9, 2013 |
WHEN PATRONS walk into Wazobia, a West African restaurant specializing in the comfort foods of Nigeria, many greet the owner in the Yoruba language. "This is my countryman," owner Risikat Bola Jamiu, who usually goes by Bola, says of a man from the Ibo tribe. Jamiu is Yoruba but welcomes all three of Nigeria's major ethnic groups. Even her North Philadelphia restaurant's name is a combination of the words for "come in" from the three languages: wa in Yoruba, zo in Hausa, bia in Ibo. "We are all blended together as one Nigeria," Jamiu said Friday.