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.
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.
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.
January 24, 2014
What to eat: Its name is what it's all about. Steak and seafood. On wheels. At LOVE Park. Zagat calls the lobster roll ($12) a must-try in Philadelphia. But don't forget the bacon, lobster and tomato B.L.T. ($12), pulled-pork sandwich ($8), lobster bisque ($7) and the salmon burger ($8), which owner Adam Browne says "people go nuts over. " Hey, Adam, where's the truck headed next? We'll just follow you. Don't miss: Rosemary marinated steak sandwich ($10) with kale, melted Parmesan and tomato.
January 24, 2014 |
The food-truck business is known for grueling hours and razor-thin margins. So, when Jessica Iannuzzi was offered a windfall of free tomatoes for her Sum Pig food truck, she couldn't pass it up. Those tomatoes, though, came with a catch: The truck would become, quite literally, a marketing vehicle for Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. "We feel that people connect with food trucks," Muir Glen's Katie Proctor said. In Philly's maturing food-truck economy, promotions tied to trucks are a booming business - but a somewhat controversial one, given that large companies are invading entrepreneurs' turf.
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.