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cinnamon snail

Congratulations to the Cinnamon Snail for winning the 2014 Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year!!  This is the third year in a row!  We’re very excited to bestow this title on The Cinnamon Snail, Chef Adam Sobel and his team – AGAIN!

Chef Sobel was so excited he ate his clothes!  Just kidding.  I’m not sure if chef’s jackets are vegan.

2014 Vegetarian Food Truck Of The Year Profile: Cinnamon Snail

Asked what keeps Chef Sobel going being in an industry filled with roadblocks, he replies that he’s driven to “spreading a non-violent lifestyle to the mainstream.”  “People come to our truck regularly and tell us that they became vegetarian or vegan because of our food.  Continuing our hustle is a matter of life and death to creatures who will not be consumed,” states Chef Sobel.

He’s passionate about veganism and wants to spread “the word” through his food.  It’s usually a lot easier to get someone to consider a plant-based diet when they have a mouthful of delicious food.

After a passion for food, customers give him that drive to work so hard.  Chef Sobel listens to his customers when they tell him about what they currently love and would love to see in his food in the future.  He also tries to go where his customers want him to go.

He’s had so many fun customer experiences over the years.  They’ve fed all kinds of people – from upper west side suits to clowns in full make-up and luchadors.  In fact, a lady threw a tortilla at them this week.  “It’s fantastic!”

What Chef Sobel lives for is witnessing a die-hard carnivore fall in love with his plant-based dishes.  “If we can chip away at people’s reasons for why they still eat animals (flavor/enjoyment), soon all remaining excuses crumble,” comments Chef Sobel.

cinnamon snail donutThe Cinnamon Snail is often found in the media and winning awards.  “We’ve always been really blessed to get a lot of attention as a food truck.”  It’s natural that Chef Sobel continues to challenge himself creatively in the kitchen changing people’s perspectives on plant-based food and to keep customers curious for new creations and fantastic staples, like their vanilla bourbon crème brulee donut.  That donut alone sends crowds to his truck.

When asked about the inspiration behind his menu, you know he could say something traditional – that he cooks from his soul – or something similar to that.  Because he’s asked this question so frequently he’s gotten as creative with his answers as he is with his menu. “Our menu is chosen at random by a foam crafted pirate robot we call Cyn-B@d.  He’s hot.  And he’s bothered.  So we don’t ask questions.  We just do what he says and hopes he doesn’t make us walk the plank!”

That was the BEST answer ever.  We also liked the alien mothership reference too!

Should you choose to try your hand a vegan cooking at home, you’re in luck.  Chef Sobel’s book, Street Vegan:  Delicious Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, will be out in May 2015.

He had been asked to write one for years, but he finally felt like his cooking and teaching ability were mature enough to really make something as special as a book.  He mentions his food is very component-y and many recipes had to be rewritten from the ground-up to work in home kitchens and in normal sized portions.  The book also gave him the opportunity to share recipes like vegan Chinese buns or dumplings that are not served off the truck due to space or specialty equipment needs.

If you don’t see the Cinnamon Snail in your area, you can get tickets to the 10th Annual NYC Vendy Awards this Saturday in Governor’s Island where they’re official finalists.  Chef Sobel has a tempting dish he’s preparing just for the event – sage tempeh sausage sliders, lavender roasted shallots and roasted habanero hot sauce on their battered cauliflower buffalo wing sub.  “It’s going to be wild!” It sounds wild!  It’s their 5th year nominated for the NYC Vendy Awards.  He’s working hard for the Vendy Cup his year…

We’ve got our fingers crossed for you!  Congratulations on your THIRD win as the Mobile Cuisine 2014 Vegetarian/Vegan Food Truck of the Year!

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idaho falls food truck

IDAHO FALLS, ID - Food trucks are a big business in a lot of major cities across the country, but starting the business in smaller towns can be tough.

There are only a handful of food trucks in Idaho Falls and each one has had its own ups and downs here.

Owner of Julio’s taco truck has moved from Rexburg and parked his truck in this lot on Broadway.

“The avenue can be really busy, but if you don’t have the right tools to advertise your business still people won’t see you,” said Julio, owner of Julio’s Authentic Mexican Food Truck.

The busy street may bring in business but customers have competition. The massive Sweeto Burrito truck is parked in the same lot.

Many think this is bad for business, but Julio and burrito boss, Jon Pierre Francia said it actually helps.

“The more great food that’s together, food has gravity and people come to it,” said Francia.

Francia started in North Dakota to feed the oil workers in the Bakken.

In Idaho Falls they’re testing the drive through.

“It was really interesting to watch going from hungry dude food, which is what we thought we were to watching ladies pull up in an Escalade, grandma’ coming back and getting a Sweeto Burrito every day. The diversity of our brand was tested here in Idaho Falls,” said Francia.

The business has sky rocketed across the country with nearly 400 locations that’ll be complete by next month, included a few brick and mortar stores.

“Like a Carl’s Jr. or Wendy’s or something like that that’s where we’re headed,” said Francia.

Heading across town on 17th Street, Mike Olson with Pyros Brick Oven Pizza has the same vision.

“I’d love to see it in a brick and mortar place here in Idaho Falls. It’s my home town,” said Olson.

The popular pizza place is famous for its five dollar pizzas made in a full size brick oven inside the truck.

Two years into the business, “I was thinking maybe i could do something else on the side, but its really demanded all my attention and energy,” said Olson.

Find the entire article at localnews8.com <here>

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philly propane food truck explosion

PHILADELPHIA, PA - In the wake of a food truck explosion in July that killed a mother and daughter, the president of Philadelphia City Council wants the fire department to start inspecting propane tanks on curbside food trucks.

Council president Darrell Clarke today introduced a bill aimed at boosting the safety of food trucks.  It gives the Philadelphia Fire Department the ability to inspect the propane tanks used on the trucks.

He says he was spurred on by the Feltonville food truck disaster in July.

“So, we’ll be working with the fire department (and) any state entity that has some level of concern to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again,” Clarke said today.

The Feltonville accident exposed a lack of inspections at either the state or city level, and Clarke admits that confusion over who is responsible to oversee this aspect of food trucks remains.

“When we did the analysis of state law, there was nowhere in there that talked about an inspection process.  So we want to make sure that that’s done a local level,” he said today.

Find the entire article at philadelphia.cbslocal.com <here>

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food truck queues
Image Credit: Simmer Food Truck MKE

At some point in everyone life, they have to wait in line. Few people enjoy it, so why not make your food truck queues move quickly to help keep your customers happy. Making the line appear to move quickly also makes customers happy. Managing appearances means managing your customer’s perceptions.

According to MIT queuing theorist Richard Larson, “There’s no such thing as the perfect line, the trick is to convince people they’re being treated fairly.”

Here are 11 proven ways to get your food truck queues to move faster:

  • Be sure to have a line, not a crowd standing in front of your service window. An orderly progression towards the service window gives customers a sense of calm.
  • Keep your food truck queues narrow. Single file lines move more quickly.
  • Arrange the line so those waiting can see the person currently being served. Watching another customer being served makes your place in line appear closer. When the actual service is out of site, your turn can seem miles away.
  • After each customer is served, use a light, bell or chime to announce to everyone ‘Next!’ This keeps the next person alert (saving time between customers) and gives everyone a regular assurance that the line really is moving.
  • Provide information alongside the line to attract the attention of those who are waiting. When customers become involved, time flies faster.
  • Play music inside your truck that is loud enough to be heard outside. Make sure find out what levels your local codes permit music to be played.
  • Put a TV or video screen on the side of your food truck. Choose an appropriate channel for your customer base. This is a great way to toss them some advertising of an upcoming food truck event your team will be attending.
  • When the wait is truly long, send a member of your food truck staff to interact with customers in advance. They can answer questions, provide information and thank them for their patience. Choose staff with personality and make sure they all understand about why there is a delay.
  • Cooking demonstration videos are a great distraction for a hungry crowd.
  • Have menus on display beside the line, so people will be ready to order when they arrive at your service window.
  • Give customers a reason to use their mobile phone. Waiting in your line is the perfect time to check a quiz or competition you are holding on your website, or download your mobile app. Or check in to your page on Facebook, Foursquare or post a quick photo or video on Instagram.

There are so many ways to manage the customers while they are waiting in line. Choose one or more of these suggestions and try it out. See how your food truck queues run smoother and report back here with the results. We’d love to hear how they worked (or didn’t) for your food truck.

If you have used other techniques to manage your food truck queues, please feel free to share your advice in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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hot cross bun fun facts

The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, during our research for our daily content, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in a new section titled “Did You Know?”.

For today’s Did You Know we will look at Hot Cross Bun Fun Facts.

hot cross bun fun factsThe Facts: A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top.

  • The hot cross bun is traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and Canada.
  • In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, beginning with the evening of Shrove Tuesday (the evening before Ash Wednesday) to midday Good Friday.
  • September 11th is National Hot Cross Buns Day.
  • The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use shortcrust pastry; however, more recently recipes have recommended a paste consisting of flour and water.
  • In the Czech Republic, mazanec is a similar cake or sweet bread eaten at Easter time. It often has a cross marked on top.

Superstitions about Hot Cross Buns:

– If you share a hot cross bun with someone else, you’re supposedly going to be friends for the year, especially if you say “Half for you and half for me. Between us two shall goodwill be” at the time.
– Some people believe in kissing the bun before eating it because it’s got a cross on it.
– They apparently protect against shipwrecks while at sea.
– And, if you hang one in your kitchen, they’ll protect against fire and make all your breads rise perfectly – so long as each year your replace the bun.

Hot Cross Bun Fun Facts We Missed

If so, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Hot Cross Buns.