Tags Posts tagged with "Charleston"

Charleston

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full speed ahead

CHARLESTON, WV - Luscious lunch offerings are moving about as food trucks and outdoor carts pop up beneath spring sunshine.

“This is a restaurant on wheels,” said Donna Sales, as she worked out of a truck tagged Sistah’s on the Go. “I go out year-round but it’s slower in the winter. Now it’s picking up. The weather is getting better. The snow about killed me. I’ll do good. I feel it coming.”

Sales has most recently parked her food truck at the intersection of YMCA Driveand Hillcrest, where she serves a steady stream of customers. She figures it’s a good spot and she will be there at lunch time as long as business is brisk.

Sales said food trucks and vendor carts are popular in bigger cities but are just now gaining steam in Charleston.

She opened Sistah’s Rib Shack in 2010 on Seventh Avenue on the West Sidebut closed it late last year due to a lack of business. She believes the location, tucked away on a one-way street, was a drawback. With her food truck, she can have her choice of visible sites.

“I like doing what I do,” she said. “My partner, Clint Arnold, bought the food truck. I cook and move around. This is my dream.”

When there is a big event, Arnold has been known to pitch in. However, he has another full-time business.

Her regular full-time assistant right now is her cousin, Kenneth Foye, who is visiting from Indiana where he also works in the food business.

“I am trying to get him to stay,” she said. “He’s teaching me little things.”

The Sistah’s on the Go truck runs a chalkboard menu that varies from day to day. Among offerings are ribs, chicken, fish, Polish sausage, hot dogs, hot bologna, French fries, onion rings, mac ‘n cheese, green beans, baked beans, fried green tomatoes and peach cobbler. Not everything is offered every day and she is open to requests. As the weather gets warmer, plans call for offering free lemonade.

To place a call-ahead order or inquire about catering, call 304-346-RIBS.

Meanwhile, in downtown Charleston on the corner of Capitol and Lee streets, mouthwatering aromas drift from a cart at lunch time where Mark Gomez andTim Johnson prepare steak kabobs, pulled pork, Philly cheese steak, hot dogs with homemade chili, and corned beef. The business, called All American Capitol, has been rolling around the area since last June.

“We come every day as weather permits,” Gomez said. “We’re here Monday through Friday from 11 to 2. On Friday and Saturday nights we’re at Chase across from Blue Parrot on Capitol Street.”

Gomez has two more carts ready to go when the time comes to expand and he can find adequate help with the enthusiasm he and Johnson have for the business.

“It’s like being a bartender without the alcohol,” Gomez said. “We talk to everybody. We enjoy it.”

He said a license and insurance are among requirements for running the business that must meet the standards of the state Health Department. He believes customers enjoy seeing their food prepared right before their eyes.

He and Sales both have commissary sites for doing the prep work before heading out to their mobile locations.

However, another entrepreneur runs a restaurant in addition to a food truck.

Adrian “Bay” Wright is owner of Dem 2 Brothers and A Grill, 426 Virginia St. W.

In 2011, he set up a grill at the corner of Virginia Street West and Central Avenue where he sold to-go fare. Late last year he moved into the building across the way where customers could enjoy indoor dining. However, he also purchased a food truck a few months ago in order to take his offerings on the road to fairs, festivals or just downtown for the lunch crowd.

“I got the truck last year,” he said. “I started with a cart and then the food truck and then the building. I’ll do downtown and a little bit of everywhere with the food truck.”

Sometimes customers are in the mood to grab a quick bite from outdoor vendors and sit in the sun instead of a restaurant, he said.

He sometimes hires extra help but generally one of his six brothers is around to assist.

“I’ll probably start next month taking the truck out in Charleston to Capitol Street and different places,” said Wright, who plans to make it convenient for the lunch crowd.

The menu includes mouthwatering items such as pulled pork, ribs, Italian sausage, Philly cheese steak, fish, bratwurst, chicken breast, hot beef bologna and hot dogs.

The telephone number for the restaurant is 304-550-4431

There is a sense of camaraderie among those who sell food outdoors, the vendors say. Wright said discussion is swirling around holding an event where they can all meet in one area and sell their specialties. Sales said there is no sense of competition because a customer may buy one item at one stop and a different food from another vendor.

She predicts once the food truck business gets rolling in Charleston that it will continue to pick up speed.

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Los Angeles, Freiburg, Charleston and Andover.

OTW LogoJanuary 31

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop Comes To L.A. – LOS ANGELES, CA – New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream is set to open in its first shop in L.A. mid to late spring, according an interview done by the LAist. It will be the third Big Gay Ice Cream Shop nationally and the first shop outside of New York.

Find the entire article <here>

Freiburg has its first “Food Truck” – Freiburg, Germany - Since May last year, Anika Mundinger and Geoff de Forest stand with their “Holy Taco Shack” at the weekly market. From an elaborately remodeled food carts out they sell real Mexican food: everything fresh, everything homemade, with Mexican tortilla press and a green sauce made ??from home-grown tamatillo.

Find the entire article <here>

February 1

Area food trucks battle rain, ice – CHARLESTON, SC - Jessie Stament is determined to stay positive.

The owner of Refuelers, a Charleston-based food truck, says between the winter storm and this weekend’s rain event, the weather has taken its toll on fellow food truck entrepreneurs.
Find the entire article <here>
February 2

New rules proposed for food trucks – ANDOVER, MD — Food trucks in town could soon come under new rules for where and how they operate if a new bylaw is approved.

The Planning Board will seek Annual Town Meeting approval this spring for a new food truck license and regulation process that would be governed by the Board of Selectmen.

Find the entire article <here>

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You may have missed it, but the mobile food industry is growing faster than anyone would have guessed two years ago. It can be difficult to keep up with the new trucks and carts as they pop up throughout the country. Because of this, Mobile Cuisine Magazine assists our readers weekly by posting the names and information about these trucks, so if they happen to be in your area, you can begin to follow them, or at least keep any eye out for them on the roads and cart pods.

Charleston's Newest Food Truck: The Magic Cheese Truck

This week’s new entries are:

Atlanta, GA

Rolling Reubens

Twitter: @RollingReubens

Atlanta based food truck serving up the cities best deli sandwiches. Catch us if you can! (we will make it easy if you follow us though)

http://www.RollingReubens.com

 

Boston, MA

Frozen Hoagies

Twitter: @FrozenHoagies

Handmade Ice Cream between bakery fresh cookies. Serving the greater Boston area.

http://frozenhoagies.com

Champaign, IL

Candide Roasteries

Twitter: @CandideCoffee

C-U’s first Tactical Coffee Unit! Fresh roasted coffee and single-origin chocolate syrups make us the Best of all Possible Coffees!

http://www.CandideCoffee.com

Charleston, SC

Magic Cheese Truck

Twitter: @themagictruck

This ain’t yo momma’s grilled cheese! We took an old friend on the road and gave it a new southern twist.Feel the magic from Charleston’s newest food truck.

ZAHH PIZZA

Twitter: @ZAHHPIZZA

The only wood fired pizza trailer in the low country serving gourmet old world Neapolitan pizza let us know where you would like us to come to. 

Chicago, IL

Glutton Force 5

Twitter: @gluttonforce5

Food Truck! We’ve travelled the world eating competitively, been to every truck stop diner, native American gift shop and put all that experience into our food!

http://www.gluttonforcefive.com

Los Angeles, CA

Auntie’s Fry Bread

Twitter: @auntiesfrybread

Auntie’s Fry Bread is the first Native American Eatery of its kind in Los Angeles. Food Truck just launched!

http://www.auntiesfrybread.com

Philadelphia, PA

Chewys

Twitter: @Chewysphilly

A Philly Food truck, serving fresh gourmet modern American cuisine to all you awesome people !!!

http://www.chewysphilly.com

San Francisco, CA

Don Bugito

Twitter: @DonBugitoSF

Mexican prehispanic inspired cuisine based on edible insects. Cocina mexicana prehispánica inspirada en insectos comestibles de gran aporte proteínico.

http://www.donbugito.com

Toronto, Canada

Food Cabbie

Twitter: @FoodCabbie

 

Washington DC

DC Shawarma

Twitter: @dcshawarma

The first authentic Lebanese shawarma Grill in DC

http://dcshwarma.com

 

If you are aware of any new rolling bistros, please let us know so that we can add them to our weekly listing of new food trucks as they hit the streets near you. Email us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com

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CHARLESTON, SC - The culinary scene is driving in a new direction, and not just in Charleston. Treated to a never-ending stream of rodeos and roving food parties, the nation’s hipsters can’t get enough rotis, barbecue sandwiches, gourmet donuts, and Korean tacos, from L.A. to Brooklyn. People are willing to forgo cloth napkins and uniformed servers for improvised outdoor food courts and even, in the case of Hello My Name is BBQ, picnic tables at a West Ashley scooter shop.

“When I read about these trucks and how they operated, it just seems like really inexpensively you can put it out there and do all your marketing for free, no overhead really except for the cost of the truck, for the most part, and insurance and stuff,” says Cody Burg, a real estate broker who operates the Hello truck with his wife Ryner. They found their vehicle last summer on Craigslist, a DHEC-approved 1993 Grumman Olson that North Charleston’s Pollo Tropical had used as a taco truck. Cody spent an entire day repainting it. It cost less than $10,000, it’s all paid for, and it’s all theirs.

The couple sets up most weekdays in the parking lot of Lowcountry Scooter on Savannah Highway. The Burgs didn’t know shop owner Carl Hall before they stopped in and asked to share his space. Initially, they wanted to park in his lot for a week. It’s been almost a year now.

On a typical afternoon, the Burgs say the truck averages about 30 customers, half of those regulars. This day in late May, however, is different. The temperature has been steadily rising, and people don’t quite know yet how to settle into the summer. As a result, it’s been an unusually slow week for the barbecue truck.

Soon after opening at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday, Hello gets its first surge of customers. Cody’s got the early shift, and he prepares orders for a couple of diners. He tosses a portion of pork, braised in Holy City Brewing beer, onto the grill, where it sizzles for a few minutes. “We thought about doing tacos,” he says. “I’ve got this silly mustache, so I thought barbecue. It’s a Southern thing. We’re from here. We grew up here.”

The grill is propane; everything else — the warming drawer and the refrigerator — is electric. They have to plug into an outlet wherever they’re parked, or they can use a generator in other situations. To keep things cool, or as cool as you can in a food truck, Cody tinkered with an A/C unit and attached it to the bottom of the vehicle. Air flows into the mobile kitchen through a silver spout near the grill, but you can’t really feel it unless you’re directly in front of it, and then you’re usually standing over the hot grill. Plus it frequently trips the breaker, upsetting the scooter guys inside. Cody hasn’t gotten the hang of it quite yet, and after two failures, he gives up on having A/C today.

The meat, once it’s sufficiently heated, gets placed inside a golden brioche bun or into a pair of soft taco shells. Depending on what the customer wants, Cody loads the order up with blue cheese, pimento, jalapeños, or pickled onions. Today they can choose from a side of mac and cheese, macaroni salad, or pink slices of watermelon. Customers also get to pick their sauce. This isn’t like a chain where the same four trusty bottles of mustard-based and vinegar-based are displayed on every table. You’ll find traditional styles, but they’ve also done green and bold pepper jelly, watermelon jalapeño, honey and fig, chipotle chocolate, and moonshine pepper jelly.

Because of a special gizmo that attaches to smartphones, Hello can take credit or debit cards. “You’ve got to take cards,” Cody insists. He hands his device to the paying customer and gets them to sign the touchscreen.

Philip Cohen, a local stand-up comedian, is one of a few extra hands that the Burgs employ. He bikes in for the day from downtown and shows up around 11:30 a.m. He gets paid in tips and food, and sometimes cigarettes. He’s known Ryner since he was little. She shows up herself a minute later bearing a bag of ice and the Burgs’ 4-year-old son Cassius, who’s done with school for the year and probably weighs less than the ice does. Hello is entirely a mom-and-pop business, except mom’s got a pink streak in her hair and pop has an enviable mustache. Their older daughter helped them come up with the business’ name.

“Other than the money, it’s pretty much the best job,” Cohen says as he preps, adding some purple cabbage to the day’s cole slaw. His resumé includes time at upscale kitchens downtown, and he says his new environment is more genuine and comfortable and familial than the world of Charleston fine dining.

Find the entire article from charlestoncitypaper.com <here>

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