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muncie village

MUNCIE, IN – A recently passed ordinance to prohibit food trucks is causing some confusion for what is allowed and where trucks can sell.

Ricardo Licona, a senior telecommunications major and owner of Puerta al Paraiso’s food truck, said he wished the terms of the ordinance were outlined better. He said it isn’t clear where exactly he is allowed to park at which times. He doesn’t think the ordinance is going to affect his truck much and said there should be situational exceptions.

“If a business was to say they want us to go to [them] for lunch and there’s a restaurant within a 150 feet, we’re going to have to turn them down because of the ordinance,” he said.

Licona is also in the process of opening his own restaurant in the Village Promenade by mid-March. His plan to become a restaurant owner made him sympathize with proponents of the ordinance.

“Everything in business is about the location, so obviously for food trucks they got to be a little bit more respectful about the boundaries that they can cross,” Licona said. “Some people pay a premium price for their location. Like in the Village or downtown, they’re paying higher rents to stay there.”

With his business in the planning stages, he said he is neither for nor against the ordinance.

Find the entire article at ballstatedaily.com <here>


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – It’s the classic case of giant vs. not-so-giant.

New York City-based Eataly, a 58,000-square-foot Italian-themed foodie mall co-owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali, is demanding that popular Indy food truck Little Eataly hand over its name.

Indianapolis residents Chae and Rob Carmack — who said they put their life savings into their recognizable purple box truck that serves Sicilian-style items — received an initial salvo from Eataly’s legal team last August.

Eataly, which opened a Chicago location last fall, is trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and feels that Little Eataly, a play on “Little Italy,” is too close in name.

At stake is the Web domain littleeataly.com, the branding and the food truck, which Eataly’s legal counsel has threatened to have impounded if its demands aren’t met.

Find the entire article at Indystar.com <here>

DISCLAIMER:Little Eataly is the  food truck used on the cover of editor-in-chief Richard Myrick’s book Running a Food Truck for Dummies.

Westfield IndianaWESTFIELD, IN – Mere months from opening day at its massive Grand Park Sports Campus, Westfield is drafting rules intended to protect nearby businesses from crowd-hungry food trucks.

A work-in-progress ordinance introduced to the Westfield City Council on Monday would only allow mobile food vendors to roll into town for special events, neighborhood parties and at the invitation of large employers—as long as they stay away from Grand Park.

The 800-acre youth sports megaplex debuting this spring is an economic development play for Westfield, which is looking to increase commercial investment and diversify its tax base. Officials are hoping all kinds of businesses are drawn to the million-plus visitors expected to flock to the park each year.

“This is going to become a pretty popular place,” said Matt Skelton, the city’s director of economic and community development.

Several bricks-and-mortar vendors have expressed interest in setting up shop at or near Grand Park, he told the council, but they’re understandably concerned about the potential for mobile competition.

Find the entire article at ibj.com <here>

Pizza and bacon are American favorites, so in honor of today being National Pizza Day, we are sharing the combination of them with this delectable pizza recipe.

maple bacon butter pizza

Maple-Bacon-Butter Pizza

Yeild: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated maple sugar
  • 20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough, room temperature (or use your own dough recipe)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced


Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter and maple sugar until well blended. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, carefully roll out the pizza dough to about a 14-inch circle. You may need to use your hands to stretch the dough if rolling alone doesn’t work. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the dough. Top the mozzarella with the cooked bacon, distributing it evenly over the pizza. Arrange the slices of fresh mozzarella over the bacon. Using 2 spoons, scoop and dollop the maple sugar butter evenly over the pizza. The dollops do not need to be spread; they will melt in the oven.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is puffed and browned and the cheese at the center of the pizza is lightly browned. Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes before slicing.


CLEARWATER, FL — Food trucks have become a lively trend in Tampa Bay, attracting hundreds of people each month in Tampa and St. Petersburg. But Clearwater, the second-largest city in Pinellas County and a tourist destination in its own right, seems unlikely to hop on board. That’s because city codes prohibit food trucks, and there’s a lack of interest in changing that.


“I’m not ready to open up Clearwater to food trucks at this time,” said Mayor George Cretekos, citing the increased competition it would pose to established restaurants. “I would like to see our restaurants try to survive in this tough economic time. There’s no business more difficult than the restaurant business.”

In addition, Cretekos and planning director Michael Delk said no one has even approached them about the possibility of bringing food trucks to Clearwater. “I have not had a conversation with anybody,” Cretekos said.

But Michael Blasco, president of Tasting Tampa, which has sponsored many large food truck rallies in the Tampa Bay area, said he tried unsuccessfully to lobby for rallies in Clearwater. Blasco said he called Cretekos’ office a few months ago but was redirected elsewhere.

“I couldn’t get the mayor on the phone, so it never went anywhere,” he said. “I didn’t get the warm-and-fuzzy that we were going to be able to do it.”

City law forbids the selling or peddling of goods from trucks and other vehicles in large sections of Clearwater, including on Cleveland Street. For those areas not included in the ban, vendors need a permit. But Clearwater’s community development code doesn’t establish food trucks as acceptable recipients of permits. Delk said city law might allow for a one-time food truck event, but would need to be amended to allow for weekly or monthly rallies.

Find the entire article by Andy Thomason at tampabay.com <here>

If you would like to contact Mayor Cretekos about his protection of one business model over another and allowing food trucks into Clearwater, you can reach him at: George.Cretekos@myClearwater.com


Vs Grinders

Juneau, AK – Venietia Mary Aurora Elizabeth Santana took the plunge. After nine years batting an idea around in her head and with her friends, Santana has opened the comfort-food sandwich shop she’s for years believed Juneau needed.

Juneau has been Santana’s home for 15 years. During that time she has worked at the Juneau Job Center and in the hospitality and restaurant industry in Juneau — the Prospector Hotel and T.J. Maguires, the Baranof Hotel, the former Penthouse and the former Hoochies, now Marlintini’s Lounge. She now owns an online travel agency, runs her grinder truck and works at the Job Center.

Santana said she originally hails from the East Coast.

“So I’m a grinder junkie,” Santana said.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Santana has family on the East Coast, New York, she said.

”And everybody there gets a grinder,” Santana said. “I’ve been (in Juneau) 15 years and no one makes a sandwich that I’m used to. I want to serve the locals. We need a little more options, a little more choices.”

V’s menu shows extra touches like fresh-each-day pesto aioli on her grinders, no mayonnaise, and havarti and provolone cheeses instead of yellow American cheese, she said.

“It is important to me that nothing is pre-bought sliced, done,” Santana said. “Our meatballs aren’t just beef, they’re veal, pork and beef. It’s just important that we have the little extras.”

Santana riffs off the traditional grinder style of ham or turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo, she said.

“I just want to take it that extra step,” Santana said. “We are a little twisted, but we’re fun.”

Santana built a grinder called the “Hot Mamma” with hot Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese or the “Zeppelin” with ham, turkey, hard salami and pesto aioli.

Her bread, Santana said, must be hard, but soft. Hard crust on the outside and soft in the middle. She said it needs to be sturdy enough to get a miner out to Greens Creek or Kensington and not end up soggy when it’s time to eat. She said she orders from several vendors in town to meet her specific demands for ingredients.

Find the entire article by RUSSELL STIGALL at the Juneau Empire <here>


First Friday

$10 for Four Admissions to a Food-Truck Festival on May 4

In a Nutshell

More than 25 culinary masters sling pizza, Korean barbecue, tacos & cupcakes to live music by the 4onthefloor & DJ OhBeOne

Food trucks deliver meals on wheels, like a roller-skating server at a drive-in or a paperboy with a potato gun. Drive off hunger with this GrouponLive deal to the Leinenkugel Presents: First Friday Food Truck Festival in the Old National Centre parking lot. For $10, you get four general-admission tickets on Friday, May 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (up to a $32 value, including all fees).

Kicking off the 2012 season of First Friday Food Truck Festivals, a fleet of more than two dozen munch-mobiles converges on Old National Centre’s parking lot for four hours of food, fun, and getting funky. Truck-slung cuisine currently includes the po’ boys and pudding of Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort, the exotic, locally made shell-stuffers of Tacos Without Borders, and, from Scout’s Treat Truck, Lisa Moyer’s scrumptious cupcakes made with a family recipe her great-great-great-aunt concocted in 1898 to pay homage to Teddy Roosevelt’s mustache. The list of participating trucks is continually updated, and more may join ranks before the event begins.

While bouncing between little bites of heaven, revelers try their hand at cornhole, sip brews from Leinenkugel and wine from Oliver Winery, soak up some of the bass-heavy rock and blues of the 4onthefloor, or cut loose to the dance music of DJ OhBeOne. Representing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Snake Pit, the IMS street team will be in full force, showering a few lucky attendees with party passes, race-day tickets, and the taste of victory.

The Fine Print

  • Expires May 4, 2012
  • Limit 4 per person. Redeem starting 5/4 for tickets at the Old National Centre. Must show valid ID matching name on Groupon at the Old National Centre box office.Must provide first and last name at checkout, which will be provided to Old National Centre.Refundable only on day of purchase. Old National Centre is the issuer of tickets. Discount reflects Old National Centre current ticket prices-price may differ on day of the event.
  • See the rules that apply to all deals.

Purchase this GroupOn Deal <here>

PHILADELPHIA, PA – A rainy, windy forecast is a day to sleep in for many food truck owners. But the weather didn’t deter Jonah Fliegelman, Nathan Winkler-Rhoades, and Eric Hilkowitz, the owners of Pitruco, a two-month-old, Ferrari-red pizza truck, from serving lunch recently at 33d and Arch Streets, one of their regular spots. (Eric gets there at 8:30 a.m. to snag the space.)

hubbub philly

Jonah called out to a customer, “Would you like an umbrella? We have some you can borrow.” He turned back to manning the truck’s centerpiece, a wood-fired oven where pizzas puff up to golden goodness.

On a day like this, they’ll be lucky if they serve 60 pies, says Winkler-Rhoades. In the world of food trucking, it’s just one of the many unknowns they battle daily.

Food carts and trucks have been a part of Philadelphia’s dining landscape for decades – traditionally serving egg sandwiches, Chinese food, and cheesesteaks.

But since 2009, following a national trend, about two dozen new-breed truckers have rolled onto the scene, entrepreneurs serving highbrow foodstuffs like espressos and duck tacos. In fact, efforts are under way to organize an association of this new wave of trucks, to collectively lobby for their interests. (See accompanying story.) In cities like L.A. and Portland, Ore., where the mobile truck scene is thriving, a strong infrastructure helps hopefuls navigate the system and obtain affordable goods.

“Food trucks are a burgeoning, vibrant fun part of Philadelphia’s scene. . . . We do everything we can to encourage innovative businesses like this to open and grow in our city,” says Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger, a self-professed frequent food truck patron.

As with many aspects of the food industry, the romantic appeal often overshadows the rough reality. It is physically and financially challenging work. Some trucks – like Latin Farmer, Tyson Bees, and Coup de Taco – have closed after a short run, making it hard to tell if this is a viable industry or a short-lived trend.

For many fledgling truckers, a mobile eatery is a recession-friendly step toward restaurant ownership. But that doesn’t mean start-up and operating costs are low.

The Pitruco trio estimates they’ve invested around $25,000 to get started. The money came from financing and personal investments, and if sales stay steady, they will recoup start-up money by the end of the first year. Their truck is actually a trailer, hitched to a pickup that Fliegelman already owned, which kept costs down. Buying the oven, insulating it, and getting a generator were the biggest expenditures.

Andrew Crockett, who has owned HubBub coffee truck since 2009 – making him a grandfather of the movement – spent around $60,000 getting his vehicle ready. He has filtered water and an espresso machine. “If you don’t research you can get taken,” says Crockett. “One company was going to charge me $100,000.”

Most mobile vendors, as decreed by the health department, must rent a commissary to prepare the food. Ideally, the space can also provide a garage for the vehicle. Pitruco, HubBub, and a few others, pay about $450 a month for commissary/garage space in Grays Ferry.

Find the entire article from philly.com <here>


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Food trucks and other vendors could be allowed to set up shop in parking lots and other vacant properties under revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance expected to be taken up Thursday.

What the Truck

But many local restaurant owners are crying foul, saying allowing food trucks and other temporary food vendors to set up shop on vacant lots undermines businesses with more permanent investments in the city.

“I’m a proponent of free enterprise yet I worry about the ability of brick-and-mortar restaurants to compete with food trailers and food trucks from the standpoint that restaurants have hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of dollars in buildouts,” said Jeff Lobdell, owner of The Omelette Shoppe, Sundance Grille, Grand Coney and Beltline Bar, among other eateries. “They pay large rents, large utility bills, they pay property tax. They contribute to all of these things that help support the community and police the community.

“If they’re competing directly with food trucks that employ one or two people and don’t have the high rent and overhead, it’s not a fair playing field.”

Paul Lee, owner of The Winchester restaurant and What the Truck food truck, sees the debate in a different light.

“I understand the argument that some of these restaurant owners are making, however there is nothing to prevent them from getting a truck,” Lee said. “If this is just this amazing business that is so unfair for them why not just get a truck and do it themselves?”

Molly Clauhs, owner of The Silver Spork, another food truck based in Grand Rapids, said the changes would open the doors for more entrepreneurs and help make the city a cooler place to live.

She also said it would help her develop a consistent schedule, providing more stability for her truck, which specializes in homemade food made from locally produced ingredients.

“This can help result in a busier downtown that can really sustain retail and ultimately bring people to downtown,” she said. “By eliminating food trucks, I think it’s kind of old school. I think this is an opportunity.”

The proposed ordinance changes would allow vendors to set up near sidewalks on private property as What the Truck did in downtown Grand Rapids via a special permit during this year’s ArtPrize. The ordinance language would allow such temporary food vendors to operate for up to 200 consecutive days in a given location provided they have received permission from the land owner and the city.

Find the entire article from MLive.com <here>

Amuse-bouche is once again becoming a hot trend in the foodservice industry and bringing it to food trucks will offer the owners of these roaming kitchens an opportunity to add a small, relatively inexpensive menu item to their truck to offer as an appetizer. If you enjoy offering your food truck customers interesting fare that will always get raves you should consider learning about the seduction of amuse-bouche.

What are amuse-bouche?

For those of you who are either unaware or have not received formal culinary training, the word amuse-bouche is a French expression, literally translated “mouth-amuser”.  Amuse-bouche is designed to be a single bite creation which combines intense taste sensations while showing off your culinary artistry.

Amuse-bouche is different from the typical hors d’oeuvre. It offers customers something to taste while they are waiting for the remainder of their order, but also sets the ‘flavor’ of their upcoming meal. The amuse-bouche should complement the meal as well as give your customers a sample of the quality of the meal to come.

What can I make for amuse-bouche?

Your amuse-bouche should concentrate on flavor; by combining simple, intense flavors alongside rich, multi-faceted ones. Your focus is on savoring and appreciating the full flavor of a single bite; much as you savor the intensity of a shot rather than having a full cup.

The amuse-bouche can be a combination of bite size, single ingredient bites arranged artfully on a disposable serving spoon. You may also choose a rich, flavorful soup presented in a disposable shot glass or cup.

The key to a good amuse-bouche is quality ingredients. Whether you’re offering simple mandarin slices alongside a savory salmon mousse or a skewered shrimp with a complex marinade, you will want to use the highest quality and most decadent ingredients you can obtain.


Second only to quality ingredients and full flavor is presentation. Amuse-bouche follows the French tradition of artistic presentation. Find amuse-bouche ideas online and take note of the visual presentation. While not complex, the resulting impression is one of style and attention to details.

If you are so inclined you may wish to offer a flight of amuse-bouche as a menu option for those who may not have eaten from your truck and are interested in sampling your cuisine before ordering a full meal.

Let your creative spirit shine as you take inspiration from the simple pleasures of flavor your food truck offers and create your own unique ‘mouth-amusers’ for your customers.

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