Category Archives: Taco trucks

Food-Truck-A-Palooza

street food columbus ohio

Tomorrow is the Ohio Historical Society Food Truck-a-Palooza from 4-7PM!  Admission to the event is FREE, and admission to the Historical Center is FREE!  The event will take place on the plaza level, so stop by on your way home to pick up dinner or have your friends and family meet you here!  They have some great Columbus food trucks and carts lined up for the event, including:

3 Babes and a Baker (cupcakes)

Da Levee Cajun Cuisine

Foodie Cart (Japanese-style crepes)

Fusion Cafe

Junior’s Tacos

Leslie’s Creperie (European-style crepes)

Lucky Ladle (soups and savory pastries)

Mojo TaGo (California-style tacos)

Slabadabado BBQ

Veggielicious (vegetarian wraps and quesadillas)

Smaller versions of the customer favorites will be for sale, so people have a chance to sample food from several vendors.

Confirmed Vendors:

The Other Paper

Promo West Productions

What the Rock?!

Remember that the food trucks are CASH ONLY, so you’ll want to make an ATM stop.

Museum admission will be free during the event but regular rates will apply beforehand from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Diners will be able to enjoy a slide show of historic photographs of Columbus street scenes. Afterwards visitors can see the museum’s exhibits, including The Nature of Ohio and Ohio: Centuries of Change.

Facebook page for the event.

The hashtag for the event is #ohsfoodtruck

IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS: Due to an event at the Ohio Expo Center, 17th Avenue will be closed. We can be reached by taking Clara from 11th or by the 17th Avenue exit on I-71.

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Announcing Columbus Food Adventures

I haven’t been posting as much on Hungrywoolf in recent weeks as I would like, but I think I have a good reason. I’ve been working towards the launch of a new venture, my new business – Columbus Food Adventures. Starting July 27th I will be offering small group food tours of Columbus. We are starting with three itineraries: a Short North walking tour, a van based taco truck tour and a van based alt.eats tour. More itineraries will be added during the course of the year and we will also be offering private group tours.

Food tours are the culmination of so many of my interests and passions – travel, food and pride in the city that I now call my home. I first had the idea to offer food tours in Columbus over a year ago, when I was trying figure out what to do next. At first I wasn’t sure that the idea was viable but over the course of the last year the signs have kept pointing in this direction. We had a staggering turn out to our taco truck tour in April; research revealed a relative lack of tour options in Columbus; and national recognition of the Columbus food scene kept growing. In addition more and more people, from friends to journalists, started asking us to take them on tours. It was clear the demand was there.

Everyone I mentioned my idea to was so enthusiastic about the possibility of food tours in Columbus that the idea gradually took on a life of its own. Before I knew it I was signing company papers and shopping for a van. It’s already been a huge learning curve, but it’s very exciting.

I have had a wonderful response and support from business owners, tourism and restaurant organizations and I am thankful for our fantastic partner businesses. I can’t wait to show them off.

I hope that you will help us to celebrate the launch of Columbus Food Adventures at the North Market ‘s Dispatch Kitchen on July 22nd 6-9pm. Please leave a comment if you plan to attend.

The website is www.columbusfoodadventures.com and you can follow us on facebook or twitter.

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Filed under alteats, Columbus, Columbus Food Adventures, ethnic eats, Taco trucks, Websites

Mobile Food Mania

Columbus is in the midst of mobile food mania. Following the lead of cities like New York, LA and Portland, the trend of gourmet food trucks is hitting the streets of Columbus.

Last year when we started the website tacotruckscolumbus.com, we thought that we might find up to ten taco trucks – we grossly underestimated. Since then, trucks have come and gone, but overall the popularity and number of taco trucks have steadily grown. There are now forty taco trucks, making Columbus the taco truck capital of the Midwest. No other Midwest city can rival the number and variety of taquerias gracing our city streets. They’re not just Mexican either – there are Honduran, Salvadorean and Colombian trucks too.

Rad Dog‘s hot dog cart is a well established vegan friendly street food option, but now, hot dog carts and taco trucks aren’t the only mobile vendors offering good value and delicious food on the streets of Columbus.

Ray Rays BBQ truck opened this winter in Clintonville and has had a strong following ever since, winning hearts and devoted fans with their pork, ribs and brisket. You can keep track of their hours and location on facebook.

Skillet’s mobile kitchen is an off-shoot of their Whittier Avenue location and can be sporadically found at O’Reilley’s autoparts on High Street. They offer such delicacies as short rib sandwiches and pork belly quesadillas. You can find out what’s on offer when and where by following them on @skilletrustic. If you are lucky, you may find The Lucky Ladle soup cart at a farmers market or special event.

Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza truck is a spin-off of their fixed-abode parking lot location near Bodega. As the name suggests, look for the pizza-slinging truck, late at night, or on facebook.

Columbus has three Caribbean food trucks: El Rincon Latino on the East side, Red Snapper which can be found at Pearl Alley Market on Tuesdays and Fridays during the summer  months, and Dave’s Caribbean Food Truck, which appears outside Skully’s on Sunday nights.

New kid on the block is Three Babes And  A Baker, a cupcake truck, currently displaying their beautiful wares at the junction of High and Gay, downtown. They bake the cupcakes in the truck early in the morning and today were doing a brisk lunchtime trade. Hours and location are updated @3babesandabaker.

Eagerly anticipated is the soon-to-be-launched Japanese crepe cart – Fresh Street. They should make their debut appearance any day now. To be first in line follow them @freshstreet

What did I miss? I’m sure there are more, and I can’t wait to see what other trucks pop up.

What’s on your mobile food wish list?

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Sunday Afternoon in the Park

Carlos, the owner of the two Las Delicias trucks told us that he relocates his newer truck to Rhodes Park on Sundays. When he mentioned that there were other food vendors there, we were curious and we’ve been waiting for a sunny Sunday afternoon to check it out.

The vendors are here to to feed hungry soccer players and spectators and games run all day from 9am until it gets dark. Apart from two ice cream trucks circling around, most of the vendors were Mexican including two taco trucks – Las Delicias II and El Mexicano. The rest of the vendors had set up tents and tables and there were coolers galore. It was like a mini festival and it happens every weekend.

Common offerings included: tacos, tostadas, chicharrones preparados (fried pork rinds topped with pickled pork rinds), agua frescas (pineapple, watermelon or horchata), nieves (ice creams) and fresh fruit cocktails. There were rumors of tamales, but as we never found them I’m guessing they sell out early.

The fresh fruit cocktails contained varying proportions of mango, cucumber (pepino), jicama and watermelon (sandia) and could be topped with your choice of lime, salt, hot sauce or chamoy.

Chamoy is a sauce made of pickled fruits and is simultaneously sweet and salty and spicy. It definitely gives the fruit an added dimension.

Whether your preference is fruit cocktail, pork rinds or ceviche, watching some soccer and cooling off with some nieves or agua fresca, is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the park.

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Filed under alteats, ethnic eats, street food, Taco trucks

Cinco de Mayo

We had been asked by Johnny di Loretto to suggest a good venue for a Cinco de Mayo spot on Fox 28’s Good Day Columbus. We did a show with him in the fall about taco trucks and had a lot of fun. We suggested the colorful bakery Otro Rollo on Sullivant Avenue, one of the places we discovered during our taco truck research that we have featured on alt.eats. Otro Rollo also has a taco truck, and they supply many Mexican grocery stores and taco trucks with bread and pastries.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that originated in Puebla and celebrates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French. It is not a national holiday in Mexico but in the States it has become a celebration of Mexican heritage, and like St Patrick’s Day, a day for beer promotions and drinking.

When we first discussed the idea with Otro Rollo they seemed fairly nonplussed, but by the end of filming they had fully embraced their 15 minutes of fame, were taking photos of the proceedings, and had baked Johnny a special Fox 28 tres leches cake. Tres leches cake is sponge cake that is filled with fruit and cream and soaked in a mixture of three different milks (whole milk , evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk). Decorations are generally exuberant and it is popular for weddings and other celebrations.

I have been to Otro Rollo many times but I had never been behind the scenes. It was fun to spend time in the kitchen watching them making telera the bread that is used for tortas (Mexican sandwiches). Balls of dough are rolled into ovals and given a second rising. They are then rolled out and divided into three sections. We were impressed with the bakers’ speed and consistency. Otro Rollo bake an average of 500 telera a day as well as a huge array of other breads and cakes.

Also for Cinco de Mayo we had a Taco Trucks Columbus meet up at Taco Nazo. At the Rick Bayless book signing I asked Quicho if there were any Mexican foods associated with Cinco de Mayo. He offered to make some specials, including Pozole. Taco Nazo knows how to put on a good spread and when we arrived they were decked out in red, white and green. For $5 you could have pozole, Mexican flag-hued jello, cake and a beverage.

The cakes (also tres leches) were suitably festive and as usual, the work of one of Quicho’s employees, Bettina. It seemed a shame to cut them.

The pozole was fantastic. More of a stew than a soup, with plump tender hominy kernals and generous quantities of chicken and pork, it was served with chopped onion, cabbage and radishes to add as garnishes, as well as lime wedges. I tried both the red and the green and loved both. The red, made with chicken, had a mellow heat and slightly smoky. The green, made with pork and chicken, had more acidity but was very well balanced.

The evening ended with $3 house margaritas at Garcia’s on North High Street. I had not been there before but it’s a Columbus institution, having been open for over 30 years. The menu is a mix of Peruvian, Mexican and some Tex-Mex. The whole place had a surreal feel, only in part due to the 80’s karaoke.

It was a fun, but very long Cinco de Mayo. Thanks to Ray for organizing the bike ride up to Taco Nazo.

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Truckload of Tacos

Truckload of Tacos is the headline of G.A. Benton’s taco truck feature in this week’s Alive! We had a lot of fun showing G.A and the rest of the Alive crew around some of our favorite trucks and were really pleased with their fantastic seven page(!) feature – as well as the plug for our new project alteatscolumbus. You can read G.A.’s initial post-tour musings here.

It’s been a busy month for the taco truck crew (aka the three amigos). The warmer weather has seen the opening of several new trucks and there are rumors of more on the way. The list of trucks is currently up to date and we will surely be adding more trucks to it soon. There’s also the map to help you find them.

Earlier this month, I did a feature for Vendr.TV eating street food for a day on a budget of $10. I managed, just, and of course, my street food choices included two taco trucks. My $10 day wouldn’t have been complete without the most craveable of taco truck food, a Los Guachos gringa. If you haven’t tried this killer combination of caramelized cheese, al pastor pork fresh from the spit, grilled pineapple and avocado cilantro sauce, well frankly, I feel sorry for you.

As the taco truck project has received so much interest and support we have found ourselves becoming increasingly involved with liaison and advocacy. There are some interesting dynamics between the trucks, the city and the neighborhoods in which they are located. We see the taco trucks as a very positive asset for Columbus and we hope that others will too. We are not sure where this project will eventually take us, but so far its been a very rewarding journey.

One of the highlights of the last month was our Spring 2010 Taco Truck Tour. You can read my full write up on taco trucks columbus. The tours are always a lot of fun: seeing old friends, making new ones, watching people trying new food and sharing the experience with them. The tours get people to explore parts of the city that they might not ordinarily visit and can help to bring communities together. I love that we are able to collaborate with other groups and organizations and that taco trucks appeal to such a diverse range of people.

Visiting the taco trucks is always fun: eating al fresco, not knowing who you will run into, or what what new experiences await you. My most recent bizarre taco truck food experience – chicken shaped (but luckily not flavored) jello.

Upcoming taco truck events are a Cinco de Mayo meet up at Taco Nazo with specially made posole (There will be a group of bikers leaving from Goodale Park at 6.30pm, or you can just meet us at Taco Nazo.) and a presentation on taco trucks and other food adventures at Pecha Kucha on May 13th.  If you have never been to Pecha Kucha, it is a fantastic format for people to speak, very concisely, about what they are passionate about. You are allowed to show 20 slides and you have 20 seconds to talk about each one. I’m a little nervous, but excited to share our story and our love for taco trucks.

Thanks to all the taco truck fans for all the kind words and support for our project, and special thanks of course, to my two amigos. I can’t think of better people to stuff my face with gringas with.

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alt.eats.columbus

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted about many restaurants on hungrywoolf recently. This is because almost all of my eating-out time has been directed towards our new project and we are finally ready to share it with the world!

The idea for alt.eats.columbus came about during the research for our taco truck project. We kept discovering interesting restaurants and food shops that we had never heard of, and finding cuisines represented that receive very little attention. We wanted to promote them in the same way that we did with the taco trucks, not for any financial gain, but purely to share our enthusiasm and our discoveries and to encourage people to try something off the beaten path, (not to mention eat some great food).

Columbus has such a wealth of fantastic ethnic restaurants. I have blogged about some of them before, but in the last few weeks we have been eating Persian, Senegalese, Somali and Vietnamese food and it has been a blast. Lots of new flavors, learning about different food cultures and having an adventure instead of just a meal.

As with tacotruckscolumbus we have a map to help you explore. We know that our list is far from complete and so we also welcome suggestions. Tell us about your favorite hole in the wall restaurant. You know, the one that only you seem to know about. You can also follow us (and give suggestions) on twitter @alteatscbus

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Filed under blogging, Columbus, ethnic eats, restaurants, Taco trucks, Websites