Early Bird

15 Jun

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Early Bird
2141 Indianola Ave (corner of Norwich) by Tree of Life Church, parking in rear lot
Thursday-Friday 7am-1pm, Saturday 8am-1pm

Facebook: EarlyBird
Website: Fourandtwentybakeshop
Phone: (614) 715-0906

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Perched just north of OSU Campus, Early Bird Food Truck serves beignets (regular and filled), donuts, hand pies (they go quick), One Line Coffee and in the near future, perhaps a French style ham and cheese sandwich. The beignets can be dusted with powdered or cinnamon sugar. Fillings include custard, nutella, peanut butter and more. The menu is small, the concept is simple and for early risers, that simplicity can make the early morning rise that much easier. Owner Libby Glover is an accomplished and trained baker who managed the bakery at Hills Market in the past and have been a frequent farmers market purveyor.

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One my survey run I tried a variety of beignets. They were great – fresh with great flavor, just take the first bite of a filled beignet very carefully – or you may lose some filling. You can enjoy your food on site at a few tables under a tree or take them to go and see how long you can go before you start to eat your goodies in the car.

Por’ketta

12 Apr

trailer

Por’ketta

Facebook: Porketta
Twitter: PorkettaCbus
Instagram: Porkettacbus
Web:porkettacbus.com
614 570 1107

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Por’ketta launched in March of 2015, serving to the last sandwich, ahead of schedule time and time again. The simple menu of pork and Rotisserie chicken with a few sides may mean limited choices but t is heavy on quality and flavor. The trailer may be a bit harder to maneuver than a food truck but you will see it most places that mobile food can be found. And on a historical note, the trailer has some back story, it used to be a Ray Ray’s Hog Pit Trailer. We spoke to owner Tony Layne to find out about this business.

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1) In a few sentences, what do you want people to know about Por’ketta.

I would want them to know that we are a family run business. We love Columbus and promote it shamelessly. Also that our family’s love of food, gathering and community translate into our food. It is also important to note that we searched far and wide within Ohio’s borders to source the best local ingredients that we could find simply prepared with passion

2) What is Porketta? How do you make yours?
Porchetta is the pig’s skin, belly wrapped around meat and layers of fat, usually with herbs and spices thrown in…all tied up around a spit. Usually roasted over an open fire..this is the traditional Italian method. My version is the belly piece with the loin attached, then we butterfly the loin, rub with salt, pepper, fennel, parsley, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, roll it up, tie it up and let air dry under refrigeration for at least 24 hours, then roast for four and a half hours in a high low temperature combination, let rest for thirty minutes and then ready to slice. Very labor intensive, but yields very moist pork…there are no shortcuts to the method.

3) What inspired your menu?
This is an easy one I love cooking with fire..whether it be a grill, smoker, camp fire, Meat and fire are primal and treated correctly yield incredible results. So that is the method I choose..we have a Rotisserie on the truck, The items I chose also easy..I am a pork fanatic…such a versatile animal…so many different cuts, tastes and textures…I chose Porchetta because it’s the belly and the loin and nobody is doing it, enough said. A great roasted chicken, was my other choice it brings back such comforting memories of cooking with my grandmother. For our salads and sides, we wanted to make sure they were tasty and let the ingredients speak for themselves. Our dishes are not hidden in mayonnaise or heavy dressings. We offer both the pork and chicken as sandwiches, meals, and bulk to go items.

4) What inspired you to get into mobile food?

Thirty years in commercial kitchens, always wanting to do something on my own, but with five kids I chose security and stability for my family over the opportunity of starting my own venture. Finally the planets started lining up …my youngest was a senior in high school in Hilliard. My job with Marriott was starting to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day”…every day felt just like ever other. I was losing passion for the craft, finding joy only cooking for our weekly family dinners. One day I snapped , quit my job cashed in my 401k and decided to go into business with my wife and children…Mobile food is hot in Columbus…a lot of great food coming off trucks. With a lower cost to entry than a traditional brick and mortar restaurant my decision and direction was made.

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Sandwich 2

5) What did you do before Porketta?
Before this spent the last thirty years doing the Chef thing around Columbus….Umberto’s, the Clock, Crowne Plaza, the 55 group, R.J. Snappers and Marriott hotels…from mom and pop shops to corporate and everything in between

6) How did you get ready to launch?
I left Marriott shortly before Thanksgiving, and basically took the winter, while the trailer was being built out, to come up with the menu, work on branding, build the social media presence, obtain all the proper permits and documentation, purchase equipment, test recipes, try and find spots to park and sell our food at…and the list goes on. They say the devil is in the details…everyday we worked task lists to shoot for a mid March opening. And here we are!

7) Porketta is a family affair – tell us about team Layne and what each person does in the trailer.

Team Layne consists of my son Conner…who is learning the craft and picking so much up. I so proud of him, my wife Michelle who is our backbone, she runs the window and is great with our guests. My other daughters float in and out as time allows. Basically we all do what needs done. I couldn’t be working with a better bunch of people. (Writers note: Michelle worked for Pitabilities for several years so she is no stranger to mobile food customers).

8)You source from Matt Swint (Matija Breads) – where else do you source from?

Yes Matt Swint and his incredible breads…the best in Columbus. Pork was a tough one…to find an Ohio producer of the exact piece I needed was a daunting task so I turned to THE MAN..Albert Thurn…if anybody could find it he could. And he did, sourcing a farm in Sandusky, Ohio. He is my pork connect. Chicken had to be all Ohio…so we turned to Vitale Poultry. Produce comes from Midwest for the time being as spring rolls into summer much more Ohio produce will be used. we like to park at local breweries and tap rooms, because these high quality local beers compliment our food. Even our T-shirts were printed by Traxler. Local was key to our business model, sometimes more expensive, but always the right thing to do.

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Native Eats

8 Apr

cart

Native Eats
(Locally sourced / eclectic)

Website: www.nativeeats.com
Facebook: NativeEats
Twitter: NativeEatsCbus

Native Eats is a new food cart in Columbus serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus with a strong emphasis on fresh and locally sourced ingredients. A photo of a recent menu is below and a link to their current menu is -> HERE. You can find them on a regular basis at Seventh Son Brewing on Saturdays for the Lunch/Brunch shift. Expect to see them more places soon.

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So far we have sampled the Sweet Potato and Beet Burger (seen below) and the Barbacoa Breakfast Torta. Both offered great flavor and fresh ingredients including buns made my Matt Swint (who ran the Per Zoot food truck in the past) of Matija Breads (a favorite purveyor of local mobile vendors).

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Like any new business, especially in the world of mobile food there will be changes and shifts in the menu over “season one” and we think this cart is off to a strong start. We asked Alyssa Block a few questions about getting started and we share the answers below.

1) What inspired your menu?

Community. Native Eats unites community by sourcing all of our main ingredients right here in Ohio. Quality. This is another thing that drives our brand. We take no short cuts, all of our meat is grass-fed and sourced locally and all of our breads are fresh-baked locally. Sustainability. By sourcing our main ingredients locally, we not only stimulate the Ohio economy, but we also use less energy to receive our goods. Health. Grass fed, GMO free meats are significantly lower in fat than grain fed meats. We also always offer unique hand-made healthy options along with vegan and gluten-free options.

2) What did you do before starting the cart?

I worked in production for the Limited and still do to this day. This has taught me valuable lessons on cost negotiating, networking, vendor relations, and business relationship building.

3) Who else is on your team and what are their roles?

David Southwick doubles as both my boyfriend and my manager for the cart and staff. Erin Lamneck, Amber Roy, and Alena Southwick are all of our servers/prep cooks.

4) What did you do to get ready to launch this spring?

Reach out to as many vendors and gigs as possible. Start being active in the social media scene. Get active in the community by joining the City of Columbus food truck program, COFTA, and we are about to be a member of Experience Columbus. We have also been trying to get some press, such as (614), Fit Ohio, and Biz 1st

5) What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?

Hard work pays off and doing things the morally correct way usually gets noticed. There will ALWAYS be hurdles in this business, but you make mistakes, learn from them, and prosper.

6) What do you want guests to know about your food and food philosophy?

We want them to know we believe in community, eating local, buying local, quality, health, and natural foods

7) Anything else to share with those new to native eats?

Everything is made from scratch and to be full of flavor. We are your #1 fan. We know you will love our food.

native eats

Columbus Mobile Food Vendor Program (A new way to find mobile food on city streets)

26 Mar

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In 2014, the city of Columbus formed a Mobile Food Advisory Board including a mix of city government officials, members of the mobile food community and some members of the general public. The purpose of the group is to update and revise rules and regulations for mobile food vendors in Columbus. It is an ongoing process but one of the initial results was to provide spaces in the public right way for mobile vendors to set up to serve the public as well as a way to schedule and locate these vendors. This program, known as the Columbus Mobile Vendor Program launched in March of 2015 and will continue to expand. The program web page lists locations where you can find mobile food vendors with information on the name of the vendor and the hours they will be at the designated site. Additional locations will be added over time and more vendors will participate as the program proves itself (and more people become aware of it). You can find a link to the website below.

Columbus Mobile Food Vendor Program – http://colsmfv.com

And you can also find some information on current locations via twitter – http://twitter.com/Colsmfv

Sites include locations by the City of Columbus Courthouse, Nationwide Arena, The Brewery District and elsewhere in central Columbus (downtown and The Short North). Shifts are currently 10 – 4 pm (Lunch), 4 to 10 pm (select locations) and 10 pm to 3 am (Late Night). In addition to sites listed on this new web page, there are parking areas in the city which have been reserved for mobile food vendors to park during off-peak traffic times.

We look forward to watching this program grow and evolve over time and we hope people will embrace it as a way to show the country that Columbus is the most cutting edge mobile food community in the nation.

Food Truck Season 2015

16 Mar

All of a sudden it feels like spring in Central Ohio, and with the warm weather comes the rollout of new food trucks. We know that many hardy food truckers have been out all winter long and we tip our hats to them, but this weekend saw three new mobile food vendors debuting in Columbus. Food truck season, 2015, is on!

Hot Chicken Takeover has taken Columbus by storm and, as well as their North Market location, they now have a mobile operation. Their truck was at the Columbus Crew season opener on Saturday. They’ll mostly be doing festivals and private events but you can enjoy HCT at the North Market, Thursday-Sunday.

street eats columbus

Por’ketta’s trailer has what we have dubbed the drool window where you can watch their signature porchetta on a rotisserie. We’re expecting this to be very popular. You can find them this Thursday and Saturday evening (5-9pm) at Four String Brewing or at Staas Brewing in Delaware on Friday.

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Native Eats offers a local, seasonal menu with vegan and vegetarian offerings. In their own words “Native Eats is an all natural, organic, hormone free, and ethically honest food cart that sources all of its main ingredients locally, right here in Ohio.”  You’ll find them on Saturday lunchtimes at Seventh Son Brewery.

mobile food columbus

Sophie’s Pierogi (2.0)

1 Sep

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Cuisine: Pierogi and more
614 715 3210
Facebook
Twitter
InstaGram: Sophies_gourmet_Pierogi

There are many paths into the Food truck field. There is Truck to Table – where ones goes from truck to their own restaurant. There is Table to Truck, where an established restaurant opts to go mobile to expand service or get out of the brick and mortar life. There is also the cart to truck progression. But Steve Redzinak took a different path. He started with a truck back in 2012. Then he got out of the business for a year and 1/2. But with the encouragement of many in the food truck community including: Swoop, Ajumama, Pickled Swine, Green Meanie, Matija Breads to name a few – he came back with a cart in May of 2014. You can read more about the earlier history of the truck in our previous post about Sophie’s.

The name of the cart, like the name of the truck, was inspired by two Sophie’s. The first is Steve’s mom, who paved the way for his passion for food. His grandmother inspired many of the recipes. You can see her below.

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The other Sophie, is Steve’s daughter. You can see both of them in the lead photo for this post.

The menu, obviously, focuses on Pierogi – which have never been widely available in Columbus. In addition to being delicious, this menu really fills and ethnic food niche. A pierogi, in case you have never tried one is boiled, stuffed dumpling from Poland and eastern Europe. The Sophie’s versions take that as a base, add interesting fillings on the inside and tasty toppings on the outside. Steve is an experienced, trained chef with plenty of experience to back up his family recipes.

During his break from the business, he took what he learned from Sophie’s 1.0 and applied it to the cart to make it a leaner, more viable business. This is what Steve shared with me. “We scaled down our mobile unit, simplified the menu while increasing our production ability. Our commissary is at Smokie’s BBQ / Little Tony’s Pizzeria on 900 Columbus Ave. in Marysville. As of Sept 1st, our Pierogi will be available Monday through Saturday for Dinner 4-9pm at Smokie’s BBQ. We are also supplying a few restaurants with our Pierogi such as Jail House Rock @ Little Rock Bar and Explorers Club” (Jailhouse is the brick and mortar version of Paddywagon and Explorer’s Club also has a food truck).

If you can’t find the cart out and about head to the other locations listed above. We have an example of a typical pierogi menu below.

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And here is a photo of a Sophie’s pierogi at it’s finest.

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Columbus Corn Dog

17 Aug

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Columbus Corn Dog
Fair Food Fare
2233 Morse Rd. (Near Morse and Walford, Mobile Mike’s Auto Repair)
614.258.2433
Open Monday to Friday, 11 am to 7 pm

It doesn’t seem fair does it? You love fair food but you can only get it a few times a year. Or maybe you love fair food but you don’t like the hassles of going to the fair. Whatever your fair food passion, Columbus Corn Dog has you covered with, yes corn dogs as well as Cheese on a Stick, Lemonade Shake-Ups, Popcorn, Funnel Cakes, Fresh Cut Fries, Deep Fried Oreo’s, Hamburgers, Kettle Popcorn, Carmel Apples, Iced Tea, Soft Pretzels, Mini Donuts, Cotton Candy and more. Coming soon – breakfast – which includes a sausage wrapped in a Belgian waffle, with maple syrup and a touch of powdered sugar (on request) deep-fried on a stick. Take a look below.

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One my first visit I tried their Strawberry Lemonade (big pieces of strawberries and lemons) shakeup and a corn dog. My corn dog was made to order and it was the freshest and definitely the best corn dog I’ve had. I’m also a lemon shake up connoisseur and found their version among the best I’ve had as well.

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Future plans include turning their spot into a food pod by partnering with a few other food trucks as well as some larger events paired with local charities. Columbus Corn Dog plans to be a year round business so if you need your fair food fix know that you have a good option in town.

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