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Dog People – Franks and Frites

31 Aug


Phone: (614) 772-1015

The name speaks for itself with this food truck so it is not too hard to figure out the menu is hot dogs (and other encased meats) and fries, sometimes in fancy poutine form. The business launched summer of 2015 and has been seen at Land Grant Brewing and Four String Brewing with some frequency. We talked to the owners to learn a bit more about their concept.

1) Tell us about your team / the owners.

We are a husband and wife team that moved to Columbus in 2011.

2) What inspired you to get started and why hot dogs and fries as your mainstays?

Nate worked in kitchens for years but was discouraged that the only interaction with customers was when people weren’t happy with their food. He was looking for a more direct relationship with his customers and wanted to see people enjoying what they were eating. Our plan from the beginning was to team up with local bars and breweries and we designed our concept and menu around something we were both passionate about and paired well with Columbus’s local craft beers.

3) Your name is great, how did that come together?

We thought for weeks about something that would rhyme with “franks” or “dogs” and nothing was inspiring us. One night we were sitting in our living room with our two dogs and it came to Nate- we’re not cat people, we’re dog people. It was a perfect fit for us as business as well as who we are as people.

4) What has been your biggest good and bad surprise starting into the world of Mobile Food?

The best thing has been the public interactions. People have been very receptive and we have developed great relationships with regular customers and have loved receiving feedback and suggestions from our customers. There haven’t been any of what we would consider “bad surprises,” but of course there is a learning curve and working our way through the hiccups and glitches that come along with any new venture.

5) Anything new on the horizon for you – new menu items, winter menu, etc.

We’re happy with our base menu but are always looking for fun new specials. Our beer brat with local beer has been very popular! Our specials board is constantly evolving while we like to keep favorites around.

6) What is the best way for people to find you out and about?
We are on Twitter and Instagram as DogPeopleCbus, and Facebook as Dog People Franks & Frites.

7) What did you do pre-food truck?

Jenn is still a manager at Starbucks and is able to work that schedule around food truck events. Nate’s history is in kitchens and has also worked in marketing for several years.



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.

columbus food trucks

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

El Rinconcito Pupuseria

27 Jun


El Riconcito
2400 E Dublin Granville Road
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm


Pupuserias in Columbus have come and gone, often quite quickly, but we have more confidence in the longevity of El Riconcito because the owner Betty is a long time employee of veteran taco truck Taco Nazo. We also anticipate they will do well because their food is very good. The menu has four main dishes pupusas, enchilladas Salvadorenos, pasteles Salvadorenos and carne a la plancha.


The pupusas come in several variations – pork, chicken, cheese, beans or a mixture (revuletos). Loroco is a flower that is often added to cheese pupusas. The pupusas were well cooked (as you can see from the picture) and are served as typical with curtido, a slightly spicy pickled slaw and a tomato based hot sauce (mild or hot).


Enchiladas Salvadorenos are similar to a Mexican tostada. At El Rinconcito they are comprised of a homemade tortilla topped with beans, chicken, lettuce, cheese tomato, cucumber and hard boiled egg.


Our favorite item was the pasteles Salvadorenos which are small crispy empanadas with a corn based shell that are filled with chicken, rice and potatoes. They make a great snack. The pasteles and the enchiladas are both served with curtido. The last item on the menu is the carne a la plancha – meat cooked on the grill. It’s served with rice, beans, avocados, salsa and tortillas.

IMG_2044El Riconcito also serves horchata.

We are planning a meet up at the truck on July 8th at from 6-9pm.


Schmidt’s Sausage Truck

30 May


Cuisine: Bavarian

Street Food Finder

In 1886, the Schmidt family started selling sausages and other meats in Columbus. In September 2012, Schmidt’s launched their Sausage Truck. Although the truck was new, Schmidt’s was not new to mobile food. Schmidt’s sold sausages from carts in the early days and they have been selling their wares from the Ohio State Fair for over a century. In between the early days and today, they also launched the city’s most iconic restaurant, Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. So it seems fitting that Schmidt’s would finally take to the streets with a few of their fan favorites.


The menu features Bavarian favorites including: Bahama Mama, Bratwursts, Knockwursts, Fat Daddy’s (Thickly sliced, spicy German balogna sandwiches), Frankfurters and German Potato Salad. And have no fear, the truck carries as many cream puffs as they can squeeze in. Throughout the year, seasonal daily specials are offered such as soups and main dishes. Occasionally a special cream puff flavor will find a way on the menu as well.


I’ll back track a bit to the Bahama Mama. If you are new to Columbus then you may not have heard of Schmidt’s most famous, signature dish. It is a mildly spicy sausage made with a mix of beef and pork with a touch of hickory smoke. If you can’t make it to German Village, a Schmidt’s Sausage Truck (we will see a second launch this year) will bring it to you.


Melty Crue

24 May


Cuisine: Extreme Grilled Cheese inspired by coronary artery disease


The food truck owner equivalent of Tommy Lee is Neil Hertenstein. Neil has always been a go really big or go home type of guy. He drives around in a bright yellow Hummer and you can see below, when he decided to help launch a new truck concept in Columbus…..he was dedicated.


Neil Hertenstein, along with partners, Carlos Pasillias and Jason Davis are the dynamic trio behind Hungry Monkey (burgers) and Juniors Tacos (Carlos started his truck back in 2010 but opted to join forces with Neil a few years ago) decided Columbus needed more cheese in its diet. The concept is about 6 months old (as of May 2014) but quickly won best new food truck in Columbus in an Alive! poll.

So in case you have not already guessed the truck has a Motley Crue / heavy metal theme in everything it does including the wrap on the truck, the music in the background but thankfully not the hair.

kick ass

As for the menu – guests have a choice of fifteen styles of grilled cheese or customized Mac & Cheese.

I tried the Primal Reuben which included: grilled marble rye, shaved corn beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, double servings of mozzarella, provolone and Muenster (yes that is seven slices of cheese) and a bit of siracha mayonnaise to help all of that slide down.


I’m happy to report the sandwich tastes really good. And unexpected bonus was that it was served with some high-end potato chips and a pickle. Here is an inside tip for you. Always eat the pickle – it aids digestion.


The Flat Top Pizza Company

18 May


Cuisine: Pizza, Ice Cream, Soda and Seasonal specials


We begin with a bit of Columbus Mobile Food culture. You may have heard of Mikey’s Late Night Slice, a guy named Mike started the first mobile pizza empire in the city. Then you may have heard of Pizza Mike, Mike Evans owned the first restaurant (pizzeria) in Westerville to serve booze in the dry city. Then his pizzeria burned down. Mike was on the Great Food Race and used that experience to start a food truck last year. And then there is Mike and Other Mike. In 2012 a couple of lads working on a food cart decided they needed to do something different to stand out from the cart crowd, so they started doing a grilled cheese style pizza on a cart. The concept worked but they found a cart limiting so they started working on a truck. It took a lot longer to build out the truck than expected so Mike opted for full-time employment while Other Mike continued plugging, painting and paying away on the Pizza Truck. Other Mike is owner/operator/dough slinger Mike Cyan. The lesson of this paragraph – if your name is Mike you are probably running a pizza truck. The name of the truck is an homage to how the pizza is crafted, on a flat top grill.

Flat Top pizza is much more than pizza. The menu also includes truck made ice cream and craft soda. Future menu items may include pepperoni rolls, cinnamon rolls and soups.

The pizzas start with homemade dough and high grade ingredients. The sauces and pesto are made from scratch.


The ice cream is made in small batches and served in scoops or floats.



The soda pops are hand crafted as well with a mix of traditional with not so traditional flavors. Mike makes special syrups and flavorings for each pop, which are mixed to order.



As for the name, Flat Top Pizza is made on a grill not in a pizza oven. The end result still combines pizza with a little grilled cheese char.

We like the look of the truck as well (as do many of the other food truck owners in town). Mike spent a long time crafting his truck, doing almost all of the work on his own. There is a cool retro look to the truck (a Grumman, older than he is) with wood doors integrated into the design. Adding to the retro, pizza to go is served in paper bags (the way pizza was served back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Flat Top officially launched in May 2014 so keep an eye out for truck as it starts to build a following at the usual spots. The easiest place to find Flat Top in action will be Zauber Brewing Company check with the truck and the brewery for schedule information.




6 Sep

cilantro food truck columbus

Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Cilantro is a Puerto Rican food truck that, as of now, can mainly be found in the Westerville area. It’s owner formerly ran Costelo’s, which was Columbus’ only Puerto Rican restaurant. Cilantro’s menu varies but includes a variety Puerto Rican dishes such as tripletas, pernil, empanadas, arroz con gandules. In addition to the Puerto Rican specials you’ll also find tacos, rice bowls, burritos and sandwiches. On the day we were there they were offering a chorizo and chicken (‘choripollo’) sandwich and their spin on a Cuban sandwich. Not offered on the day we visited was the tripleta, a Puerto Rican sandwich made with 3 different meats (usually pork, ham and beef).

puerto rican food truck columbus

We really liked the pernil special – tender, juicy Puerto Rican style roasted pork shoulder served with a generous side of rice and beans (arroz con gandules), salad and plantains. The plantains were served on the side and we were given both sweet plantains and tostones (savory plantain slices). All in all, a very hearty lunch for $10.

Cilantro food truck columbus

We also enjoyed the empanadas filled with a chorizo based filling (below) and the passion fruit juice.

puerto rican food columbus

If you are looking for Puerto Rican food in Columbus it’s definitely worth tracking down Cilantro, best done by following them on Facebook. The food is tasty and good value. The owner said that he can make other Puerto Rican dishes as special orders with advance notice.


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