On Street Food Finder
614 648 7842
The Graeter’s Ice Cream Truck debuted in Columbus this summer. For many people this is not news, Graeter’s has been in Columbus since 1988 with over a dozen locations throughout the city and plenty of half-gallons available in stores. However, I think this is worth noting for a few reasons. First for a company which has been around since 1870, a mobile operation is downright new-fangled (maybe it was peer pressure from the youngsters from Schmidt’s who have only been around since the 1880’s).
The truck has stayed busy out on the town most days of the week and hitting special events and festivals on the weekends. It is a perfect way for the company to expand brand awareness and grow on site catering.
The menu is simple, a scaled down version with a limited number of flavors available in cones, cups, sundaes and milkshakes.
A nice feature to the truck is a large video screen which shows videos of how the ice cream is made and other information about Graeter’s, it is a good way to pass the time and learn while waiting for a scoop.
Facebook: Nothin But Nadas
Twitter: Nothin But Nadas
Phone: (614) 226-8961
Other than perhaps the burrito/wrap, the hand pie/empanada is the most perfectly portable food item in the mobile food arsenal. The empanada for the most part refers to those versions with a Spanish or Portuguese influence, but the variations from country to country or even region can differ quite a bit.
The Nothin But Nadas food trailer offers up Puerto Rican-styled empanadas to diners (the owners of the business are self-proclaimed Nuyoricans i.e. New Yorkers with Puerto Rican heritage.) These neatly crimped hand pies, emblazoned with the business name on the edge, offer a bubbly, almost flaky crust. In a way, the exterior in my mind splits the difference between two of my favorite grocery store treats from years back: Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers and a Hot Pocket.
The crimping may be the most fancy things about these empanadas – the fillings are fairly basic, but do a good job of making these pies a heartier option than most. Size-wise, three of these pies would satisfy all but the biggest appetites.
We personally like the meat-based filling options the best, but at least one non-meat choice such as Buffalo Mac and Veggie is typically offered. A basic cilantro sauce is typically offered with your order, but a slightly more spicy sriracha version is also available.
(Note: originally posted in the “The 614ortyniner” blog.)
Facebook: Alice’s Aebelskabels
Twitter: Alice’s Aebelskabels
Website: Alice’s Aebelskabels
For the uninitiated, an Aebelskiver is essentially a pancake ball of Nordic/Danish origin prepared in a specially-cast iron pan and traditionally served with either powdered sugar or fruit preserves.
That may make one wonder what in the world an “Aebelskabel” is, as in Alice’s Aebelskabels, a food truck that has been offering Danish aebelskivers to diners in the Columbus area since the summer of 2015.
One need only read the family story of food truck owner Hilary Meilen, which is conveniently posted alongside the truck’s ordering window, to learn of the colorful story behind the spelling. The tale details her grandmother (and the food truck’s namesake) Alice’s journey to the west coast during the earlier part of the 20th century and her marriage into a Danish family in the Solvang, California area (the self-proclaimed “Danish Capital of America.”) The “Aebelskabel” turns out to be her family’s phonetic mispronunciation of this Danish staple.
Regardless of pronunciation or spelling, Alice’s expands on the traditional preparations (generally the sweeter variations) by offering specialty savory renditions such as prosciutto and swiss, pizza, and pepper jack. Side garnishes such as powdered sugar, maple syrup and fruit preserves are available as well, either sprinkled on top of the aebelskivers or off to the side per your preference.
Uniform to all preparations was the pancake ball itself. Using a longtime family recipe, Hilary makes your aebelskivers to order. These lovely golden-brown spheroids provide a nicely crispy exterior and an airy pillow of fried dough blanketing whatever fillings you might have ordered stuffed within. The best bet here is to go with your mood (sweet or savory) and you’ll more likely than not get something quite enjoyable.
(Note: originally posted in the “The 614ortyniner” blog.)
We love getting free Columbus food-oriented stuff in the mail, and what’s this? – we just received an advance copy of The Columbus Food Truck Cookbook, by Renee Casteel Cook & Tiffany Harelik.
This clear labor of love features a cool cover, great photography, and recipes from many of our favorite trucks. It also features a sizable Q&A style interview on local food truck matters with yours truly, not to mention notable food truck observers such as Jim Ellison and Nick Dekker.
We look forward to trying out some of the recipes in the book – Bethia has her eyes on Ajumama’s “D’duk ‘n’ Cheese” – and expect to report back on how it went.
One last thought – if you’re thinking about opening a food truck, we implore you to absorb the back 10 pages of this book. It features indispensable hard earned wisdom from some of the most successful food truck operators out there. It’s good, smart stuff that’ll go a long way towards easing the learning curve.
(614) 446 4613
I have been waiting for mobile Indian food for a long time. Horn OK Please made a debut in the fall of 2015 and five visits to date they have never disappointed me. The menu focuses mostly on traditional Indian dishes but with a very practical twist. Most items offer a small (on a stick or in a boat) or large portion so those new to Indian food or mobile food or both can dip their ties in ethnic food waters with small monetary risk or create their own mini buffet by ordering several small portions. My favorite dish to date is Reshmi Chicken in wrap form: chicken marinated in almonds, ginger, garlic and cilantro chutney with some pickled onions on the side and of course the optional fried eggs
One fusion food that is a crowd pleaser is the Horn OK spin on Tater Tots:topped with chickpeas, tamarind, yogurt sauce and cilantro chutney!
You might be wondering about the name – well and explanation is included in the truck decor – see below.
And the owners always have a book out for display which showcases many of the classic and colorful rigs of the Indian Highway (so you know what is up with the Horn and the color scheme).
The menu is small but has enough depth not to get bored and you can usually count of a special of the day. Another interesting connection, the owners received some help in their build out from Johnny Oak – a long time Columbus BBQ purveyor and occasional mobile fooder.
Keep an eye out for Horn OK Please at local breweries and the usual lunch spots.
Phone: (614) 943-3523
Aloha Streatery hit the streets of Columbus in the fall of 2015 bringing some welcome menu diversity to the mobile food scene. What many do not know is Hawaii was a mecca for food trucks before most of the mainland showcasing diverse menus in the islands of Aloha for decades. Aloha Streatery brings authentic flavors via a menu that hits the spot that is refreshingly simple and with price points that are refreshing.
Owner Sara Siv leads with a menu that is slider based and features the full on flavors of Hawaiian Street Food. The clam like home-made lotus buns (light, fluffy but a very firm base to pile on toppings) have just a trace of sweetness to them. Typical toppings include Hawaiian mainstays such as BBQ Chicken, grilled pineapple, Spam(!), pork belly or homemade tofu. (FYI: Hawaii is the largest per capita consumer of Spam in the world). Depending on the sandwich pour or pile on house made peanut sauce, sriracha mayo, house make pickled veggies, and add in an optional fried egg and you might you feel yourself transported to Maui.
Other menu items include a spin on a Hawaiian icon Loco (No) Moco – sweet chicken with steamed jasmine rice, grilled pineapple, cilantro mayo and a dash of freshly chopped cilantro. Tater Tots and Fries with an island twist round out the main menu. Specials are well worth your time and attention as well examples include wraps and Banh Mi.
Two things I really like about Aloha which shows this newcomer is savvy enough to go the distance. First price points – many menu items are under $4 which is appealing to first time visitors and regulars who want to explore the menu in-depth. The second inspired decision is having a menu ordering system that allows customers to text in their order without having to lose their seat or brave the elements.
Cuisine: Cambodian and Asian
Location outside the car wash at Georgesville Road and Atlanta Drive.
Angkor Asian Express is a new food truck run by a friendly Cambodian family. It’s unrelated to Siem Reap, a Cambodian restaurant which recently closed on Georgesville. Angkor’s Asian Express’ initial menu is fairly limited but they plan to offer Cambodian specials at the weekend as well.
The Asian sub is a banh mi sandwich made with cold cuts. It’s a classic version of the sandwich made freshly to order. The crepe is a banh xeo and lacked a bit in crispiness and flavor.
The truck is certainly worth a stop if you’re on the west side and craving a banh mi. We’ll keep an eye out to see how their menu develops.