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Native Eats

8 Apr

cart

Native Eats (Closed) 
(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.

menu

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).

beet burger

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

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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Inner Circle

19 Aug


Website – in progress
Facebook: facebook.com/innercirclestreetfood
Twitter: InnerCircleCart
614.296.0604

Inner Circle appeared on the scene early this summer to good reviews. Rich Stewart is Commander and Chef in Chief of the Cart. Vegans and Carnivores have had rave reviews of his homemade vegan sausages. He is in the process and refining stages of other items including burgers and more. The cart has hit the circuit this summer at St. James Tavern Mobile Mondays, Goodale Park Music Series, Pattycake Bakery and elsewhere.

In regards to the sausages, having sampled several I can say – wow. I think many people have low expectations for vegan food, especially in tubed form. In the case of Inner Circle, take your expectations, raise them by the power of ten and you will still find your expectations exceeded. The sausages have great texture and spicing. Placed in a fresh bun with ingredients that enhance the natural flavors of Rich’s hand crafted links and the result is flavor explosion.

This may be a Street Eats first, but an interview with Rich is included in this post as well. Read on Mobile Food lovers.

How long were you at Dragonfly?

I was with Dragonfly for nine months. Chef Magdiale Wolmark is a genius, glad to have had that experience.

What other places have you worked at?

I spent time with another great Columbus chef in Hubert Siefert at Spagio, also stints at The Lakes Golf & Country Club in Westerville, Digger & Finch in Dublin, Whole Foods here as well as in Chicago, and a stint at Green Zebra in the Windy City.

Where are you working now when not out with the cart?

I needed health insurance and more reasonable hours for my two five-year old children, so I took a job on the opening team with Market District, then transferred to a Giant Eagle within walking distance to my home.

What inspired the cart?

Another chef friend of mine John Franke and I were going to collaborate on two carts or a truck that had his omnivorous cuisine, with my vegan versions of each item. He ended up taking a sous position and had no time for the project. I didn’t have the funds to get a truck on my own so I went with the cart. I want to bring affordable vegan cuisine to my patrons so I started with the sausages, I’m building on that.

What would you like to do after the cart or in conjunction with it.

I do some catering as well, I catered a vegan waffle bar brunch wedding reception earlier in the summer, . I’d really like to find a bar with a working but vacant kitchen and move inside once the weather gets too cold. I know there are enough vegans (and vegan food loving non vegans) in Columbus to be successful. I’d like to have a truck next year if I can get a good following this season and convince a lender that I’d be a good investment.

Any new menu items for the summer.

A new sausage that’s inspired by the vegan favorite falafel, a tempeh meatball sub and a vegan burger.

What inspired you to do the sausages and how long did it take you to perfect the recipe?

My cart is designed to be a hot dog cart. The gas grill and steam wells make it very conducive for my sausages. I don’t have the storage space for a large variety, so a few sausages and soup fit nicely. Everyone likes a sausage sandwich and I didn’t want to use store-bought vegan ones. I don’t much care for those anyway and wanted to showcase my skills as an accomplished chef. It took a few trials to get a product that had a mouth feel of a meat sausage. My girlfriend, parents, kids and friends got to try each stage of the process.

Other than love is there a secret ingredient in the sausages that you might want to hint at.

I add a VERY smokey paprika to my sausages. It’s my favorite non maple syrup (true love) ingredient to add to anything.

Kolache Republic

17 Nov

kolache cart

Kolaches
Website

Facebook
Twitter
614.302.5330

You may  have already seen the Kolache Republic at farmers markets, street food events or festivals but now they have their own cart and are hitting the streets of Columbus. If you haven’t, you might be wondering what a kolache is – or how to pronounce it (koh-lah-chee). A kolache is a Czech pastry made of slightly sweet dough baked with a wide variety of fruit, nut, sweet cheese and meat fillings. They are popular in areas with large Czech populations such as Texas.

Kolache Republic is a joint venture between three guys, Rick, Doug and Dusty, who were craving kolaches and couldn’t find them in Columbus. Unfulfilled food cravings seems a common food business initiator. Kolache Republic now make over 30 varieties of sweet and savory kolache to order and as well as serving them on the cart you can find them at the Celebrate Local pop up store at Easton.

Here was today’s menu:

kolaches in columbus, street food in Columbus

My favorite are the sausage, pepper jack and jalapeno kolaches, so of course that’s what I had today. A doughy cheesy bundle with mild juicy sausage and some warmth from the jalapeno. It’s a great cold weather snack.

sausage jalapeno cheese kolache

Kolache Republic will be on Broad Street (just east of Third) again tomorrow  from 11am-2pm, so if you are walking around downtown stop by, say hi and try a kolache.

Craig’s Geedunk

13 Sep

food carts columbus

Craig’s Geedunk (Closed)
Cuisine: rustic urban
Twitter: @craigsgeedunk

You may recognize Craig Long’s smiling face from Skillet where he is usually rushing around dispatching brunch orders. As well as serving at Skillet he is operating a little satellite operation called Craig’s Geedunk offering Skillet food from a food cart. According to Craig a Geedunk is an old fashion word for food cart or concessionaire. It seems that it’s a navy term for a snack bar but no one can agree on the origins of the term. The cart is hired from the ECDI Food Fort program.

Craig will be operating the cart until the end of October and will then close up for the season. Some days he is offering Skillet’s griddled cinnamon buns (look out for him on Indianola near Boston Bert’s tonight) but when we caught up with him last night he was serving hoecakes with pulled pork and green tomato chow chow.

This was a great dish and good value at $5. It was comprised of two hoecakes (cornmeal pancakes aka johnnycakes), juicy pulled pork  and chow chow, lightly pickled veggies, which added a nice crunch and freshness. There was optional hot sauce for those who wanted to take it up a notch.

Craig is planned to be in SoHud on Monday nights outside Jack’s Corner Pub from 7.30pm-Midnight. Follow him on twitter for location and menu updates.

Rolley – Pulley’s: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

6 Sep

Rolley-Pulley’s
Cuisine: Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches
Location: variable
Current “main” location: Downtown, corner of Town and Wall Street
(Monday to Friday Lunch time)
614.570.2003

Rolly-Pulley’s popped onto the Food Cart scene in early August. The fare is simple – three styles of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. There my be some changes or additions to the menu over time. The cart is also booked for all Ohio State home games this year and will be parked at the Harrison House apartments. We sampled the Squeeler Pulley at the Food Cart and Truck Fest 2011. This sandwich included pulled pork, with cole slaw and hot pepper flake sauce.

Spinelli’s Deli Mobile Sammies

29 Aug

Spinelli’s Deli Mobile Sammies
Location: Variable
Website
Twitter

Spinelli’s Deli has been a standby for Victorian Village residents since 2002 offering bagels and a wide variety of hot and cold, breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches. A downtown location was opened in early 2011. The downtown location may have been a bit ahead of the times so the Spinelli’s team decided to close the location in August 2011. Out of the ashes of the brick and mortar location a food cart was born. Using a rental cart from the ECDI Food Fort program, Spinelli’s Mobile Sammies hit the the pavement for various events. Spinelli’s is still tweaking the menu and other aspects of the cart. Currently Brezel Pretzels are part of the menu which we applaud for the flavor as well as pairing with a local purveyor. We will update this post as the menu and locations develop.