Sock Hop Soda Shop
The Sock Hop Soda shop is the creation of Terry Levine, a 50’s enthusiast who literally brings the party to you. In world of mobile food, one path is to beat the streets looking for hungry customers, and the alternative to chase events and private parties – that is the approach for Sock Hop Soda Shop. The crew comes attired as soda jerks and works hard to create a fifties vibe with music, hula hoops, dancing (when not serving) and a soda shop style menu with ice cream and sandwiches. The team also rocks local with Velvet Ice Cream and Frosttop Root Beer.
You will see them set up at events and private parties in the warm months, during the winter they bring the party inside (without the truck) by request.
On Street Food Finder
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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.
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.
Cuisine: Ice Cream
It may be hard to conceive or even believe but there is more to ice cream than Jeni’s. Velvet Ice Cream has been in the business for ONE HUNDRED YEARS!. So they know what they are doing. To celebrate a century of scooping the company decided to do something very 21st century – launch a food truck.
The truck is definitely mini, the smallest we have seen in the business. It is a former mail delivery truck with a few freezers added in. The truck is based in Utica so we salute the driver who made the journey to Columbus to share ice cream with the people. The truck is dubbed Mini and you will find it all over the region wherever ice cream is needed. You can track its whereabouts via Twitter at #Velvets100th. We hope that Mini sticks around past this summer, it’s so cute.
Jeni’s Street Treats
With 8 brick and mortar scoop shops and thousands of existing fans, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams doesn’t need much introduction in Columbus, but their ice cream truck is a newer addition to the growing empire. The Street Treats truck makes it easier for Jeni’s mobile dipping division to serve up their wonderful ice cream at events all over the city. The Sweet Treats truck offers a limited range of four favorite flavors including their top selling salty caramel.
For anyone unfamiliar with Jeni’s, they offer Columbus-made artisanal ice cream. Their ice cream base is made from grass grazed Snowville Creamery milk and cream and they partner with local farmers, producers and distributors for the highest quality local and where necessary international ingredients. Jeni’s has wonderfully creative flavors like their new Parmesan and zucchini bread and each pint is lovingly made and packaged by hand.
In addition to the truck you might see Jeni’s mobile dipping division out and about in another fun vehicle – their little Bajaj (“buh-jahdge”) a.k.a. the Half-Pint Truck.