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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.

Earth’s Crust / Krazy Monkey

11 Jul

food carts columbus

 

Pizza & Baked goods.
Facebook

Twitter
Phone: 614 440 9885
Check Facebook and Twitter for updates on location
Earth’s Crust (Pizza in cart form) Krazy Monkey: Pizza, Juices and more in Truck form
Earth’s Crust/Krazy Monkey Updates

Street Eats has been following Earth’s Crust and Michelle Page for a long time, so long in fact that this post is a joint production by Vivsmack, CMH Gourmand & Hungrywoolf.

street food , food carts columbus

Street eating is all too often synonymous with hot dogs, gyros, and other meaty morsels. But not in Columbus. Joining the ranks of Rad Dog, Lucky Ladle and other mobile vegan & vegetarian friendly carts, Dreddie Page (a.k.a. Michelle), who is based out of the Clintonville Community Market, has been offering health conscious pizza and baked treats using local, organic, fresh ingredients. Using whole wheat berries (germ included!) and spelt, Michelle mills her own flour to ensure that the menu is minimally processed with the freshest possible flavor and the highest nutritional value. Her grains come from the Amish farms. She does not use white refined flour or refined sugars. She does use natural ingredients with a dash or dollop of love depending on the item. When Vivshmack visited there were three pizza options: caramelized onions and apples with Daiya cheddar, cheese, and pepperoni. She chose two slices (the Daiya option and the pepperoni) for $5 and was really impressed with the light and nutty crust. Yesterday Michelle was offering a choice of two 8 inch pizzas: Ohio cheese pizza with locally made sauce and 3 cheese blend and a tasty homemade broccoli pesto pizza with fresh mozzarella and tomato. Vegan cheese is also available.

whole grain pizza cart

The Earth’s Crust cart hops around town offering up delicious sandwiches, signature pizzas and a selection of baked goods. The menu changes daily and seasonally. Sandwiches are made with whole wheat, vegan, sliced bread from Stan Evans Bakery, a little known bake shop located in Grandview. Vivian sampled the Tomato NOTzarella sandwich served warm straight from the cart’s built in griddle.

Michelle is available for catering orders and has a fantastic selection of pies, rolls, scones and cookies. Check out a menu here. Rumor has it that Earth’s Crust pizza are much loved by Clintonville families and super popular with neighborhood kiddies so call ahead if you have any special requests or are placing a large order.

Michelle Page is a budding mobile food mogul. You may see her Krazy Monkey truck resting in the parking lot of Global Village Coffee Shop and Gallery lot in Clintonvile this summer in between work to get it ready for the road. In the meantime, she operates a space inside selling her juices and baked goods. If there is an outdoor event with food carts you can expect the Earth’s Crust cart or the Krazy Monkey truck will be there.

Want more of her story? Check out Michelle’s Earth’s Crust blog

Street Food Cooking Classes.

21 Feb

street food cooking classes wholefoods market columbus

Learn to make street food favorites at home. These classes will be held at Whole Foods Market in Dublin. The first class is Tuesday, March 1st and they will be held the first Tuesday of every month for four months (June class is to TBA).

Columbus Street Food Cooking Series: Lucky Ladle

March 1st 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. $25

Learn to make the delicious wares from some of Columbus’ favorite Food Trucks and Carts. This demonstration includes recipes and a taste of the following great menu items:

  • Vegan White Bean & Kale Soup
  • Home on the Free Range Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Vegan Spinach & Potato Turnovers
  • Roast Chicken & Pepper Jack Turnovers

Columbus Street Food Cooking Series: Leslie’s Creperie

Tuesday, April 5th 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. $25

Learn to make the delicious fare from some of Columbus’ favorite Food Trucks and Carts. This demonstration includes recipes and a taste of Leslie’s great menu items!

Columbus Street Food Cooking Series: Mojo Tago

Tuesday, May 3rd – Thursday, May 5th

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. $25

Learn to make the delicious fare from some of Columbus’ favorite Food Trucks and Carts. This demonstration includes recipes and a taste of Mogo Tago’s great menu items!

To sign up for any of these classes please email luckyladle@yahoo.com or call 614-596-3570.

For more information please see the Wholefoods Calendar.

Da Levee Express

14 Oct

cajun food columbus

Location: mostly 15th Ave. and N. High Street (weekdays, 11am-2pm) and with trips to Gay St., Clintonville, and special events occasionally.
Follow them on Facebook for updates on location.

If you’ve heard of Da Levee, it might be because their Short North location has made a reputation for offering piles of delicious and flavorful Cajun favorites. On the sidewalks, Da Levee Express has the most vibrant paint job in town and dishes up those same comforting favorites as the bricks and mortar, Mardi Gras bead laden counter. Anticipating colder weather, the saucy stews have made it onto my list of lunchtime eats on campus. I caught them north of 15th Ave on N. High St. between classes and picked up a very late breakfast.

By no means am I an expert on Cajun cuisine so Justin, the owner, was quick to break each dish down to their main ingredients. On today’s menu, pulled pork in the form of Ropa Vieja (did I hear with capers?) and an all vegan succotash with hearty beans and veggies. Since I had skipped breakfast, I was famished and debating between the chicken in the Creole (tomato based sauce with cilantro) or the Pozole Stew.

cajun food columbus

Fans of Pozole are pretty vocal about their love for the hominy stew so it was the deciding factor for my lunch, I had to try this popular dish. From the above photo, you can see the hominy, black beans, corn, and red bell pepper. The shredded white chicken was plentiful and the generous helping of rice and heaping spoonful of pozole was more than enough to last me through the afternoon. I didn’t need to eat the bread but it was so greasy and salty that I couldn’t help myself.

Da Levee Express will be making appearances at the Ohio Historical Society Food-Truck-A-Palooza (get there early!) on October 14th and at Food Cart Food Court at Wonderland Columbus on October 17th.

Lucky Ladle

24 Aug


Website: www.luckyladle.com (currently being updated)
Email: theluckyladle@yahoo.com
Wednesdays, July 7 – October 27, 2010, 11:30am – 1:00pm: Nationwide-Pearl Alley Growers’ Association at North High Street and Nationwide Boulevard, Columbus, OH.
Thursdays, July 8 – October 28, 2010, 11:30am – 1:00pm: Nationwide-Pearl Alley Growers’ Association at 5100 Rings Road, Dublin, OH.

You may have heard of Shannon’s soup business, The Lucky Ladle, from colleagues who receive her deliveries at offices all around town during prime soup season, between November and May. During the summer, The Lucky Ladle sets up at the Nationwide-Pearl Alley (N-PA) Growers’ Association markets in downtown Columbus and at Nationwide’s Dublin campus. Shannon offers up a wide selection of soups and savory pastries, available both in vegan and conventional varieties.

I visited with The Lucky Ladle on a Wednesday at 12:15pm and to my dismay, found that she had already sold out of her signature savory turnovers! My disappointment only grew as Shannon described all the varieties she’s been known to bring: spinach and potato, chicken and Monterey Jack cheese, veggies and Soyrizo, and the most sought after, El Tio, a blend of ground beef, potatoes and onions, various fresh herbs and cumin. At $2.50 a pop, get there early and buy a couple to share!

I was able to try both soups Shannon had with her, a cold gazpacho and a steaming chicken noodle. The garlicky and refreshing gazpacho had visible bits of cucumbers and tomatoes was just chunky enough to make my closet vegan very satisfied. And the full flavored home style chicken noodle had generous chunks of chicken and homemade noodles; my taster-in-crime who was suffering from a cold in the heat of summer pronounced it exactly what his sore throat craved. The Lucky Ladle’s repertoire also includes other favorites such as kale and white bean, broccoli cheddar, a Moroccan harira, hearty chili, and lentil soup.

I can’t believe I’m saying this in mid-August, but I can’t wait to try The Lucky Ladle’s steaming soups on a brisk autumn day with a turnover or two!!