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3 posts from October 2013

October 29, 2013

The Wheels on the (Food) Truck Go Round and Round Part II

Josh Wolkon
Josh Wolkon / denverpost.com
In our last blog, we talked about the food truck and how it’s opening new markets in the foodservice industry. This time we look at why a well-established restaurateur with three brick-and-mortar restaurants would want to take to the streets. We e-chatted with Josh Wolkon, who has three vastly different food concepts at his three highly successful restaurants in Denver: Steuben’s (comfort food), Ace (Asian-inspired), and Vesta Dipping Grill (fine dining). Wolkon helped to launch the industry in Denver in a big way when he hopped on board the Steuben’s food truck.

 

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October 15, 2013

Food Trucks are Driving a New Market from Coast to Coast

Call it a moveable feast or meals on wheels. On a bright, sunny end-of-summer day, we’re outside stalking our query: Food trucks lined up end to end in a city park.

 

There are at least 10 choices. So that we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, we sidle up to the menus on the side of the trucks and check them out before stealthily moving on. Do we feel like something gourmet or something funky? Grass-fed burgers or biscuit potpie; Chinese sandwiches or barbecue? So many delicious choices, so little time.

Continue reading "Food Trucks are Driving a New Market from Coast to Coast" »

October 1, 2013

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Disgust
In our last blog, we talked about some of the products and ideas that we wouldn’t have given odds but then, what do we know? Today we bring you some foodie favorites and products that shoulda worked but didn’t – or that are still out there, but are fading fast in our never to be humble opinion. (We like  bacon as much as the next guy, but do we really need bacon breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Just sayin’.)

 

1) Runny Egg on A Salad

Where it came from: Probably out of one of those “mystery basket” cooking shows – you know, you have arugula, spinach, watercress– and a quail egg. So how do you put them altogether? Well, it’s not exactly a locked door mystery.  You lightly cook the quail egg, so the yolk is still runny and you gently lay it on top of the salad, so that the yolk mixes with the dressing when the diner mushes it all together.

Why it was doomed: Very tres chic. Very tres-mystery basket. Very tres-if-you- have access to fabulous-salad-dressings-from-sources-like-Village Garden, Piancone-and-Roma -  why do you need a quail egg in the mix, thank you very much.)

 

2)  Quail eggs

Where it came from: See mystery basket competition. Or, chefs who took Chicken Little too seriously.

Why it was doomed:  Although popular in Asian and other cuisines, quail eggs are small, hard to peel – and a true specialty item. Flash in the omelette pan.

 

3)   Ketchup in colors

Where it came from: Heinz thought kids would go for the purple and green colors.

Why it was doomed: Nothing says tomato ketchup like the color purple (you knew we had to work that in).   Besides, we don’t remember ever begging kids to “eat their ketchup or you won’t get any more fries.”

 

3) Colorless Pepsi

Where it came from: Pepsi came up with a clear version called Crystal Pepsi that was popular for about 15 minutes (Ok, maybe a year).

Why it was doomed:  Pepsi should be brown. Otherwise it’s Mountain Dew. Duh.

 

4)  Heirloom tomatoes

Where they came from: Down on the farm. Really why would you want some ol’ hybrid tomato, when you can have tomatoes just like you (almost remember, but can’t be sure) granny grew.

Why they are doomed: Plain and simple, they’re too pricey. And they usually don’t taste the money, so to speak. Unless you have a good heirloom source – and most of us don’t (granny’s land is now a 7-11), heirloom tomatoes are usually tossed together in a bin so the shopper doesn’t know if he’s getting Brandywine or Mortgage Lifter. The only one having a field day with this one are the folks out there naming the varieties.

 

5)  Bacon ice cream:

Where it came from: The everything-with-bacon national movement.

Why it is doomed: Nothing says tasty treat more than ice cream mixed with a little pork. Besides who needs bacon ice cream when there are logical combos, like butter and pecan and rocky and road?

 

6)  Silicone pans

Where it came from: Health concerns over metal pans; something new and different. Silcone pans could take the heat and were non-stick.

Why they’re doomed: The other day a plumber asked us if we had a pan to put under a dripping pipe. We immediately reached for our silicone pan. At last we had a use for it. Some things are great in silicone – spatulas, for instance. But the pans?  Too bendy, too flexible, too our-cake-just-wound-up-on-the-floor.  It did make a good drip pan, however. 

 

7)  Expressions That are Tired and True

Where they came from: Folks who think they’re clever and hip and a tad bit smug.  

Why they’re doomed:  Enough with the farm to table; locavore; snout to tail; cheek to jowl.  It’s like commercial jingles played over and over – at some point we stop paying attention. We deserve a break today.