The Endless Road Trip: Philadelphia’s Top 10 Eats 7. Love on the Run

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As a life-long Philly guy, I think I speak from experience when I say that this city isn’t usually on the cutting edge of the latest trends and fashions.  For all of its charms, this place can be bit more traditional…parochial, even, when it comes to new ways of doing things.  So it’s no surprise that the food truck phenomenon arrived a little bit later in Philly than other cities like New York.  That said, Philadelphia has been working hard to narrow the gap a bit with some inspired new mobile options, a few of which go beyond the everyday taco truck.

Oh, sure, we have those, too.  And not just any taco truck.  An Iron Chef taco truck:  Guapos Tacos is run by Jose Garces’ local restaurant empire and serves some tasty fish tacos.  But what if I told you that there is also a Mexican-Thai fusion truck that makes creative use of a favorite kids’ breakfast cereal?  How about a truck dedicated to Trinidadian food?  That’s not something you see every day.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: The Stars Come Out in Philly

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The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– Lots of local news from Phoodie:  Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (seen above across from my office…really!!) are in Philly shooting The Dark Fields and they grabbed dinner at Cuba Libre.

Iron Chef Jose Garces is firing up a taco truck and will be announcing its location daily via Twitter.  And there goes my productivity out the door.

After the jump…we get nostalgic about lunch and cartoons, and the latest news about successful people recognizing the accomplishments of other successful people.

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Texas Tuesdays, Part II: Who You Callin’ Trailer Trash?

photos: Matthew Wexler

Photos: Matthew Wexler

I like to sit down at a proper table when I eat. And after closing the door on fifteen years in the restaurant industry, I like to be served. Sometimes I feel the phantom pain in my side when I see a defeated waiter struggling to get through a shift—but for the most part, I’m just happy it’s not me. So the thought of traipsing through sweltering downtown Austin like my ancestors crossing the Egyptian desert with matzoh in their pants made me wary. I imagined when I set off on a food trailer crawl that I might be disappointed with greasy funnel cakes and toxic yellow lemonade. And where would I pee? What I stumbled upon is an entire subculture of dedicated food artisans leaving their tire tracks all over town.

photos: Matthew Wexler

photos: Matthew Wexler

Chasing Chi’Lantro

One of the newest additions to the food trailer scene is Chi’Lantro, a name derived from two cultural staples: kimchi and cilantro. The fusion of Korean and Mexican food had me all a Twitter, which is a good thing because it’s the only way you can track this trailer down. With locations that vary like the changing winds, I have to credit a friend’s i-phone for my spicy pork taco with Korean soy vinaigrette salad and salsa roja. I can’t get too attached though, as this newcomer is already revamping their menu along with their ever-changing locale.

Holding the Torch

Torchy’s Tacos is a benchmark of Austin’s food trailer scene. They are “living the taco dream” by serving up an array of tortilla-stuffed concoctions—from classic breakfast tacos to more daring fare like The Brushfire, filled with Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapeños and diablo sauce. Founder and Executive Chef Michael Rypka mortgaged his house and maxed out a couple of credits cards in pursuit of the perfect taco. And it’s paid off. The homemade salsas were a knockout, and I have to give the guy a hats off for continuing to locally source the majority of their products and meats.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: High VOLTage

The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– The Voltaggios…no really, they’re much more likable in real life than they were on  Top Chef!

–  As part of our ongoing efforts to chronicle the food-related projects of the entire cast of Friends: Courtney Cox may be planning a food truck sitcom.  I can’t wait for the inevitable David Schwimmer hot dog pushcart crime drama.

After the jump…when food and politics collide and we go countdown crazy.

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