There’s a phenomenon happening across the country that’s taking our lunch breaks by storm: Food trucks are getting fancy and we love it. With each new vegan dish or specialty flatbread sandwich truck comes a budding entrepreneur to the food industry. Welcome, sir. How did you get here?
It Started With the Chuckwagon
The first food truck was not found at a traveling carnival—witness the evolution of the chuckwagon. Westward expansion in the United States started during the 1860s, creating a demand for food on the go, according to the American Chuck Wagon Association. The beef market was growing, and cattlemen found that moving the commodity without railroads meant driving large herds over land with a hungry crew.
And so the chuckwagon came about as a way for cattle ranchers to feed their crew on the road.
TV Chronicles the Love Affair
Thanks to “The Great Food Truck Race” on Food Network and “Eat Street” on the Cooking Channel, there’s increasing interest in food trucks, the people who run them and the delicious specialties they’re creating. With every technological advance, these kitchens on wheels continue to evolve, and people are curious to learn more. You can check out cable packages at http://www.rasertech.com if you don’t get these channels.
When you add the fact that the American economy has been begging for inexpensive and easily accessible lunch options, it’s easy to see how the mobile food industry has driven its way into modern American culture. This is a $1 billion industry with an 8.4 percent rate of growth from the period of 2007 through 2012, according to a report from Entrepreneur.com. Americans want good-tasting, cheap food on the go and the industry is delivering it.
So, What Will You Find?
Don’t think it’s all hot dogs and fries on these trucks. There are some impressive options out there, from the streets of New York to Seattle and just about every city in between.
- Eat Greek sausages, cupcakes and Filipino halo-halo in front of the Yahoo offices in Los Angeles County.
- Find Brazilian barbecue in Times Square and Texas barbecue on Wall Steet in New York City.
- In Seattle, food trucks offer everything from Indian dosas to Vietnamese sandwiches with authentic ingredients.
- Visit celebrity Korean-American chef Roy Choi’s food truck, dubbed Kogi BBQ Taco Truck & Catering, in L.A.
Food Truck Apps
If you feel like a prawn baguette from Portland’s Euro Trash food cart, you can track it down with the help of one of four mobile apps, according to Mashable.com. These apps use truck-reported data, tweets and calendars to keep track of truck locations. While there isn’t the perfect locator app just yet, these will at least help.
- Food Truck Fiesta: $.99 iPhone and Android
- Eat St.: Free for iPhone and Android
- Roaming Hunger: Free for iPhone
- TruxMap Lite Food Truck Map: Free for iPhone and Android
Image via Flickr by tedeytan
Starbucks Just Took Two Of Their Classic Frappuccinos And Made Them Way Better
Get excited people, because Starbucks just took two of your favorite Frappuccino varieties and took them to the next level, with “extra texture, beautiful layers, and tons of flavor!”
The Ultra Caramel Frappuccino and Triple Mocha Frappuccino are essentially upgrades to Starbucks’ classic Caramel Frappuccino and Mocha Frappuccino, hence the addition of the “Ultra” and “Triple” monikers.
The Ultra Caramel Frappuccino is made by layering dark caramel sauce and whipped cream in a dark caramel-flavored coffee Frappuccino. The Triple Mocha Frappuccino sports ribbons of dark mocha sauce and whipped cream layered into a mocha-flavored Frappuccino.
Both of the Frappuccinos feature Starbucks’ all-new sweet cold brew whipped cream, infused with cold brew, dark caramel sauce and white chocolate mocha sauce. The new delicious cold brew whipped cream topping can also be added to any Starbucks beverage for 50 cents.
“Right away, you taste something different with the sweet cold brew whipped cream. Sip after sip, you get the blended coffee and the lighter whip with the dark caramel threaded all the way through,” Debbie Antonio, senior manager for Starbucks R&D, said in a press release.
Sounds pretty good, don’t you think? The new Frappuccinos are now available for purchase at Starbucks, so give ’em a try and let us know what you think!
From Cocktails To Mocktails: 3 Boozy Drinks With Non-Alcoholic Variations
The summer season is fast approaching, and many people choose to enjoy it by drinking nice, cool cocktails under the warm, summer sun. Of course, there will be days when an alcoholic drink won’t work for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to enjoy the taste of a mimosa but not the late-afternoon hangover or drowsiness. Perhaps you really want that screwdriver at your favorite cocktail house, but you already volunteered to be the designated driver. Or maybe you could choose to avoid alcohol altogether as part of a sober lifestyle.
Even if consuming alcohol is a no-go, the idea of a delicious, mixed drink on a relaxing day or energetic night out still could sound appealing to you or someone else. Mocktails are a safe and healthy alternative to the original concoction.
The term “mocktails” originated during the 1970s and ever since has been a savior for people who want the delightful taste of a mixed drink but with one specific ingredient missing.
A few classic alcoholic recipes can be tinkered with to create non-alcoholic masterpieces. These variations of popular cocktails either replace alcohol with the ideal replacement ingredient or drop the booze altogether. Vodka becomes ginger ale. Champagne becomes grape juice.
In the end, the alcohol might be missing but the taste is nearly identical to, if not better than, the original.
The Recovery Village has a useful summary of how to craft the non-alcoholic version of this brunch-time favorite. They also offer treatment for anyone struggling with substance abuse like the Ohio drug rehab. Mimosas are usually created by combining orange juice with champagne or sparkling wine.
This Mockmosa recipe trades the champagne out for some sparkling white grape juice, which makes a perfect non-alcoholic replacement. Look for grape juice brands that are dry in flavor, with little or no sugar or corn syrup, to replicate the champagne taste. Combine them in a champagne flute and, if you want to add a unique touch, garnish the drink with a mint sprig.
Usually, screwdrivers are made by combining vodka and orange juice. Replacing the alcoholic ingredient with ginger ale doesn’t drop the tastiness level at all. Leaf.Tv shows how to prepare this variation of the simple two-ingredient mixture.
Start with ice cubes, fill half the glass with ginger ale, and then top it off with a pulpy orange juice brand of your choice. Finish the process with a swizzle stick to combine the two liquid ingredients until the colors have swirled together to mimic a screwdriver. Before the ice melts, sit back and drink up.
Virgin Cucumber Mojito
This smooth-tasting drink is a favorite when temperatures rise and the summer season hits its peak. The alcoholic version includes rum, but it’s not really necessary to create the drink’s refreshing taste. A Frugal Chick has a great alternative to this classic, and the only change is dropping the alcoholic ingredient. Combine one lime, some mint leaves, white sugar, two cucumber slices, ice cubes and soda together for another version of perfection.
Cocktails are a staple of American drinking culture, especially at restaurants or bars with a group of friends or on a date. In the summer, they become staples for days spent by the pool or on the beach. But don’t give up — or give in to temptation — if you originally hoped to spend your day or night without any alcohol. These mocktails not only flatter the originals with their imitation, but they sometimes raise the bar even higher.
Space Beer Is The Final Frontier Of Beer
If you’ve ever seen people drink those little travel bottles of booze on an airplane because they are nervous about flying, imagine what you’re going to need when you are flying toward outer space to stay in one of those fancy space hotels.
Space Beer, that’s what you need. It will help you to blast off while you’re blasting off. Hailed as the world’s first beer for space, Vostok Space beer is specially designed to be drunken in space. Is that proper English? You’ll get drunken in space alright.
Anyway, 4 Pines Brewing Company and Saber Astronautics have teamed up to not only create a space beer but also a space beer bottle so people can drink it in space. Why? Because, beer.
These guys know that space travel is our destiny and they want to be ready with the necessary beverages. As they point out on their Indiegogo page, there is now more recreational space flights that have been booked than there have been astronauts in space in the last 57 years.
Space tourism is happening, and soon. Do you want to take your trip without beer? Of course not. Whether it’s a suborbital flight or a trip to Mars, a beer would be great. You need a space beer bottle because physics are different in space. There’s no gravity for the liquid to pour. They equate it to making a fuel tank for beer.
This is a noble cause. When you are that first tourist on the moon, you’ll stop and say, *BURP* “That’s one small burp for man, one giant burp for mankind.”