Winner, Saveur's Best Culinary Travel Blog.
Food Truck Road Trip: A Cookbook will be out Nov. 4, 2014.
As you may have heard, we are publishing a cookbook with Page Street Publishing distributed by Macmillan. We worked with 63 amazing food carts in 12 cities across the country to bring you some delicious recipes. We are excited to show you a sneak peek of the cover. The book will be released Nov. 4, 2014. Stay tuned as we give you more peaks into the book.
Amazon Pre-Order

As you may have heard, we are publishing a cookbook with Page Street Publishing distributed by Macmillan. We worked with 63 amazing food carts in 12 cities across the country to bring you some delicious recipes. We are excited to show you a sneak peek of the cover. The book will be released Nov. 4, 2014. Stay tuned as we give you more peaks into the book.

Amazon Pre-Order

Saveur Food Blog Awards II | Las Vegas

Attending Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog Awards in Vegas last year was undoubtedly a highlight of our blogging career. Being surrounded by the world’s most talented food bloggers was nothing short of inspiring, and it opened us up to a whole new world of what Behind the Food Carts can be. Winning Best Culinary Travel Blog has given us more exposure and offered us a host of new opportunities; the biggest of which is publishing our upcoming food truck cookbook due in November. (Keep your eyes peeled for a sneak peek of the cover very soon!)

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As last year’s winner, Saveur asked us to participate in this year’s festivities by helping nominate finalists as well as voting for the Editor’s Choice portion of each category. We were honored to be invited back to the Bellagio in Las Vegas for another memorable shindig and to meet this year’s honorees. The 2-day fest kicked off with a reception at Bellagio’s Gallery of Fine Art. We enjoyed a walkthrough of three paintings from the museum Director each paired with wine chosen by Master Sommelier Jason, a familiar face from last year.

imageThe BTFC team is looking spiffy!

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imageWith Jackie, Raul, Marcella, and Prairie.

The next day was jam packed with activities and behind-the-scenes peeks into the world of food at the Bellagio. As you may have read, we love behind-the-scenes looks! We got a tour of their Dim Sum kitchen (with samples) and Pastry Kitchen (with samples of course). After a short break, we were whisked into the Tuscany kitchen for a Highland Park Whiskey tasting and a hands-on demonstration from Executive Chef Edmund Wong of how to make meatballs with Le Creuset’s brand new stainless steel pans followed by a cocktail lesson with Highland Park Whiskey. Nothing like cooking after a whiskey tasting and more whiskey afterwards. I believe our table was referred to as the drunk table!

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imageMaking meatballs with Tram and Lucy of Pen and Palate.

The final event was none other than the awards ceremony with the Blog of the Year winner announced. We were so excited that Stephanie of iamafoodblog won! We were looking forward to meeting her as we share the same publisher. The final dinner was a tasting menu from Chef Royden of Sensi that has never before been sampled. It was such a blast hanging out with new friends and seeing old friends. Blogging can be lonely at times so it’s a good reminder that you are part of an awesome community of passionate and hard working people that care about their craft as much as you do. Thank you Saveur and the sponsors for bringing us all together and pampering us for 2 days.

imageRaul hooked me up with this nifty pocket square to take my outfit to the next level.

imageKim with Stephanie and Molly.

imageClockwise: With Blog of the Year Winner Stephanie, Cory of Saveur, Prerna, and Dip, Valentina, and Josh

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Congrats to all the finalists and winners!

Gabagool | Portland Food Cart

Gabagool! It is impossible to say the name of Chef Ryan Sherman’s food truck without an exaggerated, Mafia-esque accent. In fact, the name came to Ryan after a marathon session of The Sopranos, in which capicola (for which “gabagool” is slang) was a favorite of the notorious television mafioso Tony Soprano. It perfectly captured the Italian flavors permeating the street food Ryan serves from his Portland-based truck.

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For most—especially on the West Coast where authentic Italian delis are few and far between— Italian street food is limited to pizza and calzones. This heavy, cheesy cuisine is a far cry from the freshly-made piadinas and pastas Ryan enjoyed as a native of Allentown, Philadelphia. After 20 years of cooking professionally in high-end Italian restaurants, including Fratelli, Ciao Vito, and Caffe Mingo, he decided it was time to address the lack of high quality, well-executed Italian street food. “I’ve always wanted to start my own business,” he explains. “I found this truck online, and just decided to embrace how awesome the culture in Portland is; how much people love food and really support tiny businesses. I wanted to get in on it.”

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“I found this truck online, and just decided to embrace how awesome the culture in Portland is; how much people love food and really support tiny businesses. I wanted to get in on it.”

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Since then, Gabagool has been turning out beautifully handcrafted Italian dishes such as their Taglierini: ribbon pasta blended with prosciutto, squash, arugula, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and topped with a fried egg. For a more on-the-go option, we recommend trying one of his piadina sandwiches. Their signature sandwich, the Gabagool, is flaky flatbread layered with salami, capicola ham, fresh mozzarella, romaine, toasted tomatoes, and hot peppers. 

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“I love Italian food. I wouldn’t want to be cooking anything else.”

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Whichever dish you choose, you can trust every ingredient is as fresh as possible. Gabagool takes made-from-scratch to a whole new level. The pasta is made daily, the piadina flatbread is rolled out and cooked to order, and even the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses are housemade. Ryan sources his produce and meats from local farmers and vendors. Every component is chosen to showcase the flavorful simplicity of Italian cuisine.

“I love Italian food. I wouldn’t want to be cooking anything else.”

Gabagool - Portland, OR
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Sticks | San Francisco Food Cart

Ah, the fair. A childhood wonderland of brightly lit, spinning, hastily put-together rides; unbeatable midway games, giant stuffed animals, prize-winning livestock, and every possible fried food under the sun. A place where the shrieks of ride-goers mingle in the air with the scent of Twinkies fresh from the deep fryer to form a cotton candy cloud of nostalgia. 

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At least, that’s how David Tran and Van Lam of Sticks pictured it. Unfortunately, in Oakland where they grew up, there were no fairgrounds nearby. And traveling to the nearest one was out of the question. “Our parents were too busy working,” laughs David. “They never had the time to take us. We always saw fairs in movies and in TV shows, and we were envious of it.” It wasn’t until high school that the two took a trip to Santa Cruz and experienced a fair for the first time. It was on this visit they tried the quintessential king of all fair food, the corn dog. “We fell in love with it.” David says.

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Now the duo serves gourmet, fresh-to-order corn dogs at Off the Grid and farmer’s markets around the Bay Area. These are not the corn dogs you once clutched in your six year-old fingers. Sticks offers an impressive variety of high-end sausages and links including chicken apple, bratwurst, hot links, classic beef, and even vegetarian options such as artichoke garlic or habanero with jack cheese.

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"We have customers come tell us it’s the best corn dog they’ve ever had. It’s all in the batter.”

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But it’s not what’s inside that counts. The boys of Sticks take your sausage of choosing and hand-dip it into a batter that took six months of taste testing to get just right. “People think it’s the links that make a good corndog,” says Van. “But it’s the batter. We have customers come tell us it’s the best corn dog they’ve ever had. It’s all in the batter.”

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Whether it’s the sausages or the batter people are lining up for, David and Van of Sticks take a fierce pride in the way their food brings that fair atmosphere they once covetously watched on their television screens. “Sticks is about making people happy, bringing childhood back, and reinventing an American tradition.” 

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Sticks - San Francisco, CA
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