Fry Captain DC

Avoid Fried Foods when Training

Probably best to avoid this guy

Probably best to avoid this food truck if training

The Marathon

Thinking about training for a marathon? Do you have any idea how long will you run for such event? A marathon is not just a simple run. This event came from the Greek – Battle of Marathon. Legend says that when the Greeks won the battle against Persians they sent a runner named Pheidippides to run the entire distance to Athens just to bring the news. Today, marathon is done all over the world to test the endurance of both men and women.  It is 26 miles, 385 yards run on a variety of different terrains. To perform well in a marathon, a person should undergo vigorous training to develop their stamina, and recognize their physical limits before entering the marathon.  Do you have such determination and endurance for the said event?

Prep for marathon training

Before any marathon training, there are essential preparations that you ought to do; it is not like cramming for a test the night before. Preparation for a marathon takes time and it’s important to have a plan before you start training. It starts at least a month and even much longer than that. It is important to test you limitations and further train to enhance your running skills.  Moreover, there are dos and don’ts that you must adhere to. There is a certain diet and there are foods that one should avoid before and during the marathon training. If you are unsure of how to create a plan, ensure you reach out to a personal trainer like the ones in Calgary at Fresh Fitness.

 Deep – fried foods a No -No for runners

“Nothing messes a performance level for runners like a deep-fried food does. “ Most of us know that deep-fried foods are unhealthy. You can lie to yourself all you want and say that “it just tastes so good” but look at it this way, you can consume a piece of, say a fried chicken, but you have to know that the effects are detriment not only for a short term but for a long term as well. Deep-fried foods contain trans fat that are difficult to digest which may lead to excess gas – bloating, constipation, diarrhea and stomach pain which could stop you from running a marathon. Furthermore, fat is difficult to metabolize, hence the body needs more energy to metabolize it causing you to have decreased energy level during the marathon day. Deep-fried foods cause a runner to move slowly and sluggishly. Now that you know what will happen if you eat fries, crispy chicken, pizza, and the like, will you still indulge in such? Perhaps keeping away from certain food trucks will be a good strategies as many will serve extremely unhealthy food. Look for food trucks that serve healthier fare such as sushi and other non-fried option.

Proper Diet before a marathon

So what is the proper diet for a person who is joining the marathon training? Three days before the marathon are the critical days to watch what you eat – load up with carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, fruits and lean meat. Carbohydrates are vital energy source; it is primarily stored in the liver and the muscles, and can easily be converted to energy during running. Think of it as stored energy that you can use during the marathon day.

With self discipline, determination and focus, I know you’ll make it to the marathon… Good luck with the race!!!

Brand your Business with your Truck!

As a food truck owner, I know how important it is to have the appropriate branding for your products and perhaps the most important thing for a food truck owner to consider is the branding of his truck. The food industry is one of the most competitive in the world and if you don’t look delicious, cool, or interesting from a distance, you probably aren’t going to draw people to buy from you. It has become a common theme for food trucks to have some pretty ‘out-there’ branding on their trucks and it has become part of the allure of the food truck culture and as some would say, the food truck movement.

Here are my 3 favorite food truck designs!

  1. Tacofino

signageNot only is it one of the most delicious food trucks on the west-coast (They now have three trucks) but their trucks are gorgeous. Known as the Tacofino Cantina, their trucks are bright, flashy and peak peoples interest whenever attending a food truck festival because of how the truck stands out compared to the competitors

 

 

 

 

2.Street Sweets

BrandingWho doesn’t have even the littlest of a sweet tooth? And who don’t think this food truck is completely awesome! It’s fun and playful  colors are easy on the eyes and although the letter is a little bit more all over the place, you can’t help be drawn to read all the different ways to describe their products. I have also tasted some of these sweet treats and they are truly irresistible.

 

 

 

3. Guac Truck

BrandingI have always been fond of the guac truck and not just because of how they mash up them avocados! A simple design done with elegance, you can’t help keep your eye out for this truck as it’s travelling to its place of business for the day. I love how the image painted on the truck includes a view inside the truck and I know from experience that what they do in this truck is truly magic!

 

 

 

Now obviously there are a lot of other trucks which deserve some props as well but the list would be way too long! This very fact also shows the importance of branding and how a signage company can help to achieve your dreams of running a successful food truck. Even if you have a fantastic product, it’s possible to come up short if you can’t draw the casual passerby to give your products a try!

Bringing the food truck vibe…camping?!?

So you’re taking your family camping for the long weekend, it’s time to shed your luxuries for a few days and take in the beauty of Mother Nature. Cook your meals over the crackling fire and enjoy the over-burnt taste of your toast and bacon. Wait… you don’t want to give up your stove cooked meals? You’d kill for a bit of fast food down the path? Well heck, why didn’t you say so?

Taking home cooking out in to the wilderness is easier than ever these days. There are so many different sorts of stoves, ovens, grills, even deep friers that are portable and made for your camping adventures. You can make your family a great home cooked, fresh air infused meal with absolute ease. We know how much everyone loves to indulge in a little deep-fried goodness now and then too, so why not pack up that small deep fryer you have stashed in your cupboards at home? It really is more fun when you’re outside, I promise.

If you don’t have a portable stove, there are so many options to choose from these days. You can get a single burner stove to cook for one, multiple burner stoves that give you the option of cooking for more, and even an oven/stove hybrid unit that basically gives you the option to make whatever you please (the Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove is what you need to make all your cooking dreams come true!). Now that hybrid is a bit more expensive, but you can generally get a great 2-burner stove or grill for $150-$350.

The Coleman 2 Burner Dual Fuel Compact Liquid Fuel Stove is the highest rated 2-burner on Amazon. It’s great to have that sort of feedback from real users. Using gas as a fire starter, it’s a bit different than the standard propane or butane burners. Somehow I think this makes it easier and more favorable for some. You can get a home cooked breakfast with some pan-fried bacon, eggs, even a steak or kabob on the grill. You can even stop by your favorite food truck and get a few tips and tricks on how to re-create your favorite dish with your portable stove!

Back to your deep fryer for a second. Bringing this bad boy with you will open up your options immensely for creating your favorite street-side meal. Have some onions? Toss them in there fryer while you grill up some hot dogs or burgers and you’ll have yourself a good old fashioned dinner. Even the more outlandish meals you can grab from the streets these days have been tossed in a deep fryer. Maybe try throwing a Mars bar in there, or your bacon-wrapped hamburger. You can even batter up some fish you might have caught in the nearby stream to make it taste a little more like home!

You know how much we love food truck meals, and we’re just trying our best to pass it on to you, wherever you may go!

5 Tips for Setting a Schedule For Food Truck Owners

If you’re in the food truck business, you know that everyday can present a new and exciting challenge in this world, and you may not know what to expect. This can be hard when you’re trying to make a schedule or a game plan in your business efforts and goals. Most of the time, food truck owners are putting much of their own money into making their business and food truck become successful, so a well planned and neat schedule may be crucial in making some money and keeping your food truck in the green and have customers come back for seconds.

Here are 5 tips on setting up a schedule in the food truck world:

Location, Location, Location

Map out some of the hot spots you’d like to plant your truck down and sell hungry customers your food. What are the spots you want to visit multiple times, maybe every day of the week, versus the ones you want to visit once a week or only a short period amount of time a day, If you map out exactly what places you’d like to hit, use a stopwatch or timer to calculate how long it takes to get to each location for maximum time spent at each place.

A Watch Can Be Your Best Friend

There are certain times in the day where more customers are expected, and if your food truck is in the right place at the right time, that only means hungry customers eating your food, giving you money! Figure out when the majority of people hit that spot. Is it right after work? After church? After school? Etc, etc! Use a watch (even a leather one) to move from other food truck locations to spots that will get more business properly and efficiently!

What’s Your Schedule Now?

If most, if not all, of your day isn’t spend in that truck cooking up some great food and instead your own schedule outside clashes too much, it’s time to rethink your food truck strategy. It’s important to dedicate sufficient time and energy into your food truck because that is the only way word will get out and people will come in. Clear your schedule and work out a plan that will get your food truck business up and going by using all your time and efforts.

An Organized Schedule is a Happy Food Truck

Use color coded post-its if needed and colored markers to highlight important notes made on a schedule. If you’re missing important spots or times due to miscommunication or lack of a schedule, organization is key here! This will help you get to your hungry customers faster and more efficiently.

Communication and Connection with the Team

As you may know already, an effective food truck business has a strong team behind it. Give your number and email to all employees in case of emergencies or schedule issues. Your team can chip in and help make the schedule to set forth a plan that works for everyone and brings in money.

Chef: A Tale About a Food Truckie

If you love the idea of being your own boss and everything working out in the end, then you will enjoy the movie “Chef” directed by Jon Favreau. One of the things that sent my husband and to this movie was because it looked so starkly different from everything else that was in the theaters. It was all super heroes, fairy tale remakes, or horror, and then we saw the preview for “Chef.” I wouldn’t call this movie fast paced, and it really didn’t have any huge surprise twists or turns. †The cast was amazing though, and it was a great story about relationships.

The main character, Carl Casper, is a “successful” chef who is recently divorced and struggling with his relationship with his son. The movie immediately challenges what it means to be “successful.” He works in a restaurant that is making great money, but†management stifles his creativity as a chef, and he is in a bit of rut making the same old food over and over again. After a number of humorous exchanges with a local food blogger, including a very embarrassing public spectacle where Chef Carl ironically screams in his face, “You aren’t getting to me!”, he finds himself out of a job and searching for a new direction in life.

Chef Carl, after†the urging from his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), decides to start a food truck business (how he ends up with the food truck might be the best, and one of the weirdest scenes in the movie, with a great exchange cameo from Robert Downey, Jr.). †This way he can make whatever he wants and be his own boss. He gets the truck in Miami, and the whole process of cleaning, retrofitting, and painting the truck seems to take only one day! †He then embarks on a cross country trip driving the truck back to Los Angeles with his best friend and his son, and visiting prominent cities along the way (including Austin, Texas, which in my personal opinion has the best food trucks in the country).

The movie was slow in parts, but overall was a tale of fairly tame mid-life crisis where everything works out in the end. I definitely don’t recommend going to see the movie before a major meal, because the movie does focus on food and eating, and the cuban sandwiches and brisket alone were enough to make my mouth water. The movie also reminded me how much I love to cook, and how it just takes a little extra effort to make food go from okay to great. The cutting and slicing skills shown in the first few scenes were amazing, and I immediately looked up my chefs choice knife sharpener review to make sure I has the right sharpener for my knife.

Appliances in Food Trucks

Recently, There has been a rise in a particular kind of business-Food trucks. Yes, this type of business has started conquering and by the looks of it, will continue to conquer the streets of the cities.

Since it is a very viable business and most likely here to stay for a while, it would be very interesting to know how to start a food truck and to really just know what makes up a food truck. Obviously, it is composed of a truck and a lot of ingredients that would eventually make up a delicious meal or snack. But what of the appliances? Just what kinds of equipment are involved in making up a food truck?

  • Freezer/refrigerator- When operating a food truck business, one thing is obvious: you have to keep your ingredients always fresh and in top shape. Your would-be customers would really be less inclined to buy from your food truck if your ingredients are not fresh and if the drinks you serve are not cold or have no ice on them. This is why a food truck is not completely a food truck if it does not have a freezer or a refrigerator in it.
  • Microwave- Though the objective in running a food truck is to cook a customerís food on the spot while they stand and wait, there may be times when heating up foods and/or defrosting things might be necessary. This is where a microwave will come in handy. It is so much smaller and occupies less space than an oven but performs better with the tasks you need doing.
  • Stove/grill- Definitely the most important element when it comes to operating and running a food truck, a stove or a grill is the most important appliance that one can have in the truck. It is where you get to cook your food for sale. Though some can argue that one can use the microwave for cooking food, but the stove/grill really defines the food truck as it is somewhat the quintessential equipment of a proper food truck business.
  • Blenders/ other food processors- Whether you also sell other kinds of food or are into going the extra mile for your customers, your food truck could also use other appliances like high power blenders to make shakes and smoothies, and high quality food processors. You might ask yourself: just what is the best food processor in the market doing in a food truck? Well, if doing more than expected is your thing, you get to process your own food like grind your own meat and even make fresh smoothies.
  • Steam tables- Steam tables, though not exactly a must for food trucks, can be very useful for business as they help much in keeping the food warm and away from possible ants or insect attacks. Steam tables are doubly as useful when you do not really have a microwave nearby.

The food truck industry is on the rise and many people are now jumping on the bandwagon. If you want to start your own food truck business or just plainly fascinated about them, you should familiarize yourself with the kind of trucks these food trucks are inside and out- knowing their equipment is of utmost importance.

 

Food Trucks & More!

TacoFino

Food trucks are a great way to sample the local offerings of a city. You’re guaranteed in most cases that the food you are receiving out of a food truck is fresh and uses local ingredients. Often times even, food trucks provide a look into the culture of a city, even if a bit skewed. An example of this is ‘Tacofino,’ out of Vancouver Island, BC. Although their main menu items are essentially Mexican, the ingredients used are very much local and the menu items have a local flare associated. You might be ordering a “taco,” but the fillings are locally sourced and use seafood which are available in the local area such as salmon or other seafood options.

Introducing Craft Beer!

The food truck movement however has created a much larger movement which includes beverages as well. As food truck festivals are becoming increasingly more popular; offering multiple food truck options, shared seating and beverage options. Often times these beverage options include micro-breweries who will join the festival to provide festival attendees a cold beer to be paired with their food truck purchases. In Vancouver, this is especially significant as the city itself is home to over 50 individual micro-breweries.

The addition of the micro-breweries provides the festival a great atmosphere and on our most recent visit to the Vancouver Food Truck festival, we were excited to try a variety of local offerings. For those who don’t know, craft breweries AKA micro-breweries are becoming increasingly more popular. Typically, the same type of person who enjoys the local offerings of a food truck are also interested to support a local brewery.

One of the vendors we met at the festival actually provides its customers Vancouver brewery tours wherein they take a group of people to a variety of breweries around the city to both sample a variety of beers and learn about the brewing process. Providing safe transportation, we were excited about the idea of a company who wants to show off local breweries and helping people to understand the hard work that goes in to creating a quality local product.

As food truck festivals continue to become more popular, it’s great to see other local business getting involved to provide local offerings to attendees. Micro-breweries in particular provide a great atmosphere at these festivals as well which ultimately creates additional business for the food trucks as well.

French Fries – Food Truck Special!

 

food truck fries

Thanks to Caribb for this pic of food truck fries!

Nowadays every dish is going through the phase of innovation and modernization. So why eat French fries in the same old traditional style? We eat with our eyes – to taste good it is a must that the food appears good! Pale yellow colored French fries can never reach the ultimate goodness of crisp and flavor. The traditional (delicious, yet borderline boring) recipe of fries was given a completely new flavor by food trucks when the surge of new trucks hit the streets. It is just amazing to witness the most delicious French fry creations made by food trucks.

With the addition of different ingredients and their flavor, you can also elevate a simple plate of French fries to something more appealing. With ideas from the many food trucks across the country, you can also create your very own street style French fries (shhh, don’t tell them we told you this!). If you don’t have a top deep fat fryer yourself, or are conscious about cooking with oil, you can also make oven-baked fries.

Things you’ll need for GOOD fries

  • Sea salt – as required
  • Peanut Oil/ Vegetable Oil/ Canola Oil – 2-3 liters
  • Russet Potatoes (scrubbed) – 4

Note: You can either peel off the skin or leave it and get more flavor, visual appeal and nutrition.

Recipe for Street Food Inspired French Fries

Wash 4 potatoes (peeling is a personal choice). Cut them from the middles, then into oval slices and sticks for frying. When cut in thick fry-sticks, dip them in a cold water bowl and leave them to soak for half an hour to get the starch out.

Dab them with a piece of clean towel to dry them off completely.

Heat a deep pan (or your fryer); pour in 2-3 liters of peanut oil (a lot of people pick fights about the best deep fryer oil, but there are more people behind peanut oil than anything else). Place the pot on the stove and let it heat until the temperature is 350-400 degrees F (or let your fryer warm up to this temperature).

Make three parts of chopped potatoes. To fry the first batch, let them simmer in oil for three minutes. Take them out as soon as they get brown or become crispy.

To drain off excess oil, place them on paper towels later, or use the scoop/basket in your fryer.

Repeat the same with remaining two batches of chopped potatoes.

Place all fried potatoes on paper towels and add salt to taste.

Different flavors and Add-ons!

This is where you get the chance to give the fries your personal touch and flavor them with creativity. Dipping sauces, seasonings and toppings all play important roles in giving them that signature food truck look and flavor. Here are a few add-ons you have to try:

  • Top your freshly made crispy fries with caramelized onions and pulled pork. To top up flavor, drizzle a little BBQ sauce. Consume. Enjoy.
  • Add on chili con queso, cilantro, pico de gallo salsa and sliced jalapenos. Much Mexican!
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions, bacon bits and cheese crumbles. Baked potato style frites.
  • You can also create a unique garnish with fresh diced roasted garlic and parmigiano reggiano. Top it up with fresh parsley. Such intense flavors, wow.
  • Toss fries in garlic salt and chili powder. Add pepper cheese, a layer of cheddar cheese (grated) and chili. Kick it up a notch with black olives and tomatoes. Serve it with sour cream for the full shebang!

So there she be, some really slick ways for you to harness the innovative nature of food trucks in your own kitchen. Let us know what ones you try and give us a sample of your recipes!

DC Food Truck Infographic

Infographic’s are one of my favorite ways to share information. And what better information to share then an infographic dedicated to DC food trucks

DC Food Truck

This handy little image will show you the locations of where the trucks will setup, as you can see a lot of them setup downtown DC. If you’re hungry consider skipping out on the traditional restaurant (which is explained in this article) and come down enjoy some grub from the side of a truck and maybe make some new friends along the way. Food makes people happy, what better time to talk to co-workers, friends or even complete strangers then when you’re grinning from ear to ear with a fresh taco in your hand?

Why are food trucks so popular?

Food truck Festival 2011 026

Imagine a restaurant unlike any other, where you walk in the front door and are often met with a long line-up which is self-managed by the customers waiting. No ‘Wendy’s’ style turnstyles maintaining the line-up order, just a long untamed line-up of hungry people including yourself. In the restaurant itself, there are no tables or chairs to sit at; people who have ordered and received their food are standing awkwardly holding a paper plate trying to quickly finish what they have ordered before scurrying back off to work or to their next errand.

Imagine as well that this restaurant has zero climate control. If it’s cold and blustery outside, it seems as if the cold wind has found its way inside; no need to take your jacket off here. And vice-versa, if it’s the hottest of days, you can feel the sweat dripping off of you as you wait in that long line-up to order some food. Once you arrive up to the counter, you are greeted quickly by the same person who appears to also be helping cook the food, and are forced to order off a limited menu. When you have decided on your order, you must pay cash and wait patiently until whatever you ordered is yelled out to the crowd of hungry customers where you must make your voice heard to collect your meal.

Does it sound like somewhere you would like to eat? Probably not! However, in reality the food truck trend is exactly what is described above. Limited customer service, limited seating and a wait to receive your meal which can sometimes compete with the wait of a fine dining restaurant; only instead of sitting sipping wine, you’re standing in the elements sipping whichever non-alcoholic beverage is available.

So what makes food truck dining so popular? Personally, I love food truck dining but when I reflect, it’s hard to believe it has taken off to be so popular. As I reflect on this phenomenon, I come to realize that it is the ‘experience,’  and the food which makes the food truck so popular; not the customer service.

It is unlike anything else really. Unlike a restaurant, customers are encouraged to hangout and engage. Food trucks in reality help to build a community unlike a typical restaurant would. It diminishes the barriers that normal restaurants build between the actual creation of your meal and you enjoying it. Every thing that you could possibly order is prepared so as you order it, and the limited menu’s that food trucks have to provide, ensure that every item offered is brilliant.

Furthermore, food trucks have done a great job of working together to create food truck festivals and markets where a common seating area can be shared by the customers of an assortment of food trucks. Some food truck festivals even have live music, local breweries and other entertainment to bring the community out and enjoy the freshest possible food.