Entries tagged with “Street food”.


What’s that we were saying about street food cred? Marination Mobile, home of the kalua pork slider, is up for Good Morning America’s “Best Food Cart Challenge.” (Here the GMA cameras are, taping the truck in Fremont earlier this week). The winner will be chosen through a combination of online votes and a judging panel; you should be able to vote for the cart online tomorrow, Saturday, at this link. The GMA website is woefully short on details, but apparently Portland’s Garden State food cart also made the final four, and Marination says the other two are in New York and Virginia. (What? No KoGi?) We think Marination deserves our vote out of more than hometown pride: Who else, on getting the news, would tweet “We cry kimchi tears of joy!”

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Just when we were getting comfortable bragging about Seattle’s burgeoning street food scene, a winter hiatus has hit.

Maximus/Minimus, the roaming “urban assault pig” serving up pulled pork sandwiches (not to mention vegan sandwiches), will shut down after Oct. 31, with plans to return April 1. It will be back, “100 percent,” guaranteed Kurt Dammeier, owner of parent company Sugar Mountain

Meanwhile, Skillet Street Food, the daddy of this resurgence, has also gone on winter hiatus, though it’s still available for box lunches and for fans who can guarantee a baseline turnout of hungry people. Parfait Ice Cream  is done for 2009. The folks at Marination Mobile wrote me on Twitter that “we’re sticking it out… so far.” They bought a tent so their “fantabulous marination mob” can at least enjoy kimchi fried rice under cover. 

Dammeier told me today that his business is going well — especially on sunny days — but that he thinks street food is necessarily seasonal in this sort of climate. “The few really rainy, windy days we’ve seen, it’s pretty disastrous,” he said. A hiatus “just makes more sense,” partly because of the bottom line, partly because food quality will suffer if there isn’t a steady stream of business coming through.

Clearly, there’s still a pent-up demand for street food in Seattle, as we saw with hours-long lines at the recent “Mobile Chowdown”. Dammeier thinks we’re only going to see the number of carts increase — and he doesn’t see it as a negative to take the winter off. “I was in New York recently, and Shake Shack…a breakout, unbelievable, over-the-top-success with a one-hour line most of the year,” also started out with a winter shutdown.

 

(Note: Updated to reflect that Shake Shack originally shut down for the winter, but is now apparently open year-round.)

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We’re still no Portland, with its 400 or so street food vendors, but here’s further evidence that we’re at least allowed to folllow the word “Seattle” with “street food” and keep a straight face: The folks behind a 3-month-old webcast devoted entirely to street food around the nation decided to pay us a visit. VendrTV just broadcast its look at Maximus/Minimus (which I like to call “The Pigstream” despite it not being an Airstream), focusing on artist Colin Reedy’s urban pig design (they were here too early to actually taste the pulled pork). Here’s the video, and, after the jump, my chat with the site’s Daniel Delaney, who currently lives in Brooklyn. He’s filming this week in San Francisco.

 

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Why yes, this IS a mobile kitchen in the process of being transformed into a 34-foot by 14-foot driving pig. If all goes well, in less than a month’s time the metal beast will be “Maximus Minimus,”  bringing what owner Kurt Dammeier hopes is “absolutely the best pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever had” to the streets of Seattle.

The truck — also featuring a roasted veggie sandwich, nifty mixed veggie chips, and other offerings — is the latest and littlest baby of Dammeier’s Sugar Mountain, parent company of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Pasta & Co., and Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro.

Why move from restaurants to Seattle’s suddenly burgeoning street food scene? And why pork?

Basically, Dammeier said, “I wanted to do a pork sandwich because I wanted to eat it…

“Me and Mr. Pig are very tight.”

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