0 comments on “Sweet Chili: Thaietnamese Food With a Side of Power Ballads”

Sweet Chili: Thaietnamese Food With a Side of Power Ballads

By Emily Collins swtr Behind the Food Truck is a FoodtoEat original series where we meet the amazing men and women behind our favorite mobile cuisines and share their inspiring stories. At FoodtoEat, we’re lucky to have the best food trucks NYC has to offer in our family. Here are their stories.

This week, I was able to meet one of New York City’s local food-lebrities, Lisa Fernandes. Lisa is the passionate chef and owner behind Sweet Chili – a “Thai-etnamese” truck with a menu full of original and incredible recipes by Lisa herself! If you didn’t know already, Lisa was the runner-up on season 4 of Top Chef, so you’re literally trying some of her winning recipes from the show.

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Lisa & her sous chef, Tora, in front of her “baby on wheels” – Sweet Chili!

All throughout Lisa’s life, food was her passion. She started with her mom in the kitchen, served ice cream at the mall as a teen and went on to culinary school to pursue her dream of becoming a professional chef! It’s not very often you meet someone who can say they genuinely wake up every day and want to go to work, but Lisa does. She loves her customers and makes an effort to learn their names and wants the experience to be not only delicious, but entertaining! “We make it personal, we have a good time with them, we play fun music, we’re not prim and proper, ‘good afternoon, how may we help you today?’ ” And it definitely works for them. You can walk up to Sweet Chili, get on-the-go restaurant quality food, a 1980s power ballad serenade and maybe even a Vietnamese coffee sample if you’re dancing!

Her favorite thing about owning a food truck? “We have fun! People can relate to us. They say, ‘I’m not in the mood for that today, can you just make me something?’ and we just make stuff up. People like that. You can’t do that in a restaurant.” I was able to see this first hand when I asked Lisa and her team to just “make me anything” on the menu. I was served with their flavorful Heavenly Beef over white rice with bean sprout salad and was recommended by Lisa “get the fried egg on top, it makes everything better!” She was right; the dish was indeed heavenly and the fried egg? A perfect companion to the sweet and spicy dish.

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Lisa’s sous chef, Tora, with Heavenly Beef – coriander marinated sirloin beef with sriracha and thai basil.

At the end of the day, Lisa’s goal is to serve up unique, amazing dishes while giving the best experience to the customer, “If you’re in a good mood when you make the food, and the person’s in a good mood when they get the food, they’re going to be in a good mood when they eat the food.” You can check out Lisa and the Sweet Chili team this summer at their frequent spots, South Street Seaport and DUMBO Lot during the week and Governor’s Island on weekends for dancing to 80s and 90s jams and cooking some of the best Thai-etnamese food in New York City!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

0 comments on “Meet the New Truck On the Block: Yankee Doodle Dandy’s”

Meet the New Truck On the Block: Yankee Doodle Dandy’s

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By Emily Collins

This month, we’re starting a new series called Behind the Food Truck, where we meet the amazing men and women behind our favorite mobile cuisines and share their inspiring stories. At FoodtoEat, we’re lucky to have the best food trucks NYC has to offer in our family. Here are their stories.

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Josh Gatewood, the southern gentleman behind Yankee Doodle Dandy’s

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting the southern gentleman behind New York’s most patriotic food truck, Josh Gatewood. Not only does Josh have making delicious southern fried chicken down to a science; he’s got an incredible story. He chose a life on food stamps and working as a fry cook over being a broker on Wall Street – all for the dream of opening his food truck.

Yankee Doodle Dandy’s, one of the newest food trucks to hit the streets, has been a long time coming. Josh admitted he spent more time thinking about his potential business than focusing on the Series 7. He would “Walk around Wall Street quizzing people, ‘what’s a better name for a chicken restaurant? Yankee’s Chicken or Yankee Doodle Dandy’s?’ ” With a stroke of luck and a $25,000 win from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Josh was able to give his dream some momentum.

Josh’s perseverance and dedication has brought him to where he is today – owning one of New York’s only authentic southern food trucks. Josh is committed to making his food the best it can possibly be and it definitely shows.

Their Winner Winner fried chicken special is everything you would want in a southern dish – juicy, well-seasoned and best of all: big portions. Along with four incredible chicken tenders, it is served with a giant slice of  grilled Texas toast, homemade potato salad and their original Spirit of ’76 sauce. Words cannot properly describe how delicious the Spirit of ’76 sauce is with the chicken tenders and fries. Josh says, “People come back just for the sauce.” At only $8.50, this special is a total “winner.”

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Left: Love Me Tender chicken sandwich |Right: Chicken tenders with fries and Spirit of ’76 sauce

At the end of the day, Yankee Doodle Dandy’s is all about bringing southern hospitality and authenticity to New York City and hopefully expanding to other major cities. Josh said, “It was roller coaster getting here. Sometimes you have those introspective moments you feel super blessed to be doing what you’re doing.”

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com