Bringing the Office Together: Tumblr HQ Ate This Up… Maybe You Will Too!

By Danielle Bimston

What better way to bring your office together than offering fresh, delicious food that everyone can enjoy? Here at FoodtoEat, we certainly can’t think of anything that sounds more incredible.  And today, neither can our friends at Tumblr.

IMG_1192Jerk Pan brought flavor and spice to Tumblr Headquarters this afternoon as they fed each employee with a smile and lots of love.  As you can see, the staff there ate it up! The delectable, home cooked, Jamaican-style food offered by Jerk Pan brought the staff together– giggling, grinning, and our personal favorite, satisfying their rumbling tummies with an amazing treat!

IMG_1189No matter what the occasion, at FoodtoEat we love to see the joys of food bringing a team together.  After all, nothing is as universally loved and bonded over! Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet like crepes and cupcakes or something savory like Mexican food and burgers, we’ve got something that will make your day a little bit more delicious!

IMG_1181Take it from our friends at Tumblr Headquarters, sharing an irresistible, mouthwatering lunch with your coworkers can truly  make the office feel more like family! There are an endless number of ways that we can feed your team, so let us help you. Plus, nothing is more uplifting than a smile and laugh to keep you going during hump day!

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

Green Carts Provide an Oasis in Food Deserts

Street vendors come in all shapes and sizes, including the 500 vendors that participate in New York’s Green Cart program. Green Cart’s are an initiative to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to low-income areas with limited options for healthy food. Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick has plenty of fast-food options but no grocery stores, until a produce cart moved in with general fruits and vegetables and specialty items for the Latino community in the area.

New York’s Green Cart program is intended to encourage the consumption of healthier food to combat obesity and diet-related diseases. Although Green Carts are only one initiative aimed at improving the diets of New Yorkers, many other cities are starting to catch on to this initiative. Now over 70 million Americans suffer from obesity, and green carts provide a convenient means to get fresh food to Americans.

At first the Green Cart initiative faced considerable pressure in New York City, as sidewalk congestion became an issue and small grocers objected to mobile carts competing against their brick-and-mortar businesses. Despite these problems, 1,000 permits were granted to vendors to sell fresh produce in underserved areas in 2008. The Green Cart program has required much less time and investment than other initiatives, with a low cost to entry and vendors applying through the same process they would to maintain a hot dog cart.

Despite the strict rules for sidewalk vending and slim profit margins, vendors in the Green Cart program have it comparatively easier than other vendors. Many vendors have begun to accept federal food-assistance benefits, with wireless devices given to them to accept payments. This way, customers in low-income areas can spend more on healthier alternatives, producing a win-win for the customer and the vendors.

As other cities begin adapting New York’s Green Cart model, they are noticing similar trends in how to execute them. One of the most important factors for these carts is where they’re located; those with the heaviest foot traffic and one indoor cart had the most sales over the course of a year. One cart in particular, inside the atrium of a children’s hospital got the benefit of having entire families heading past their location. Philadelphia is now considering working with hospitals to scale the program in a way to reach many families with limited incomes.

The end goal of these initiatives are to make fresh food more accessible in ‘food deserts’ and provide more jobs for immigrant vendors, unemployed youths and seniors. In some areas city officials are branching out by letting vendors sell fruit cups or chopped and bagged vegetables to increase the convenience of healthy food.

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

 

College Students Create a Campus Food Truck Brand

Food trucks have proved to be a successful business model for many people with entrepreneurial aspirations. Given the low overhead costs and potentially high returns, it’s no wonder that three students from Bowdoin University in Brunswick, Maine decided to start their own food truck business on campus.

The three students come from varying backgrounds but all have an interest in food, particularly Isaac Brower, who already owns his own successful food cart in Rockland, Maine. The food trck business they are starting will be called CampusFoodTrucks, Inc., set to open in early March. The food truck will cater to late night crowds, operating from 10pm to 3am on weekend nights.

The ultimate goal of CampusFoodTrucks is to achieve success at Bowdoin and then expand to other schools. The business model can be easily translated across other campuses, and the founders hope to make a permanent impression upon Bowdoin University.

The food truck aims to fill a void students have complained about pertaining to a lack of late night activities. Eventually, the students hope that CampusFoodTrucks will become a permanent institution at Bowdoin, and are seeking to hire students to help cook and run the register.

Isaac Brower supplied the truck to the group, which belonged to him and a friend in Rockland, Maine as a seafood truck for tourists. The students have applied for local and state permits, and were approved by the college administration. They have also secured venture capital to set up the kitchen and powering up the truck, collected mostly from friends and family. Several items have already been selected for the menu, including burger, hot dogs, chicken tenders, French fries, onion rings and a signature sandwich called the CFT, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with chicken tenders and bacon.

The founders plan to break even by the end of the semester, ultimately seeking to establish a permanent institution at Bowdoin and other colleges, rather than simply collecting profit.

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

 

Restaurants and Trucks: The Letter Grade Debate

The ongoing feud between restaurant owners and food truck owners continues to build, as food trucks come close to posting Health Department letter grades, just the way restaurants have been doing for years. Restaurant owners believe food trucks and carts should be obligated to post these ratings, based on the fact that people can get just as sick no matter where they eat.

Vinnie Mazzone who owns a restaurant called Chicken Master in Sheepshead Bay said, “Why are they not being embarrassed like we are with these stupid letter grades? If you are cooking, preparing and storing perishable items, there should be a letter grade on your cart. No question about it.”

Mobile food vendors are somewhat divided on the subject, as letter grades act to legitimize the industry but can also damage the food trucks’ image if they receive poor grades. As of now food trucks are regularly inspected by the Health Department, but restaurant owners are fighting for a bill that would require food trucks and carts to be held up to the same standards. The grades would essentially alert New Yorkers to which trucks and carts are the cleanest and those that are not.

Some food cart owners believe the proposed bill to be unfair because large restaurants have more space and a larger staff. However some mobile vendors support the bill, like Rex Velasquez who said, “At least you know if the cart is clean or not. I always keep my cart clean, so it doesn’t matter to me.”

Currently food vendors are required to complete an eight-hour food-handling course and obtain a food vendor license as well as a food cart permit. The food-handling rules dictate that vendors must wash their hands whenever touching raw meat, and never put raw meat near fresh food. They’re also required to have sinks with hot and cold running water if they’re cooking hot food, and a sink for wastewater and adequate ventilation

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

El Rey Del Sabor’s Imported Grasshoppers

This week El Rey Del Sabor is introducing chapulines, or for those of us less familiar with this traditional food, grasshoppers. The grasshoppers were just imported from Mexico, where they are commonly eaten in many areas, including the cart owner’s hometown, Pueblo. The chapulines are available in various forms, with a $9 quesadilla advertised. I opted to try the tacos, ordering two chapuline and one al pastor to balances the flavors out. I was impressed to see that the three tacos came to $9, and were stuffed with chapulines.

The tacos were unlike anything I had ever eaten. When I ordered them I was filled with excitement, but when I actually saw the browned grasshoppers stuffed under a coating of hot sauce, cilantro and onions, the whole experience became much more real to me. However, knowing the health benefits of eating insects (more protein per gram than any other meat), coupled with the frightening thought that insects could become an ever more present item on our menus given our depletion of resources, I dived right in.

Order from El Rey Del Sabor yourself and see what we’re talking about here

The chapulines were crunchy on the outside with a tenderer inside, similar in feel to shrimp, though not nearly as tasty. The more I ate, the more I found myself struggling to eat these tacos. The hot sauce definitely added to the crunchy chapulines, and helped nullify the taste a little bit. I tried to sit down and describe exactly what they tasted like, but nothing really came to mind. They’re kind of like shrimp without the fishy taste, but with a crunchy shell still intact. Overall they weren’t as flavorful as the excellent al pastor taco, and the crunchy bits were sometimes hard to chew. However the chapulines were a completely out-of-the-ordinary lunch experience and I can’t help but wonder how they would taste in the quesadilla…

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