Thirty Sandwiches, One Truck: The Magic Behind DiSO’s Italian Sandwich Society

By Anna Lesser

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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.

Adam DiSilvestro

With 30 delicious options on the menu and fun sandwich names ranging from Mickey Scars to Vinnie the Butcher, it’s no wonder DiSO’s gourmet Italian sandwich food truck has made such a huge splash. They offer fresh sandwiches made from fine, imported Italian meats and cheeses from Di Palo’s in Little Italy.

This week, we were able to talk to the man behind this amazing Italian sandwich truck, Adam DiSilvestro. Adam started feeding New Yorkers about a year and a half ago and through word of mouth, loyal customers and genuinely great food his food truck has been growing a following ever since– it’s safe to say Adam’s got an awesome thing going!

He’s always been interested in food. Coming from an Italian family, “Food was something I have always wanted to try and experience in some way, so I wanted to try something classic, like an Italian sandwich stop.”

"Big Pauly" Breaded chicken cutlet parmigano, fresh mozzarella, homemade marinara, shaved parmigano reggiano, fresh basil
“Big Pauly” Breaded chicken cutlet parmigano, fresh mozzarella, homemade marinara, shaved parmigano reggiano, fresh basil

DiSO’s is a familiar name in the food community. They’re known for their long menu of any and every Italians sandwich that comes to mind. People used to tell Adam, “Take our advice, you have to cut this list down, simplify it,” and he would reply, “you know what, I have a vision and I’m just going to go with it.” Let’s all take a minute to thank Adam for sticking with his vision and offering NYC some of the best sandwiches.

Picking a sandwich is one of the more difficult things to do at DiSO’s. Some of his customers will “start at the top of the menu and work their way down.” It’s a pretty genius strategy that we at FoodtoEat probably need to try in the name of science (read: for incredible food).

Their handmade sandwiches call for a mouth-watering experience. One of their specialties, Joey Shake, is filled with Prosciutto, capicola, salami, provolone cheese, hot cherry peppers, arugula, parmigiano reggiano cheese, herbed ricotta spread, glazed balsamic dressing. You read that right; 9 ingredients, 1 sandwich. This heavenly creation is described as “the works of the Italian hero.”

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We’re excited to extend a warm FoodtoEat welcome to DiSO’s! You can now preorder their gourmet Italian sandwiches online and get their food catered for your next event. And if you want to see where their truck is currently parked, check out our Food Truck Map.

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: http://www.foodtoeat.com

FoodtoEat Academy Awards Presents: Local Food Super Heroines

By Debra Liu

Three things of note: (1) The 86th Academy Awards are happening tomorrow night! (2) The theme of the Oscars this year is super heroes, and (3) March is Women’s History Month. Therefore, at FoodtoEat, in only makes sense that we are celebrating our local Super Food Heroines, amazing women who are using food to make the world a better, brighter place: Amy Chasan of Sweet Generation, Robyn Hillman-Harrigan of Rockaway Rescue Alliance- Shore Soup Project, Jessamyn Rodriguez of Hot Bread Kitchen and Deepti Sharma Kapur of FoodtoEat. We had the chance to ask them a few questions and get their Oscar picks too!

Amy Chasan, founder of Sweet Generation 

Amy Chasan, founder of Sweet Generation
Amy Chasan, founder of Sweet Generation

Debra Liu: Who is your personal hero and why?

Amy Chasan: My heroes are my family – they are who inspire, push, support and encourage me. When I think of heroes, those are the qualities that come to mind. And while there are so many influential, powerful, intelligent leaders in this world, when I boil it down to who it is that make me be the best person I can be – it’s my family.

DL: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

AC: Easy! The Goddess Athena’s superpowers!  She is the goddess of culture, the Arts, courage, wisdom and justice – I would magically cultivate and support the creative energy of our youth to ensure that they have every opportunity to become the brilliant creators they were meant to be.

DL: How are you using food to change and better the world?

AC: Arts Education is a proven powerful force in raising academic achievement, preventing youth violence, school retention, developing effective leaders, and so much more. Yet the Arts are the first thing to come under the knife in economic hardship. Arts Education is grossly underfunded and funding continues to decline. It’s so crazy. So I created Sweet Generation to help Arts organizations, schools and community members increase the funding potential of their community-based fundraising – we’re a 21st century neighborhood bakesale, on steroids!

DL: What movie this year do you want to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

AC: While there are some amazing films up for the award this year, I would put my vote in for “12 Years A Slave” – I am profoundly moved by  the way it bears witness to the painful and unimaginable story of this part of our history – a story that is so often overlooked, downplayed, and even denied. There is no better way to deeply move and educate people than through the Arts!

DL: Favorite movie of all time?

AC: Mary & Max, without a doubt. This 2009 Australian claymation drama/black-comedy by Adam Elliot is an incredible exploration of human relationships, struggles, love and fear. It really gets to the heart of the human experience in all its wonder and glory. The story is so moving (based on a true story), and the use of claymation is such an effective medium, that I find this film to be unparalleled and absolutely awe-inspiring. It is particularly poignant at this time in that Philip Seymour Hoffman was the voice of the very sad and struggling Max.

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan, Executive Director at Rockaway Rescue Alliance- Shore Soup Project

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan (left), Executive Director at Rockaway Rescue Alliance- Shore Soup Project
Robyn Hillman-Harrigan (left), Executive Director at Rockaway Rescue Alliance- Shore Soup Project
Debra Liu: Who is your personal hero and why?

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan: My personal hero is my Grandmother, because she is 103 and she started writing poetry a couple of years ago and has already been published. I love her, and appreciate the reminder that it’s never too late to do what you love.

DL: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

RHH: If I could fly I would be really excited about it. I could get everywhere really quickly, no more long commutes and I would have the best view whenever I needed a break from the bustle of our city.

DL: How are you using food to change and better the world?

RHH: I believe that healthy community can be built around the action of sharing healthy food. Every week at Shore Soup we take donated organic produce and turn it into delicious chef prepared soups and salads. We then deliver these meals for free to people in the Rockaway community who are food insecure. After Hurricane Sandy we ran a relief kitchen and fed over 50,000 free meals and this past summer we operated a pay-as-you-can food truck. We are currently raising funds towards the establishment of a permanent pay-as-you-can restaurant in New York City, because we’ve seen the amazing possibilities that emerge when people share food and other resources with each other.

DL: What movie this year do you want to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

RHH: Her. I think that all of the contenders are pretty great, but I like what Her has to say about the nature of love, friendship, where we’re at as a society and where things might be headed in the future.

DL: Favorite movie of all time?

RHH: I’m a sucker for cult classics, but I’ve also seen a few indies over the years that have been great and I remember really loving 12 Monkeys. So it’s between that film, Heathers and Heaven.

Jessamyn Rodriques, Founder & CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen
Jessamyn Rodriguez, Founder & CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen
Jessamyn Rodriguez, Founder & CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen

Debra Liu: Who is your personal hero and why?

Jessamyn Rodriguez: My Grandmother, Ruth “Bubie” Perlmutter. She is a classy lady who, after being widowed in her 30’s, went to work outside the home for the first time. She built a career as an insurance broker and worked into her 70’s. When I was young, I used to love watching her get dressed up for work in the morning. She embraced professionalism in a way that is not typical of women of her generation. She took much pride in cultivating a professional persona which I really admire.

DL: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

JR: It isn’t a superpower in the traditional sense, but with two young children at home and our fast-paced and quickly growing social enterprise, I dream of being able thrive on an hour of sleep per night. With 23 hours in the day, just imagine how much you could get done!

DL: How are you using food to change and better the world?

JR: Hot Bread Kitchen is helping minority and immigrant women take their share of the billion dollar food industry. It is affirmative action for the specialty food business!

DL: What movie this year do you want to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

JR: This is embarrassing to admit, but I just had a baby and have only made it out to see one of the nominees, Gravity. It doesn’t get my vote this year.

DL: Favorite movie of all time?

JR: I adore In the Mood for Love, directed by Wong Kar-wai. Great costumes, beautiful soundtrack, and, of course, enticing food.

Deepti Sharma Kapur, Founder & CEO of FoodtoEat
Deepti Sharma Kapur, Founder & CEO of FoodtoEat
Deepti Sharma Kapur, Founder & CEO of FoodtoEat

Debra Liu: Who is your personal hero and why?

Deepti Sharma Kapur: My hero is my mom. I know it sounds cliché, but she’s dealt with so much in her own life that it’s hard not to see her as an inspiration. From raising two kids after moving to a brand new country and way of life, to just starting one business after another, some of which were in completely different fields, to still being there for family and friends in times of celebration or consolation. She is easily my hero and role model.

DL: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

DSK: Time travel! I would definitely take the chance to go back and meet my ancestors in India, and also a few former world leaders that I look up to.

DL: How are you using food to change and better the world?

DSK: At FoodtoEat, I’m showing food-business owners how they can use technology to grow their businesses – and vice versa, helping consumers find more restaurants, food trucks and caterers than ever before!

DL: What movie this year do you want to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

DSL: Can’t say – I’ve only seen American Hustle! I’m slacking in this department!

DL: Favorite movie of all time?

DSK: So hard to pick one but I can pick a few across different genres: Star Wars, The Godfather and (of course) Mulan!

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For all of March, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’ll be profiling talented women entrepreneurs in the food space who are creating history as we speak. If you know someone who you think is a food heroine, please contact debra@foodtoeat.com – we’d love to meet her and share her story with the community!
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

The FoodtoEat Academy Awards Presents the Nominees for Best Super “Hero”

By Rosie O’Regan

Didja hear? The theme of the 86th Annual Academy Awards is movie heroes! This year’s Oscars will celebrate everything from emotional films about real-life heroes (“Gandhi”, “Silkwood”) to action-packed flicks about comic book heroes (“Superman”. “The Dark Knight”). All this talk about heroes started to make the FoodtoEat team hungry–not for the tights and cape-wearing crowd, but for the sandwich variety. We’ve devised our own list of the nominees for Best Super “Hero”.

Spicy Chicken Grinder from Big D’s Grub Truck

In the category of Best Grinder, the clear winner is the Spicy Chicken Grinder from Big D’s Grub Truck. Standout performances by the tender chicken mixed with spicy mayo sent this hero to the top of our list. We would also like to acknowledge the heart-felt supporting role played by the fresh chopped cilantro and sweet & tangy pickled daikon. Hats off!

Spicy Chicken Grinder from Big D’s Grub Truck

Oven Baked Salmon Sandwich from Cafe Delectica

The front-runner for this year’s Best Seafood Hero is rumored to be the Oven Baked Salmon Sandwich from Cafe Delectica. The Oven Baked Salmon received surprisingly favorable reviews from the critics. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars and called the combination of salmon, avocado, sliced tomato, arugula and spicy mayo on seven grain bread an absolute sensation.

Oven Baked Salmon Sandwich from Delectica

Pork Sandwich from Cheeky Sandwiches

This year was full of dramatic performances, so Cheeky Sandwiches’ Pork Sandwich was refreshingly sweet. The ensemble cast of marinated seared pork chops, caramelized apples, onions, sweet and spicy mustard gave an honest and touching performance.

Pork Sandwich from Cheeky Sandwiches

Banh Mi Dac Biet/Paris Special Baguette from Paris Sandwich 

For Best Foreign Hero, our money is on the Banh Mi Dac Biet/Paris Special Baguette from Paris Sandwich. Hailing from Vietnamese cuisine, this ingenue impressed us with its classic performance which combined bacon, pork roll, and crunchy ham. Bravo!

Paris Special Vietnamese Sandwich from Paris Sandwich Truck

Porchetta Sandwich from Porchetta

Critics and audiences alike were blown away by the conservatory-trained Porchetta Sandwich from Porchetta. Who knew that rolled, herbed pork roast served on ciabatta could bring literal tears to peoples’ eyes? We’d give it a standing ovation.

Porchetta Sandwich from Porchetta

We would like to thank the FoodtoEat Academy for always believing in us and supporting the hero community. This Sunday, March 2nd, grab your favorite hero and tune in to the 2014 Academy Awards!

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