Havana Central: Cooking with Love

By Danielle Bimston

Keeping things fun and fresh are our friends at Havana Central, known for their exciting environment and delicious eats. Started in 2002 by entrepreneur Jeremy Merrin, this Cuban restaurant has become one of the best around!  People love having the ability to get large plates of rice and beans for reasonable prices, and that’s just what Havana Central strives to give their customers.

20110320-havana-central-8
Photo Credit: newyork.seriouseats.com

Havana Central is such the people pleaser that they’ve managed to create a list of fun facts and restaurant accomplishments (that they thank their customers for!).  Check them out:

  1. Number of Mojitos sold: Over 700,000
  2. Number of Empanadas sold: Over 1 million
  3. Number of Cuban sandwiches sold: Over 800,000
  4. We cook over 4,000 pounds of pork a year
  5. We use over 130,000 limes a year – mostly for our Mojitos
  6. Our guests eat over 40,000 avocados a year
20110320-havana-central-5
Photo Credit: newyork.seriouseats.com

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of any other place that sells so many Cuban sandwiches.  And, that’s not even all that they have on the menu! If you’re in the mood for a classic Cuban favorite, try the Arroz con Pollo or Pimiento Relleno.  Or if you’re dying to try a sandwich, try Sandwich de Pernil Asado, there are a ton of options!

DIGIPIX
Photo Credit: nydailynews.com

Wonder where these delicious dishes come from? Well, Cuban food is known for it’s many influences: Spanish, French, African, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures (that’s alot!). Traditional cooking is primarily peasant cuisine that has little concern with measurements, order and timing, but oddly enough, that’s what makes the food so unique. In fact, most of the dishes are sautéed or slow-cooked over a low flame and rely on very basic spices.  Though they’re not the most complicated, intense recipes, it’s the love used when cooking that makes Cuban food so good!

havana-central
tripadvisor.com

Even though Cuban food is a melting pot of so many cultures, they can all seem to agree on one thing: it’s delicious! No matter what you’re craving, Havana Central has the best atmosphere; allow us to help you transport the good vibes to your office!

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

Glaze Teriyaki: Bringing Seattle-Style Eats to New York City

By Danielle Bimston

Glaze Teriyaki is bringing the US together, from coast to coast, with Seattle-style teriyaki in NYC.  Thanks to owners Paul Krug and Ian McCormick, we can now enjoy the sweet and savory tastes of this delicious Japanese cuisine at over 3 locations in the Big Apple and, recently, in Brooklyn as well.

original
Photo Credit: http://www.realcheapeats.com

Over at Glaze Teriyaki, ordering food is all about balance. Pick a protein and get a side of rice and salad to keep your diet healthy and body happy.  Whether you’re more of a chicken, steak, or salmon lover, there are options for everyone, complete with gluten free and vegetarian entrees.

glaze-dd
Photo Credit: tastingtable.com

All of the meats available at Glaze are charcoal grilled and then lavishly sauced with a subtle, tangy dressing.  The veggies are locally sourced when possible and cooked to perfection.  It is because of this that Glaze Teriyaki is always buzzing; lines extend out the door and phones ring off the hook. And, if you’re not in the mood for a heavy meal, keep it light and fresh by choosing from Glaze’s large selection of gourmet sides such as Steamed Edamame, Crispy Gyoza Dumplings, and Shishito Peppers.

glaze-1296
Photo Credit: fransmart.com

No matter what you choose, we’re sure that Glaze Teriyaki will hit the spot.  With flavorful dishes and hearty portions, Glaze is sure to be an office hit.

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

Eight Turn Crepe: Turning Our Guily Pleasure Into Something Totally Regret-Free

By Danielle Bimston

We’ve all got a guilty pleasure, but at Eight Turn Crepe they’re trying to make ours into something we never have to regret.  Over at this restaurant, they’re creating the perfect Japanese rice crepe; turning a delectable favorite into a much lighter, healthier option.  These amazing treats are perfect for any time of day, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, so whenever you’re hungry, Eight Turn Crepe has something that will satisfy your rumbling tummy!

So, why rice?

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 3.41.56 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.foodspotting.com

Not only are rice crepes traditional to Japanese culture, but they are also easy on the allergies; these light, palate pleasing treats are gluten free (awesome, right!).  Over at Eight Turn Crepe, their chefs take rice four, whip it into a silky mix and throw it on the griddle to form a warm, fresh, thin Japanese pancake.  These amazing stuffing-holders are strong, pliable, and totally adaptive. Taking meals from the plate to a completely portable medium is what makes Eight Turn Crepe so irresistible!

What goes inside?

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 3.41.18 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.ramenandfriends.com

Well, that’s up to you! Whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there are a ton of unique stuffings to try.  From Truffled Egg White Omelet to Shrimp Avocado to Banana Nut Chocolate, there are a variety of filling for absolutely any time of the day.  Some of the dessert options even offer ice cream inside, how can you resist!

Allow us to bring the taste of Tokyo to your office with Eight Turn Crepe.  Their crepes are so portable, it’s easy to take them anywhere.  Giving lunch in the office a new definition, feel free to eat these goodies while you work; we know you’ll fall in love.

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

Sweet Chili NYC: Bringing a Top Chef Back to the Kitchen

By Danielle Bimston

Here at FoodtoEat we’re all about awesome, fresh cuisine that’s quick and fun to eat.  So, in honor of their delicious Thai and Vietnamese eats, our featured vendor is Sweet Chili NYC Food Truck.  Created by famous Top Chef finalist Liza Fernandes, this food truck has taken over the city, introducing its customers to exciting varieties of Thai/Vietnamese proteins and salads.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.47.57 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.nycfoodtrucks.org

With over 20 years of culinary experience, Chef Fernandes is passionate about creating new flavors that will engage the NYC food community.  She has been cooking since she was 9 years old and thanks to her mother, has a lovely gift for creating savory flavors.  In fact, Chef Fernandes took her proclivity towards sauce innovation to Top Chef where she created her maple miso glaze.  This show winning sauce is now available at Sweet Chili today!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.51.11 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.sweetchilinyc.com

In addition to her well-known maple miso glaze, Chef Fernandes has taken traditional Mae Ploy sauce to a new level with her sweet chili sauce.  She believes her creation is the kind of thing that you can dip anything in… even french fries!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.47.46 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.nycfoodtrucks.org

Sweet Chili offers a variety of delicious meats including Miso Glazed Silken Tofu and Honey Chili Pork that are perfectly paired with fresh, delicate salads comprised of Green Mango, Green Papaya, or Bean Sprout.  And, if you’re not in the mood to create your own plate, try Sweet Chili’s Coconut Chili Rice Cakes and Shrimp & Radish Cake.  Plus, don’t forget to add a fried egg to everything (a Sweet Chili favorite) and sample their sriracha fries!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.48.27 PM
Photo Credit: http://www.roaminghunger.com

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Sweet Chili gives you the freedom to create your perfect lunch.  And the best part is, they cater! So, if everyone in your office is excited to sample a Top Chef’s take on Thai/Vietnamese cuisine, let us at FoodtoEat know; we’d be happy to introduce you to some truly delicious eats.

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

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

Explore Lebanese Cuisine Without Leaving Your Office

By Hannah Poss

Experience high end Lebanese right in the comfort of your own office. Al Bustan, located in Midtown East, serves amazing and authentic food that will transport you right to Beirut. They dish up traditional appetizers such as Hummus and Baba Ghannouj that are reminiscent of cuisines like Greek, Israeli and Turkish foods. Some of their popular dishes include chicken and beef Shawarma called Shawarma Dajaj and Shawarma Lahme, respectively.

E-53rd-319-Al-Bustan-LT-1
Photo Credit: sideways.nyc

In addition, in keeping with traditional Lebanese cuisine, they prepare a large assortment of classic lamb dishes. Some of their classics include a minced lamb dish served with a pomegranate molasses called Kafta Khashkhash and a homemade philo dough stuffed with minced lamb, rice, peas and carrots called Kouzy.

NEW YORK - May 13: Pulse - Lamb terracotta at BUSTAN, 487 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan.  May 13, 2014. (Photo by Gabi Porter)
Photo Credit: theepochtimes.com

These dishes are a must-try. They’re a perfect way to expand your palette without diving too far into the deep end. Have Al Bustan catered to your office to taste these dishes for yourself.

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

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.

chili1
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.

chili3
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

Celebrate the Thai New Year with FoodtoEat!

By Emily Collins  While most of us celebrated the New Year in January, Thailand is just getting the party started. The Thai New Year is an epic 3-day celebration from April 13-15 and we wanted to ring in the Thai New Year here at FoodtoEat with some of our favorite Thai food vendors. Little Thai Kitchen

littlethai1
Basil Spicy Chicken from Little Thai Kitchen | Photo credit: Yelp.com

Little Thai Kitchen is a cozy, Midtown restaurant that may be little, but its menu sure isn’t! Little Thai Kitchen offers an awesome selection, warm atmosphere and the best part? It can be delivered right to your doorstep! Thai Street Food by Tuk Tuk Boy

03-Pad-Thai-Tuk-Tuk-Boy-Thai-Food-Cart
Pad Thai from Tuk Tuk Boy|Photo credit: Me So Hungry

Looking for a quick grab-n-go lunch? Look no further! Thai Street Food by Tuk Tuk Boy provides you with your favorite Thai dishes right off the street. Thai Street Food by Tuk Tuk Boy has a little something for everybody: curries, pad Thai, dumplings and even Thai tea and coffee. Order online at FoodtoEat.com to skip the line and get some fantastic Thai. New York Thai Grill and Sushi 

lnlXCOv2COjr4X-640m
String Beans & Chicken from New York Thai Grill & Sushi | Photo credit: Urbanspoon.com

New York Thai Grill and Sushi Bar is a great place to eat if you can’t decide which kind of food you’re going for. Not only does this restaurant offer a variety of Thai options, it also has plenty of different kinds of sushi. New York Thai Grill also has plenty of desserts for those of us with a bit of a sweet tooth! With hours like 11:00 am-1:45 am, you can get always get your Thai on. Spice Thai Restaurant

l
Chicken Chow Fun from Spice Upper West Side | Photo credit: Yelp.com

Spice Thai Restaurant is perfect for the Thai newbie. Spice’s goal is to combine classic Thai flavors with modern cuisine. If you’re like me and were scared of anything that wasn’t plain chicken and pasta until you were 13, Spice is the place to go. The portions are plentiful and so are the locations! No matter where you live in the city, you can have Spice. Here are links to the many different Spice locations:

To celebrate the Thai New Year, we are having a promotion from April 13-15th. Simply place an order on FoodtoEat.com from any Thai vendor and you’ll be entered to win a 12-pack of Thailand’s finest drink, Singha Beer! FTEThaiNYDailyFoodtoEat 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

#12DaysofFoodTrucks

By Debra Liu

It’s hard to be a food truck in the winter! We’re here to help make sure food trucks survive the winter so they can feed you throughout the rest of the year.

Support the small restaurants and food trucks who are hit hard by the cold winter months by ordering through FoodtoEat. You can still stay warm and get delicious food truck food despite the cold by preordering online and picking up to #SkipTheLine.

12 Days of Food TrucksFoodtoEat’s 12 Days of Food Trucks holiday countdown will highlight some of our amazing Food Truck partners. And the best part is, we get to hear from you! How well do YOU know your food truck food?

We’ll post a food photo from one of our food trucks every weekday from December 6, 2013 through December 23, 2013 via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (don’t forget to follow us @FoodtoEat!). You then respond with the name of the food truck you think the food is from, and if you guess correctly, we’ll send you a promo code ranging from 10-25% off your next food order. Best part is, you can play every day for 12 days!

At the end of each day, we’ll update this post to include the Food Truck of the Day. By the twelfth day, all 12 food trucks will be featured in this blog post!

December 6, 2013, Day 1: Uncle Gussy’s

Combo Platter from Uncle Gussy's
Combo Platter from Uncle Gussy’s

Uncle Gussy’s Food Truck serves fresh, authentic, delicious Greek platters and combos. Be sure to check them out on 51st street and Park avenue! If you want to order from Uncle Gussy’s for delivery or so you can #SkiptheLine, click here: Order Now

December 9, 2013, Day 2: Neapolitan Express

di PARMA D.O.P. Neapolitan Express
di PARMA D.O.P. pizza from Neapolitan Express

The Neapolitan Express pizza food truck not only serves delicious Neapolitan-style pizza made famous by legendary chef Raffaele Esposito, but this mobile pizzeria is also solely run on Compressed Natural Gas and Solar Power, which makes it the food truck with the lowest carbon footprint in the nation. Check out their menu and feel environmentally good about pre-ordering your mouthwatering pizza today: Order Now

December 10, 2013, Day 3: Sweet Chili Food Truck

Bean Sprout Salad from Sweet Chili Food Truck
Bean Sprout Salad from Sweet Chili Food Truck

The Sweet Chili Food Truck is the brain child of Chef Lisa Fernandes, a Top Chef finalist in season 4, Chicago. The truck creates delicious Thai-Vietnamese fusion food. With offerings like Miso Glazed Silken Tofu and Honey Chili Pork, you can’t help but get addicted to the food. Their truck, named Betty White, is set to retire soon so Sweet Chili has started a kickstarter campaign to fund her replacement – make a pledge today. They also do catering – contact us at info@foodtoeat.com if you would like to have them cater your next office meeting or party. And don’t forget, you can pre0rder from Sweet Chili to #SkiptheLine!

December 11, 2013, Day 4: Milk Truck

Grilled Cheese from Milk Truck NYC
Grilled Cheese from Milk Truck NYC

The Milk Truck got its start in 2010 at the indoor Brooklyn Flea and since then has been serving mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salads, mac & cheese and even milkshakes to hungry New Yorkers all over the city. If you haven’t tried the Milk Truck Classic grilled cheese made with Aged Wisconsin Gruyere and caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms as optional add-ons, you haven’t tried a real grilled cheese yet. They make every sandwich by order, from hand. Remember, you can always preorder your grilled cheese from Milk Truck on foodtoeat.com!

December 12, 2013, Day 5: Nuchas

Empanada from Nuchas
Empanada from Nuchas

Nuchas is much more than just empanadas; this food truck goes beyond the traditional meat and cheese filled empanadas by combining unique and innovative flavors. They offer empanadas in assorted dough varieties including rosemary, parmesan and spinach. A food truck that will satisfy everyone’s desires, Nuchas has delicious food for veggie-lovers and meat-lovers alike. They have 4 meat empanadas including short rib, which is a slow braised meat empanada with onions, peppers & fresh herbs on a rosemary dough. For vegetarians, they have 3 flavors including a shiitake curry empanada. And let’s not forget the sweet empanada – perfect for dessert on-the-go – which is filled with granny smith apples, cranberries, pear, nutella and chocolate in a white almond dough. Doesn’t this all sound amazing? Preorder here: Order Now

December 13, 2013, Day 6: Valducci’s Food Truck

Pizza from Valducci's Mobile Pizzeria
Pizza from Valducci’s Mobile Pizzeria

An offshoot of a Staten Island pizza place, Valducci’s Original Food Truck serves delicious pizza. Specialty pies include vodka pie, meatball & ricotta pie, Sicilian oreganata and a white pie. They also offer a meatball sandwich made on homemade semolina bread and a parm sandwich. You can preorder with FoodtoEat for a quick pick-up: Preorder Now

December 16, 2013, Day 7: Palenque Food Truck

Costena Arepa from Palenque Food Truck
Costena Arepa from Palenque Food Truck

The Palenque Food Truck, founded by two Colombian women, offers gourmet homemade Colombian food made using the finest and freshest ingredients. They serve arepas, which are a bread patty made from corn and water. But they also have non-traditional arepas made from quinoa and arepas made from brown rice. You can choose your toppings: beef, chicken, shrimp, portobella mushrooms, organic vegan Italian chorizo and many others. If you haven’t had a chance to try their arepas, you must do so!

December 17, 2013, Day 8: Big D’s Grub Truck

Spicy Chicken Grinder from Big D's Grub
Spicy Chicken Grinder from Big D’s Grub

Did you know Big D’s name is Dennis? Growing up in Queens, New York, Big D was highly influenced by the diversity of food and flavors around him. Big D’s Grub Truck offers a fusion of food with bold flavors for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast menu includes Spanish Omelettes and Jalapeno corn cakes. For lunch, there’s tacos, grinders and platters, with your choice of bulgogi spicy pork, ginger chicken, or spicy chicken. And the sides are delicious too: pork and chive dumplings, crispy delicious yuca fries, and old bay or sazon flavored fries. Get some Big D’s Grub today: Preorder now!

December 18, 2013, Day 9: Mexico Blvd

Torta Pastor_Mexico Blvd
Torta Pastor from Mexico Blvd Food Truck

Mexico Blvd Food Truck’s motto is “Eat, Enjoy, Come Back” and that’s truly what everyone does after they’ve tried their scrumptious food. They have tacos and tortas and you get to choose your own meat: adobo (a slow roasted pork loin), pastor (marinated pork tenderloin), tinga (organic white meat chicken in chipotle and tomato sauce), and bistec (top round steak in drunken beer and chile sauce). For the vegetarians out there, they offer an avocado torta, crispy quesadillas and potato & black bean flautas.

December 19, 2013, Day 10: Bian Dang

Pork Chop over Rice with Tea Egg from Bian Dang Truck
Pork Chop over Rice with Tea Egg from Bian Dang Truck

The recipes for Bian Dang’s delicious offerings are a family recipe, passed down from the founders, Diana and Thomas Yang’s grandmother. The most popular items are the Fried Pork Chop over Jasmine Rice and the Fried Chicken over Rice with pickled mustard greens and their famous minced pork sauce. They also sell Tea Eggs, hard boiled eggs infused with black tea leaves, spices and soy sauce. They’re usually parked on 53rd Street between Park and Lexington Avenue, Monday through Friday from 11:30am – 2:30 pm. If you’re in the area and craving some pork chop, you can always preorder on FoodtoEat.com to #SkipTheLine!

December 20, 2013, Day 11: Fun Buns

Beef Shank Bun from Fun Buns
Beef Shank Bun from Fun Buns

Fun Buns is a cart that serves Taiwanese-style buns filled with meat and veggies. The braised pork belly bun is slow-cooked with Taiwanese spices and topped with picked mustard greens, crushed peanuts and cilantro. The spicy beef shank bun is similar but the meat is stewed with star anise, cinnamon and cloves. The chicken curried bun is made with a light curry. You can get each bun for $3. They also offer combo deals; for $9, you can get 2 buns with chips and a drink. To #SkiptheLine, preorder here: Order Now!

December 23, 2013, Day 12: Wing’n It

Wings and Mac & Cheese from Wing'n It Food Truck
Wings and Mac & Cheese from Wing’n It Food Truck

Wing’n It is NYC’s first and only chicken wing food truck. They have grilled, baked, fried and steamed chicken wings with 6 different types of sauces listed (one sauce is called Apricot Maple Whiskey!). They have a few sides including Mac & Cheese, Wing’n Tots and Fried Rice – and even some breakfast items! Next time you have a wing craving, check out the Wing’n It truck for your chicken wings fix!

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

 

What’s for Lunch? Bian Dang Food Truck Brings Taiwanese Food to Manhattan

By: Debra Liu

The people of Taiwan LOVE their food. In Taiwan, everything you do involves food in one form or another. When you walk out the door in the morning, the scent of egg-stuffed scallion pancakes and breakfast rice rolls fill your nostrils. In subway stations, there are entire food courts with noodle shops, mango shaved ice vendors, bakeries, and more. For most people living in NYC, particularly Manhattan, Taiwanese food is not that easy to find.

Diana Yang
Diana Yang (Left)

Siblings Diana and Thomas Yang are trying to fix this problem. First order of business: open a Taiwanese food truck. What better way to expose people to Taiwanese cuisine than via a moving food-feeding vehicle – pure genius! They opened Bian Dang (which means “lunch box” in Mandarin), the first Taiwanese food truck in NYC in 2009 and since then, have been feeding hungry New Yorkers – sometimes 200 people a day – in five locations Monday through Friday.

“A lot of people don’t know our food or have never tried it and I think that’s what sets us apart from other food trucks,” says Diana. In addition to the food, the truck also stands out because of its exterior aesthetics – baby blue and adorned with white and pink flowers. The flowers are plum blossoms, the National Flower of Taiwan, a flower known for its resilience during harsh winters.

The recipes for Bian Dang’s delicious offerings are passed down from Thomas and Diana’s grandmother. The most popular items are the Fried Pork Chop over Rice and the Fried Chicken over Rice with pickled mustard greens and their famous minced pork sauce. They also sell Tea Eggs, hard boiled eggs infused with black tea leaves, spices and soy sauce. In Taiwan, Tea Eggs are common fixtures at convenience stores like 7-Eleven; approximately 40 million are sold each year. For those who want the best of both worlds, Bian Dang has an off-the-menu option called “Porken”, which is half pork chop/half fried chicken over rice.

Diana’s favorite Bian Dang food item is the Zong-zi, which is basically a Chinese tamale stuffed with rice, pork belly and vegetables wrapped in bamboo leaves. What’s even more amazing about the food, besides how tasty it is, is that it’s extremely affordable, with items ranging from $1 for the Tea Egg to $8 for the Fried Fish Cake over Rice.

Pork Chop over Rice
Fried Pork Chop over Rice with Tea Egg

“There are some die-hard fans. I remember a couple years ago, I couldn’t find parking, and they’re like, ‘You know what? We’re going to meet you at the other location. We’re going to stand there and hold a spot for you,’” Diana told me a few weeks ago when we had a chance to meet up.

What’s in the future for Bian Dang? Bian Dang now has a sister truck, the Moo Shu Grill Truck which serves small mooshu wraps, essentially a Chinese taco. Thomas and Diana hope that one day there will be a little block in NYC with Taiwanese food, just like there’s a Chinatown, a Little Italy and a Korea Town. The Bian Dang truck is the “vehicle” to making that dream happen.

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