RSS Feed

Tag Archives: food truck

Beyond Breakfast: The Coop

IMG_7134
It’s a shame I haven’t written about The Coop yet because a.) they’re in our neighborhood, and b.) I can easily justify their food as counting as breakfast, since nearly every dish they serve involves some sort of eggs, be it chicken, duck, goose, turkey, or even quail.

IMG_7129
The Coop is a converted amusement park concession stand, and as the name indicates, poultry is their game. Although we’re not super regulars, we’ve come to know The Coop as the source for dishes – especially burgers – with unusual meats. You won’t find a regular beef hamburger here. Instead, you’ll find a yak burger. Or bison burger. Or turducken (turkey + duck + chicken) tacos. Or a benedict with turkey eggs. You get the picture.

IMG_7132
Owner Angela Theado recently finished a run of cooking weekends at the Hey Hey Bar & Grill in German Village (the kitchen has since been taken over by the Swoop! Food Truck crew). She’s now back at the original location at the corner of Indianola and Cliffside in southern Clintonville. It was recently announced that the building there will be renovated into the Coop Cafe, with Angela taking over the kitchen. I have to say that we’re immensely excited about it. The space has sat empty for as long as we can remember, and having a small cafe run by a proven restaurateur makes us very, very happy.

IMG_7131
The menu rotates a bit, so it’s a good idea to follow them on Facebook. This is what we tried on a couple of our most recent visits.

IMG_7142
Burgers are one of The Coop’s signatures. This is the bison burger, with a bison patty, bacon, havarti, a house-made mayo, and a sunny side up chicken egg. As far as burgers go, it’s pretty solid. I’ve had bison a few times, and its taste and texture is reminiscent of beef, just a little leaner. With the egg, bacon, and cheese, you can bet that this is a messy burger to eat, so be prepared.

IMG_7138
If your group includes a non-meat-eater amongst you, there is usually an option. Admittedly, this vegan coconut curry with plaintain was not our favorite thing on the menu. It’s hard to eat rice out of a container lined with foil. The foil eventually starts peeling up, and we thought the dish needed more spice overall.

IMG_7199
Amongst their burgers, The Coop’s yak burger is perhaps their most well-known, and rightfully so. It’s a tasty and drippy, delicious mess. I like the bison burger, but the yak is better, in my opinion. it’s lean and a little gamier, which is maybe why I prefer it. I like to taste the definite difference from a standard beef burger. At times the yak is over-powered by the bacon and cheese, but it’s hard to argue against any of the ingredients, and especially when sinking your teeth through them all together.

If you want to visit:
The Coop
2701 Indianola Ave. (map it!)
(614) 581-9353
Follow The Coop and Coop Cafe on Facebook
coopontherun.com

The Coop on Urbanspoon

Wafels & Dinges | New York, NY

Wafels & Dinges (Facebook / @waffletruck)
Various locations around NYC
Follow their website or Twitter feed

Waffles at midnight? Yes, please! On our previous trip to New York, we were left with some great culinary suggestions for our next visit. One of these came from Jean-Francois Flechet, owner of Taste of Belgium in Columbus and Cincinnati. He told us about a little food truck serving authentic Belgian waffles around Manhattan. So on our recent trip, as the Mrs. and I were sans kids for the weekend, we sought out Wafels & Dinges after catching a Broadway show. Off the hook, right? We used #nokidznorulznyc as our hashtag.

Once we got off the subway, it look a little searching to find the Astor Place wafel truck, but the bright yellow paint job and eager lines of NYU students helped us spot it. Wafels & Dinges has clearly been busy over the years. They have two five or six trucks in operation; we visited the Kostar, the smaller one, while the original truck Momma was operating elsewhere. Since our visit, they also opened a small permanent stand at Bryant Park.

The concept is simple: the truck serves two styles of wafels – Liege style and Brussels style. Liege style uses a batter infused with some type of sugar, so you get a compact, circular waffle that’s marbled with caramelized sugar. The Brussels style is more rectangular and more reminiscent of what most Americans think of when you say “waffles.”

You choose your base, your wafel, and then you choose the dinges, or toppings. You can customize your waffle with individual dinges, or you can choose from their menu of sweet or savory arrangements. Savory versions include ones topped with BBQ pulled pork, corn chili, or even bacon. As it was late night and we had already had dinner, we were both in a dessert mood. Mrs. Bfast w/Nick chose de Throwdown wafel, with their spekuloos spread and whipped cream.

Spekuloos is like Biscoff; it’s a glorious cookie spread similar in consistency to peanut butter or Nutella, and it’s so delicious you should put it on everything. Everything, do you hear me? Everything in the world.

I was eying the evening’s specialty: de Big Apple pi. It was everything I wanted to finish off the night.

Unfortunately, they had run out of the apples from Sarabeth’s, but they were fine with substituting  bananas instead. We both chose the Liege waffles as our base; we prefer the chewier, sweeter, denser waffle than the lighter Brussels one. So my snack consisted of: Liege waffle + bananas + dulce de leche + whipped cream + cinnamon sugar. Need I say any more? It was delicious, sweet, filling, perfect as a late night snack. No wonder Wafels & Dinges was named Best Food Truck in the country by the Travel Channel.

If you’re searching for a Wafels & Dinges truck, it’s best to keep an eye on their website. The two trucks switch locations between morning and night. In the mornings, you can typically find one in Central Park and one near Grand Central Station; in the evenings, you’ll find one near Astor Place and another on Christopher Street.

The next time you’re in New York, go find one of their trucks. For me, it’ll easily become a favorite stop in the city during every visit. And did I mention the spekuloos spread…?

Wafels & Dinges (MOBILE CART) on Urbanspoon

Beyond Breakfast With Nick: Mya’s Fried Chicken

The corner of Pacemont and High in Clintonville must have some sort of good energy/karma/luck/ju-ju for food. It was formerly the site of Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, which is easily Columbus’ best BBQ, if not one of its best food trucks. Ray Ray’s moved a little further south to a bigger location, and since late June it’s been the site of a new truck: Mya’s Fried Chicken.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I know the truck’s owner, Mark Tolentino. Mark has worked in catering for a long time, and recently took the plunge to open his own truck. I’ve always loved Mark’s work, so naturally I’m primed to like his food and want him to succeed.

Fortunately, the steady lines, plentiful media coverage, and regular reports of “We’ve sold out!” indicate that Mark is very much succeeding.

We’ve visited Mya’s multiple times since they started serving. Our first occurred at their grand opening on Saturday, June 30th, which came less than twenty-four hours after the windstorm that toppled trees and knocked out power all across central Ohio, all the while coinciding with a 90+ degree heat wave. On his opening day, Mark demonstrated his commitment to the Clintonville community by giving out meals to area residents without power.

I’ve heard many people say, since Mya’s opened, that they’ve had a hard time finding good fried chicken around town. When I really think of it, I don’t know where to go. Immediately I think of either heading to “Chicken Corner,” the intersection of 5th and Cleveland Avenues where Popeye’s, Church’s, and KFC camp out, or seeing what Kitchen Little is up to, or I think of trekking all the way out to Der Dutchman in Plain City.

I’m sure there are other good local places around Columbus, but Mya’s has become the center of my fried chicken universe. Mark uses a twice-fried technique. The first is a slower shallow fry that cooks the chicken through and darkens the bottom, while the second is a quick fry at a higher temp to crisp up the edges and give it a darker color.

You can order meals of white or dark meat, as half or whole birds, or as boneless sliders. I’ve had and enjoyed all of them. My preference is for the dark meat, and for the sliders.

The chicken can be flavored with one of two sauces: an herbed honey or a pepper and vinegar glaze.

Of course, when it comes to comfort food like BBQ or fried chicken, half the fun is the sides. Mya’s offers creamy coleslaw…

…green beans…

…and mac and cheese made with crumbs from their biscuits. Not pictured here: the smashed potatoes with pan drippings from the chicken. My personal favorite.

Mya’s has now become one of our go-to eats on the weekends. “What do you want for dinner?” “Let’s go to Mya’s.” You’ll be hearing that again and again in our house.

If you want to visit:
Mya’s Fried Chicken
3166 N. High St. (corner of Pacemont & High St., next to the Super Mart) (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 209-9004
Open Fri-Sun, 12-8p (keep an eye on Facebook for exact hours)

Mya's Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

Hemisphere Coffee Roasters | Columbus, OH

Hemisphere Coffee Roasters (Facebook / @HCRtrailer)
3825 Indianola, at Northridge  (map it!)
(614) 427-3457 – you call or text orders ahead of time

Just this week we’ve been hearing from Clintonville friends that Hemisphere Coffee Roasters set up their truck along Indianola. Regular pictures of espresso and pour-overs started showing up in my Facebook feed, so Mrs. Breakfast With Nick and I stopped by while on the way to work.

Today is a bright and cool morning, perfect for coffee outside.

We spent some time chatting with Hans Hochstedler, the barista running the trailer. Hans’ in-laws started Hemisphere in Mechanicsburg, Ohio about ten years ago. They source their beans directly from the farmers. “We shake the hand of the coffee farmer,” their sign says.

As you can see from their menu, they offer a wide range of coffee drinks from the truck. Everything hot or iced, from mochas, cappuccinos, lattes, pour-overs, shots of espresso, and more.

Mrs. Bfast w/Nick ordered an iced chai with a double-shot of espresso. This is a favorite summer drink of ours, and Hemisphere’s was one of the best we’ve had in a long time. Beautifully pulled double-shot, very rich chai that isn’t cloying. Hans used Hartzler Dairy milk (from Wooster, OH).

I tried a pour-over of the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. It’s a light roast with soft earthy notes punctuated by tart fruit.

For the uninitiated, the pour-over method involves making single cups by pouring hot water from a kettle into a filtered cone. The cone shape and the thin spout optimize the contact time between the water and the fresh grounds, which then drips into the receptacle below.

This allows you to make single cups of any beans, and to fully feature the coffee’s flavor profile.

More coffee is always welcome in Clintonville! I’m already planning when we can re-visit to get more iced chai. Has anyone else been this week?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 273 other followers