19 03 2012

Words can’t describe my love for the Yumtown truck that parks outside of my building at Temple University. The all-local ingredients must just add that extra bit of home-cooked flavor to everything they make.

Most recently I tried their empanada with chicken and potatoes with a side of plantain chips and salsa.


My mouth is watering as I remember eating this for lunch. The empanada was steaming hot filled with hunks of slightly spicy filling. I’ve found that plantain chips are hard to perfect: too often they are too dry, too crunchy, or too flavorless. These succeeded in every way to be perfect and the salsa with pineapple complemented everything, you guessed it, perfectly.

All Temple students and employees should visit Yumtown as often as they can, and if you ever find yourself lost in North Philly, stop by, get your bearings, and have a snack from Yumtown.

Yum Town

30 11 2011

Yum Town is a new food truck on the north end of Temple’s campus.  The enticing appeal of Yum Town for me is its local ingredients.  This makes for a menu that is much more limited than other trucks on campus, but who really wants to eat from a truck that serves hamburgers, pizza, cheese steaks, grilled cheese, french fries, and salads?  The thought of all that food coming out of such a small space really worries me.

The sandwiches on Yum Town’s menu are innovative and fun:

I chose the Edgar Allan Potato (roasted sweet potato, crispy tempeh, black bean hummus, red onion, sriracha, baby spinach, on baguette for $6) and substituted the tempeh for bacon for an extra $1.

My first bite was all potato and bacon.  In my second bite I got more of the onion and some sweet heat from the sriracha.  By the third bite everything came together: the sweet and spicy, the crunchy and smooth.  By then I couldn’t eat it fast enough, although half way through it was getting a bit dry and I could have had a bit more of something like a marinade or dressing.  I did finish the whole sandwich because it tasted healthy and fresh and I’m a sucker for sweet potato and bacon!

I plan on trying the rest of Yum Town’s menu but I don’t know if I will get this particular sandwich again.  We’ll see.

Renaissance Sausage

31 10 2011

On a Friday, it’s often that there’s no more food at home to bring my lunch, so this past week I was forced to get out of my office and sample a sandwich from the Renaissance Sausage truck that was parked right outside of my building.  The appeal of Renaissance Sausage is the locally produced ingredients and freshly made sandwiches.

I can always go for a bacon egg and cheese (just see my series of breakfast sandwich posts from 2009), so I placed my order and was easily talked into a specialty hot apple cider.  As I was standing there waiting, a group of students ran up to the truck, one of them exclaiming, “I’ve been looking for this truck! They have the best hot apple cider!”

The menu wasn’t extensive, but the truck seemed to have lots of regular customers and a strong presence on Facebook and twitter (@TheSausageTruck).

The sausage is advertised as being made in South Philadelphia, so I asked where my smoked bacon was from, and got the prompt response, “Green Meadow Farm in Gap, PA.”  I like it when the people making food for me know where it’s from.

The sandwich was really good.  It wasn’t amazing, but the bacon had tons of flavor–it tasted like a pig should taste, I think–and it certainly didn’t need to be smothered in ketchup, which is the sad fate of many of my breakfast sandwiches.

I have a lot of other new trucks to try this winter (what’s up with the influx of grilled cheese trucks?  Not that I’m complaining.) so it may take me a while to get back to Renaissance, but I am so happy to see a rise of local and fresh foods traveling our fine city and becoming popular. Next we’ll be seeing them feeding groups of #Occupy supporters.