Well my food cart is called "The Foodie Cart" and this name came from me and my wife living in New York City and loving all the great food around us... we thought of our selves as 'Foodies' so of course when it came time to run a food cart we called it what it is!!!!
We decided to serve a verity of street food from around the world. We are starting with German street food. We currently serve Bratwurst for lunch with 2 types of stoneground mustard/sour kraut/caramelized onions and a slightly German twist on an American style breakfast (bratwurst egg and cheese on a challah roll). Our menu is limited because the space we have to deal with is limited. Our next street food could be from China or Italy.. who knows. For now we are going to get really good at German. We will slowly add currywurst, schnitzel, and spaetzle to our current menu over time. (we'll get good at bratwurst then start currywurst, get good at that then start.. well you get the idea).
Our business is in its 3rd day. The 3rd day saw us turn a profit for a day(not for the entire start up) so this is great and took a lot of stress off my wife who worries about business. I can see when we become very efficient we could make even up to 1000 a day or more doing this.
I feel as though I'll learn a lot on this forum:)
The above post is from my intro thread. I received a nudge to go tell my story on this thread so folks could keep up with the adventures of "The Foodie Cart". I will limit my adventures to those having to do with cooking since that's the area of the forum I'm in. There is a whole other 'business' angle to this beast that is quite interesting to me... but probably isn't right for this audience. (unless the moderators say 'green light')
I have a partner in all this and that is my wonderful Wife of 11 years! We had some disagreements concerning what we were going to do. The first one was crushing potatoes to make french fries. She didn't want to do that because the equipment to get it done was to expensive (200 dollars or so.. anyone ever bought a potato crusher?). So we got the 'bagged frozen' fries. The next debate was over fry oil. The boss wanted to get pure vegetable oil and I wanted beef or duck fat to cook fries in. The reasoning behind vegetable oil was to get the vegetarians something to eat. Our fundamental disagreements are having to do with either following what I like vs. following what my good Wife thinks the public will like in a cost effective manner. It is an interesting debate and one that will go on for some time. I want to know what the readers here think!
We did get the veg oil for the fries and it turned out to be 100% corn oil. We tasted the fries and found they were not so good. Now we have gone to a mixture oil with palm kernel and cottonseed oil(admiration brand) which says it has a smoke point of about 450 degrees so it should be good for fries, but I can't help but think I didn't cook them correctly. I believe I need one of those point and read temperature things to really get my fry oil at the correct temperature.
Outside of that I waited for the fries to come up to the surface of the '100% corn oil) and to brown a little bit, then tried em and they were bad. I wonder how the fries are going to taste with the palm/cottonseed blend?? We'll see tomorrow!!
As time goes on and profits increase my Wife says the fry crushing could be the thing to do. She wants more freezer space:)
I started with my menu and found that I needed to include something more 'vegan/vegetarian'. Knowing nothing of these lifestyles I asked my customers what they like and the popular response was: that veggie burger from Costco! Well I took my meat eating mandibles down to isle 307 to see if I could nail down this one in a million vegetarian delight from the wide assortment Costco was bound to have... and I was thrilled to see only one: the veggie burger 'chipotle style' from morning star!!! My exhaustive hunt was finally finished! Now I will wow my customers with a veggie burger!!!
One thing that is causing me trouble is how to keep the refrigerator at that less than 40 degrees when I am opening and closing it all the time for butter and cheese??? I have my 'cold holder' or an electric device with cold plates that transfer heat away from water to hold milk or half and half(for coffee) and it seems like the thing to put a bit of butter or cheese into to hold cold. I did have to get reusable ice cubes to get the water down to temperatures low enough. The cheese seems like a bridge to far though for cold holding with this device.
Do you all have any other ideas besides ice bath to hold cold??
Some things I'm doing because I got onto this forum:
-cleaning my griddle with only hot water a dough knife and a scrubby pad my griddle may get more black but it will remain clean! after its clean I put a thin coat of oil on it and wipe it off with a towel and its ready to go!!! I did NOT buy a griddle brick like I was going to...
-trying to season my tiny cast iron egg cookers. eggs like to stick to these mini skillets!!!!
Here is a picture of the cart:
(customer on the left is looking at my 'menu' that's on a 22 inch monitor behind the glass!! The customer on the right is giving me a thumbs up!!!)
-yes that is a solar panel
-yes it is run off of batteries and solar power(10kwh batteries and 243watt solar panel)
-yes the batteries do run the cart for approximately 20 hrs(never tested.. but hasn't run out of batteries in my 9hr business day)
I'm sure this is enough to keep you actual chefs busy for a long time:)