The artisan mobile-food movement has revolutionized Philadelphia and the suburban dining scene. Gourmet food trucks are elevating street-food to an art form, with variety, quality and of course, convenience as the building blocks, while also helping to sustain our local food economy. Similar ideals can be found at Swarthmore, Pa.’s Swarthmore Food Cooperative, a community-minded output that focuses in on supporting whole foods and local products, as well as assisting neighbors in experiencing a fresh food discovery.
Appropriately so, it was Swarthmore Co-op’s great idea to collaborate with like-minded food trucks for an event, with their first food truck takeover successfully unfolding in Nov. 2012. Now, it’s back, Food Truckathon 2.0—bigger and better than before, unfolding Friday, April 19, at 5 pm.
Swarthmore Co-op’s eco-conscious team hand-selected Friday night’s lineup to put forth one of the finest mobile-food events. With a roster of 15 artisan food trucks slated to flock to Swarthmore, each of which serves up sustainable fare and even some who present organic eats in sustainable wares too, we’re certain a life-changing food smorgasbord will be up for grabs in just a few days for any cart-loving citizens hungry to bite in.
As Swarthmore’s Marketing Director, Anthony Saufley, revealed, they’ve hand-picked an eco-friendly mix of kitchens on wheels, each with their own cuisine themes and identities—everything from beverage and ice cream trucks, to those slinging Korean, Native American and Thai dishes, and of course, vendors specializing in crowd-pleasing options like grass-fed burgers, grilled cheeses and fries.
“We have a good mix of something for everyone,” he shared. “We’re looking forward to bringing the food truck experience back to our neighbors. We want to be a community hub, with locals able to count on us to bring something fun and interesting to the area.”
With Anthony’s help, we’ve mapped out your ultimate guide to Swarthmore’s Food Truckathon 2.0, lining up the event’s major players and even recommending top menu options that will—without a doubt—rock your food world come Friday.
Cheese lovers from far and wide will line up around the block for a basket of Rob Mitchell’s fried cheese curds—I kid you not. Specializing in fried wads of Wisconsin cheddar—an idea inspired by Mitchell’s wife, a Midwest native, you’ll swoon over every bite of these crunchy balls oozing with velvety cheese. Don’t skip the dipping sauces—the Sriracha aioli and smoked ketchup come highly recommended.
This one-of-a-kind, Asian-inspired truck smashes traditional options with unconventional approaches to create what they’re coining as “Foowiches,” also known as “pocket sandwiches.” You must try the Pork Belly Foowich, packed with slow-braised pork belly, crispy shoyu potatoes, watercress, tea egg and Chinese sausage.
Sung-Yoon Kang and his wife, Dawn Kang, are returning to the Food Truckathon for their second year. Catch them slinging a high-quality, innovative attack on Korean street food. Signatures include: overstuffed kimchi sliders with crispy Spam bits and fluffy Seoul rice bowls topped with caramelized onions, fried egg and your choice of protein (short ribs, ginger soy chicken, spicy pork and tofu included). Take note: the homemade hot sauces are worth the kick and the option stands to “kimchify” any order for an extra fifty cents.
This Philly-based, super-premium ice cream purveyor is for the open-minded, swirling up small-batch blends that will be enlighten your creamy ice-loving palate and introduce you to a brand-new frozen treat experience. Signature ice cream is crafted with 16% butterfat-content dairy, as sourced from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Pa. Non-dairy varieties available, as concocted with coconut and almond bases.
As an all-natural fresh-squeezed juice company, Made in the Shade strives to fulfill all your outdoor sipping needs. Whether you want to hydrate with their squeezed-on-site lemonade, or kick things up a notch with their creative juice blends, you will want to swig this vendor. Options have included: Arnold Palmers, Peach-Raspberry, Plum-Sage, and Cucumber-Ginger-Mint.
Owner Issa Ostrander is our local pop pioneer, peddling his hand-crafted, farm-to-freezer popsicles all around Chester County and Philadelphia. Expect locally-sourced, creative flavors, including crowd-pleasers like Chocolate Sea Salt, Strawberry Lemonade and Coconut Cream.
This traveling wood fired brick oven is well-worth your pretty pennies, as their Margherita pie is said to be as close to Neapolitan pizza as you’re going to get stateside. While the more complicated pies pack top-quality ingredients and offer a memorable pizza experience, it’s the simplest of selections that swirl us into pizza-loving abyss.
Ordering up a grilled cheese is never a bad idea—ever. But, Alan Krawitz’s family-run truck reinvents the grilled cheese wheel, crafting ‘wiches that feature eye-catching ingredients like house-cured pancetta, whipped feta, Spanish chorizo, pickling apples, and of course, lots of cheese. You can also build-your-own, and options are available outside of the grilled-cheese-realm (mac and cheese and burgers included).
Everything is extremely fresh from this burger cart, from the fresh-ground one-hundred-percent sirloin that Josh Kim is using, to the fact that’s he’s hand-forming all the patties before they hit the griddle. Best-seller is the signature SPOT burger, piled with bacon, cheddar, homemade slaw, pickles and a 9-ingredient special sauce. Fresh-cut fries, cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches drenched in natural pork au jus help round out Kim’s base menu. Lobster rolls and a Thai coconut seafood chowder additionally spice up the menu.
Backed by a duo with major kitchen cred (stints at Susanna Foo’s, Russet, Parc included), you can expect street food with a fine dining focus busting out of this mobile kitchen. Global specials have ranged from dry-aged burgers and braised pork banh mi, to truffled Parmesan fries, Thai chili pig wings with peanuts and cabbage salad, miso-fried eggplant, and Vietnamese spicy noodle soup.
We support any truck that can take us to nacho nirvana, and this four-wheeler from Warminster specializes in a double-variety (buffalo chicken nachos and So. Cal. nachos included). Other mouthwatering, globally-inspired truck teases include Heineken-steeped Gulf shrimp, the Sumwich (pulled pork with provolone, onions and Chaddsford Winery’s spiced apple wine glaze) and the Al Pastor taco (pork loin topped with strawberry, pineapple, cilantro salsa). Better yet, they use Leidy’s pork, which is high-quality and veggie-fed.
George Bieber hit the road last year, as an expansion of his popular brick-and-mortar restaurant, Shorty’s Sunflower Cafe. Specializing in fresh creations infused with seasonal ingredients, you’ll always be impressed by the latest special this culinary crusader is inventing. We’re faithful to the sweet potato quesadilla with quinoa and pumpkin seeds and obsess over the pulled pork Naanwich spread with lentil hummus.
Honed in on Native American cuisine, expect this truck to be featuring an exciting mix of picks infused with ingredients like corn, quinoa, wild rice, bison, beans, squash, berries, and nuts and seeds. Menu mainstays include: empanadas (usually vegetarian), salads (vegan), muffins, native grains granola parfaits and bison hot dogs.
Danielle Jowdy is a gal you need to know. She’s a small batch producer of classic and original artisanal ice cream treats that will, in simplest terms, rock your world. Her gelato-thick pints, available in flavors like lavender honey, peanut butter, Earl Gray tea and chocolate truffles are just a few teases, but here’s another incredible reason to say hello—she crafts handmade ice cream sandwiches too.
The Food Truckathon II is a pay-as-you-go event and BYOB is welcomed. Swarthmore Co-op is located at 341 Dartmouth Ave. in Swarthmore, Pa. Food Truckathon II will take place on the streets surrounding the co-op, jump-starting around 5 p.m. and running until about 11 p.m. The event is easily accessible via public transportation, with the Swarthmore train station in eyesight of the event. Information on Swarthmore Food Cooperative, how to become a member, future events, and more, is available here. “Like” Swarthmore Co-op on Facebook too!