Wheels and Mortar: Na’Mean (a KoKyu Joint)

The Wheels and Mortar series will focus on trucks that have a brick-and-mortar presence.  As trucks develop new strategies that incorporate buildings in addition to their mobile locations, this series will focus on those more permanent/less-mobile strategies.  This segment looks at Na’Mean, a KoKyu’s Sandwich Shop.

Continue reading “Wheels and Mortar: Na’Mean (a KoKyu Joint)”

Wednesday Update: March 11th

Here are some can’t miss things from now and for the weekend and a reminder on a few topics


MaMa Duke’s food trailer destroyed

Yesterday, MaMa Duke’s posted that their food trailer was destroyed and service suspended until further notice.  The best details I heard is the owners were shaken up, but not seriously injured.  The bad news, this all happened because of a drunk driver.

Street Foodie Diaries recorded their story back in Season 1 for their series.  They have taken the reins to help produce a crowd funding site to help raise funds for their loss.  One thing they are in need is perks for donor levels.  These make raising funds easier.  If you have things to donate, please contact Street Foodie Diaries.

United Way Rodeo

Halal Haven, Chick-N-Que, Phat Wrapz, Captain Poncho’s Tacos, and Sweet Traditions by LeAne will be at 2000 Perimeter Park Drive in Morrisville for lunch today (Wednesday, March 11th) from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

RTP Rodeo 

Chirba Chirba, Food Stans, Locopops, Humble Pig, and the Only Burger will be at 800 Park Office Drive for the Fidelity Food Truck Rodeo (Friday, March 13th) from 11:30am to 1:30 pm.

Food Truck Dinners this week

Bull City Ciderworks and Bull City Street Food

Bull City Street Food & Bull City Ciderworks: March 11th at 7pm (5 courses for $35)

●Course 1 – Taco with Chicken Braised in Rhiz Up! Cider with Red Quinoa, Apple Slaw, Pickled Onions and Cilantro Cream

●Course 2 – Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Loin with a Cardinal Cin Cider Infused Apple Chutney

●Course 3 – Spruce Bringsteen Cider Stir Fry with Black Tiger Prawn and Asian Vegetables

●Course 4 – Hearty Beef Tenderloin Stew with Root Vegetables and a Steep South Cider Gravy over a Bed of Garlic Mashed Potatoes

●Course 5 – Sweet Carolina Cider Glazed Bananas with Candied Pecans

Contact the Cider Bar to confirm reservations are still available.

Olio and Aceto will have a Wine Pairing at their Chapel Hill Cafe tomorrow (Thursday).  If you interested, check out the details here.

Town of Knightdale rolls out Food Truck Thursdays

Do you live or work in Northeast Wake County?  If you are looking for a lunch option on Thursdays, check out Food Truck Thursdays starting April.  Every Thursday starting April 2nd will have a food truck parked at Knightdale Station Park (810 North First Avenue) from 11 am to 2 pm.

The trucks listed for the first three months are: AmigosanBam Bow Chow,  Chirba ChirbaCockADoodleMooD’BurritosStuft and Virgil’s Jamaica

KoKyu is back open in Downtown Durham!KoKyu BBQ

KoKyu posted they are now opening back in Downtown Durham.   KoKyu is famous for its fusion options and really cool video game graffiti art on its trailer.  You can find them at 408 W. Geer Street (Geer and Rigsbee), which is not far from Fullsteam Brewery.  Right now the schedule is Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  On Saturday they will be will Chez Moi at Cackalacky’s Where House in Pittsboro for the unveiling of their overhead G scale railroad traveling through their tasting room and factory.  They will also collect food for the CORA Food Pantry.  More details on this Saturday event can be found here.

Go out and Vote!

Speaking of Chez Moi is competing with other small businesses for one of ten small business grants from FedEx, including a $25,000 grand prize.  To vote via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (once per platform in a 24-hour timeframe) and check out their profile, click here.

Also, Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle polls are now open.  Local food trucks are looking for your votes now.  You have to vote for at least 25 categories for your vote to count, so be sure to select at least 25 local options.

Durham – NC’s Food Truck Capital

Motorco Music Hall (Rigsbee & Geer Street, Durham) is a frequent spot for food trucks.  Across from Motorco on Rigsbee is also Fullsteam Brewery, another hotspot.

Raleigh can boast itself as the Capital City, the larger city, and it’s claim of first in the city pair (RALEIGH-Durham), however, Durham can arguably claim “NC’s Capital” for food trucks.  My first taste of food trucks was the random truck that served churros on a hot summer’s day at a corner gas station or the lunch truck (or known as a roach coach).  Though, my lack of intelligence should have thought of the lunch truck that the female hero owned in the movie, Short Circuit.  This was the one that the robot Johnny Five hid in and later hijacked (never mind, this is a food article, not a movie synopsis).   Well, the “modern” food truck is much more than my first two impressions.  These seem to be mobile foodie mirage that appear and disappear in various parts of Durham’s city.  Since these food trucks don’t have a physical address, you want to either plan ahead by checking their various web avenues (Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Four Square, etc.).  A good source is Twitter (next to each food truck), since the trucks post their locations on through their Twitter feeds.  With a Twitter mobile app, the hungry can scroll the recent tweets to find the nearest truck and enjoy.

I am a newbie to this, but have been fascinated of them.  In fact, any opportunity I can – I will follow them like Phish/Grateful Dead/Dave Matthews Band groupies (but, not in the creepy “thanks for the restraining order” kind).  Before I lose your attention, here are a few that I tried and enjoyed:

Valentino’s (@ValentinoTruck):  As the name implies, this is your good old-fashioned Italian food truck.  You can easily order calzones, pizza bread, and wings from these guys.  One item that was recommended before I walked up: the Pale Ale Poppers.  These jalapeño poppers are stuffed with pork and cheese and deep-fried.  Instead of going with the typical ranch, go with the Sweet Thai sauce, which is unbelievable.  Not crazy spicy, but enough for those wanting to escape the bland.  The pizza bread and meatball calzone tasted better than your regular Italian restaurant.  The part that really sold these items was the marinara (or gravy, for the purist).  I am not sure if it was the tomatoes or the herbs mixed in it, but the marinara was good by itself.  This truck is very friendly and is willing to chat and joke with you.

KoKyu BBQ (@KoKyuBBQ): This truck is your Global/International fare.  I ran into this at the Doughman’s Banquet, where I only tried the V-Takos.  At first, I thought the guy said Beef Tacos.  I didn’t care, because I will eat anything once.  Well, this loaded taco was freshly cooked and waiting for me in the truck’s window.  This taco had cilantro, mango, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, and a spicy chili/teriyaki sauce.  The tortilla also looked like it was fried for a couple minutes – not seriously deep-fried, but enough to have a little crisp.  Well, I devour that quickly, not before I noticed the meat had a color a little lighter than beef.  I soon noticed it was tofu!  I am not a vegetarian, but I don’t turn down tofu.  I was plenty surprised that everything together made a great bite.  While I was munching on my second taco, other foodies told me that the Duck Fat Tots are a hit.  Well, looks like I am adding them to my Twitter Feed.

Pie Pushers (@piepushers):  Now, who doesn’t like a good tasting piece of pie?  Well, if these guys are pushing – I’m eating.  They were pushing hot small pies of Goat Cheese and Salami.  Both pies had some greens with a very light, refreshing lemon, pesto vinaigrette.  These guys knew their target audience, as I would want both a salad and a pie.  Well, guess what you got both and you really don’t need a fork, either.

American Meltdown (@AmericanMLTDWN):  Who does not like a good Grilled Cheese sandwich?  Forget your mom’s recipe of butter, bread, and slices of American cheese.  This is the trending “grown-up” style.  We tried a regular item, Hangover, and a special item, Beer & Bacon.  Who says no to bacon?  This sandwich was delicious with a nice salty finish courtesy of the bacon.  However, the Hangover surprised me.  The egg, the salsa, the pimento all formed a team to defeat my appetite.   In order to save my marriage, my half – became a fourth, as my wife claimed my remaining piece.  This results in awarding the sandwich high honors, due to her selective palette.

Chriba Chirba Dumpling (@ChirbaChirba): As the name describes, this is a dumpling truck.  I am a fan of pork dumplings.  So, I am waiting for a fast food restaurant to pack these little guys into a popcorn box.  Then, I can rapidly fill my stomach with these little delicious guys.  If Chirba Chriba invents this, for the sake of my health, don’t build one across from my work or home.  Again, this truck had a vegetarian item and meat item to try.  I went for one of each and did not frown on either one.  As suggested, I scooped their homemade Szechwan, chili pepper sauce and smeared my dumplings in it.  These poor dumplings disappeared before my taste buds could see what they ate.  Another truck to follow – thank goodness, gas prices are falling!

The Parlour (@parlourdurham): After stuffing yourself with these trucks, the taste buds want dessert to finish the meal.  The Parlour will gladly fill this request.  I tried their Salted Butter Caramel ice cream with strawberries.  This was the finishing move to my day.  The saltiness did not overpower nor did the sweetness of the caramel.  And the strawberries kept your palette from being bored of a single flavor. All the ingredients are local, so very fresh with no hints of preservatives.

As the day rolled on, my food coma was about to set in.  Unfortunately, the spoils of this war meant an extra hour of activity or a dirty look from the doctor.  If that activity never happens (it seldom does), well doctor – I am scowling back!

Keep wandering!


As the mind wanders…

  • Twitter is a great way to follow these trucks.  However, you can further research on their sites for menus and back-stories.
  • Raleigh is slowly opening their regulations to let these trucks roam the streets.  However, these trucks have partnered with local breweries (Big Boss and Lonerider).  So, if you are looking for a more casual setting for date night or day outside the house– a local brew and truck: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
  • Don’t let this be a local thing.  Google your next destination and ask your hotel concierge, if you have safety concerns.
  • If you are concerned on what to try, Ask!  Open your order by asking what they suggest.