Tag Archives: Food Trucks

Spring = Food Truck Season

Author: Emilie Kretschmar LaRosa

As Stephanie Yee noted yesterday, spring is right around the corner in West Philadelphia. Flowers are starting to bloom, the temperature is rising above 50 degrees, and the sun is staying out until nearly 7:30 p.m. One of my favorite things about the warmer weather is the increased opportunity for street food. As many of you know, University City and Penn’s campus is no stranger to food carts, and every year more gourmet options are available for sidewalk consumption. Some of my local favorites include Magic Carpet and Tyson Bees (love the thai basil chicken tacos!).

The Tyson Bees food truck.

The Tyson Bees food truck.

New green space, Shoemaker Green, provides a great spot for eating lunch outdoors.

New green space, Shoemaker Green, provides a great spot for eating lunch outdoors.

If you’re willing to hoof it over to Drexel’s campus (in the 33rd and Arch vicinity) then a whole new array of food options becomes available: Say Cheese Philly, Rival Bros Coffee, Mac Mart Truck, Pitruco Pizza, Lucky Old Souls, and Spot Burger to name just a few. Some of these trucks move from location to location and therefore my Twitter account has been devoted to following many of these delicious vehicles. Click on some of the names above to check out their Twitter accounts and to follow them around the city.

To continue your tour of University City food truck treats, check out The Porch at 30th Street Station. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Penn’s campus, but well worth the effort. Two days ago, on April 1st, The Porch opened it’s 2013 season with live music, entertainment and (surprise!) more food trucks.

The Porch at 30th Street Station

The Porch at 30th Street Station

With its spring kickoff, The Porch reveals an event calendar jam-packed with fun (and free) events all month long, with more programming to come throughout the spring and summer. You can read more about this great public space here but the takeaway is: new mobile food trucks stop here during the spring, summer, and fall months.  On Wednesdays you will find The Cow and The Curd, Cupcake Carnivale, Lucky Old Souls, and The Sunflower Truck Stop. On Fridays, Just Jackie’s Food Truck, Say Cheese, Spot Burger, and Sweetbox Cupcakes.

After a long winter cooped up inside eating packed lunches, I am excited to explore my new food options in the increasingly warmer sun!

(Have a great food truck recommendation? Share it with us below!)


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Filed under Campus Life, Emilie

No Students, No Lines

Author: Bart Miltenberger, C’97

Since the spring semester ended, an eerie quiet has descended on campus.  And, though it’s strange to head down Locust Walk and see only a few summer students around, there are certain aspects of life at Penn that do become a little easier when the students are gone. For me, one of those advantages is short lines at the food trucks.

When I first came to Penn, I was a little skeeved out by the concept of the food truck. Where these things even remotely sanitary? Well, maybe, maybe not. But I can tell you that since my first food truck meal back in 1993, I have probably eaten from food trucks a couple thousand times and never gotten sick once. I absolutely can’t say the same for restaurant eating.

Here are my current top three recommendations in case you happen to be near West Philly any time soon:

Don Memo’s (38th Street just north of Walnut) – corn flour tacos and burritos as big as your forearm. The ingredients are fresh. They cut up the avocado and chop the tomatoes and cilantro right there in front of you while they make your food. It’s not the cheapest truck around, and the workers are fairly slow, but when the lines are short, you can get your order in ten minutes. Much better than the usual 45 minutes during the school year. If students are willing to wait that long with their busy schedules,you know the food is good. In fact, it’s easily one of the best trucks at Penn and probably in the whole city.

Magic Carpet (at the bottom of Locust Walk at 34th and Walnut) – the line for this vegetarian food truck can be 25 or 30 people long during the school year. At lunch today, there were only five or six people in line. The food is prepared fresh every morning at an off-site kitchen. The workers are friendly (one is the owner), and they always play music to listen to while you wait. My favorite dish is the Magic Meatball “meal” which consists of tofu meatballs cooked in a marinara sauce served over mixed rice (brown and long grain) and vegetables. And a nice warm piece of pita bread. It’s delicious, although the garlic and onion content is rather high so when I go home and kiss my wife she always seems to know when I’ve had the Magic Meatball. Even gum doesn’t help. Oh, well. It’s a fair price to pay for a great and healthy meal.

Hemo’s (on Spruce Street just below the 37th Street entrance to the Quad) – this truck mainly features grilled chicken sandwiches served on long hoagie rolls. On the surface, nothing all that special…that is until they top it off with “Hemo Sauce.” My discriminating palate tells me that Hemo Sauce is probably a mix of mayonnaise and a sweet Dijon mustard. That’s it. But somehow, it does make the sandwich taste really good.  And Hemo’s also makes a delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwich too.

Check them out, if you can. Just keep it between us, so we can keep the lines manageable over these next few student-free months.

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Filed under Bart M., Campus Life, Food Fiends

New Eats on Penn’s Campus

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

May is quickly approaching, which means Alumni Weekend is right around the corner! Young alumni are always asking me why they should come back to campus for Alumni Weekend. They still keep in touch with classmates because they only recently graduated, and they most likely just came to campus during Homecoming last fall. First, I tell them about all the great events planned for Alumni Weekend, starting with the 3 P’s: parade, picnic, and parties! Then, I gush about the new restaurants and food trucks they have to try. Here are some of my new favorite food places at Penn:

Tyson Bee's Food Truck

Come back to Penn for Alumni Weekend and let us know what your favorite eats are!


Filed under Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Food Fiends, Stephanie Y.