Category Archives: Food Trucks

Sweetbox Treats at the Philly Chili Bowl!

At Philly Chili Bowl 5 expect tons of delicious chili – topped off with gourmet cheeses and lots of classic beer to guzzle it all down. Although this is easily a typical BigBite Philly feast, there is still something missing in this equation.

So, what else do we need to complete our food festivities? Dessert of course! 

Philly – home to many dessert slingers and pastry players – has a wealth of fantastic sugary sweetness bubblegum-drop swirly-twirly goodness in almost every hood and we are lucky to have one of the best contenders in this area, with us this Sunday!

Gretchen Fantini

Gretchen Fantini – Sweetbox Shop

We welcome the beautiful Gretchen Fantini of Sweetbox Shop, a cupcake connoisseur who will be providing her very delectable chili-inspired cupcakes!


Gretchen and her food truck and dessert shop empire has been running the sugary streets since 2011 while providing delicious gourmet cupcakes like Strawberries & Champagne, Snickerdoodle, Bacon Maple Pancake and Cookies & Cream. Recently she wowed  the crowd with a Prosciutto di Parma Cupcake (yum!).

Gretchen is no stranger to competition, having won the 1st Philly Vendy Awards at the Piazza and  Peach Perfection, a BigBite Philly cupcake competition at the PMFA Brewerytown Roundup event.

Amongst the sea of chili this Sunday, take a moment to check in with Gretchen and end your gluttony with a Sweetbox cupcake!

2013 Chili Check-In: Jason Kelso


Team Name: Calle Del Sabor
Chili Name: Ghost of Chilis Passed
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties
Attempts: It’s our 1st!
Chili Profile: Ground Chuck, Kidney Beans, and Ghost Chilis
About You: Chef/Owner of Calle Del Sabor Food Truck, Local Caterer, and Instructor at La Cucina at the Market at Reading Terminal.
Best Chili you ever made: I Really Love this Chili! We also prepare a Vegan Chili that Carnivores Love!
Best Quote: Must Marinate Chef Before Cooking!
Prediction: One Hell of a great time with new and old friends!
Website/Blog:  CalleDelSabor on Facebook.

Travel Bites: Boston Food Truck

If you are a food truck lover like I am, then you would appreciate the amazing simplicity of this truck – Grilled Cheese Nation Food Truck in Boston, MA. I will admit I have a lot of  “favorite foods”, but you can always get to my heart through a grilled cheese sammie.  This wonderful American favorite originated in the 1920’s due to the abundance of inexpensive cheese and bread during the Great Depression. Nothing about a grilled cheese makes me depressed.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the  owner of Grilled Cheese Nation and founder of the Boston Area Food Truck Association. For one, he and his members are fighting to get a larger food trucks presence in the city of Boston which is a kind-of-a-big-deal, and super respectable. Secondly, he is killing it with the grilled cheese options at his truck! Seriously.

I can only share a photo of the menu and not of the actual food because I scarfed it all down waaay  before I could say “cheese” (hehe get it?).

The gourmet grilled snackables that I tried were:
The Boston CommonAged Mild Vermont Cheddar with Applewood Smoked Bacon on Iggy’s Organic Pain de Mie Bread.
Brie Me Up: Melted Creamy Brie with Sliced Asian Pear on Iggy’s Organic Wheat Pain de Mie Bread.

But the most noteworthy and honestly, the one I still crave the most was:
The Blue Man GooGreat Hill Blue Cheese and Organic Fig Spread with Aged Balsamic on Iggy’s Raisin Pecan Bread. HOLY GRANOLI. That blew my mind. The salt of the blue cheese, the sweetness of the fig spread, the tart flavor of the balsamic, all pressed and grilled in a sweet and nutty bread. Man oh man, this is a must try.

What made this even better (since it was cold at the time), was their shot’s of tomato soup to accompany my grilled cheeses. What a combo!

If you are ever in the Boston area, you need to get your hands on one of these delicious sammies. You can find Grilled Cheese Nation’s schedule here or call: 857-728-2057.

Keep it cheesy.


BigBite Hosts John T. Edge – “The Truck Food Cookbook” Signing

We are so excited to host award-winning food writer, John T. Edge, The New York Times, United Tastes columnist, as he visits Philly on June 6th to promote his new book “The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels.”

A prolific writer with a discerning palate, John T. Edge guides readers and home cooks through each city and recipe with authority. In his new cookbook Edge explores the exploding mobile street food movement across the country, including a Philly pit stop.

John T. Edge, five-time James Beard Award nominee and well-known food culture chronicler, has watched this fast-growing trend with enthusiasm and excitement. That enthusiasm has taken him around the country to capture the food truck scene—which he does in The Truck Food Cookbooka country-wide collection of today’s most imaginative dishes from some of the most creative chefs pedaling their wares curbside rather than inside.

On Wednesday, June 6th, Yards Brewery will host Edge as he reflects on the experiences of his street food coverage, and signs copies of his new cookbook. A portion of the books sold will benefit the newly formed Philly Mobile Food Association (PMFA).

This wouldn’t be a BigBite event without a little competition! In collaboration with the signing, and because we like competitions, BigBite will host a friendly cheesesteak competition between two PMFA vendors. Lil Dan’s Gourmet Lunch Truck and Spot Gourmet Burgers, Steaks and Pork will go head-to-head to see who can make the best Philly cheesesteak. They will be making these Philly staples for all to vote on, including John T. Edge. Yards Brewey also eggs this competition on by providing $4 Brawlers: a pugilist style ale.

Date: Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Location: Yards Brewey (Map)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30 pm
Competition Start time: 6:30pm ($5 cheesesteaks)

We hope you help us support the street food movement and join us on the 6th!

Bite This! Marrakesh Express – Chicken Shawarma

What’s better than a little afternoon Moroccan Mint Tea? How about a Moroccan Mint Tea AND a nicely prepared Shawarma from Marrakesh Express!

This restaurant-turned-food-truck is definitely doing the shawarma right!  What’s a shawarma, you ask? Much like our favorite late-night snag in Germany, the doner kaboab, a shawarma is a pita wrap stuffed with rotating roast meats, usually lamb, beef or chicken. The meats are roasted on a rotating vertical poll that is then sliced off to be stuffed in your shawarma wrap with a range of condiments and veggies.  There are age-long discussions about the difference between a doner kabeb, the shawarma, and even the gyro…but I’m a lover, not a fighter, so I’m not getting into it.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re all delicious!

I checked in with Marrakesh Express, the awesomely yellow food truck stationed at 40th and Spruce in West Philly. This halal, Moroccan food truck has a straight-to-the-point menu: they mostly have shawarmas, so get a dang shawarma!

Upon my arrival, I was offered Moroccan Mint Tea by the very nice gentlemen operating the truck. I would definitely recommend grabbing this tea with your meal, as it provides a nice flavor balance with a shawarma. Earthy, sweet and refreshing! Great for our global-warming influenced spring days here in Philly.

So, for today’s Bite This! series, I invite you to bite into the Marrakesh Express Chicken Shawarma. Served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles (nice surprise) and a yogurt sauce, this succulent, perfectly-sized and seasoned, Moroccan banger will definitely make you want step up your Moroccan cuisine game!


A Chili Ride on the Magic Carpet

With the 3rd Annual Philly Bowl planning on the horizon, I had a craving for some CHILL LEE! I made my way up to one of the best vegetarian and vegan food carts in University City…good ol’ Magic Carpet.

If you know about Magic Carpet, then you know what you’re talking about. They do vegetarian chili right. In fact, they do everything right.

I hit up one of their two locations and got my grub on. Usually I go for the Bella Donna (tofu meatballs in sauce), but I couldn’t resist getting their veggie chili; a hearty and pseudo-spicy delight, that carries a nice hint of cinnamon and is partnered with pita bread! This chili definitely can stand tall and proud in our Philly Chili Bowl.Best way to order: First, rice with veggies, then cheese, add the chili, then some more cheese. Then drop some hot sauce on that jawn. Bing, bang, boom…you’re done! Maybe dig in your pocket for some change and get yourself a micro-brewed soda to add to the festivity in your mouth.Note, sometimes you have to wait a while before receiving lifes’ treasures. Be warned. You will wait. Behind students, hospital staff, office persons, construction dudes, and maybe a West Philly crazy, but it makes the wait more worth wild. And the people who run the cart are just too nice not to support. So just wait your turn for this treasure on wheels.