Kona Ice Trucks

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Kona Ice of Central Pasadena

Kona Ice is a food truck, or a food cart (depending on where you are) that is stationed all around the state of California that sells shaved ice, or sno cones. Originally, I was planning on have a post or two about the different trucks I have been to, but after visiting three different ones, it has come clear that once you’ve seen one of them, you’ve seen all of them. These trucks essentially have a place to shave ice, and some of them have an area where the employees can flavor the shaved ice, but most of them seem to have a place where buys can personalize their own flavors.

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Kona Ice of Ventura

The first one I went to was, surprisingly, not in Santa Barbara, but in Ventura, at the Ventura Food Truck Friday. This was the first place that I saw the personalized flavor, which was a very creative and good way to make their sno cones unique in a town that gets flooded with ways to cool down in the hot, touristy summer. As for what they have to chose from, it’s very basic flavors, like cherry and tiger’s blood, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not good.

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I like Kona Ice not only because of it’s interesting way of standing out from the rest, but also because of the fact that it’s such a classic sweet treat, and that you can never go wrong with a sno cone. It was a really good idea to have a truck that goes around and sells cold sweet treats, especially in the summer, on the west coast.

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On yelp, all the Kona Ice trucks have between a 4 and 5 star rating, out of at least 4 ratings, and at most, 15. The high ratings say that the owners listen to the customers and try and personalize whatever they can, especially if they are going to be attending an event. The low ratings, on the other hand, mostly are critiquing very specific problems that they encountered that were mostly likely just a group of things that lead to them being inconvenienced.

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Let me know down below what you would rate them, and what your favorite flavor of shaved ice is! I’ll see you next week and remember;

Keep Trucking On!

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Midtown Ventura’s Food Truck Fridays

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Every third Friday of every month, in the parking lot of the Pacific View mall, in front of the Trader Joe’s, a ton of food trucks come for a night of food and fun. This was my first time going and it was such a unique and fun experience. There was about 15 trucks, a lot of which came down from LA, and they all were different and had their own quirks. From Baby’s Burgers, to Okamoto Kitchen, everything about each of the trucks was creative.

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This event goes from 5-9pm, and includes more things than just food. At the one I went to, not only did they have a live band playing music, but they also had face painting for kids and free balloon animals. Clearly, it’s very kid friendly, but it’s not an event only for kids, as most of the people that I saw there were adults.

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When I went, me and my mom went to 4 different trucks to try as much as we could, and I hope to go again to try more in the future. We went to the Grilled Cheese Truck, Cousin Maine’s Lobster, Belly BombZ, and Mister Frostee. We got mostly appetizers and small foods since we would be having a lot; from the places in the order I listed above, we got a plain original grilled cheese, two lobster rolls, a “mom’s recipe” order of boneless wings., and a vanilla soft serve.

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My favorite thing was the chicken wings, because they were such a different approach at the classic idea of what chicken wings “should be”. They weren’t spicy but they had good flavor, which is good for me. It was interesting and something that was restaurant-worthy, which is sometimes unexpected from food trucks as they have to make food quickly and have a lot of it pre-prepared.

All in all, this event is a good way to spend a Friday night, and I would highly recommend that you guys go to this if you’re in the area, since you will be able to find a whole bunch of new, amazing food trucks to go to.

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Below, comment what the first food truck you went to was! I’ll see you next week and remember,

Keep Trucking On!

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Neighbor Tim’s BBQ

Neighbor Tim’s BBQ is a food truck that is settles in Goleta; they are consistently at Happy Harry’s Produce Market (7020 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117), but can also be found occasionally at UCSB events, like the farmers market. This truck sells Texas style barbecue meat as part a meal. The meal includes your selection of meats, which is usually a choice between brisket and pulled pork, a choice of a side, between mac and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw. You also get some Hawaiian bread rolls with the meal, and they occasionally sell baby back ribs as well.

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Neighbor Tim’s BBQ truck with Neighbor Tim & wife

After discovering them via Instagram, my mom and I stopped by for a quick lunch, since we were in the area anyway. Their food was so good! I have never had BBQ like that before, and the meal it came as was a perfect amount of food! We have gone back multiple times and I am so glad that we managed to discover this amazing place! I have, so far, tried their pulled pork, and their ribs, along with all of their sides, and my current favorite meal is the ribs with baked beans, even though it’s all delicious.

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Ribs + brisket to go with sides.

Their venue is great, too; Happy Harry’s has a small backyard with two picnic tables surrounded by grass and greenery, which creates an adorable area to sit and enjoy your meal. Also, since Neighbor Tim’s doesn’t sell any drinks, it’s great to have a place right next door to be able to grab something to have with lunch.

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Two meals, with a glimpse of the eating area

Even though it took me a while to write a post about Neighbor Tim’s, this food truck is probably my favorite that I have been to so far. The owners are so nice and polite, and they’re what gave me the inspiration to make this blog in the first place. Neighbor Tim was talking about how he has to be situated in Goleta now because of the new regulations. I had no idea about these regulations, and after looking into them, I decided I should do something while I could.

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A meal with pulled pork and baked beans

All in all, Neighbor Tim’s BBQ is an amazing and delicious food truck that I believe everyone should go to and enjoy. Be sure to rate them below, or comment your favorite type of BBQ food. I’ll see you guys next week and remember,

Keep Trucking On!

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Jerky Junction

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Jerky Junction From Front

Over the spring break, I was in Truckee, a little town on the border of California and Nevada; while I was there I tried to find a food truck, since I want my blog to eventually go beyond Santa Barbara, and this was a good start. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one that fit the exact term “food truck”, but I did manage to find a store converted from a train, and since it used to be a mobile vehicle, I decided it was close enough. This store was Jerky Junction, a store that, clearly,  sells beef jerky.

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Jerky Junction from Side/Front

They don’t only sell beef jerky, though. They also sell jerky from plenty of other animals and not even the common ones, like salmon or turkey, they have jerky from sharks to wild boars. They also have plenty of candy, almost a whole wall of it, along with local, raw honey, along with mixed nuts, and “got jerky?” tee-shirts.

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From left to right; Ahi Jerky, Snapping Turtle Jerky, Wild Boar Jerky, Kangaroo Jerky, Whiskey Rabbit Jerky

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When I was there, I got a bag of the kangaroo jerky, since it was interesting and I had never heard of that before. Before I ate it, I decided to look at what other people thought of it, and saw a mixed opinion, some people thought it was disgusting, while others felt it was delicious. For me, I was kind of in between; for the most part it tasted just like beef jerky, which is something that I really enjoy, however, it had an aftertaste that was hard to put my finger on. It was the type of thing where I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, which only encouraged me to take another bite; I can see how some people could love it.

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Kangaroo Jerky

The Jerky Junction, all in all, was a very fascinating and creative place, that I would highly recommend you check out if you ever find yourself in Truckee. I am not the only one who thinks this, as they have a 5 star rating on yelp, out of 11 ratings. Tell me what you would rate them below in the poll; I’ll see you next time and remember,

Keep Trucking On!

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Where Are All The Trucks?

Over the past week, while trying to find a food truck for (what was supposed to be) this week’s post, it occurred to me just how difficult it is to find a food truck, especially if it’s in a city you don’t live in or know very well.

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Side view of the bus

It seems to me that you can only find food trucks via word of mouth, which is incredibly frustrating. There is no organized and inclusive way to find food trucks, and those websites or apps that are close, are generally largely outdated, and, at least in Santa Barbara, about half of the trucks are completely out of commission.

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Churro Truck from the back/side

I was going on a small trip over the weekend, so I had a couple of cities that weren’t SB to look for food trucks at, to post about for this week. After over an hour of research about two different cities and around 10 different food trucks, I found a single food truck that was open on Sunday, but might have been at an event that you needed tickets to go to. They might have also had another food truck open, but I’m not sure.

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Burger Bus cheeseburger

Even with the bare amount of information that I got, I still wasn’t even sure if it was all true and accurate. This is not exactly a problem that’s caused by the owners of food trucks, but it certainly doesn’t help that none of them seem to post very often of social media. From what I’ve learned, though, they do respond, to the best of their ability, impossibly quickly and succinctly to any questions you may have.

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Neighbor Tim’s BBQ

All in all, it is way more difficult than it should be to find food trucks in cities that aren’t big or don’t have a huge food truck community. Of course, I might be totally wrong about this, so if any of you know of a good, effective way to find food trucks, I would be so thankful if you commented what it was!

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Dave’s Dogs hot dogs

Sorry for the lack of relation to the photos, it’s hard to find a photo that fits with this post! I’ll see you all next week and remember,

Keep Trucking On!

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Burger Bus

The Burger Bus is a food truck that sells, well, burgers. It has many varieties of burgers, and even has some vegetarian options. They move around town in an old school bus that has been converted to serve food, which is where their name comes from, and it’s a fresh change to food trucks.

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Side view of the bus

Their menu is very diverse, as well, with burgers from a normal cheeseburger to a banh mi burger, which has cilantro mayo, pickled carrots and cucumbers, and fried pickled jalapeños. They also have sandwiches, like their sausage sandwich, and their falafel sandwich, which is also one of their two vegetarian options; the other is a grilled cheese that they make, which has cucumbers, pickles, grilled onions, and grilled tomatoes.

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Burger Bus menu

I went with my family to try their food over the weekend, when they were at Municipal Winemakers. We sadly weren’t very hungry, so we only got one cheeseburger and shared it, so I can’t speak for the other, more unique burgers that they sell. Also, while we were there, they weren’t selling their sides at the moment, I’m not sure if they were out, or if they just hadn’t started up their fryer that day, but either way I didn’t get to try them.

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Burger Bus cheeseburger

With those exceptions in place, I have to say that their food was good! It wasn’t the best burger I’d ever had, but the unique experience of going to the burger bus made up for it.  With this in mind, it is probably one of the best places to go to to have catering for an event. They make their burgers as they come, and with their many options, everyone can find something they will like.

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Inside view of cheeseburger

Other people, on their yelp page, say that it was a unique experience, both for food trucks and for burgers. They also have an average of 4 stars (out of five) from 88 reviews.

In the comments, tell me about your favorite type of burger, or the best burger you’ve ever had! See you next week and remember,

Keep Trucking On!

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What Is A Food Truck?

The definition of food truck is “a large vehicle equipped with facilities for cooking and selling food,” but what exactly does that entail?

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Dave’s Dogs, a MFPV

There are two types of food trucks, the MFPV, or mobile food preparation vehicle, which actually prepares and cooks food by the customer (like Dave’s Dogs), and the ICV, or industrial catering vehicle, which sells pre-made food (like the Mobile Cafe). A MFPV has a small kitchen that varies depending on what is being sold from the truck; if they’re scooping ice cream then they’ll have a freezer, if they’re all about churros, then they’ll most likely have a fryer in their truck. A ICV on the other hand might have just a freezer or something to keep food warm or heat it up.

Of course, not all mobile food services work out of trucks either. There are carts and other vehicles, called mobile food devices. These have similar qualifications as an ICV, with no full oven or cooking device, but just devices to keep food warm or cool.

Of course, to have any mobile food device officially recognized and legally accepted as a place that can sell goods and wares, you must have quite a few licenses and permits, at least in the state of California.

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A sunny day photo of Neighbor Tim’s BBQ truck (and Neighbor Tim’s wife), which I believe is an ICV

You must have a business license, a mobile food facility permit, a health permit, a food safety certification, and a food handler permit, and those are simply for owning and selling food from a mobile unit. There are other permits and registrations needed, but those are for opening a business in general (such as workers comp).

With all of these legal regulations and physical requirements dealt with, there are only a few other legal requirements to meet until you have a running and successful food truck. These requirements include having a trash can (that you have provided) near your truck to prevent littering and excessive amounts of trash, you have to work in conjunction with a food facility, for storage, and possibly production, and you have to secure a place to sell your food that is not affecting traffic or possibly on specific streets, according to your town’s own laws about food trucks.

This may not be true for all people, as all of these laws and regulations are based off of California standards.

Thank you and remember, Keep Truckin’ On!

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