There is a full on craze going on New York City right now over these high-end mobile food trucks. Thanks to Twitter these vendors are able to attract sizable crowds wherever they stop. While it's possible to keep tabs on them by subscribing to their respective Twitter feeds I couldn't find somewhere to see where they all are at any given time. So I've taken a stab at creating a (manual) Google Map of them based on their latest Twitter update. Not the most scalable solution but we'll see how it goes.
This is based on the following Twitter feeds: @waffletruck, @CupcakeStop, @LCBBurgerTruck, @nyccravings, @BigGayIceCreamTruck, @VLAIC, @RickshawTruck, @legamintruck, @TheTreatsTruck, @StreetSweets, @CalexicoCart, @SchnitzelTruck. If I'm missing any please post them in the comments.
View New York City Food Trucks in a larger map
1. The Tortillas - Chipotle's are thicker and chewier; Qdoba's are thinner and stay out of the way of the fillings.
2. The Sauces - Chipotle has the basic fillings (e.g. chicken, beef, pork, etc.) that come only plain; in addition to plain Qdoba offers those with tasty sauces including Ancho BBQ and Poblano Pesto, among others.
3. The Rice - Chipotle has way too much cilantro in its rice; Qdoba has a more reasonable amount. For me and people like me (www.ihatecilatro.com) better to have less (or none) and let those who love cilantro add more.
I happened to be in an Urban Outfitters today for the first time in about a decade and came across this awesome coffee cup that I picked up. It's called "I am not a paper cup..." and it's made by Decor Craft Inc. It looks just like a white Starbucks cup with lid (probably venti size) except the cup is made of porcelain and the lid is silicone. It has a two layers of porcelain to keep hot hot and cold cold. It sells for about $20 at Amazon.com. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow.
I've been playing with Google's My Maps service since it launched last year. Mostly I've used it for personal maps such as travel itineraries or things like that. I recently decided I wanted to create a public map to share in Google's directory and see whether I could get others to collaborate. The arrival of summer in New York City has brought with it the familiar Mister Softee ice cream trucks. So I've created a Mister Softee NYC map and started it with two of the locations I know of (in Manhattan trucks usually park at the same intersections). Now I'm hoping to rally the soft-serve loving residents of New York to help me complete the map. If you want to contribute click the View Larger Map link below.
Last Saturday night, my wife and I had the (increasingly rare) opportunity to go out for a nice dinner and we stayed fairly local choosing Frank's Waterside in North Bergen, NJ. Having made this and many other dinner reservations through OpenTable, I was surprised to get an email from them two days later entitled, "How was Frank's Waterside?". I'd never received a follow-up email like this and when I clicked on the link in the email I was taken to this "feedback form":
The stated purpose of the form is to "create Top 10 Lists for the OpenTable website and to provide feedback to restaurants." I find this to be a very interesting move on OpenTable's part and I have to wonder if they have grander ambitions than they let on. OpenTable is in an incredibly unique and desirable position when it comes to restaurant reviews: they actually know where and when you ate.
Currently OpenTable links out to its partner websites (e.g. Zagat, Citysearch, Time Out) for reviews for its restaurants. I could see OpenTable replacing these review links or giving priority to its own reviews once they have critical mass. It seems like they're in the early stages of this program - I only found one other blogger who mentioned getting a similar email and it was also in the last few weeks.
Update (4/14/08): This post is an edited version of the original published on April 4, 2008.
Last night Apple introduced a new iPhone commercial called "The Great Thing", the third new iPhone commercial this week. The premise is how having access to the internet "in your pocket" can help you on a ski vacation - view the trail map, find a restaurant and book a later flight home.
To "find a good place to eat in town" the ad features ZAGAT.mobi, which I spent much of the last year creating and promoting, which is an absolute thrill. Quite a bit has been written about the impact of the iPhone on mobile web usage and I can confirm its impact on Zagat. So far this month iPhone is far and away the most common handset used to access ZAGAT.mobi - four times greater than the next most common handset (the BlackBerry 8830). Long live the iPhone.
LX.TV (recently acquired by NBC) creates lifestyle video content in NYC and LA. They have a "5 Minutes With ..." interview segment that they do and they use Mo Rocca (of Comedy Central fame) as the talent. This is the uncut version of his interview with Tim and Nina Zagat which is pretty funny.
The folks at ExpoTV came to the Zagat booth at the Digital Life show back in September and I told them about ZAGAT TO GO and how it makes a great holiday gift for anyone with a smartphone. They've just put up the footage as part of a holiday gift guide. Watch the first half of the video below to see my sales pitch. :)
Earlier this summer I happened to be catching up on some blog reading on the bus ride home and came across a post on Off the Broiler about a mango splitting kitchen device made by OXO. I'm a big fan of OXO products because they're so well designed. And I have struggled to cut up my fair share of mangoes with their amorphous hard centers. So the next time my wife and I were in a housewares store we picked one up and sure enough it works as advertised. If you eat a lot of mangoes at home, whether straight-up or in salads, I highly recommend this little gadget. See photos below from OXO's website.