Truck food is alive and well on Temple’s North Philly campus. During a recent visit, I had the opportunity to sample some of the best from area food trucks: Japanese Teppanyaki and coffee. Yeah, I know it’s a weird combination, but let me elaborate…
After checking out Temple’s facilities for an upcoming event, my guide and I found ourselves in the midst of lunchtime. I told Paul from The CaffiNation Podcast to be ready with a suggestion for the best truck food on campus, so we headed directly to the Japanese food truck located at the intersection of N.12th and W. Berks Streets.
Walking up N.12th Street on Temple’s campus, there’s a number of unremarkable looking food trucks and the “Japanese and Korean” truck is no different. Painted white over blue and surrounded by drink coolers, our mobile café had no sign and only displayed its menu taped in the window. I was encouraged upon our arrival: there were a number of people already waiting for their meals (a good sign when it comes to truck food). I took Paul’s lead in ordering the Beef Teppanyaki with noodles, but added an order of Vegetarian Dumplings, both of which set me back a whopping $8 (incl. beverage). Waiting for our food, we watched as the trio of cooks smoothly produced meals for the continual steam of students. After a short wait, it was our turn to take our brown bags away to find a suitable dining spot.
The Beef Teppanyaki was delicious and included a thick, spaghetti-like noodle, broccoli, onions, sesame seeds and a side of homemade chili sauce. The beef was tender, yet flavorful and not overly greasy. Furthermore, the noodles made the dish much more substantial and enjoyable. While the Vegetable Dumplings were good, they weren’t anything fantastic. Regardless, I definitely recommend this spot if you’re in the neighborhood.
“So, what about the coffee?” you ask. Well, as we were finishing up our meal, Paul mentioned that his local caffeine “pusher” roasts its own coffee beans daily. Considering that The Pretzel Hut is almost within spitting distance of a Starbucks, I had to check it out. Located just outside the Paley Library at N. 11th and W. Berks Streets, The Pretzel Hut is a small kiosk that brews a fresh pot every fifteen minutes and serves a fine cup of coffee. While it doesn’t hurt that it’s inexpensive, I’d be willing to spend a little more if they offered an environmentally friendlier coffee cup, but that’s just me. So if you want a really good cup of coffee and rail against world-wide coffee domination, stop by The Pretzel Hut to “stick it to the man.”
The “Japanese and Korean” Food Truck is located at the
intersection of N.12th and W. Berks Streets
Pretzel Hut is located outside the Paley Library at the
intersection of N. 11th St. and W. Berks Street.