Food & Drink

There are some familiar new additions to Centre County's food truck scene

Yama Castilho hands Brent Smith his order from the Brazilian Munchies food truck on Monday at AccuWeather in State College.
Yama Castilho hands Brent Smith his order from the Brazilian Munchies food truck on Monday at AccuWeather in State College. psheehan@centredaily.com

Getting your lunch from an indoor kitchen somewhere is such a winter 2017 thing to do. It's food truck season in Centre County and the landscape of edible delights that can be delivered on wheels keeps growing.

Here's a few recent additions and twists to the local food truck scene.

Brazilian Munchies

Secret origins: Flavia and Nicholas Barger started selling their Brazilian snacks at local farmers markets and gradually built up a catering and delivery business. "We were trying to see if people liked our food," Flavia Barger said. They got their answer along with numerous requests for them to consider opening a food truck.

So far: The truck officially opened for business in May. Pros? A mobile kitchen saves them a lot of prep time, which can be spent making more food.

"Now we can carry our own stuff and cook our own food on the road," partner Yama Castilho said.

Cons? Weather can be unpredictable but even that doesn't seem to slow customers down much. "People are not deterred much by rain or snow," Castilho said.

Menu sample: The Brazilian Munchies menu rotates from week to week, but churros, cheese puffs carne de panela (a Brazilian beef stew with rice and salad) should give you a rough idea of what to expect.

A cool car is still a great way to meet new friends: On Monday you can find Brazilian Munchies serving lunch out of the Accuweather parking lot in State College. The beauty of having a kitchen on wheels is that you'll get to visit a lot of different places — Innovation Park on Tuesdays, The Match Factory in Bellefonte on Wednesdays — and if the word of mouth is good enough, sometimes unfed masses will even come to you.

"We thought about opening a cafe or something but then only people from that little area are going to come," Castilho said.

Barger recently took a call from a Brazilian woman living outside of Centre County.

"She's coming just to eat our food," Barger said.

Track it down: Subscribe to a truck schedule email at www.brazilianmunchies.net or visit www.facebook.com/brazilianmunchiesusa

Bradley's Cheesesteaks & Hoagies

Secret origins: The bricks and mortar Bradley's will celebrate 10 years on Pugh Street in November and a second location is expected to open in August. Owner Ben Lippincott didn't expect that last part to materialize so quickly and had already started the ball rolling on a food truck to expand the restaurant's customer base.

"We intended to address some of the issues of being heavily seasonal downtown," he said.

So far: The Bradley's truck has a contract with Centre Region Parks and Recreation, which means you'll occasionally find it at Welch and Park Forest pools or Hess Field when there's a softball tournament. Lippincott started with a truck that's on the smaller side but could see himself investing in something more heavy duty one day.

"If all goes well I could see myself expanding further and buying something more substantial," he said.

Menu sample: The truck has a scaled down version of the menu available at the Bradley's on Pugh Street — a selection of cheesesteaks, roast pork, hot dogs, sausage, hoagies and salads.

Practice makes perfect: Lippincott originally intended for the food truck to serve as a dry run to a second store (at 1669 N. Atherton St.). Now he expects to have both by August.

"I basically just have to bite off more than I can chew and then chew it," Lippincott said.

Track it down: www.facebook.com/BradleysStateCollege

Taproot Kitchen

Secret origins: Taproot Kitchen is a local organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities become involved in the culinary arts.

So far: Once a month (July 21, Aug. 11, Sept. 8 and Oct. 6), Taproot Kitchen and its members will be guest vendors inside the Street Meat food truck at the North Atherton Farmers Market.

"All of our members really do like to get out and interact with the community," Taproot co-founder Anne Rohan said.

Menu sample: Taproot will be making fruit smoothies with strawberry, lemon, rhubarb, ginger and lavender.

Coming up: Rohan said that Taproot will be updating its cooking space at 318 S. Atherton into a commercial kitchen.

Track it down: www.taprootkitchen.org

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