Counter Intelligence: Food trucks to watch, and more

  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 3:29 PM

Food truck, Indian-style

When warm weather finally kicks in — and it will, right? — the change in season is bound to launch new food trucks.

One to watch for is Hot Indian Foods, which is taking advantage of a deficit in the food truck fabric. Namely, the notable lack of Indian flavors.

Owner Amol Dixit, new to the restaurant business after a 15-year career at General Mills, hopes to hit the streets in early May.

“We’re excited to be the first Indian truck in the Twin Cities,” he said.

Dixit recruited chef Janene Holig, a Wise Acre Eatery vet, to run the kitchen. On the menu: Indian wraps, made using two to three breads and prepared to order with a variety of Indian-inspired fillings and toppings. Dixit is marketing them under the name “Indurrito,” as in, Indian burritos.

“We’re working to get that trademarked,” he said.

As with many of his food-truck brethren, Dixit is viewing his mobile business as a testing laboratory and launching platform for a larger business.

“We want to take this brand into the grocery store,” he said.

Follow the truck’s progress on Twitter, @hotindianfoods.

 

You could be a winner

The deadline is looming for the 2013 People’s Flavor Contest at Izzy’s Ice Cream (2034 Marshall Av., St. Paul, 651-603-1458).

Here’s how it works: submit your idea (one submission per person) for the shop’s next great ice cream flavor. Izzy’s staffers sort through the submissions and select four finalists in six categories: kid-created (under age 13) flavors, chocolate, mix-ins, fruit, all-Minnesota ingredients and flavors with a variety of ingredients.

Izzy’s ice cream makers prepare the 24 finalists, and ice cream lovers are invited to a public taste-off on Father’s Day (June 16, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.). Votes are tallied, and winners are announced in each category, including best in show.

Previous top winners include Chubby Bunny (cinnamon-nutmeg ice cream with carrot cake and cream cheese swirls), Midnight Snack (graham cracker ice cream with peanut butter swirls and chocolate chunks) and Mango Django (mango ice cream with honey, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper and pink peppercorns).

The best in show winner receives a $100 Izzy’s gift certificate, and all finalists receive a contest T-shirt, a pint of their flavor and two free tickets to the tasting event.

Submissions are due by April 28 at 9 p.m. at www.izzysice cream.com

 

Dine out, do good

Next Thursday marks one of the more remarkable examples of the restaurant community’s big-hearted generosity.

It’s Dining out for Life, an annual fundraising event that benefits the Aliveness Project, a Minneapolis nonprofit that provides on-site meals, a food shelf and other services for people living with HIV/AIDS and the Rural AIDS Action Network, which provides case management services, testing, education and support groups for those affected by HIV/AIDS in outstate Minnesota.

Here’s how it works: Dine at one of nearly 170 Twin Cities restaurants and a portion of your tab will be donated to the two nonprofits. Details vary. Donation percentages range from 20 to 100 percent, offered during breakfast, lunch, dinner or a combination of all three.

For a list of participating restaurants, go to www.diningoutforlife.com.

Last year’s event resulted in over $215,000 in donations from restaurants. This year’s target is $220,000.

RICK NELSON

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