Little Bites: Restaurant news
Goodbye, banh mi
• Vendor Lucy Nguyen will take a four-month break from selling banh mi in the Strip District to return to Vietnam.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday is the last day this year customers can purchase Hanoi hoagies outside 2216 Penn Ave. Ms. Nguyen's banh mi features chicken or pork stuffed into a crusty roll, layered with pickled carrots, onions, cucumbers, hot peppers and cilantro garnish. To mark a special occasion, Ms. Nguyen will also sell bowls of pho as well as Mason jars of her secret sauce to tide fans over while she is away.
Wheeling with the Weinermobile
• Theresa Brenner doesn't run with the big dogs, she drives the big dog.
That's her nickname for the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, which once again has rolled -- ha! -- into Pittsburgh.
"Tailgating Theresa" and Benjamin "Beefalicious" Urkov got into town Monday night, late, and negotiated their 27-foot-long, 11-foot-high ride through our hilly, narrow, dark and rain-slicked streets to their hotel, which had saved for it with cones three parking spaces.
"Once a Weinermobile has stayed somewhere before, you have an in," said Ms. Brenner, 23, of Cincinnati.
She and Mr. Urkov, of Chicago, are the Madison, Wisc., company's "Hotdogger" team for the Northeast, around which they travel, handing out the famous Oscar Mayer Weiner Whistles and inviting folks to "step inside the Weinermobile this fall to get a glimpse of the hot dog inspired interior!"
Young people around the country covet this gig (there are six full-size big dogs). Ms. Brenner, who graduated from Ohio State University this year with a degree in political science, has an older sister who was a Hotdogger before her who found it to be the best year of her life. So she applied, attended two weeks of "Hot Dog High" in Madison this June, and then hit the road with her co-pilot.
"There are a lot of highlights," she said. One was riding in a German-American parade in New York City with her sister (the Weinermobile seats six) and another member of the Hotdogger tribe, which she describes as "a lot of really cool, great friends who are always positive, upbeat and supportive."
Ms. Brenner said the Weinermobile is 76 years old and yes, the original version launched in 1936, way ahead of its time.
Here are the events where you can see it in person:
• Noon to 5 p.m. today: Wal-Mart Super Center, 2351 Century Dr., West Mifflin
• Noon to 5 p.m. Friday: Wal-Mart Super Center, 250 Summit Park Road, North Fayette
• 1 p.m. Saturday: Tarentum/Brackenridge Christmas Parade on Tarentum's 5th Avenue
• 9 a.m. to noon Sunday: Giant Eagle, 200 Tarentum Bridge Road, New Kensington
• 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday: Giant Eagle, 41 Towne Center Dr., Leechburg
• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday: Giant Eagle, 6204 Route 30, Greensburg
-- Melissa McCart and Bob Batz Jr. These items and a lot more food and drink news first appeared on the new food and drink blog The Forks at pgplate.com/forks.
First Published November 15, 2012 12:00 am