Awesome Things to Do in Portland

Things To Do In Portland Or

Portland is simply awesome. Not just because it’s Oregon’s biggest city, but also because of its rich history, tasteful sights and sounds, and charming personality.

What to Do While in Portland, Oregon

If you plan on visiting anytime soon, here are some of the best activities to indulge in to make your Portland adventure even more memorable.

Take a Hike

Portland has lots of gorgeous hiking trails, parks, and natural sites. Some of the most popular ones are Sauvie Island, Horsetail Falls, Oneonta Gorge, Mill Ends Park (fondly known as the world’s smallest park), Forest Park (Portland’s largest park), and the gorgeous Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

But if you want something truly unusual, hike to the Witch’s Castle in Forest Park for a cool, spooky tour. It’s an old mansion with a pretty intriguing backstory of love and murder to make your tour of the scenery even more interesting.

Hit a Food Truck

Portland’s eclectic food scene is enough to satisfy the hankering of any foodie. There are lots of unique restaurants and diners to try out. But the city truly sets itself apart with its food truck scene. There are Portland food trucks representing cuisine from Asia, Africa, South America, the Mediterranean, and more.

These food trucks are not hard to find, but since some of the more popular ones are always changing locations, you can use apps like Truckster to hunt them down. Alternatively, you could head over to one of Portland’s food truck Meccas—food truck pods—where various food trucks congregate to serve the masses.

Take a Booze Tour

Portland has enough restaurants, diners, and food trucks to make sure you never have to eat the same thing twice throughout your stay in the city. But if you’re more of a drinker than an eater, Portland has you covered.

Whether you are into fine wines, craft beers, or matured spirits, the city has several wineries, breweries, and distilleries to wet your beak. Visit Distillery Row, just east of the Willamette River, to find various distilleries within walking distance of one another. For breweries, check out the Lucky Labrador, Ecliptic Brewing, and Stormbreaker Brewing.

If you are looking for red and white wines, check out Willamette Valley, which is just outside the city and one of the few places in the world where Pinot Noir grapes grow. Or, you could stay within the city and check out Fullerton Wines for a tasting.

Take a Donut Tour

Portland wants you to indulge your sweet tooth. It’s the only explanation for the city’s many tasty pastry shops. The city’s donut shops are extremely tempting, especially the infamous Voodoo Donuts, where everything you eat seems to cast a spell on you.

Blue Star Donuts is another great choice with irresistible selections like the Mexican Hot Chocolate, Cointreau Crème Brûlée, Blueberry Bourbon Basil, and more.

Check out the Art Scene

Do not underestimate Portland’s art and music scene. There’s a lot of street art around the city, meaning simply moving around is as good as visiting a modern gallery. If you want the neighborhoods with the best and most street art, check out the Alberta Arts District.

Live music from upcoming and famous performers is also plentiful around the city. You can catch a show on any day of the week at McMenamins.

Party Hard

Portland might not have the wildest parties, but the parties aren’t that tame either. Recreational marijuana is legal in the city and the rest of Oregon, so you know you are going to have a good time. Just remember that you can only hang out with Mary Jane indoors.

Fun places to visit in the city for a wild night out include Alibi Tiki Bar, Darcelle XV (for those who want something a bit weird), Southland Whiskey Kitchen, the 1905 Jazz Club, and Al’s Den.

Trust us, the above list doesn’t cover nearly all of the awesome things that you can do in Portland. Pay a visit to discover even more of the awesomeness the city has to offer.

10 Best Places to Eat in Colorado Springs

Best Places To Eat Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an unexpected, yet delightful, culinary destination. The local chefs effectuate a delicate balance of traditional fodder and cutting-edge cuisine.

This city’s eating establishments include everything from fancy traditional restaurants to contemporary alternatives led by visionary new chefs, unusual decadent desserts, and some fabulous food trucks! You would be hard-pressed to run out of incredible places to enjoy scrumptious snacks or meals in this special place.

Our top “can’t-miss” recommendations for your next visit to Colorado Springs include:

Piglatin Cocina

This one began as a food truck and now has a brick-and-mortar location. It specializes in pork-fusion Latin American Dishes that feature jalapeños, plantain, and arepa sliders. Even though they currently serve in an indoor restaurant, they didn’t abandon their food-truck roots: Your food is still served in simple cardboard containers.

The Pepper Tree

With fantastic city views and food shows served to tables in mobile carts and flambeed right in front of you, this is a dining experience you don’t want to miss. This restaurant offers traditional favorites, including its signature Pepper Steak. More than just a restaurant, the Pepper Tree is considered a Colorado Springs institution.

Shuga’s

In addition to having an attractive eclectic decor, multicultural and truly global menu options, and a quaint patio to lounge on, Shuga’s also invites guests to stay for Cinemaholix. This film club is as lovely as the Brazilian Spicy Shrimp Soup. You don’t want to miss this stop, either!

Mountain Shadows Restaurant

Mountain Shadows is the place to visit for the best breakfast of a lifetime. This is a family-run operation that serves the best (and biggest) cinnamon rolls, as well as some incredible hash browns with mouthwatering green chili. Forget the diet. You’re on vacation!

503W

If cocktails are more your speed, you’ll want to stop by 503W, because this place has some excellent craft ones. Order a side of Asian-fusion offerings and have the night of your life.

Lake Terrace Dining Room at The Broadmoor

The Lake Terrace Dining Room at the acclaimed Broadmoor Hotel is famous for its delectable Bananas Foster. The menu is extensive, but whatever you order, finish it with these legendary dessert bananas, which are the true local star. If you can visit on a Sunday, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the exquisite brunch experience.

Moxie

Moxie is perfect for vegans and plant-based eaters. The menu varies with the seasons, but the flavor doesn’t. Anything you order is 100% plant-based and delicious!

Now, here you will some of the best food trucks in Colorado Springs and the country, so no list of food recommendations would be complete without them. Hunt down these for the full culinary experience that Colorado Springs has to offer:

  • Dvine Ice Cream – Stop at Dvine for the best gourmet and most indulgent ice cream around. Try the premium wine flavors – including Champagne Vanilla, Peach Crisp with Riesling, Mint Chip with Pinot Grigio, and Dark Chocolate Brownie with Sangiovese – for the ultimate mix of creamy texture and spectacular flavor.
  • Sando San Food Truck – At Sando’s, you’ll get delicious, unique Japanese sandwiches and sushi. Request unusual combinations, and the chef will be happy to accommodate you.
  • Sapo Guapo Tacos Food Truck – If you’re a taco-lover, this is the truck to visit. The Korean BBQ tacos are highly rated and recommended by many regular customers. Yum!

8 Fun Things to Do in Fort Collins, Colorado

Things To Do In Fort Collins Colorado

Fort Collins is a somewhat unexpected treasure, just a short drive north of Denver. It’s the home of Colorado State University (CSU) and the cultural capital of northern Colorado.

This college town has plenty of old-school charm, and it’s also the place to be if you’re a beer-lover. It boasts about 20 breweries from which to sample, so you could spend an entire trip touring these and trying all the local ales.

Read on for some more of our favorite musts for you to enjoy during your next visit to Fort Collins:

Visit Historic Old Town

If you want to get transported back in time, Historic Old Town can fill the bill. Abounding with brick buildings, the charm of this city will engulf you. This area is the perfect place to grab a bite, too, because it features more than 80 restaurant options, all within short walking distance!

Disney World’s Main Street USA is modeled after Old Town, so, in a sense, you’re touring the original Disneyland, sans Micky and Minnie!

Be sure to visit the Armstrong Hotel, which is an Art Deco gem from the 1920s with a well-preserved original interior.

Enjoy the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The Museum of Discovery is a substantial interactive museum that offers fun explorations for guests of all ages. It’s a non-traditional museum, where you can also catch a movie at the Digital Dome or visit the top floor to enjoy the observatory. If you’re looking to take some amazing aerial pictures of Fort Collins, the observatory is a must.

Tour the Odell Brewery Company

Making English Style ales is the specialty at the Odell Brewery, which also happens to be the oldest craft brewery in Fort Collins. Reserve some time in your schedule for a visit to the taproom to test some of their unique ales.

Check Out Some of the City’s Food Trucks

Serving Food

The food trucks in Fort Collins are incredible, with hordes of fantastic options, whatever kind of food you want.

Some of our recommendations include:

  • Umami Mobile Eatery, for healthy Asian-influenced dishes.
  • Waffle Lab, for all the traditional and eccentric waffle options you can imagine.
  • Corndoggies, for the fried-food lover. You’ll get the best corn dogs going and all the fried goodness you could wish for!
  • Mac’N, for unexpected and delicious twists to your good old mac-and-cheese.

Explore the Jessup Farm Artisan Village

The Jessup Farm Artisan Village serves up another terrific way to enjoy the old-time charm and history of Fort Collins. This old converted settlement has fabulous food at its restaurant – genuine comfort food to warm your soul. Even if you’re not up for a big meal, you can come here and unwind at the equally charming coffee shop or pick up some unique souvenirs at the home shop and clothing boutique.

Visit Curiosities

Curiosities is a unique place to visit if you like antiques, traditional toys, and curiously charming and unexpected knick-knacks. Locally-run and owned, this is one of the more intriguing features in town, always full of surprises for the discerning shopper.

Try Some Craft Coffee

Fort Collins isn’t just full of beer connoisseurs; this place has the java bug, too. If you’re a morning-brew person, you’ve got options galore for exciting coffees. Hotspots include Harbinger Coffee, Farmers Brother Coffee, Everyday Joe’s, The Bean Cycle, Bindle Coffee, and The Human Bean. You can try a different one every morning of your trip!

Enjoy Nature at the Poudre River

Your trip would not be complete without a stop by the Poudre River. With breathtaking views, this is a great place to meditate and relax – or choose a little more adventure with some hiking and kayaking.

Famous People from Colorado Springs

Famous People From Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the birthplace of a multitude of prominent Americans from a horde of professions and industries. In fact, some of these notable folks boast worldwide fame. Read on to learn more about some of Truckster’s favorite celebs from this Colorado Springs:

Dorothy Marie “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger

Born in Colorado Springs, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger is a former teacher and American NASA astronaut, who was selected as an Educator Mission Specialist in 2004. She was the first Space Camp alumna to become an astronaut and was honored in 2007 as the inaugural inductee into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.

Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop is the beloved actress and dancer who might be best known as the matriarch Emily Gilmore on television’s Gilmore Girls and the mother of Jennifer Grey’s Frances “Baby” Houserman in the film Dirty Dancing. She trained as a ballerina in Denver but originally hailed from Colorado Springs. Kelly originated the role of Sheila in “A Chorus Line.”

Anne Parrish

Anne Parrish was a novelist whose most notable works for children included The Dream Coach, Floating Island, and The Story of Appleby Capple. She was a three-time runner-up for the Newberry Award.

Bob Sapp

Bob Sapp is a worldwide famous football player and wrestler. During his career, he won two black belts and played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. Today, he is known mostly as a kickboxer and mixed martial artist. If you’re lucky, you might catch Bob eating at one of the food trucks in Colorado Springs!

Sherry Stringfield

Sherry Stringfield is a television actress you’ll probably recognize if you watched NBC’s ER in the ‘90s. Her portrayal of Dr. Susan Lewis garnered her several Emmy nominations, and you’ll still see her regularly on your screens today.

Talcott Parsons

Talcott was a sociologist of the classical tradition and considered one of the most influential of the 20th Century. He is best known for his work on social-action theory and structural functionalism and was a crucial player in the establishment of the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University. His pioneering social-action theory was the first generalizable theory of social systems.

Michelle Waterson

Michelle Waterson is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) She won the Atomweight of the Year in 2013, the Most Vulgar Display of Power Award in the same year, and the Fight of the Year in 2014. She has also done some modeling, which contributed to her wide popularity.

Martin Filler

Martin Filler is an American architecture critic and essayist, best known for his long essays about modern architecture in the New York Review of Books. He also writes about art, prominent artists, and general design.

Ancel Keys

Ancel Keys was a pioneering physiologist who studied the influence of diet on health and was the first to hypothesize that dietary saturated fat could be a culprit in cardiovascular disease. Modern diet studies confirmed the connection, and today’s dietary guidelines recommend avoiding those fats as much as possible. Keys also published The Biology of Human Starvation and popularized the Mediterranean Diet as a healthy ideal.

Paul L. Kirk

A chemist and forensic scientist, Paul Kirk specialized in microscopy and was a pioneer in criminalistics. He is most famous for working on the case and leading the conviction and later acquittal of Sam Sheppard.

Augie Lohman

Angie Lohman is a special-effects artist whose most notable work was in the movie The Last Voyager, which won him an Academy Award nomination.

5 Amazing Places to Visit in Boulder, CO

Things To Do Boulder

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to explore and entertaining things to do in Boulder, Colorado. With 200 miles of hiking trails and more than 31,000 acres of parkland, this town is a true nature- and adventure-lovers’ paradise. While the potential adventures in the many breathtaking mountain parks are the main attraction for most visitors, you’ll also find hordes of food and cultural options if you’re interested in a more tranquil stay.

Here are some of the experiences you won’t want to miss next time you visit Boulder:

1. The Flatirons

Without a doubt, the stunning, slanted, sandstone Flatiron foothills are the main attraction in town, and many locals considering them a synonym for Boulder. If you’re the adventurous type, you can climb in this area, but if you prefer a less-risky way to enjoy the views, you can enjoy a hike on one of the many trails. You’ll find perfect options for hikers of all ages and fitness levels.

2. Local Breweries

Home to 20 breweries, Boulder boasts a bike-friendly Beer Trail – a tour to let you experience all the local distilleries and wineries. If you want a more relaxed experience and want to try out the local food scene, too, you should stop by BRU, which pairs 14 rotating taps with fantastic food options that will complement the brews.

And don’t leave town without tasting the famous India pale ale at Avery Brewing Co.

3. Local Food Trucks

Boulder boasts a thriving food scene, which is probably most evident in the fabulous quality and variety of food trucks you’ll find around the city.

Some of our favorites include:

  • The French Twist for a varied and sophisticated menu you won’t believe comes out of a truck. It’s run like a restaurant!
  • Little Grater for amazing crepes, including savory and sweet options.
  • Tacos El Rey for the best tacos in town.
  • La Rue Bayou for life-changing creole food!
  • The Ginger Pig for some mouthwatering Asian flavors.

4. Pearl Street Mall

This commercial area in downtown Boulder offers more than your run-of-the-mill shops. In addition to some of the big chain shops, you’ll find some seriously cute local boutiques and original galleries. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, Pearl Street has some lovely cafes to hang out in to take in the eclectic characters, and there are almost always street performers entertaining up and down the mall.

It’s a sweet spot to grab a bite, stroll a bit, and do some people-watching to get a feel for the local environs.

5. Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

If you enjoy a good cuppa of herbal tea, this is a must-stop on your itinerary. This factory houses North America’s largest herbal tea producer, and it’s well worth the visit to learn more about the process that translates to you sipping your chai in the afternoon.

During the tour, you’ll be invited to taste some of the brand’s bestseller flavors, so you might even walk out with a new favorite blend!

The Best Business Practices for Food Trucks

Best Practices Food Truck Business

Imagine answering to no boss but your self, making good money and working the hours you want to work. Such is the life of a food truck vendor. But you have to be careful of pitfalls that can cause frustration and cut into profits.

Owning a food truck can be a rewarding and profitable venture. Aside from the financial benefits, having a food truck also allows you to exercise your creativity and your love of preparing food. Continue reading “The Best Business Practices for Food Trucks”

Top Branding Tips for Your New Food Truck

Food Truck Branding

When you’re just starting with a new food truck business, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of hats you need to wear beyond the staple chef’s hat.

From sourcing supplies and dealing with clients to marketing your business and deciding whether to use platforms like Truckster to maximize your customer base, it’s easy to get bogged down.

Take a step back and breathe.

Branding is something you might be tempted to skip, but that would be reckless. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, you should differentiate your food truck from the competition in every way you can.

Before we give you a brief snapshot with five actionable branding tips, it all starts with a mission statement.

What Is a Mission Statement and Why Do You Need One?

Don’t worry. We’re not talking about marketing jargon here. It is quite the opposite.

A mission statement should be a clear, concise declaration showing what you’re all about and how you will achieve your goal.

Once you’ve got your mission statement locked down, you can think about your overall branding strategy more clearly. Beyond helping you get started, a mission statement also serves as a useful ongoing reference point so you can make sure you stay true to your values and goals.

Don’t get caught up on this for weeks on end but do give it some thought. Put a simple mission statement in place.

5 Branding Tips for Your New Food Truck

We’ll cut straight down to the meat and bones now. We’ll look at how you can get your branding right in these five areas:

1. Define and Articulate Your Brand Clearly
2. Create One Branding Message and Keep It Simple
3. Be Consistent and Personal with Your Brand Voice
4. Your Food Truck Is Your Primary Branding Tool
5. Go Large or Go Home

1) Define and Articulate Your Brand Clearly

Don’t overthink it here. You don’t need to conjure up a brand from thin air.

Think about these three areas:

• Your menu
• Your values
• Your personality

You do not need to reinvent the wheel here, but you do need to stand out from the competition. If you think of the very finest brands, few of them are outlandish in concept. From the upscale Hermes offering simple but luxe clothes at eye-popping prices to the global marketplace eBay, branding is strong, but the core offering is straightforward.

Take the time to think about what defines you and your food truck. That way, when you register with platforms like Truckster, your brand will be catchy enough to differentiate itself without needing to be gimmicky.

2) Create One Branding Message and Keep It Simple

The simple approach we kick off with should remain in place with your branding message.

Think of Nike’s fabled slogan “Just Do It” or smart home firm WYZE’s goal of “Making great technology accessible to everyone.” The best branding messages nail company colors firmly to the mast. There’s no ambiguity, and your food truck should follow these same principles.

You could do far worse than to keep in mind at all times the Navy’s KISS motto: “Keep it simple, stupid.” This sage advice was coined back in 1960, but it is more relevant than ever in today’s marketplace. Simplicity sells. Make it easy on yourself, and your branding strategy will be easier to roll out.

3) Be Consistent and Personal with Your Brand Voice

Whatever marketing channels you use, keep your brand voice consistent.

It’s senseless being playful on Twitter, serious on Facebook, and neutral on Instagram.

Stay in character and let your personality-driven brand stay personal.

4) Your Food Truck Is Your Primary Branding Tool

Never underestimate the importance of your truck as a branding tool.

Don’t hold back on the design work and make sure your food truck creates an immediate and striking impression.

Keep your logo large, clean, and uncluttered. Include all your social media hashtags and handles. Make it easy for customers to contact you.

Your truck is a 24/7 branding tool. Make it count.

5) Go Large or Go Home

Even if you have no huge ambitions for expansion and you’re happy with the trade you pick up directly and from platforms like Truckster, you should still be bold with your branding.

Think like a large company and go all-in on your branding efforts. The results might just surprise you.

5 Food Truck Menu Ideas That Consistently Work

Food Truck Menu Ideas Min

If you’re launching your first food truck, one thing is sure to be uppermost in your thoughts… Yes, the menu.

We see so many different concepts for food trucks on Truckster that we’re not here today to give you recipes or fixed specifics. After all, what would work wonderfully on a taco truck wouldn’t be quite so well received on a truck specializing in crepes. Continue reading “5 Food Truck Menu Ideas That Consistently Work”

How to Handle Difficult Customers as a Food Truck Owner

Angry Customer Food Truck

When the sun is shining, and your food truck is surrounded by happy customers, signing up with Truckster, the leading food truck finder, might seem like the best idea you ever had.

How about when you get those inevitable demanding customers, though?

Are you able to keep your cool and resolve the problem, or do you end up flying off the handle? Continue reading “How to Handle Difficult Customers as a Food Truck Owner”