Thursday, July 7, 2016

Awaken Cambodian food truck launches

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:38 PM

Awaken Food Truck will hit the streets for the first time Friday, parking at Pikes Peak Community College's Rampart Range Campus at 11195 Interquest Pkwy. from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or sell-out. 

click to enlarge Vietnamese have the bánh mì sandwich and Cambodians make a similar, French-influenced sandwich called num pang. - COURTESY CHHAYA PHAT
  • Courtesy Chhaya Phat
  • Vietnamese have the bánh mì sandwich and Cambodians make a similar, French-influenced sandwich called num pang.
The truck is the Springs' first Cambodian eatery, to the best of our knowledge. Owner Chhaya Phat, 35, recently got out of the Army, where he was a cook. So he's well prepared for handling crowds of eaters. 

Phat has lived in the U.S. for 11 years, and he'll infuse some American culture into traditional Cambodian fare. He and his wife eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan food at home, so he'll also make veg/vegan options available on the truck for wider market appeal. 

One vegan option is a lime leaf curry with tofu dish (check out the alluring photos on his Facebook page), and another is a vegan "chick’n" marinated in curry, topped with red cabbage, cilantro and plant-based mayonnaise on a vegan French baguette.

Carnivores will appreciate num pang sandwiches, similar to Vietnamese bánh mì, on account of both countries being colonized and culinarily influenced by the French. Phat says one distinguishing feature is the Vietnamese tend to garnish with daikon and carrots, while Cambodians opt for shredded green papaya, like that which composes Thai som tum salads. 

For drinks, look for iced Thai tea, Cambodian iced coffee and regular or mint house lemonade. 

We'll have a little more info in next week's Side Dish column. 
click to enlarge Awaken's truck banner pays homage to Angkor Wat and Cambodia's Buddhist culture. - COURTESY CHHAYA PHAT
  • Courtesy Chhaya Phat
  • Awaken's truck banner pays homage to Angkor Wat and Cambodia's Buddhist culture.

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