Where to Eat in Philadelphia by Drew Lazor, Bon Appétit, October 15, 2013
With the peripatetic Poi Dog Snack Shop, Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca render the thousands of miles separating Philly and Hawaii irrelevant. Aranita, who grew up in Oahu, has transferred proper plate lunches—Kalua pork, mochi nori fried chicken, and (of course) Spam musubi—to her new, not-close-to-tropical environs. Poi Dog’s following is grateful for it. Various locations; check Twitter (@poidogphilly) or facebook.com/poidogphilly for schedule and menu (Credit: Jeffrey Aranita) Read more.
15 Essential Philly Food Trucks Worth Hunting Down by Carly Szkaradnik, Eater, June 10, 2015
"The Poi Dog cart admirably fills a seriously underserved niche in Philly, serving up fantastic Hawaiian plate lunches, lumpia, Spam musubi, bibingka, and other dishes that you aren't otherwise likely to find in the city.The cart really gets around, both in the city and suburbs, with frequent stints in the City Hall courtyard." Read more.
Billy Penn's Who's Next: Chefs -- 21 people key to continuing Philly's restaurant boom by Danya Henninger, May 2016
Who’s Next because: She’s got a degree from NYU, a master’s in comparative literature from CUNY and a master’s in classics from Bryn Mawr, but most people know Kiki Aranita as the petite firebrand chef behind — and public face of — one of Philly most popular food trucks: The Hawaiian-inspired Poi Dog Snack Shop. Along with partner Chris Vacca, the Hong Kong native has grown a mobile operation into a catering business, and they also have figured out a way to spend winters cooking in Hawaii itself. Recently, the duo dusted off their classics degrees to teach a series of classes in the cuisine of Ancient Rome.
10 Superheroes of the Philadelphia Dining Scene by Caroline Russock, Zagat July 2016
The hero: Kiki Aranita Her lair:Poi Dog Philly Superpower: Plate lunch pirate Origin story: Hong Kong-born, Oahu-raised Aranita might have gone to school for classics — but her mobile food operation introduced Philadelphia to another kind of classic, traditional Hawaiian fare. With mac salad, rice plate lunches, musubis, poke and POG, Poi Dog is as close as you’re going to get to the Big Island in Philly.
Street Eats: Chefs from 8 top Philly restaurants dish on where to grub by Danya Henninger, Billy Penn, November 2014
"They’re usually cooking some of the most haute cuisine in Philadelphia. But when they’re craving a cheesesteak, or a slice of pizza, where do Zahav’s Michael Solomonov, Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala or the Cheu Noodle Bar guys (Ben Puchowitz & Shawn Darragh) head?
Billy Penn asked some of the folks behind Philly’s hippest kitchens to dish on their go-to spots. While the diversity of their picks speaks to our city’s abundance of quality options — Philadelphia is nothing if not a great snack town — some consensus did emerge.
On the food truck front, for example, the Hawaiian-Filipino goodie masters at Poi Dog Philly get a big thumbs up from more than half of the experts we polled..." Read more.
The Yuck and the Gristle-less by Drew Lazor, The Daily News, March 29, 2013
"I did not grow up with the notion that it was a gross thing at all," said Kiki Aranita, who, in April, will launch Poi Dog Truck, a Hawaiian food cart, with Chris Vacca. "[It's] my most favorite thing in the whole world, besides puppies." Aranita, who split her childhood between Oahu and Hong Kong, plans on serving Spam dishes, like saimin (a noodle soup), eggy breakfast tacos and musubi, the beloved Hawaiian snack consisting of Spam layered with sushi rice and nori.
Philadelphia food trucks cooking up tasty times by Craig Laban, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 2013
"Poi Dog: With three advanced degrees in classic literature between them, Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca officially erase any notion one can be "too educated" to run a food cart: "We're educated for everything," says Aranita. That's abundantly clear at one of my new favorites, their Temple-based Poi Dog, dedicated to homespun takes on Aranita's native Hawaiian flavors. The "Super Spam Musubi" will surely gain new respect for the famed mystery meat, a pink slab of which is griddled then tucked inside a parcel of sushi rice with crispy taro sticks wrapped in seaweed. But also: Don't miss the tender, smoky Kalua pork, or the chewy, sweet coconut butter mochi flowers for dessert." Read more.
Several of our recipes are featured in this cookbook.