Brookline Board of Selectmen approves five food trucks, expected to launch in May
April 19, 2012  – (Boston)
Renula’s Greek Kitchen

Raised on traditional Greek food, Philip Emmanuel, founder of Renula’s Greek Kitchen, said he wanted to share his love, passion and culture with others to enjoy.

Five years ago, when his mother – who the food cart is named after – was diagnosed with cancer, she convinced Emmanuel, a master mechanic at the time, to be passionate about what he did.

After his mother died, he said, he realized he wanted to sell great-tasting, healthy Greek food.

“It’s simple food. It tastes great and it’s good for you. It is made with herbs, olive oil and lemon,” he said. “There is no processed meat – everything is bought fresh from the butchers every few days.”

He started his Greek food cart in 2011 in Needham, where it still operates. He operates on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway near the Federal Reserve Building and plans to have trucks in Cambridge, he said.

Renula’s Greek Kitchen sells a range of Greek dishes, including dolmades and gyros starting at $3.

Emmanuel said he decided to start a food truck instead of a traditional restaurant because of the cost difference, adding that he wanted a small, intimate setting.

“It is a passion and I love it. I love talking to people. Sometimes we sing at the cart,” he said. “Everyone leaves somewhat happy, and their hunger is satisfied, more importantly.”


March 20, 2012  – (Boston) – Announcing the 2012 Greenway Food Vendors:
“Greenway Mobile Eats” to include seven locations, 16 vendors, expanded food choices

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy ( is expanding its popular food vending program, “Greenway Mobile Eats,” and today announced the names and locations of the finalists and the food they will be serving. Since its pilot year in 2010, the program continues to expand, with 16 food vendors operating in seven locations along the Greenway.

The 2011 season drew national press acclaim, and saw a 128% increase in patrons for “Greenway Mobile Eats” from 60,000 people in 2010 to 137,000.

“The submissions we received this year were really outstanding, which made the selection very challenging,” says Nancy Brennan, executive director of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. “We reviewed the submissions in terms of affordability, professionalism, cuisine type, and the quality of the food. Now people can come to the Greenway and enjoy food from the Greek Isles, Vietnam, or Mexico, and take advantage of fresh air, free Wi-Fi, our fountains, and free public events.”

Renula’s Greek Kitchen – new! – (Dewey Square Park, between Congress Street and Atlantic Avenue) Renula’s will offer a wide array of traditional Greek Island fare from their food cart.


Greek food truck comes to Needham’s Industrial Park

from Wicked Local Needham, Sept 9, 2011

Gyros, souvlaki and dolmades are now available to hungry workers in Industrial Park thanks to Renula’s, a new food truck that parks on A Street for lunchtime.

The food truck, which opened in Industrial Park on Aug. 1, usually arrives late morning and sticks around until 1:30 or 2 p.m. Prices range from $3.50 for oven roasted potatoes or dolmades (that’s stuffed grape leaves to the non-Hellenic), to $7.99 for the souvlaki or gyro plates, which include chicken or pork skewers or shaved lamb or chicken, pita bread and a village salad.

At the helm of this operation is Philip Emmanuel, a first-generation Greek-American. Emmanuel grew up in Newton, but traveled back to Rhodes with his mother every other year. Emmanuel loved cooking family recipes, but he was a mechanic for almost twenty years before he started working at a baked potato cart in Downtown Crossing.

“I started to do that, I left my job, and I decided to do something that I loved and had a passion for, and this was it,” said Emmanuel.

So Emmanuel designed a cart online, rounded up his family recipes and set up shop in Needham.

He described the food as relying on “basic food groups,” without many spices, similar to what street vendors in Greece sell. Right now the specialties are the grape leaves and the lamb gyro, although come fall, Emmanuel hopes to start selling pastries and baked dishes.

Emmanuel’s niece Helena is helping him in the food truck now, although once she returns to high school, Emmanuel’s nephew will help instead.

“It’s a family venture,” said Emmanuel.

Emmanuel said that he chose the Industrial Park location because of the high volume of foot traffic, and that business has been good so far. On a Thursday in late August at lunch hour, several customers visited the truck for lunch or out of curiosity.

Robert Jardine, who worked in Newton, said that he had been to the truck to pick up lunch for his co-workers three or four times, and that the truck had entered their rotation of regular lunch places.

“They’re pretty reasonable,” said Jardine. “For these sandwiches, it’s only $5, and the lamb is really good, really fresh. Other placed around here are $8 or $10 for a sub.”

Another part of the lunch crowd, Tim Turner, a Needham resident who works in Industrial Park, said that he visited the truck because of proximity.

“I can see it from my office,” said Turner after ordering a sandwich. He said that he stopped by out of curiosity.

Another Industrial Park employee, Amanda, who declined to give her last name, walked by without buying anything. She said that she had heard people in her office talking about the food truck, but that another friend who had visited the truck had not been impressed.

Emmanuel said that in the coming months, he hopes to start parking the food truck on the other side of Industrial Park, and perhaps even venture into Needham Center. He already has a license to park in other parts of the town.

Eventually, Emmanuel plans to open a restaurant in Needham or Newton, after he’s garnered enough of a following and interacted with enough customers to know what Needhamites and Newtonians might want in a restaurant.

“Hopefully within the next year I’ll have enough feedback to open up a restaurant in the Needham or Newton area, but I’ll always keep the cart. I like the cart. I might do more carts,” said Emmanuel.

Renula’s Greek Kitchen Food Cart Opens in Needham
from Boston Restaurant Talk, August 8, 2011

A new mobile food cart has just opened in the Boston area, and this one features Greek cuisine.

According to their Facebook and Twitter pages, Renula’s Greek Kitchen has set up a mobile kitchen on A Street (off of 2nd Avenue) in Needham, which is just southeast of where Highland Avenue intersects Route 128. It appears that Renula’s is open for lunch only, as one of their Twitter posts stated that they were open until 3:00 a few days ago and a Chowhound poster mentioned that it was a lunch-only food cart (a Facebook poster also said that the cart is open from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM or whenever the food runs out). Based on the restaurant’s website as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages, foods available at Renula’s include Greek salads, stuffed grape leaves, souvlaki, and beef, lamb, and chicken gyros.

To find the Renula’s Greek Kitchen Food Cart from Route 128, take Highland Avenue toward Newton, then take the second right (2nd Avenue) and then a right on A Street. The cart is across from from Gold’s Gym/WOW.

The website for Renula’s can be found at