Monday, September 06, 2010

Habibi's Funnel Cakes - Tustin

The people at Habibi's Funnel Cakes in Tustin have guts. They've opened a funnel cake shop at just about the unlikeliest of places: in a corner minimall underneath a freeway overpass. But then, when you think about it, any place besides a county fair or an amusement park is an unlikely place for a funnel cake stand.

You can understand the impetus for the folks who started The Funnel Factory at the Irvine Spectrum. They're right underneath the plaza's ferris wheel. But ask yourselves this: why do funnel cakes make more sense there than here at the corner of some busy intersection in Tustin? Does twirling around on a ferris wheel suddenly spur appetites to crave funnel cakes?

I, for one, hope Habibi succeeds. And despite inciting spirited discussions on the business's viability between my friends and I when we tried it this weekend, we all liked Habibi's funnel cakes.

We walked into the tiny room and noticed it smells like a donut shop. And though we expected to be gouged, we found the prices are actually quite reasonable. In fact, they're cheap, as far as funnel cakes go.

And how were they? Well, they're funnel cakes. Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever had a bad funnel cake. Habibi's are just as good as any of them: light and crispy as they should be, dusted with powdered sugar everywhere not covered with strawberries (or your chosen topping).

About the only surprise is the big poster of Kobe Bryant displayed in a sort of reverential way reserved for a god. Makes one wonder: does he like funnel cakes? He probably does. Who doesn't?

But here's another nugget to think about for you armchair business analysts: a funnel cake food truck. There's already a crepes-only food truck, after all. Why not? Discuss.

Habibi's Funnel Cake
1450 El Camino Real, Unit B
Tustin, CA 92780

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13 Comments:

At 6:15 PM, Blogger digkv said...

Nice post edwin. I totally agree that it's hard to have a bad funnel cake, but the ones at disneyland are always a bit too overcooked for my tastes. I wonder if this place will last though, I mean, what's the appeal of a place that sells only funnel cakes. Funnel cake is really only one of those foods that you eat after a long day of walking in an amusement park or a fair, not really on an average day.
The reason I think crepes bonaparte can thrive is that they serve both savory and sweet crepes, appealing to all. The cupcake trucks are riding the cupcake fad, and many serve other desserts, I'm not sure how well a funnel cake truck can do unless they decide to sell some of that deep fried butter at the OC fair.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Actually, this funnel cake store is opened at exactly the right place. I've driven by the area a few times during lunch and there are always a zillion kids from Tustin High milling around the parking lot during lunch. Damn kids always have a ton of disposable income!

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Lin said...

I just informed the hubs we have to stop by there next time we're near Tustin. I love funnel cakes!

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger joanh said...

yum!! that's pretty awesome!! i don't like funnel cakes when they've cooled down, so hopefully these are fresh to order. i think they probably would do better here than at a random corner.

 
At 7:38 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

As much as I hate the food truck fad, I have to agree that they could have seriously cashed in on it. They would do very well if they went down that avenue.

And Greg, that's a good point about the high school being right there. They'll get lots of business from the kiddies.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

digkv,

Good point on the fact that you can do savory and sweet crepes. But you can't exactly apply the same principles to funnel cakes. Funnel cakes are single-purpose. At least until some Roy Choi-like alchemist figures out how to make a kimchi funnel cake or something like that.

Greg,

You're right about the high school kiddies. I just happen to be caught in traffic with them getting out in the afternoon. Funnel cakes calls for disposable incomes.

Lin,

If you're going to be around these parts anyway, it's probably the cheapest funnel cakes you can buy. Quite conveniently located off the Redhill offramp on the 5 also, by the way.

joanh,

Oh yes! Every funnel cake is fried to order, hot and crispy. I wouldn't touch a cold funnel cake!

Melissa,

Very true. I'd probably buy a funnel cake from a food truck before I buy a cupcake!

 
At 12:22 PM, Anonymous JB said...

I'm surprised that poster of Kobe Bryant doesn't have a bowl of fruit and two fake, lighted candles underneath it.....

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous kellyvonhemert said...

I'm always down with deep fried dough, but its pretty niche without the savory option.

Still, I respect Habibi's for not going the Wild Rivers Funnel Dog route. With blackberry jam? Really?

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger mark said...

Food truck funnel cake would be a good idea - for the time being. Honestly, I've seen non-permit holding food vendors in LA serve hot dogs to 20 people in a ten minute time span. At the OC Foodie fest, it took ten minutes to serve one person. I think the trend has probably 2-3 years left in it, but as time goes on, it becomes increasingly unreasonable.

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

JB,

They do seem to have what looks like candle holders there beneath the picture!

kelly,

Funnel dogs with blackberry jam? If it weren't at a water park, I'd actually try that! Of course, I'll try anything once.

mark,

Good point. I think what we're seeing now is a critical mass of luxe loncheros. Pretty soon, it will be survival of the fittest.

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

Food truck funnel cake sounds like a good concept other than sloshing oil when driving! :)

I haven't met a bad funnel cake before. If I do, it's probably because it is too greasy.

 
At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Johnny Automatic said...

wow, another opportunity for Americans to eat fried sugary starch! There are so few examples of it in the American diet.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

EatTravelEat,

Yes. Sloshing hot oil. And knives. Hot summer days. What a hazardous, unglamorous job if ever there was one!

Johnny,

HA!!! Snort! No truer (sarcastic) words have been written.

 

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