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Mobile Cuisine

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Mobile Cuisine is the complete online resource destination for the mobile food industry. We are dedicated to delivering our faithful readers every must-read street food, food truck, food cart and food stand story bubbling up across the Web, along with exclusive news, interviews, and amazing photos.

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johnson city downtown

JOHNSON CITY, TN - Leave it alone. That’s Main Street Pizza Company owner Jamie Dove’s solution to the debate over a food truck ordinance in Johnson City.

Tonight’s City Commission meeting is set to include the second reading of a change in an ordinance, which would exclude food trucks in the rule to keep vendors off of public sidewalks and spaces. Dove said he and several other downtown restaurant owners plan to voice their opposition to Johnson City’s Commission’s proposed ordinance that favors food trucks on public land, saying it would negatively affect their businesses that have helped revitalize Johnson City.

Representatives from Numan’s Bar, Frieberg’s Restaurant, the Korean Taco House, Scratch Brick Oven, Taste Budz and more will be on hand at tonight’s public meeting, Dove said. Shop Local and Stable Convergence’s Ted Bradford will also be there. Both he and Dove say tweaking the ordinance has been done without letting existing businesses know what the consequences might be. Dove said he recently made the downtown rounds to discuss the matter with other owners, while remaining open to the idea that he might be in the wrong.

He found a consensus with the other restaurateurs that Johnson City shouldn’t be giving public spaces to food trucks when it could hurt the other tax-paying owners’ ability to generate revenue.

“I’m not anti-food truck by any means — they’re convenient and generate excitement about downtown, but it’s just not fair,” Dove said. “I don’t understand why they need to be given public property to set up and operate on and poach our customers. They should have to come down there and find private property — and it’s down there and there’s a lot of it — and negotiate a lease or a purchase, just like all the rest of us did.”

Citing the much greater amount of garbage that results from operating his stationary restaurant, as well as all the many regulations not applied to the mobile business, Dove said the city is backing something trendy without thinking about the established businesses it could hurt.

Public parking, for example, Dove said is a hot commodity in the downtown area and shouldn’t be given to the mobile businesses who can pull in, poach customers and then pull out. Those spots should be left available as parking options to patrons of established downtown businesses, he said.

Find the entire article at johnsoncitypress.com <here>

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restaurant startup 2

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ – CNBC today announced the 20 culinary entrepreneurs who will compete for an investment on Season Two of “Restaurant Startup,” premiering Tuesday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT. Produced by Shine America, the ten one-hour episodes feature restaurateur and TV personality Joe Bastianich and chef and restaurateur Tim Love who vie to invest their own money in restaurant concepts they believe could make them millions. Joining them this season is chef, restaurateur and TV personality, Antonia Lofaso, who will help guide the hungry entrepreneurs as they are put to the ultimate test: opening a restaurant!

This season features exciting new concepts, inventive cooking techniques, and, for the first time, specially themed episodes – including chefs striving to overcome personal setbacks, struggling businesses desperate to change locations, and established restaurants looking to launch a second location, among others.

The hungry entrepreneurs competing in Season Two:

  • 17 Summer – Lodi, NJ
  • Crave Culinaire – Naples, FL
  • Hiatus Urban BBQ – Los Angeles, CA
  • La Cocinita – Chicago & New Orleans
  • Lloyd Taco Truck – Buffalo, NY
  • Lone Wolf Banh Mi – Tulsa, OK
  • Ms. P’s Electric Cock – Austin, TX
  • Nosh & Swig – Las Vegas, NV
  • Over Easy Omaha – Omaha, NE
  • Peculiar Culinary – Pittston, PA
  • Roast – Santa Monica, CA
  • Rice Paper Scissors – San Francisco, CA
  • Rock City Pies – Detroit, MI
  • Rock The Kasbah – Brooklyn, NY
  • Sixpence Pie Company – Southington, CT
  • Smoke Kitchen – Philadelphia, PA
  • The Inventing Room – Edgewater, CO
  • The Rarest – Philadelphia, PA
  • WOW! Food Truck – Atlanta, GA
  • Yeah Dawg! – New York, NY

In the season premiere, Bastianich and Love look to the East for delicious flavors and high profits. First up is Rice Paper Scissors, two young women who impress the high-tech denizens of San Francisco with their low-tech pop-up events featuring traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Next up is Lone Wolf, whose food truck has taken Tulsa by storm with a new American spin on the classic Vietnamese banh mi. Will it be out with the old and in with the new? Or will Joe and Tim stick to the tried and true?

Each week, two teams are invited to pitch their food ideas to our investors. Under high-pressure questioning, each team tries to convince Bastianich and Love that theirs is a concept worth backing. The chosen team is given the keys to a working restaurant on trendy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. They get 36 hours and $7,500 to put their dream to the test and create a business plan; come up with a branding campaign; and, finally, launch their pop-up restaurant. Under the watchful eye of Bastianich and Love’s culinary consultant Antonia Lofaso, the aspiring food moguls open their doors, serve their food, and test their concept on the public.

Based on the reaction from the diners, the quality of the branding, and the viability of the business plan, Bastianich and Love decide whether or not they will put their own money on the line to make someone’s dreams come true – and, hopefully, make big money for themselves.

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flora indiana

FLORA, IN - The Flora Town Council faces an unexpected problem.

“To my knowledge this is the first time anything like this has come to town,” said Flora Town Council President Joshua Ayers.

A food truck run by Mitchell’s Mexican Grill of Delphi has started setting up shop in Flora. While local business owners aren’t opposed to the food truck, they said they are concerned that it doesn’t have to play by the same rules as they do.

“It’s not that they were against it at all,” said Ayers. “I think it hurt them a little bit on their best days.”

Ayers said local Pizza King owners, Tom and Peggy Stigers, voiced their opinions during a Flora Town Council meeting Monday. The business owners were not available for an on-camera interview, but Ayers said they claimed to be losing business due to the food truck. However, he said the food truck owners aren’t breaking any rules.

“At this time, the town of Flora has no ordinances of any kind for mobile food trucks,” Ayers said.

Ayers said although people seem to like the variety, he understands why the food truck is a problem for local businesses.

“Any business owner would be concerned about someone from out of town coming into town and not paying taxes,” said Ayers. “Just basically siphoning off the best part and then leaving.”

The town council is now considering an ordinance to regulate food trucks. Ayers said he and the council are researching food truck ordinances in cities of similar size.

Find the entire article at wlfi.com <here>

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sarasota downtown

SARASOTA, FL - The Sarasota Food Truck Alliance has been battling for months to raise awareness about Sarasota city and county regulations that they say keeps them from being profitable.

“It is hurting our business!” says Tracy Shenkin, operator of the Southern Smoke BBQ food truck. “We live in Sarasota, our children go to school in Sarasota, but in order to make a living for ourselves we have to go to Tampa, St. Pete, and Largo. Currently Sarasota has the hardest laws in the country for food vendors.”

County official admitted the ordinance governing food trucks is out of date. The county did meet with Food Truck Alliance officials on Tuesday in hopes of updating some of the rules, but the alliance says the proposal on the table would require them to pay more than $280 every time they stop — it’s a permit fee the vendors say they can’t afford.

County official say they are still in the early stages of the process.

Find the original article at mysuncoast.com <here>

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Houston Chron Food Truck Quote

“Food trucks and restaurants should act like members of the same team. It is about time they stopped fighting with each other and instead aim their ire at a more deserving target.” – Houston Chronicle Editorial Board

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horry county city council

HORRY COUNTY, SC - Horry County Council will discuss allowing prepackaged foods in mobile carts at the start of next year, despite pleas by those who drafted the initial ordinance to re-consider full-service food trucks.

Some critics even went as far as to call the new ordinance one that essentially approves “mobile vending machines.”

The county’s infrastructure and regulation committee decided to send the amended ordinance to full council without a recommendation to allow council members to discuss it objectively, said Carl Schwartzkopf, chairman of the infrastructure and regulation committee.

“In as much as members of council really expressed concern about this issue, my recommendation is that we forward to county council without recommendation and let members of council express their opinion at next council meeting,” Schwartzkopf said.

In October, Horry County Council voted 9-3 against a one-year mobile food vending pilot program after months of work surveying the public, perfecting distance requirements and determining what would be allowed for the mobile vendors.

Find the entire article at  myrtlebeachonline.com <here>

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Not Just icing

Congratulations to the Not Just Icing or Raleigh, NC for winning the 2014 Mobile Cuisine Dessert Food Truck of the Year!

Founded by Donna Downs and Cristal Harrison, Not Just Icing, Inc. is a mobile cupcakery committed to scratch-made, baked fresh daily on the truck serving scrumptious treats throughout the Triangle area in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We’re so happy for Not Just Icing, Inc!  We’ll learn more about their sweet treats and the team in the near future.  Congratulations!

Rounding out our top 5 Dessert Food Trucks for 2014 are:

2. Zombie Ice – Weston, FL

3. Custom Confections – Houston, TX

4. Saweet Cupcakes – San Antonio, TX

5. The Funnel Cake Truck – Kansas City, KS

We would like to thank all of the competitors as well as to all of our readers who voted.

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2013 rookie of the year food truck

For the last six years, food trucks have been popping up all around the country (for that matter all across the world).

Since Mobile Cuisine’s inception in 2010, we have kept an eye on all of the trucks surfacing on the streets and to our surprise, there has not been much of a slowdown of trucks or cities around the country that have spawned new trucks (we have seen an average of at least a half dozen new trucks every week).

For the fourth year in a row, we are we want to ask our readers to share their favorites with us. We are asking you to submit your choice for the 2014 Food Truck Rookie of the Year. Last’s year’s winner was the Saucy Stache truck out of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

To be eligible, the truck or cart must have opened for business after December 31, 2013 and before December 1st of 2014.

You may submit your choice via the the form below or email us at: contest [at] mobile-cuisine [dot] com

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Food truck owners can submit their own truck and can submit a nomination as often as you like. The nomination process will run until December 26th. The top 10 trucks will then be entered into a poll for readers to choose their favorite of our top 10.

Now get out the word and start voting!!!

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