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madison ct food truck

MADISON, CT - After initially bringing up the subject last summer, town officials seem to be getting set to take action on proposed rules by which, if passed, food truck vendors must abide.

The vendors have been a talking point in Madison, and the town is holding a public discussion on a draft of the rules later this month.

The Board of Selectmen first took up the issue last summer because the trucks, which are concentrated on School Street in front of Academy School, have limited regulation under town ordinances.

“The selectmen at the time started looking into rules and regulations to eliminate any problems before they come up,” Town Planner David Anderson said.

While Anderson said a large contingent of residents have been positive about the food trucks, he added that some people are opposed to the area where the vendors operate.

“Some people have felt that they are inappropriate in what is a historical area,” Anderson said.

Though he said some have disagreed with where the vendors are situated, Anderson made clear that the town isn’t trying to run the trucks out of Madison.

“We’re not trying to get rid of the food trucks,” Anderson said. “I think what the selectmen are saying is, ‘We’re OK with what’s going on, provided that there’s some limitations to it.’”

Find the entire article at shorelinetimes.com <here>

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madison food cartsMADISON, WI - The city of Madison’s Common Council members passed an ordinance to expand late-night food cart vending locations and referred the alcohol license density ordinance to the Plan Commission at their last meeting Tuesday.

Council members unanimously approved a late-night food cart vending ordinance March 18 to expand vending locations. The previous ordinance confined the food carts to a small downtown area against vendors’ preferences as expressed in previous meetings.

The current ordinance to be enacted March 27 reserves 10 late-night vending sites throughout the downtown area. Some of the new locations include the 300 and 500 blocks of North Frances Street, the 400 block of West Gilman and the corner of University Avenue and Lake Street among others.

Late night food vendors are required to submit applications for zone assignments before the April 1 deadline. The city will distribute zones based on seniority.

“I think that it will probably improve the business for the late nights vendors,” Steve Lawrence, owner of Fried and Fabulous, said. “I think that students are going to be thrilled because they’ll see their favorite vendors are going to be staying for longer, whereas previously, a lot of vendors were talking about leaving.”

Find the entire article at madison.com <here>

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madison food cartsMADISON, WI - Two downtown alders have proposed a compromise that would allow late-night food carts to continue to do business on Broom Street without damaging the business of nearby restaurants.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, is one of the alders who proposed the compromise. He said that, currently, late-night vending is legal on Broom Street, but two area restaurants, Pita Pita and Silver Mine Subs, have voiced concerns about late-night food carts on the block. The restaurants’ owners have said the food carts are creating unfair competition for the brick-and-mortar restaurants and taking away from their profits, he said.

Verveer said this compromise, which he made with Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, would prohibit late-night vending on a portion of the 400 block of North Broom Street. He said three vending spots would be eliminated and ten vending spots would remain.

Verveer said the main concern is that food carts do not park directly in front of the restaurants. He said food carts must be located in a parking spot, pay a fee to the city and follow other city regulations.

The Vending Oversight Committee and City Council will still have to approve the compromise, Verveer said. He said Steve Lawrence, owner of the food cart Fried and Fabulous, has been acting as a spokesperson for late-night food carts and approved of the compromise. Verveer said he has not yet spoken to the owners of the two restaurants.

Lawrence said the alders’ compromise would allow him to stay in business.

Verveer said Pita Pit brought the complaint to the Vending Oversight Committee last semester when Banzo, a food cart that frequently parks on Library Mall, experimented with late-night vending. Banzo, which has a nearly identical menu to Pita Pit, parked on the 400 block of Broom and directly in front of Pita Pit one night, Verveer said.

“I believe the prudent course of action is for the Vending Oversight Committee and City Council to accept this compromise,” Verveer said.

Find the entire article by Sarah Eucalano at the Badger Herald <here>

Sign the petition to keep the late night food cart spots in Madison <here>

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MADISON, WI - In Madison, people dining at food carts don’t have to eat their veggies, but in the future, they could get the choice.

Madison food-cart Fibs

The city’s Vending Oversight Committee, as part of its annual review of food carts, on Wednesday was scheduled to  discuss whether carts must offer vegetarian menu items.

Although the idea is on the agenda for discussion, there is no formal proposal for the requirement and the committee will not be voting on the matter Wednesday.

The suggestion came from a city food cart reviewer who is a vegetarian, street vending coordinator Warren Hansen said.

“I always tell new applicants to include at lease one vegetarian item because there’s a demand for it,” Hansen said. “It’s just good business.”

But actually requiring the option is probably impractical, Hansen said.

In refining its scoring system, the committee also will consider adding “green” points for using biodegradable or recyclable containers, environmentally friendly fuel choices, or buying local, and discuss whether to toss out high and low scores that can skew a rating.

The city deploys about 20 raters — about half of them city employees — to score carts in the last week of September. Scores are based on food, apparatus and originality. Points can be added for seniority and deducted for heath citations.

The city licenses 48 food carts. The top five scorers this year were FIB’s — Fine Italian Beef and Sausage, Curt’s Gourmet Popcorn, Zen Sushi, Dandelion Vegetarian foods and El Burrito Loco. Complete cart rankings are at go.madison.com/cartrankings.

The committee was to meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Room 313 of the Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

We’ll keep you updated if this story changes.

Find the original article by Dean Mosiman at the Wisconsin State Journal <here>

 

 

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MADISON, WI - When 2 a.m. rolls around in downtown Madison, the streets are filled with shouts of joy from a night on the town and growls of stomachs hungry for something non-liquid. While pizza joints and Parthenon are always available, those who crave something a little less meat and a little more sweet have been pretty much out of luck. That is, until now.

Fried and Fabulous

You may have seen it outside of Asian Kitchen one hazy night, or you may have gotten a coupon for it on Library Mall, but consider this your official introduction to Fried and Fabulous, the late-night food truck that brings the carnival to your mouth with battered and fried peanut butter cups, cheesecake and more.

“I’m in the business of making people happy,” said Fried and Fabulous owner and UW grad Steven Lawrence, who knows that the way to the late-night crowd’s heart is through their stomach.

Lawrence was first inspired to foray into bartime sweets by a fateful trip to California a few years ago. “I was visiting my friend in Berkeley, and I end up at this donut shop and I’m amazed by the freshly fried donuts,” he said. “Have you ever had a donut fresh out of the fryer, warm, dripping with icing, gooey? It’s a totally different experience than one that is cold. It’s like fresh baked warm cookies versus oreos. So I was really amazed by these freshly fried donuts and it hit me that hot and sweet has a specific appeal to the late night market.”

That trip was in the summer of 2008. When Lawrence returned to UW, he got to work. “I went back and I looked at different bar areas around the country and around the world,” he said. While he found “sweet crepes being served to bar crowds in France,” and “little donut balls in syrup in India,” in Madison there were only cookies to be had. By the time Lawrence graduated in December 2010, the late night cookie spots had either been shut down or closed their doors, leaving a dessert-shaped hole in nighttime food offerings.

But cookies weren’t Lawrence’s bag. “Cookies weren’t going to work because they take too long to bake,” he said. Donuts, the catalyst for his food cart idea, were out too, because, “you try fitting frying, sugaring, icing and decorating in a cart,” as Lawrence said. State Fair style frying — that is, dipping dessert items in batter and frying them, was the option he finally picked.

After perfecting the funnel cake batter recipe and frying up 100 or so items for a taste test, Lawrence settled on his menu: fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried cheesecake, fried peanut butter cups, fried twinkie, fried snickers, fried brownie, fried oreo, and fried chocolate chip cookie dough balls, with one special menu item that changes nightly to provide more variety and accommodate customer requests.

“The one thing I was really insistent on from the start, because this sort of harkened back to that original experience back in the donut shop, was that we were going to fry everything fresh to order so it always comes out hot,” he said. “Fried food tastes best when it’s burning your tongue just a little bit, you know what I mean?”

Find the entire article by Allegra Dimperio at The Badger Herald <here>

 

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this weekend from San Antonio, Seattle, Madison, Champaign, Columbus and North Logan.

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May 18

Food truck program off to rough start – SAN ANTONIO, TX - It’s starting to become abundantly clear why there remains to be zero interest among food truck operators in Maverick Park, one of the city’s proposed locations for its pilot program. It’s surrounded by nothing. People would have to drive to get there. And while HemisFair Park’s surroundings aren’t as barren as Maverick’s, the trucks have left there for similar reasons.

Find the entire article <here>

Today food trucks, tomorrow the world? Mobile wallet app LevelUp targets Seattle geeks – Seattle, WA - If you’ve gotten a free lunch at a South Lake Union food truck lately, it’s probably thanks to Boston-based mobile wallet app LevelUp.

“I probably see those guys out there at least once a week,” said Mark Worster, founder of food truck locator and resource hub SeattleFoodTruck.com. “They’re good to talk to.”

Find entire article <here>

May 19

Food trucks expand beyond basic items – MADISON, WI - With the sunshine of spring comes a huge craving to fire up the grill and plop on the brats. Such simple, brown-and-sizzle pleasures turn extraordinary about 1,000 miles south.

For breakfast: hot skewers of sausage doused with pancake/waffle batter, sprinkled with brown sugar and kissed with a syrup whose artisan flavors change with the season.

Find the entire article <here>

City to take another look at food trucks – CHAMPAIGN, IL - The city of Champaign plans to revisit the issue of how it lets food-truck vendors operate.

Currently, certain food-truck vendors are registered as peddlers and aren’t allowed to stay in one location very long, unless they’re on private property.

Find the entire article <here>

May 20

Food trucks inspire glut of possibilities – COLUMBUS, OH - I didn’t see the food-truck trend coming.

Americans standing in line in a parking lot to buy ribs? I’d have sworn that the idea wouldn’t work.

We don’t like to get out of our cars. If we could get divorced in a drive-through, we’d do it. (I’d call that business Jiffy Split, by the way.)

But Columbus is crawling with food trucks. Fleets of them fan out across the city every day. Franklinton even has a food-truck food court, with an indoor dining room and rotating vendors.

Find the entire article <here>

Local vendors say popularity of food trucks on the rise – NORTH LOGAN, ID - Walking around a bus yard in Boise, Idaho, Ramiro Martinez saw a variety of buses from different areas, and used for different reason. But was interested in purchasing a bus for one good reason only: To fill people’s tummies.

For $7,000, the bus was his and Martinez quickly went to work. He unbolted all of the seats and installed kitchen equipment; he gave the bus a crisp white paint job, with the words Taqueria “La Villa” in red lettering; and he installed benches stapled with a bright red cushioning and metal “counter tops” lining either side of its interior so people could eat in an air-conditioned environment.

Find the entire article <here>

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