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Oakland

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OAKLAND, CA - The Oakland City Council showed its support for food trucks Tuesday when it approved modified ordinances reducing daily site operation fees from $100 to $50 and extending the program which allows group mobile food vending to July 2013.

Oakland Food Truck Map

Since January 2012, the city has allowed food trucks to do business along public streets provided that at least three trucks form a cluster together on a single, temporary site. Prior to that, food trucks were only permitted on private property.

Contrary to initial expectations, the majority of the food vending sites have materialized in and around the downtown area, with five out of seven located within a half-mile radius from City Hall. At the time of the program’s introduction, it was hoped that it might help restore active street life to areas of the city where parking lots dominate the landscape.

According to vendors and their supporters, the appearance of the trucks has contributed improvements in neighborhood vitality, additions to the city’s culinary and cultural offerings, and new opportunities for small business owners.

Opposition to the food truck program has come mainly from the owners of nearby restaurants, who voice concerns over the effects of street vending on their business.

Find the entire article by Carsten Rodin at Oakland Local <here>

 

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OAKLAND, CA - Oakland’s year old pilot permit program for mobile food trucks will come under review Tuesday as city council considers renewing the policy.

Oakland_foodtrucks

Lydia Chow/Flickr

The experimental program allows food trucks to sell in designated areas during normal business hours. The project is set to expire January 2013. The seven permitted sites for trucks include Snow Park, Bites off of Broadway and Splash Pad Park.

The updated policy was in response to pressure from Oakland’s food truck businesses.

According to a report to council, more time is needed to work on developing a permanent solution.

“Due to the complex nature of regulating mobile food vending inside and outside the public right-of-way, involving coordination across several city departments, it will not be possible to adopt new citywide regulations prior to the expiration of the current interim group site regulations,” the report notes.

That report also include results from a survey about the permit program.

While food truck vendors mostly liked the new program, results were mixed among brick and mortar businesses operating nearby. Restaurant owners, in particular, were upset about the food trucks.

In 2012, Oakland issued nine vehicular food vending permits and 17 pushcart permits. City staff said it expects to bring proposals for a permanent citywide mobile food program before the Council’s community economic development subcommittee in early 2013.

With the growth of food truck vendors, new scrutiny also is coming from county food inspectors.

The Alameda County Environmental Health Department is about to step up its enforcement efforts with the addition of three new inspectors. The new employees are expected to help provide additional examinations of food trucks and restaurants. The new inspectors will come aboard in January.

All food trucks and restaurants must get inspected by the county to operate. County officials said the goal is to increase inspections from an annual visit to three times a year.

“The number of mobile food units is increasing and that’s why we are hiring three additional people,” Don Atkinson-Adams, supervisor of the Alameda County Environmental Health Specialist division, said. Currently, there are 350 mobile food trucks in the county.

“I’ve been asking for more inspectors for 15 years,” he said.

Atkinson-Adams said that county inspectors look at a number of items when they are checking mobile food trucks.

“We’re examining whether (food trucks) keep their food safe,” he said. “We look at whether they are keeping the food at a proper temperature. We’re also looking at other things like inadequate hand washing by employees.”

Inspectors take into account the types of food being served by the trucks.

“Each place can be different and we definitely pay attention to what’s on the menu,” Atkinson-Adams said. “Different food means different equipment.”

Find the original article by Jennifer Inez Ward at Oakland Local <here>

 

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Fort Lauderdale’s first Street Food Rumble will pit more than 40 of the area’s best food trucks against one another.

street food rumble

Joshen Esser, who helped to organize the once-chaotic food truck industry into a somewhat organized scene with his Gourmet Truck Expos, is one of the founders behind the event.

Esser said the Rumble is something he has been planning for about a year, thanks to his addiction to competitive cooking shows.

“I’ve also been very involved with food trucks for close to two years now [since founding Gourmet Truck Expo in 2011],” Esser told Clean Plate Charlie. “So why not do the same thing with food trucks? The Rumble is designed to be an event where the best trucks come — not just to cook — but to compete, so we can really see what they’re made of.”

The competition is set to be fierce. A panel of five judges will be eating their way through samples from more than 40 food trucks, some coming from as far north as Orlando and Tampa. Five categories include best food, best dessert, best food truck concept, most innovative dish and dessert.

Judges include local food writer Jan Norris, Miami’s Bulldog Barbecue owner and formerTop Chef contestant Howie Kleinberg, and even the head chef for Florida’s favorite grocery chain, Publix.

The Street Food Rumble takes place Saturday, September 29, from noon to 6 p.m. in the west parking lot of the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek. For more information about the event call 954-977-6700, or visit streetfoodrumble.com and the Facebook page.

Street Food Rumble Food Trucks:

4Alarm Pizza
90 Miles To Go
Bamboo Noah’s
BC Tacos
Best French Fries
Big Kahuna
Cheeseburger Baby
Chef On 4 Wheels
Crazydilla
Dimples Delights
D’Marky
Dog Eat Dog
Fireman Derek
Fire Food Miami
Flour Power
Fry Daddy
Gene’s Joint
Guiseppe’s Italian Sausage
HipPOPS
International Classic Cuisine
JOJI Yogurt
Kona Ice
Lan on the GO
Latin Burger
Lobsta Rollin
Lucille’s On Wheels
Mojo On The Go
Monsta Lobsta
Munchcakes
My Mad Scientist
Out Of Many Café
Palate Party
Pescados Unidos
Slow Food Truck
StrEats 407
Taco Fresh
Tango Grill
The Big Ragu
The Philly Grill On Wheels
The Real Chill
Top Fries
Zombie Ice

Find the original article by Nicole Danna at the browardpalmbeach.com <here>

 

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You may have missed it, but the mobile food industry is growing faster than anyone would have guessed two years ago. It can be difficult to keep up with the new trucks and carts as they pop up throughout the country. Because of this, Mobile Cuisine Magazine assists our readers weekly by posting the names and information about these trucks, so if they happen to be in your area, you can begin to follow them, or at least keep any eye out for them on the roads and cart pods.

Twister Truck

This week’s new entries are:

Champaign, IL

Cracked Truck

Twitter: @CrackedTruck

Cracked is a new, fresh, gourmet breakfast Food Truck out of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Owned and Operated by two extremely recent College Grads from U of I…

http://www.crackedtruck.com

Charlotte, NC

Sticks and Cones

Twitter: @SticksAndCones

Two ice cream trucks for double the fun! Schedule Sticks for novelty ice cream or Cones for soft-serve deliciousness. Available for events! Call!

http://www.SticksAndConesIceCream.com

Cincinnati, OH

SugarSnap!

Twitter: @SugarsnapTruck

The sweetest food truck in Cincy….bringing delicious sweets and artisanal coffee to the streets!

http://www.sugarsnaptruck.com

Florence, KY

Perkn Up Coffee

Twitter: @PerknUpCoffee

http://www.letseat.at/perknupcoffee

Glendale, AZ

White Eyes Fry Bread

Twitter: @WeFryBread

We are the only frozen fry bread company in the US! Find us at local events and in your grocer’s freezer very soon!

http://www.wefrybread.com

Los Angeles, CA

Cousins Lobsters

Twitter: @cousinslobsters

Cousins Maine Lobster brings the tradition and quality of Maine’s iconic lobster industry to Southern California. #cousinslobsters

http://cousinsmainelobster.com

Miami, FL

HipPOPs

Twitter: @HipPOPsTruck

HipPOPs is a gourmet mobile dessert truck serving handcrafted gelato bars to the South Florida community. Follow us and find out where we’re headed next!

http://www.HipPOPs.com

Montgomery County, MD

The Slider Barron

Twitter: @SBarronThe

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Slider-Barron/290147454346286

Moristown, TN

Crazy Good Burgers

Twitter: @crazygoodburger

http://crazygoodburgers.com

New York City, NY

Chinese Mirch

Twitter: @ChineseMirch

The best Indian Chinese in the US!

http://www.chinesemirch.com

Morocho

Twitter: @NYCmorocho

http://www.facebook.com/MorochoNYC

The Squeeze

Twitter: @TheSqueezeTruck

http://thesqueezejuice.com/

Oakland, CA

Twister Truck

Twitter: @twistertruck

Twister presents a fresh, new twist to Mexican food – Literally!

http://twistertruck.com

Oviedo, FL

TJs Seafood Shack

Twitter: @tjsseafood

 

If you are aware of any new rolling bistros, please let us know so that we can add them to our weekly listing of new food trucks as they hit the streets near you. Email us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com

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Oakland_foodtrucks

Lydia Chow/Flickr

OAKLAND, CA - Food truck operators are hoping to set up shop as soon as March now that Oakland is poised to hop aboard the mobile food bandwagon.

Karen Hester, who started the weekly Bites Off Broadway food truck event last summer, wrote earlier this month that she plans to resume it this spring and begin a second weekly food truck market Tuesday or Thursday evenings at Snow Park.

Zak Silverman, who owns Doc’s of the Bay food truck, said he is eager to operate a daytime grouping of food carts at Snow Park and a second pod somewhere in North Oakland.

“We’re going to apply for two pods on the first date they’re available,” Silverman said.

The City Council on Tuesday night is expected to give final approval to a pilot program that would open North and West Oakland, as well as the hills and the area around Lake Merritt to mobile food truck events.

Organizers will be able to request city permits to hold regular gatherings with three or more trucks in locations that are more than 100 feet from a school, park or restaurant.

Find the entire article <here>

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OAKLAND, CA - Oakland City Council’s approval of an interim mobile food policy was a measured win; it will be many months before the city adopts the progressive, comprehensive mobile-food policy of say, Emeryville. The temporary resolution only allows for food-truck events, leaving a trillion details to be worked out (curbside vending for individual trucks, food carts versus trucks, etc.). Nonetheless, many event organizers are breaking out the confetti.

docs of the bay

Matt Cohen, the man behind San Francisco mobile-food juggernaut Off the Grid, has sent trucks into North Berkeley, Marin, and San Mateo, but has long licked his chops over Oakland’s untapped market. And while he is cagey talking about potential “pod” locations, Cohen said Old Oakland is attractive, especially near the new popuphood venture at 9th and Broadway.

He also said Off the Grid’s loyal following gives him an advantage in location scouting. “Unlike other events, we don’t have to be right in the middle of things,” he said. “Off the Grid has enough marketing reach that we can pull in customers from all over.”

Karen Hester, organizer of Bites off Broadway, intends to apply for two evening events, one at the intersection of 19th and Harrison and the other at her prior spot in front of Studio One Arts Center. As far as her first location on Broadway in front of Oakland Tech (shut down by the police in July), she’s a little gun-shy. “I really don’t have the energy to fight that battle right now,” Hester said.

Find the entire article by Jesse Hirsch <here>

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OAKLAND, CA - Tuesday night, Oakland City Council votes on a temporary resolution to allow food pod events while a more comprehensive mobile-food policy is being established. A police crackdown at Friday’s Art Murmur underscores the city’s need for a sensible plan: All the mobile-food vendors who typically operate at the event were issued tickets and forced to leave.

Liba_falafel_truck_sf

I showed up later in the evening, hoping to grab a sandwich from the Hil’s Cooking sandwich trailer (I’ve heard it offers a mean Philly cheese steak with lamb and grilled cactus). The trailer was nowhere in sight, nor were any of the usual suspects. The only street food I saw was the ubiquitous hot dog guy, who seemed to be doing a very brisk business. I was disappointed, but didn’t think much of it until later.

Gail Lillian, owner of Liba Falafel and elder statesman of the East Bay mobile-food scene, issued a statement on her Facebook page Monday. She said the Oakland Police Department had shut down all of the event’s mobile food vendors and that they would have to appear in court and pay a fine.

Find the entire article from eastbayexpress.com <here>

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While cities around the country are embracing mobile food vendors, Oakland still treats most of them as scofflaws.

OAKLAND, CA - Hearing Room 3 at Oakland City Hall has windows that look out onto skateboarders and office workers headed for BART, but on this Wednesday afternoon — the last day of August — it seems oddly cut off from the street. That’s ironic, given the purpose of today’s meeting, called by the strategic planning wing of the city’s Community and Economic Development Agency. That’s because the proposals that come out of this room in a little more than two hours from now have the potential to change Oakland residents’ relationship to the street for a long, long time.

It was more than two years ago that the city council directed the agency to look at Oakland’s 2001 mobile vending ordinance and recommend changes. Today’s meeting of more than a dozen people — Oakland administrators, leaders of business improvement districts, event organizers, even a couple of food truck owners — caps months of inquiries, hearings, studies, and reports. And, as another summer sets on Oakland’s restrictive mobile vending rules, not a single reform has been implemented.

That has Elizabeth August, seated at the U-shaped configuration of tables in Hearing Room 3, visibly pissed off. Organizer of the Oakland Mobile Food Group and a food vendor herself, August is among the “key stakeholders” (according to Ed Manasse, the strategic planning office’s project manager, the wonk tasked with gathering information and making recommendations to the city council) in the slow crawl toward reform. Mild-mannered and patient, Manasse looks like the kind of guy who’d be coaching his daughter’s soccer team and never raise his voice. That’s in contrast to the perennially vocal, always excitable August, only today she’s silent, arms crossed, head down, holding her fire.

“Bless Ed Manasse,” August told me a week earlier, at the end of an exhausting, ultimately pointless day spent trying to convince city officials to endorse a trial food-truck pod for city parks. “But it’s not going anywhere.”

It is, however, going everywhere across the country. While Oakland has been dithering over street-food reform, food trucks nationwide have blown up as big as eighteen-wheelers: Glossy magazines hail Portland’s food-pod paradise; the Food Network has turned them into reality TV via The Great Food Truck Race; even the porn industry is on board. Earlier this year, an adult film producer used LA’s Flying Pig truck as the set for a porno depicting a crew of young women who, uh, found success after bringing their tacos to the street. It marked food trucks turning a major corner in American life, from gritty urban necessity to cultural inevitability.

Neighboring cities are also far ahead of Oakland in adjusting to this new reality. Across the bay, Matt Cohen, an aspiring street-food vendor, became a consultant for other aspiring mobile vendors, and then convinced the cash-strapped Rec and Park Department to let him launch a few weekly food-truck pods called Off the Grid in city parks. They were so successful it convinced the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in early 2010 to rewrite SF’s mobile vending ordinance, opening up every city neighborhood to potential vendors and taking permitting authority out of the hands of police and giving it to the Department of Public Works — a gesture signaling that street food was no longer a law-enforcement issue, but a civic amenity.

Emeryville’s 1981 mobile vending ordinance put few restrictions on truck vendors. And then when a new crop of trucks started appearing on city streets to cater to office workers at lunch, the city assembled an advisory board of truck proprietors, brick-and-mortar restaurant owners, public officials, and citizens to recommend changes that would protect restaurants without outlawing trucks. In part, the new law clarified distance requirements between food trucks and restaurants, and from one truck to another. Participants — including food truck owner Gail Lillian — said the process was a model of civility and good governance.

But, Oakland, once a pioneer in the fast-growing world of street food, still treats most mobile vendors as if they’re scofflaws. Even though food trucks are common in the city, most are operating illegally.

And today’s meeting in Hearing Room 3 represents yet another sad turn for Oakland. It would be one thing if the city’s ambivalence were only a matter of missing some small window for the zeitgeist to slip through. But its failure to accommodate legal street food outside the current lonchera zone in Fruitvale has had the effect of thwarting entrepreneurship for hard-working citizens with limited access to capital, the very small-business startups Oakland’s city leaders pay lip service to. It’s not just sad. It’s tragic.

Tragic because of street food’s potential to make cities more livable. In the spring and summer of 2009, it was clear that there was something happening in San Francisco, as a small group of home-based cooks took first to Twitter, then to the streets of the Mission with carts or folding tables, selling food that ranged from chai to Filipino adobo.

The events that summer felt more like parties than food festivals, and since many vendors were anxious about potential police shutdowns, they also had a whiff of underground. The weekly gatherings also managed to achieve that most cliché of progressive urban goals: They built community. People who’d never eaten on the street before, who weren’t in the habit of lonchera-grazing in Fruitvale, or taking a chance — even drunk — on a late-night bacon-wrapped hot dog seared on a battered baking sheet over propane, were suddenly experiencing urban outdoor space in a new way.

Find the entire article from the East Bay Express <here>

 

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You may have missed it, but the mobile food industry is growing faster than anyone would have guessed two years ago. It can be difficult to keep up with the new trucks and carts as they pop up throughout the country. Because of this, Mobile Cuisine Magazine will assist our readers weekly by posting the names and information about these trucks, so if they happen to be in your area, you can begin to follow them, or at least keep any eye out for them on the roads and cart pods.

This week’s new entries are:

Atlanta, GA

Honeysuckle

Twitter: @honeysuckleatl

http://www.honeysucklegelato.com

Miami, FL

Manila Rice

Twitter: @manilaricetruck

Mobile Filipino cuisine serving South Florida.

http://www.manilarice.com

Nashville, TN

The Coffee Truck

Twitter: @coffeetrucknash

A Nashville Coffee Food Truck featuring gourmet coffee, teas, natural fruit juices & tasty treats.

http://www.thecoffeetrucknashville.com

Yayo’s O.M.G

Twitter: @yayosomg

Gourmet mobile food truck run by Chef Yayo Jiménez & soon to be serving authentic & delicious modern Mexican cuisine to the beautiful people of Music City USA

http://www.yayosomg.com

Oakland, CA

NicksWheelyGoodBfast

Twitter: @NicksBreakfast

Gourmet breakfast food that is easy to love and convenient to find

Washington DC

Basil Thyme

Twitter: @BasilThymeDC

Basil Thyme serves fresh from pasta, sauces and desert. Our hand made Ricotta and sausage also serve as highlights to our chef’s hard-working menu.

http://www.basilthyme.com

 

Feeling Crabby

Twitter: @FeelinCrabby

http://feelincrabby.webs.com

 

If you are aware of any new rolling bistros, please let us know so that we can add them to our weekly listing of new food trucks as they hit the streets near you. Email us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com

 

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DETROIT, MI – The gourmet food truck is a movement in Los Angeles, celebrated on its own television show (“The Great Food Truck Race”) and spawning followers from Portland to Asheville, N.C.

That trend is hard-pressed to pick up steam in Metro Detroit, given decades of ordinances designed to benefit restaurant owners and thwart mobile operations.

The trend here? Two chefs parked in a Garden City auto repair parking lot last weekend, hoping that cars whizzing by would wonder about the old ice cream truck wrapped in tomato-sauce red and marked by a chef’s knife and the name: “Concrete Cuisine.”

Jeff Aquilina and partner Justin Kava — chef veterans of Matt Prentice’s restaurant operations — were inspired by effusive magazine articles, like one in Time last year, that described how gourmet street food sold from mobile trucks had become a multimillion-dollar business in Los Angeles. But when they revved up their $60,000 kitchen on wheels on the streets last month, they soon discovered that “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” in Metro Detroit were empty words when it came to selling fried pickles (“frickles”) and a Southwest brisket taco served in a crisp won-ton shell with yellow tomato salsa for $6.95.

Licensed by Wayne County, eager to pay fees and follow rules, the pair quickly hit a wall of regulations and resistance, including Detroit ordinances that essentially ban mobile food operations from anywhere near the downtown stadiums or central business district.

“They’re basically not allowed anywhere,” says Chris Gulock, a staff member now drafting a new ordinance for the city’s planning commission.

The rules prohibit even a fully inspected and licensed restaurant on wheels from public and private property in Detroit, as the law has been interpreted.

But officials in Detroit and elsewhere say the rules date from a previous era that didn’t anticipate modern, well-equipped trucks.

This wasn’t news to other mobile food truck vendors, from the Airstream FlaminGO! Truck that brazenly flouted the rules for months last year, to Jess Daniel’s Neighborhood Noodle, a celebrated “pop-up” noodle shop that briefly morphed into a Neighborhood Noodle cart and is now being retooled, probably as a small brick-and-mortar cookery.

But Aquilina and Kava were stunned to discover they had put their cash and entrepreneurial dreams in a truck — and a trend — with nowhere to go in Detroit.

Find the entire article <here>

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