LEXINGTON, KY – Sometime this spring, people who work and live in downtown Lexington finally might be able to enjoy the food phenomenon that urban hipsters around the country have been tweeting about for years: food trucks.

A city task force is hammering out details for a pilot project to allow mobile food vendors to rotate among several locations downtown.

Bring on the wood-fired pizza, the artisanal ice cream, the Korean barbecue, the Hawaiian sliders, the curbside comfort food, the best local organic home-grown fusion food-on-a-stick quirky cuisine you can think of. Lexington can take it.

We’ve read about it, watched it on TV and heard about it on the radio until our tummies rumble. Now we want to eat.

Anthony Rios, who runs Dogs for Cats, a mobile gourmet hot dog stand, knows that the market is there.

“If you take a walk downtown for lunch, good luck trying to get food within a half-hour and get back to work,” Rios said. Regular restaurants downtown, “they’re packed.”

If the pilot program comes through, Rios is ready to roll in, like Venetian Blinds does, a larger truck and sell “Italian barbecue,” with handmade pasta, meats and sauces.

But there are several regulatory hurdles yet to be cleared. The city’s Itinerant Merchant Task Force, which has been looking at this and related issues since last year, must finalize exactly how the pilot program would work and get it approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council. The task force meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Government Center to consider eight potential locations, including four that would allow only sidewalk food carts.

Councilwoman Peggy Henson, who chairs the task force, said she is optimistic that if she and her colleagues can get their work done by March, the pilot program could go before the council this spring.

“There are some roadblocks as to who would administer it, but we’ll have that discussion on the 25th,” Henson said. “I really hope we can work out all the issues and allow these food vendors a good place. … I do think they can provide character to the city in an appropriate place, a place where there’s entertainment, nightlife.”

Details of the proposal

Currently, there are no regulations to permit or regulate food trucks. About the only food that current state regulations allow to be sold anywhere, anytime are hot dogs, nacho cheese and ice cream. The task force has been working on a way to get more on the street-food menu.

Find the entire article by Janet Patton at kentucky.com <here>