The Old Fourth Ward Celebrates James Brown

James Brown
The Atlanta Street Food Coalition and its friends from The Soundtable and Top Flr will hold a party complete with favorite street-food vendors and maybe a politician or two.

Hector Santiago of Pura Vida will be there with his soon to be famous burritos (more about these soon)!!

Sunday, May 2, corner of Edgewood and Boulevard
James Brown Street Festival, 12:00-4:00 PM

[Image via Desheboard]

Fast Food That Won’t Kill You

The little tricycle that could

Cliff Bostock of Creative Loafing trusts that “Unless you’ve been hiding under a table at Bacchanalia for the last few months, you know that street food has become the latest cause célèbre of Atlanta foodies,” and he is helping to spread the word about tomorrow’s event at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

Will Bostock be there?

Will the Mayor and Councilman Kwanza Hall be there again?

Will  the local media show up?

Find out for yourself and enjoy the second Urban Picnic organized by the Atlanta Street Food Coalition in conjunction with the market. We promise you an interesting crowd and some new vendors. Be there! Monthly picnic 11 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

No Longer Alone

Chicago wants to help us. New York takes notice of Atlanta’s efforts toward legalizing street food. We are feeling the love!

Look at this report from the Big Apple featuring a food fight in New Haven;  vendors in front of Yale New Haven Hospital; and a picture from our own Food Truck Extravaganza in Buckhead!

What We Can Learn from Chicago

Food truck illustration by Laura Park

A detailed article in the Chicago Reader entitled “The Food Truck Roadblock” reveals that, much like Atlanta, Chicago feels shut out of a national movement  other cities are benefiting from.

“Why can’t Chicago have street food like LA or New York?” asks Mike Nualla.

Substitute the word “Atlanta” for “Chicago” in the paragraph below, and you have it in a nutshell.

Food trucks and pushcarts aren’t illegal in Chicago, but they’re heavily restricted. You can’t do any cooking, cutting, or food preparation of any kind on board: everything must be precooked and packaged in a licensed kitchen. You can’t stop anywhere for more than two hours, and you can’t sell anything after 10 PM. So while a handful of businesses like Edgewater’s Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant are able to operate trucks above the radar, serving prepackaged meals to cabbies and others on the go, others that prepare food onboard are doing it illegally.

Fine-dining chefs with vending aspirations are doing heavy lifting in Chicago. Matt Maroni, who until recently worked as executive chef for the private Mid-America Club, recently pitched to alderman Scott Waguespack a 43-page comparative study of food-truck policies in six other cities and a model ordinance for Chicago that would allow truck operators to cook fresh food a la minute for their customers.

Maroni believes that his concept for a truck–flatbreads­with various toppings like short ribs and pork belly­-could work under existing legislation, but his proposal would “significantly liberalize the rules on mobile food dispensers in the language of the city’s municipal code.” In his scheme, “applicants would submit a business plan to the city, including a menu and a blueprint of the truck, detailing specs for equipment, counter space, sinks, storage, waste disposal, ventilation, window dimensions, a power source, plumbing, and a source of potable running water.”

Check out Maroni’s advocacy site (chicagofoodtrucks.com) which will “serve as the online headquarters for a professional association of food-truck operators, where for a membership fee they’d have access to information on everything from purchasing equipment to finding locations and kitchens to operate from” and include a GPS feature that will allow customers to track the locations of their favorite trucks.

[Image by Laura Park from the Chicago Reader]

Vendor Gallery: Deb and Becky Tokich

Deb and Becky Tokich

No, you aren’t seeing double!

The Tokich sisters, who will soon make their debut as the only twins among the new generation of  local street vendors, have been in Atlanta for 15 years. “We live to eat & live to cook.,” they recently told us, adding that they have been cooking since they were 11.

After years of listening to their friends insisting they share their food with the masses, they are finally  working on doing just that. “Having a street food truck/cart is the ideal way for us to introduce our food,” they wrote.

Their dream: “Working together, cooking together, sharing our food with people.”

Their concept: Mouthwatering Cubans

Their method: “We slow roast our pork in our homemade mojo sauce.”

Their future: “different fillings for Cubans–i.e., Turkey Cuban, Veggie–all hot pressed on Cuban bread!!”

Those spirited twins have just the right attitude (“We love love nothing more than watching people eat our food–seriously!!! The noises & faces make us happy”) and their soon-to-be-famous Cuban sandwiches look too great for words.

Cubanismo sandwich