Monday, October 17, 2011

Food Trucks

Wanted to blog before taking off for 10 days where I’ll be OFF THE GRID. I’m taking a VACATION! Really it’s quaint. We have a trailer in the woods, a bit rustic, where we can do a bit of cooking, sleeping, and READING. But no phone, Internet, etc. Sounds like magic, huh.

But before I leave, a few thoughts to my readers. Both of you.

My husband and I were walking around an adjoining neighborhood last week and I noticed a food truck! Yay! So many up and coming cities have been getting roaming food trucks. Such as Seattle where the son of some friends of ours owns Skillet. Seattle has a way advanced street food culture. The parents were telling us about how hard it was in the beginning. You know, how they welded a truck from bits and pieces. You can only launch a project like this with the concentrated help of friends and family.

But their son came up with a hit. Not only with his food truck, Skillet, but with his premier BACON JAM. Yup, Josh Henderson was the one who came up with the idea of a bacon spread. Of course, someone would eventually get the idea—because, of course, bacon goes with everything. Why else would vegans want fake bacon?

Not that anyone is getting rich off Bacon Jam, but it did put his star on the map. I’ve been tracking Josh’s progress through reports from the parents. And, couldn’t wait for a version of Skillet to come to Chicago UNTIL this:

Sweet times for Chicago food trucks

by Marissa Oberlander
Feb 16, 201

Started as cheap wheels for chefs without startup capital, food trucks are now affordable expansion vehicles for brick-and-mortar restaurants and bakeries. And if the new Chicago mayor passes an ordinance allowing on-site cooking, this national trend could see exponential growth in the Windy City.
Under current law, Chicago food truck operators can only sell pre-packaged food. The proposed ordinance, championed by Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), would allow operators to cook inside their trucks with health standards enforced by random city inspections. It also calls for licensed trucks to follow specific routes that keep a fair distance from restaurants and retail food stores.
If Rahm Emanuel, the frontrunner in next week’s mayoral election, wins a mouth-watering future is all but guaranteed for Chicago food trucks.
“I do not believe cook-on-site food trucks should be illegal,” Emanuel said in an interview with Time Out Chicago. “I believe we should be doing more to promote access to fresh foods throughout the city and encourage innovation in our food industry.”

SOOOOO when I saw a food truck on the streets of Andersonville near my neighborhood in Uptown, I thought WOW! There were lines of people, nice upscale-looking customers with lattes in one hand and a dog leash in the other. THEN I noticed just how many dogs were around this food truck. (Dogs love bacon too!) The truck was called Bark! Or Barf! Or something similar, which didn’t exactly sound appetizing.

It was a food truck for dogs.

I had two opposing thoughts at the same time. Where’s the bacon? and There’s something perverse about a food truck for animals. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s the same feeling I get when I’m downtown and see all the little girls walking around with American Girl Dolls. Have you been to the American Girl Doll shop? It’s where you can buy luxury items or dolls clothes for more than you’d actually pay for stuff for YOURSELF. The first time I went into one of those places I felt dirty—especially when I came out with a shopping bag full of stuff FOR A DOLL. And then a homeless guy asked me for what amounted to spare change to buy a coffee and I felt stingy.

I immediately went home and vowed to never buy an American Girl Doll item. (Sorry if I’m offending some people’s American Doll sensibilities). So the people lined up to buy treats for their dogs cast the same vibe, for me.

Me and my husband walked home to our neighborhood—the step-sister of Andersonville, where the yuppies go to buy vanilla lattes—for their pets—to Uptown where I saw this:

That’s a picture of homeless or people with low-incomes lining up for food and health services from the Night Ministry van. About 70 people were waiting in line.

Here’s the Night Ministry website if you care to check them out:

Maybe send them some Bacon Jam.

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