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Defender Picks



November 30th

Big K.R.I.T.

House of Blues, 8p.m.

Part of the Kritically Acclaimed Tour



Higher Heights Reggae Band

Blue Nile, 9p.m.

Get your reggae jams on


Glen David Andrews

b.b.a., 10p.m.

Nola jams


Aurora Nealand & Royal Roses

Maison, 7p.m.

Traditional jazz meets modernity


December 1st

Pelicans v. Grizzlies

Smoothie King Center, 7p.m.

Memphis takes on Nola


The Art of Giving

Ogden Museum, 5p.m.

A holiday shopping events


Until The Beat Stops

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

A novel by Stella Mowen


Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide

Maple Street Book Shop, 7p.m.

Compilation by Mark Yakich



Saenger, 7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit


December 2nd

Tank and The Bangas Backyard Hangout

1032 St. Maurice St., 6p.m.

Also ft. The Original Pinettes Brass Band


A Dark and Stormy Night

The Arbor Room, 6:30p.m.

An evening of cocktails and ghost stories


Pelicans v. Rockets

Toyota Center, 7p.m.

Nola heads to Houston


Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Compliation of writing about “arriving”


Cas Haley

Howlin’ Wolf, 10p.m.

In the Den


December 3rd

Ogden After Hours

Ogden, 5:30p.m.

This week ft. Roman Street


Prism Break

Zeitgeist, 6p.m.

An interactive video installation


The Butlers of Iberville Parish

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Dunboyne Plantation in the 1800s


An Evening with Lusher’s Creative Writing Program

Maple Street Book Shop, 5:30p.m.

Students read from their original work


December 4th

Newcomb Art Department Holiday Sale

Carroll Gallery, 10a.m.

Ft. works in glass, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry and more



Home for the Holidays

Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 8p.m.

Fundraiser honoring returned Nola homeowners


The Soul Stoned Fest

The Willow, 8:30p.m.

Art, music and visuals


Doombalaya & CakeWalk

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

A couple Nola bands jam for the weekend


Pelicans v. Cavaliers

Smoothie King Center, 8:30p.m.

Cleveland comes to New Orelans


Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5p.m.

This week ft. Artist Perspective with John Barnes


December 5th

St. Nicholas Day Fair

French Market, 10a.m.

Ft. the Saint Nick Secondline, facepaint and more


Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Algiers Ferry Landing, 5p.m.

“A Riverfront Holiday Celebration”


12 Brews of Christmas

House of Blues, 6p.m.

$20 to taste 12 seasonal beers


NOLA Polar Express

Freret St. Publiq House, 8p.m.

Benefit for CASA New Orleans


3rd Annual Krampus Gras

The Voodoo Lounge, 10p.m.

Dancing, drinking and fundraising for Planned Parenthood


December 6th

White Christmas

Prytania, 10a.m.

Part of the Holiday Movie Series


Saints v. Panthers

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 3:25p.m.

Carolina comes to Nola


Bikes Vs. Cars

Zeitgeist, 9p.m.

Bikes for change



Saenger, 2p.m.;7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit

Circling the Food Trucks

Coalition Seeks to Change Laws that Limit NOLA's Moveable Feasts

New Orleans’ food truck operators are putting it into overdrive as they look for ways to fight city hall and expand their presence in the city.  With the recent formation of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition, and the coalition’s partnership with the community-minded web project Neighborland, the city’s fledgling fleet of food trucks hopes to gain grassroots support for New Orleans’ food truck culture and lobby for friendlier laws to encourage the growth of the scene.



The New Orleans Food Truck Coalition’s founding members include local trucks Taceaux Loceaux, La Cocinita, and Geaux Plates, along with Baton Rouge truck Curbside, Miss Linda’s Catering (better known as the yaka mein lady) and the folks from  


NoDef checked in with Alex del Castillo of Taceaux Loceaux for a better understanding of the coalition and their mission. 


“We’re basically a bunch of truck operators who got together to try and coordinate our efforts with the city in trying to build a constructive dialogue with them,” said del Castillo.


Specifically, the coalition wants to open up the CBD to food trucks, a part of the city that’s currently off-limits, presumably to protect the interests of brick-and-mortar restaurants who don’t want added competition from the trucks.  Laws also prohibit food trucks from parking within 600 feet of a restaurant and require trucks to keep moving after 30 minutes at a location.


Does del Castillo think Taceaux Loceaux is a threat to restaurants in the CBD?  Hardly.


“We’re very popular with some of the best chefs in town,” he said.  “They eat at the truck. If we’re at odds with anybody, we’re at odds with people who run crappy restaurants who survive by being in the CBD and not having any competition.”


In addition to the laws that should be changed, the coalition also wants to revampand clarify other laws that were originally intended to regulate “mobile vendors,” which not only includes food trucks, but could also apply to fair and festival vendors and smaller carts and wagons, like the Lucky Dog carts dotted across the French Quarter.  It isn’t clear how Lucky Dog manages to operate in the Quarter while all other mobile vendors are restricted from doing so, but their perceived monopoly illustrates the need to take a new at city regulations with contemporary vendors in mind.    


“The laws,” said del Castillo, “are complicated, and seemingly contradictory, and enforced incorrectly.”


He tells the story of recently being kicked out the CBD because of an inconsistency between his permit and the ordinance regarding the official boundaries of the CBD.
If laws are clearer and more consistent, then del Castillo believes more entrepreneurs would be willing to take the risk of starting a truck of their own.


“I want there to be more trucks,” said del Castillo, who values culture over competition.  “I think our food truck culture is still growing, and we’re such a food culture town.”  It’s embarrassing, he says, to hear people brag about the food truck scenes in place like Austin and Portland, while New Orleans is still a hostile environment.


Neighborland has joined the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition in their fight, becoming an on-line hub for like-minded community activists.  In addition to raising awareness by providing a platform for the issue, Neighborland also hosted on on-line petition that gained over 750 signatures in a week.  


The two groups are also planning a food truck round-up to attract more attention to the city’s meals on wheels and promote the idea of permanent food truck lot.  
Many people don’t realize that food trucks operators are required to have a state-licensed commercial kitchen, or “commissary.”  Paying rent and taxes on a commercial space, in addition to the upkeep of the truck and the rolling kitchen, can make operating costs add up quickly, which is where the coalition can help.


“We’re trying to be a sort food truck incubator for young entrepreneurs and help get them in the business and actually grow the sector,” said del Castillo.  It’s important, he adds, to have “a central kitchen that everyone can share, because that’s one of the key things, having a commissary that meets the state requirements.”


While the New Orleans’ food truck scene has so far been rooted mostly in the weekend bar scene, del Castillo believes there is potential for a lot more.  He believes food trucks can enhance the city’s culinary reputation and be an economic driver for more small business.    


“There are other cities that have trucks downtown,” said del Castillo.  “It’s not like an insurmountable problem.  There are ways to do it equitably where everyone wins.”

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