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THE

Defender Picks

 

MARDI

March 28th

Book Reading: Elizabeth Pearce

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"

 

Spring Publishing Camp

Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM

Book publishing workshop

 

Gabby Douglas

Dillrd University, 7PM

Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness

 

Laelume

The Carver, 7PM

World soul jazz music

 

Laughter Without Borders

Loyola University, 7PM

Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees

 

Tuesday Night Haircuts

St. Roch Tavern, 8PM

Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke

 

Thinkin' With Lincoln 

Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM

Outdoor trivia

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Interstellar future funk

 

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 10PM

Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM

MERCREDI

March 29th

Response: Artists in the Park

Botanical Garden, 10AM

Art exhibit and sale en plein air

 

Studio Opening Party

Alex Beard Studio, 5PM

Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening

 

Sippin' in the Courtyard

Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM

Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle

 

Work Hard, Play Hard

Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM

Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party 

 

Lecture: Patrick Smith

New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM

Coastal scientist discusses his work

 

Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks

Smoothie King Center, 7PM

The Birds and the Mavs go head to head

 

Drag Bingo

Allways Lounge, 7PM

Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night

 

They Blinded Me With Science: A Bartender Science Fair

2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM

Cocktails for a cause

 

Brian Wilson 

Saenger Theatre, 8PM

The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds" 

 

Movie Screening: Napoleon Dynamite

Catahoula Hotel, 8PM

Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!

 

Blood Jet Poetry Series

BJs in the Bywater, 8PM

Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo

 

Horror Shorts

Bar Redux, 9PM

NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts

 

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Bronx hip hop comes south

 

JEUDI

March 30th

Aerials in the Atrium

Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM

Live art in the air

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Mia Borders

 

Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM

Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain

 

Big Freedia Opening Night Mixer

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM

Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume

 

An Edible Evening

Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM

8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden

 

RAW Artists Present: CUSP

The Republlic, 7PM

Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show

 

Electric Swandive, Hey Thanks, Something More, Chris Schwartz

Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM

DIY rock, pop, punk show

 

The Avett Brothers

Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM

Americana folk-rock

 

Stand-Up NOLA

Joy Theater, 8PM

Comedy cabaret

 

Stooges Brass Band

The Carver, 9PM

NOLA brass all-stars

 

Wolves and Wolves and Wolves and Wolves

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support

 

Fluffing the Ego

Allways Lounge, 10:30PM

Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers

 

Fast Times Dance Party

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

80s dance party

 


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 www.NolaFoodTrucks.com.  

 

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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Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith

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