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THE

Defender Picks

 

Jeudi

October 23rd

The Delta Saints

Publiq House, 10p.m.

“Bourbon-fueled bayou rock” Nashville group

 

Dylan Landis: Rainey Royal  

Garden District Bookshop, 6p.m.

14 narratives from Greenwich Village in the 70s

 

Julian Benasis

Republic, 10p.m.

EDM producter/ DJ to play with Buck 10, DXXXY & SFAM

 

James Nolan - YOU DON'T KNOW ME

Octavia Books, 6p.m.

New Orleans writer James Nolan reads and signs his new interrelated collection of short stories

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6-8p.m.

This week featuring a Fais Do-Do with Ike Marr and Martin Shears

Vendredi

October 24th

Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour

Saenger Theatre, 8p.m.

Food Network star brings his live show to the Crescent City

 

MOVIES IN THE GARDEN: NORTH BY NORTHWEST

Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA, 5p.m.

Alfred Hitchcocks thriller starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint

 

Selebrating Sierra Leone: Music by Imaginary Frenz

House of Blues, 7p.m.

Fundraiser to support Ebola relief efforts in West Africa.

 

Cottonmouth Kings

Spotted Cat, 10p.m.

Smokin’ swing and jazz music at one of the city’s best dancing venues

 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers

Blue Nile 8p.m.

Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen ($10)

Vendredi

October 24th

Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour

Saenger Theatre, 8p.m.

Food Network star brings his live show to the Crescent City

 

MOVIES IN THE GARDEN: NORTH BY NORTHWEST
Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA, 5p.m.

Alfred Hitchcocks thriller starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint

 

Selebrating Sierra Leone: Music by Imaginary Frenz

House of Blues, 7p.m.

Fundraiser to support Ebola relief efforts in West Africa.

 

Cottonmouth Kings

Spotted Cat, 10p.m.

Smokin’ swing and jazz music at one of the city’s best dancing venues

 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers

Blue Nile 8p.m.

Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen ($10)

 

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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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock