Pass It On!

secret

An underground food truck extravaganza hosted by Souper Jenny and the Atlanta Street Food Coalition will be held Thursday, April 22, 6-9 p.m. in Andrews Square (56 E. Andrews Drive) in front of Souper Jenny’s. The family-friendly event will gather roughly ten vendors, including Jenny’s Incredibly Flying Soup Mobile, The Good Food Truck, Taqueria del Sol, The Pickle, Artichoke Bliss, and King of Pops.

Come early (complimentary wine will be served while supplies last!)  and remember to bring cash to purchase fun, inexpensive and wholesome fare for the whole family!

[Photo via Ed Yourdon]

Vendor Gallery: Andy Grimes

Andy Grimes

Andy Grimes didn’t always tool around the Southeast in a converted green 1975 GMC Palm Beach christened The Pickle. His résumé includes fancy stints at restaurants ranging from Joey D.’s to Ciboulette and Cafe Tu Tu Tango. He then worked for Delta doing menu design and corporate catering until getting laid off after 9/11.

Grimes started Ultimate Culinary Solutions in January 2002 and, a year later bought an old motorhome from a guy outside of Charlotte. He ” limped back to Atlanta,” had the mechanicals fixed up by Zeb Frady at Southland Motorhomes in Buford, and ripped out the avocado interior and shag carpet in front of his house prior to having a  kitchen installed by Myron Hammontree at AmEquip in Dallas, Georgia.

Grimes and his Pickle are familiar figures at events such as the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival, the Inman Park Festival, and the Virginia Highland Summerfest. He is a huge fan of Ultimate frisbee and always caters the Atlanta Flying Disc Club End of Season Tournament. This year, he will participate in the Sweetwater 420 Festival, the Buckhead Spring Arts and Crafts Fair in Chastain Park, and make a first appearance at Corn-Dog-O-Rama.

A street vendor at heart, he will participate in many of the upcoming events sponsored by the Atlanta Street Food Coalition and, upon reading our recent piece about the King of Pops and his handcrafted popsicles, he wrote: “Maybe he can make me a pickle-flavored one. I hear they’re big in Texas.”

The Street Food Revolution Has Begun

Kasim Reed

Kasim Reed

Kwanza Hall

Kwanza Hall

Hundreds of people, including Mayor Kasim Reed (in a beautiful dark suit and glorious pale blue tie) and Councilman Kwanza Hall (on his bicycle and wearing a nifty Publix backpack) showed up in the parking lot of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market to enjoy the first ever street food advocacy day and urban picnic, organized by the Atlanta Street Food Coalition to promote the cause of mobile food vending. No one fried anything, but the offerings ranging from freshly made pizza to hot soup, virtuous hot dogs, glorious salads, chocolate nachos, creme brulée, waffles, Southern veggies, gourmet coffee, and even dog treats a human could conceivably enjoy paved the way for a joyous street presence of Georgia vendors.

The market staff kept everything neat as a pin. No one got grief for cooking on a truck or selling food from a cute tricycle or a table decorated with spring flowers. NPR blessed us with its presence, and countless media types whipped out microphones and cameras to interview the day’s heroes. Look for more details soon and more vendors making their alfresco debuts in similar events.

Athens More Progressive Than Atlanta

Farm Cart

Image of the Farm Cart from the Athens Banner-Herald

Today’s Athens Banner-Herald has an article about the possibility of the unified city-county government considering expanding the number of permits it issues for street vendors. As is, Athens-Clarke County issues 25 permits total for vendors of all kinds between downtown and the nearby University of Georgia campus, meaning those who would serve us delicious food compete with those who sell hippie jewelry or knock-off designer sunglasses. Competition for the permits is serious, with people sometimes camping out overnight to have a chance at one, but many of those who hold them only set up for home football games. Olivia Sargeant, of the Farm Cart, has asked Mayor Heidi Davison to consider expanding the number of permits and modifying the health code rules vendors must meet to make them more reasonable, and it seems as though the ACC commission might be receptive.

Sargeant’s Farm Cart will be in Atlanta today for the Atlanta Street Food Coalition’s rally/urban picnic at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where we hope to see many of you.

Delicious Democracy

Paper Kogi Truck

Paper Kogi Truck

In an opinion piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, two of the founders of the Atlanta Street Food Coalition express their view on the lack of street food in our fair city and comment on the need to “inject vitality and playfulness” into our city’s street life.

Hayley Richardson and Greg Smith write: “The argument is elegant in its simplicity: Changing the rules to allow food trucks to operate here would activate the myriad “dead spaces” throughout Atlanta, generate revenue for our city’s dwindling coffers and provide just the type of small business opportunity that our new mayor is promoting. The supply is here: Many food truck operators are fired up and ready to go, just waiting for the green light from the health department.”

This is the second time in a few weeks (John Kessler wrote eloquently on the subject in his Sunday column) that we have been blessed by the media in our own backyard.

Vote with your feet, Atlanta, and attend the Food Truck Advocacy Day picnic March 26 at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

If you haven’t signed our petition, now would be a good time!