Friday, June 25, 2010

Midvale Takes the Meat out of Taco Stands

Catchy title ha? That is the title I thought "my favorite newspaper" would run. They are usually so good at silly double entendre headlines, choosing to spend their time there rather than on unimportant stuff like facts and spelling, but enough about "my favorite newspaper".

Yesterday there was an article in the Utah section about Midvale inacting a law to limit the size of the Taco Carts allowed on Midvale streets to 6 feet x 4 feet.

I am a fan of these rolling fonts of delicious meat and hot spicy condiments. They allow you to pull over anytime and get a meal for cheap. The food is usually very good and it lends a little atmosphere to an otherwise white washed landscape. I try to frequent one in particular in West Valley City that seems busy all the time.

Many of the cart owners in Midvale shelled out many thousands of dollars 5 years ago or less (that's when Midvale allowed these carts) to get set up. Now many of them will have to buy new carts to stay in compliance.Have you ever seen a 4x6 space, let alone worked in one? Go down to Home Depot and look at a 4x8 sheet of plywood and imagine lopping off 2 feet and then setting it on the floor. Now you are supposed to prepare and serve lunch from this space.

I think the 4x6 limitation is a chicken way of saying they don't want these vendors in their city. They know the vendors have put money into carts already and that they will have to invest even more to get into compliance. They also know that it will be hard to carry enough product in that small a space to make a living.

The really chicken thing about this is that Midvale used as their excuse "this is what the public wanted" and they didn't grandfather in these existing carts. That shows a lack of process and a determination to eliminate the element rather than working with these entrepeneurs.

My point of this rant is that we need this sort of diversity in our towns. Midvale has a sizeable Latino community. They should be celebrating this segment of their population rather than trying to eliminate it because it is a little messy or not what they are used to.For those of us from the East, street food is a way of life. The good stuff comes from vendors planted in your way as you stroll along a busy street. If you feel like a hot dog or pretzel you can just pick one up.

Stand up for our brothers and sisters who would provide us with outdoor sustinance. Go down to Midvale this weekend (where exactly is Midvale anyhow? - I looked it up: I-215 to 7800 S and I-15 to 1300 East - approximately - my appologies to Midvalites who are outside this general boundary description) and get a few tacos. While you are standing there sipping your Oranchata and trying to keep the hot juices from dripping down your arm, tell the vendor you appreciate what they are doing and that you are not going to patronize Midvale brick and mortar stores if the council doesn't do something about taco stands. Happy eating.

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