Browsing articles in "food cart"
Mar 26, 2015
Jim Benson

Bend store, food cart owner in court on drug charges

BEND, Ore. –

Antonio Rico-Sanchez, found guilty of running a drug ring  in 2011, was arrested in February on charges of methamphetamine at his Bend grocery store.

Rico-Sanchez owns Rico’s Groceries and Rico’s Tacos, a popular food cart in Bend. 

He appeared in court by video hookup from the jail for a motion hearing Wednesday.

Rico-Sanchez was arrested a month after the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team said it recorded two undercover buys of meth at Rico’s Groceries.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley signed a warrant for his arrest on Feb. 23. His bail was set at $100,000.

He posted bail and was released on Feb. 25. Days later, he was arrested in Jefferson County for a parole violation.

Initially, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office objected to transporting Rico-Sanchez to his out-of-county appearances.

Now he’s in the Deschutes County Jail, where  he will remain until the matter is resolved following a decision by Judge Stephen Forte on Wednesday.

In September 2012, Rico-Sanchez was convicted of delivering meth after detectives recovered $40,000 worth of the drug from his grocery store.

He’s scheduled to enter pleas to the new charges on April 15th.

Recommended Reading

Mar 22, 2015
Jim Benson

Level Food Cart Playing Field

If you’ve ever leased an apartment for any length of time and scratched your head when the owners or managers gave discounts and bonuses to new arrivals — but not to the loyal, on-time paying renters who already lived there – the simmering food controversy in Coeur d’Alene might speak to you. With fine intentions to offer recreationists more snack and meal choices this summer, city officials have opened the doors for food vendors in trucks to sell their wares next to McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The sizzlin’ brats and burgers and other tasty treats will smell wonderful, unless you happen to be competing with them. A trial run with five food trucks has been approved for April 12. In all likelihood, residents will see more options for Car d’Lane in June, and the stage has been set — barring unforeseen circumstances — for the nation’s food truck frenzy to be fed locally throughout the summer/Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you think the Press has offered a good compromise?

Recommended Reading

Mar 22, 2015
Jim Benson

Cheap Eats 2015: Top 5 Food Carts of the Year

Top 5 Food Carts of the Year | African Food | American Comfort Food | Breakfast/Brunch

Burgers and Dogs | Chinese | Indian | Island/Ocean | Japanese | Korean | Latin American

Mexican | Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | Old World European | Pizza | Sandwiches

Thai/Laotian | Vegan/Veg-friendly | Vietnamese | 21 Delicious Bites For $7 or Less

Food Cart of the Year: Holy Mole

Southeast 33rd Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard, 347-4270. Hours posted weekly at

“In Mexico,” says Juan Fernando Otero, “we don’t have recipes. We have rituals.“

Otero’s earthy poblano mole is a ritual 16 years in the
making. Each weekend, he re-creates the flavors he grew up with in
Puebla, Mexico. The mole takes him 13 hours to prepare, and involves
more than 30 ingredients. He makes his own chocolate from scratch, and
toasts each spice individually, each to taste. He removes the seeds from
each poblano, and cuts out the dry parts of each pepper, which he
presses individually to avoid any sourness.

At Otero’s new Hawthorne cart Holy Mole, our Food Cart of the Year for 2015, he’s finally sharing that mole with the public.

He serves it over rice, with chicken or seitan and
handmade corn tortillas, for a mere $10. But it is every bit as complex,
rich and flavorful as the moles you’d find at Oswaldo Bibiano’s upscale
Autentica—which Otero says he admires—or other lauded spots such as
Nuestra Cocina or Oregon City’s Loncheria Mitzil.

Otero began cooking seriously in 1998, when he arrived in
Portland to find Mexican food he didn’t recognize. “When I came here,”
he says, “I found that Mexican food is very different from where I am
from. I looked for mole, but did not find the same flavor.”

He says it took him four years to even try a burrito.

So he started making his own food based on the flavors of
his hometown of Puebla, where at the street cart bazaar you don’t order
off the menu. Instead, you ask what they have today—a concept he says is
foreign to many who ask for a burrito at his cart and don’t find it.
His only taco is taco dorado ($2 each)—served as an appetizer in
Puebla—a fried tortilla filled with potato, and savory and rich in

It is a deeply personal and regional vision of food, not
backed by any funder. He could have only begun as a cart, a reminder of
what we still love about Portland’s food-cart scene in the days when
high-profile restaurateurs now pre-market their restaurants with $100
pop-up nights.

Otero’s pozole—Pre-Hispanic corn soup, served both vegan
and with chicken—is deeply hearty, while his enchiladas de picadillo
dulce ($9.75) reveal a wealth of flavor and texture. Turkey and tortilla
serve as a neutral base for the sweet fruit flavors of apple, raisin,
pear and apricot, livened by the crunch of almond and cabbage and the
tangy spice of guajillo salsa.

But Otero wants to make sure everyone can eat his food.
And so it is peanut-free, gluten-free and vegan-safe. He can attest to
this, because everything he makes is handmade, not a product of a
factory. It took him years to develop a vegetable broth that could
replace the chicken broth often used in mole, and he makes his own
chocolate to avoid peanuts.

It all takes time to prepare, because he
makes everything fresh rather than let it lose its flavor; get some
fast-frying tacos dorados to eat while you wait for an entree. And
you’ll have to check his Facebook page (
for his hours each week, which change to fit his part-time job at New
Seasons Market.

The wait will be worth it. In February, a Japanese couple
stopped by his cart, and Otero worried he had taken too long to make
their order. He was surprised when they were grateful instead.

“Thank you,” they told him. “Thank you for taking the time to prepare our food.” MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

2. Gastro Mania

Northwest Quimby Street and 19th
Avenue (Q19 pod), 750-8451; Southwest 1st Avenue and Columbia Street,
689-3794. Lunch Monday-Friday.

Alexander Nenchev makes the best damn gyros I’ve had in
Portland. There hasn’t been much serious competition, sure, but his
fresh-grilled lamb puts the stale meat of trompo cooks to shame, spiced
gently and still tender, served with dilled-up tzatziki and thick, fresh

The Bulgaria-born Nenchev says making food has been his
dream since arriving in America in 2008, but he just didn’t have the
money. In Sofia, he cooked at two restaurants—Bravo and Retro—he says
were voted best in Bulgaria by its restaurant association in 1999 and
2004, respectively. But it took him until 2014 to get enough money for
his Gastro Mania cart, which he built and runs with his wife, Polina.

“I love Portland,” he says. “This is the best thing I have done in my life; people are amazing, unbelievable.”

But then, so is his food, from a moist, mustard aioli and
shallot porchetta sandwich ($8); to a slow-cooked, saucy brisket ($8);
to a chicken scallopini ($8) learned from a Sardinian friend; to a
Mediterranean-style salad ($8) sporting a Parmesan-topped,
parsley-flecked slab of swordfish, one of the ocean’s most delectably
fatty fishes. His insanely decadent foie gras burger ($10)—a fatty,
gloopy mess with bacon, tomato and onion marmalade—is a recipe from his
great-grandmother, who ran the village goose farm.

Nenchev is already expanding. From his start at Slabtown’s
Q19 pod, he opened a second location at Southwest 1st Avenue and
Columbia Street. And he’s in the process of building a third cart for
his nephew, who’s studying cooking at Le Cordon Bleu. “We will serve
pasta,” he says, “but I am deciding on names. Perhaps Gastro Mania
Pastaria. Maybe Pasta Mania.” MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

3. Buki

2880 SE Division St., 360-931-1541. Lunch and dinner Wednesday-Sunday.

They arrive in a little bamboo-leaf boat, steaming hot and
festooned with a savory brown sauce and a sprinkling of seaweed and
bonito flakes: octopus balls. Not reproductive organs, but
tentacles—chopped and cooked in what looks like the offspring of an
electric bacon skillet and aebleskiver pan.

   “I tried
ordering [it] online,” says the chef on a recent Sunday afternoon of the
contraption, painstakingly turning and coddling each ball in its
individual divot, “but you can’t see the quality. I had to actually go
to Japan to pick this one out.”

All this for takoyaki, a popular Japanese street food the
Taiwanese-born co-owners became enamored with while working in Osaka.
It’s a fishy treat that remains virtually unseen among the evergreen
presence of pizza and burritos at even the most intentionally upmarket
and culinarily diverse cart pods. While octopus is the traditional
filling, Buki (whose name is an amalgam of the words bubble tea,
takoyaki and taiyaki) also offers a spicy version filled with kimchee,
as well as a smattering of classic Taiwanese favorites like bubble tea
(with perfectly springy tapioca balls made fresh daily) and boiled
“marble” tea eggs, which come out cradled in their boats like boho-chic
Fabergé treasures.

Dessert brings another Japanese street-food staple:
Taiyaki, soft, almost crepelike pockets shaped like koi fish and filled
with either red bean paste, chocolate or Nutella. You likely won’t have
room after the generous portion of eight takoyaki, but they’re awfully
lovely to look at. KAT MERCK.

4. Stoopid Burger

3441 N Vancouver Ave., 971-801-4180. Lunch, dinner and late night Tuesday-Saturday, lunch and dinner Sunday.

In the shadow of the palatial, recently erected North
Williams New Seasons apartment block sits a scrappy grouping of food
carts, at the edge of which sits an older yellow trailer. It’s colorful
and almost defiantly DIY, emblazoned with an R. Crumb-ish illustration
of a googly-eyed hamburger.

plan to—what’s that word? Copyright that image, it’s so popular,” says
Stoopid Burger co-owner John Hunt of the hamburger, with an unflagging
enthusiasm that stands out among neighboring businesses known for pricey
pizzas and bacon-wrapped dates. Lifelong Portland residents who’ve seen
their once predominantly black neighborhood turn into an
upper-middle-class playground of reiki studios and expensive salami,
Hunt and his Le Cordon Bleu-trained childhood friend Danny Moore opened
the cart after growing disenchanted with the social and occupational
options available to them in the area, which, in spite of recent
gentrification, is still plagued by poverty and gang violence. “A lot of
people see…African-American males just trying to rap, play
basketball…we’re trying to do something positive and give back,” Hunt
says. “We had no loans—we did this all ourselves from the ground up.”

Stoopid Burger offers sandwiches fashioned after burgers
Hunt and Moore have enjoyed at Burgerville and In-N-Out, but so
overloaded with salty goodies and fried doodads they’re almost…well…you
know. “It started as a joke,” says Hunt of the name, “but it ended up
being so catchy we had to run with it.”

The cart’s marquee “Stupid Burger” ($9.75) consists of an
almost unmanageable amount of sustenance, and even the ostensibly
virtuous black-bean-and-corn Smart Burger ($7.50), imported from New
Seasons—along with the majority of the cart’s ingredients—somehow
manages to feel as if it weighs 3 pounds. It’s real food, for people who
are real something—stoned, drunk, hung-over, or just really, really
hungry. And we love it. KAT MERCK.

Kim Jong Grillin’

4606 SE Division St., 929-0522. Lunch and dinner daily.

In 2011, Han Ly Hwang was the dear leader
of Portland’s exploding food-cart obsession, thanks to his banh mi hot
dogs and glorious Korean barbecue staples like bibimbap that were good
enough to stand among Koreatown’s best. But just as he celebrated a win
at WW’s Eat Mobile cart fest, the cart burned down. Later, his
planned restaurant, Bhap Sang, dissolved. Han hung up his apron and
became a delivery driver to support his family.

Last year, seemingly out of the blue, Han resurfaced on cooking show Chopped.
He was bested by Nong Poonsukwattana, but not before getting an
important demand from notorious hardass host Scott Conant: “Get your ass
back in the kitchen.”

“Off the camera, he was like, ‘Dude, you have really good
food. I wouldn’t just say that,’” Han says. The show was shot last
April. It aired in August. And by the time it did, Kim Jong Grillin’ had
risen from the ashes.

Nostalgia, they say, is the psyche’s MSG,
so the first bite of that KJG Dog ($6) is an explosion of sensory
stimuli: The crunch of the Binh Minh Bakery baguette is a prelude to the
snap of the footlong grilled Sabrett dog, the subdued sweetness of the
pickled mango slices and the spice of the kimchee. And the bibim box
($10)—served with a choice of short ribs, bulgogi, pork or chicken,
loaded with rice and potato noodles and topped with a  fried
egg—is still one of the best damned cart dishes in Portland. Three
years is a lifetime in food-truck time, but when Han rolled back into
the scene, his loyal followers were waiting for him, as if no time had

“The greatest compliment to me isn’t money,” he says. “They remembered me, and they came back.” AP KRYZA.

Top 5 Food Carts of the Year | African Food | American Comfort Food | Breakfast/Brunch

Burgers and Dogs | Chinese | Indian | Island/Ocean | Japanese | Korean | Latin American

Mexican | Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | Old World European | Pizza | Sandwiches

Thai/Laotian | Vegan/Veg-friendly | Vietnamese | 21 Delicious Bites For $7 or Less

Recommended Reading

Mar 19, 2015
Jim Benson

Bethany Village’s new micro-restaurants bring food cart experience to the …

When it comes to diverse new food choices, the urban ethic Roy Kim wanted to infuse into his Bethany Village shopping center appears to be taking off.

Two of the four new micro-restaurants that have just opened in this densely populated but unincorporated part of Washington County had to close within days.

Normally, that would constitute cause for alarm. In both instances, however, customer demand simply swamped on-hand supplies.

Far from picking up pink slips, restaurant employees scurried during the one-day closures to restock shelves, fridges and freezers.

“In the restaurant business, that’s a good problem to have,” said Joel Zeek, a partner in Zeek’s Cheese Grill, where sandwiches include duck confit and mac-and-cheese dishes come with pan seared chicken and Tillamook cheddar. “But it’s still a problem.”

For Kim, the venture into micro-restaurants – the smallest is 380 square feet, the largest just over 500 square feet – is an attempt to keep pace with fast-growing Bethany’s evolving food demands.

To do that, he appears to be one of the first suburban shopping center owners to import wholesale the food-cart experience so familiar to denizens of downtown Portland.

“The key to this is the variety of food options we are adding,” said Kim, who has owned Bethany Village since it opened in 1998. “And this applies not just to Bethany, but to the west side in general. We want to make available here what’s available in downtown and on the east side.”

In addition to Zeke’s, the cluster includes KOi Fusion, serving Korean barbeque-Mexican fusion cuisine; Cackalack’s, specializing in spicy fried chicken; and, Bowl Berry, which offers the kind of gluten-free, fresh-fruit smoothies found throughout Hawaii.

The space the four businesses are occupying formerly belonged to a Starbucks – which has since moved to another, larger location just yards away – and a salon supply business.

Kim said he is probably breaking even when it comes to total rent, but added that the total amount of traffic generated by the restaurants is letting everyone involved come out ahead.

“People are driving, biking and walking to eat at the restaurants, then spending time shopping at other Bethany Village stores,” he said. “I’d say there are multiple benefits being generated by this.”

For now, however, it’s all about expanding food options in a suburban setting that only a few years ago featured little besides hamburgers and commercial ice cream.

“It’s wonderful that people have the palates that they do today,” said Paul LaLone, who, with Meghan Schmidt, rounds out Zeek’s ownership team. “We probably couldn’t have done this 15 years ago.”

Rob Cruz, co-owner of the new Bowl Berry natural smoothie outlet, said business has increased every week since the store’s opening in late February.

“It’s been phenomenal,” he said. “We’ve been really surprised.”

Nearby, customers Nick and Amy Keeling waited for their take-out lunch order. They’d tried KOi Fusion last week and were looking forward to see what Zeek’s had to offer.

They live in the area and said trying new foods usually involves driving into Portland, where Nick works. Four new micro-restaurants, situated only minutes from their house, is a welcome addition to the area, they said.

“The variety of things available at Portland food carts is always impressive,” he said. “To have even a slice of that now moving to the suburbs is amazing.”

Patricia Prenger, who works at Bethany Village’s Starbucks, agreed.

“It’s really interesting to see what’s happening here,” she said. “Food carts in the suburbs. What a great idea.”

– Dana Tims

503-294-7647; @DanaTims

Recommended Reading

Mar 16, 2015
Jim Benson

5 Reasons to Love New Plant-Based Food Cart Juniper

When Food For Thought, a worker-owned vegetarian café at Portland State University, shuttered last spring, a handful of student-employees didn’t wallow in the loss—they banded together to build something bigger and better. Together, the all-female, all-queer quintet launched Juniper, a worker-owned cart serving wholesome comfort food to the downtown lunch crowd. Behold—five reasons check out our latest food cart crush: 

1. It’s delicious AND healthful.

Parked on Southwest 3rd and Washington, the massive 16-foot cart spotlights a seasonal menu of rich comfort food—think samosa bowls and deluxe grilled cheese—made from nourishing, whole-food ingredients. Complex flavors and textures intermingle in a five-spice noodle bowl that leads eaters on a whirlwind East Asian tour by way of meaty bulgogi soy curls, savory, sake-marinated mushroom “scallops,” two types of noodles (zucchini and vermicelli), and a sumptuous cart-made lemongrass broth. Sides of seasonal veggies, daily greens, and mashed root vegetables add a nutritious boost to any meal. And thick, creamy smoothies taste like dessert but satisfy like a full meal (and nourish like a multivitamin)—all for only $5. 

2. It’s made hyper-locally, yet globally inspired.

Everything is prepared from scratch inside the double-axle cart, including the smoky cashew provolone and fresh-baked rice-millet bread that sandwich a decadent Portobello melt. They make the sweet brazil nut milk in the cart’s malted chocolate, which blends exotic superfoods like mesquite pods, maca root, and Peruvian lucuma fruit for a healthy and heavenly milkshake. And they infuse their signature Juniper tonic with a botanical bouquet of rosemary, sage, and citrus to create a bubbly, gin-like beverage.

“We don’t have to open a single can,” one of the cart’s chefs observes.

3. It’s cooperatively owned by five inspiring women.

Francesa Gangi, who also goes by Prana, spent a decade in Philadelphia teaching bodywork, managing a yoga studio, and running a vegan fudge company (among other endeavors) before moving to Portland and enrolling at PSU. There, she met Lizz Bommarito, a certified herbalist and raw foods chef who trained in prestigious New York kitchens run by Jean-Georges and Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen.

From there, Gangi and Bommarito recruited Kashi Tamang, who grew up working in her father’s Nepali food cart, Summer Rice, a licensed massage therapist (and Lizz’s sister-in-law), and Elena Hess, a plant-based chef who’s worked at Blossoming Lotus, Prasad, Pixie Raw, A.N.D. Café, and virtually every other vegan hotspot in town.

“We all have really similar ideas on why we choose to eat the way we do, and why food is a social justice issue, and why working as a collective is important, and why a living wage is necessary,” Gangi says. “Plus, we all like each other a lot. There’s a lot of deep love.”

4. It’s inclusive in all sorts of ways. 

Oh yeah, did we mention that everything is 100% gluten-free and vegan? But don’t worry, omnivores—the soy curls aren’t served with a side of shame.

“I don’t have any personal mission to convince people that they should be vegan because I don’t want to judge people for their food choices any more than I want them to judge mine,” says Gangi who—like Hess and Bommarito—has eschewed animal products for the last decade. “But I do want to show people that there are other options. People who eat cheese and meat still think our cashew cheese and soy curls are amazing.”

Diet aside, Juniper has radical goals for inclusivity and intersectional equality.

“I think we’re all concerned about creating a safe space for anyone who comes to us for food, but it’s awesome to be able to create a safe space for each other, too,” says Hess. “Being a professional woman in the culinary industry, it’s hard to be taken seriously. Working with other women, we all understand each other as whole beings.”

Other social and cultural factors are also at play—all five cart-owners identify as queer, three are only 22-years-old, and two are women of color.

“I don’t think about my identity being in the cart with these wonderful women,” Tamang says. “I feel so safe.” 

5. It has big plans for the future—and not just food plans, either.

“Lizz and I separately had dreams of a café space with yoga and massage and a complex of body awesomeness,” explains Gangi. “The [wellness center] has the same goals as the food: inclusivity; exposing audiences that aren’t typically exposed; body positivity; health positivity; all of those things are inseparable.”

Juniper also plans to add “super accessible” options as soon as possible, from pay-it-forward meals and donation bowls at the cart to sliding scale yoga and pay-what-you-can bodywork at the brick-and-mortar café envisioned by the collective. And throughout it all, the radical women seek to spread their simple message: love your food.

“This is a really powerful thing we’re doing, and I don’t want to hide behind a timid exterior,” Gangi says. “The idea of eating food and enjoying it without any baggage attached to it is an act of revolution.”

Recommended Reading

Mar 13, 2015
Jim Benson

Tidbit, Portland’s newest food cart pod, feels just right (review)

Follow the patio lights that wrap around Tidbit, Portland’s newest food cart pod, to where they meet, at the top of a metal pole near the middle of a gravel-lined beer garden. Here you can rightly claim to be at the very heart of a half-dozen Portland trends: food carts, craft beer, targeted development, parking complaints and hipster hot dogs.

The 15,000-square-food pod in Southeast Portland was designed by Christina Davis and Aaron Blake, the team behind Trifecta and Bollywood Theater, and built on a once-vacant lot. There’s room for about two dozen carts, most hawking food, others offering coffee, jewelry, beer or vintage clothes (the last from a retrofitted double-decker bus, no less).

It all feels vaguely inevitable. Of course it’s a cart pod, because Portland, and of course it’s on Division Street, Portland’s trendy new restaurant row. Of course there are parking complaints, even here in one of the bike-friendliest neighborhoods in America. Of course there’s a craft beer cart, and of course they make their own beer, and of course the first two offerings are peanut butter porter and marionberry ale, and of course they recommend you “try them together.” Of course, of course, of course.

For those here to eat — rather than shop, sunbathe or drink beer — Tidbit’s collection of nearly 20 carts range from good to very good. None would crack my list of Portland’s 10 best carts, but there aren’t any duds, either. Wander the lot and you’ll find good tacos (Azul Tequila Mexican Taqueria), meaty salads (Garden Monsters), Indian curries (Saffron Indian Kitchen), Hawaiian-Korean fusion (Namu) and straightforward Thai (E-San). Many of these, and more, are second or recently uprooted locations of already established carts.

Two hotdog carts — Timbers Doghouse PDX and Dog Town — sit side-by-side, though both were closed on my two most recent visits. A coffee cart, Dogbone Farm, was being loaded onto a trailer and hauled away, apparently for a cameo appearance on NBC’s “Grimm.”

When I go back, it will be for the roasted potatoes with horseradish cream at Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food; the stewed chicken at Love Belizean; the umami-bomb tsukemen ramen at Hapa PDX; the tender takoyaki at Buki; the crisp, wood-fired margherita pizza at Pyro Pizza; and the pressed Cubano sandwich from its sister cart, Pyro’s Wicked Wiches. For cart fans who have developed a case of waffle fatigue (raises hand), the Dutch-style Powdered Dream at Smaaken — crisp yet chewy, smothered with maple butter, dusted with powdered sugar — was probably my favorite bite at the pod.

So sure, it might feel obvious, predetermined. But on the kind of sunny Saturday that would make a visiting Bostonian pack up and move to Portland, with young families sharing picnic tables and sipping Belgian dubbels and Double IPAs as a guitarist in wraparound shades sang Top 40 hits … well, Tidbit just feels right.

Find Tidbit at the corner of Southeast Division Street and 28th Place. Check social media for individual cart hours.

– Michael Russell

Recommended Reading

Mar 11, 2015
Jim Benson

Hike to food cart fees hits snag


There were wieners and losers around the council committee table on Tuesday night.

Members of Steinbach council discussed mobile food carts in response to a report from city administration. The report, spurred by a complaint from one mobile food vendor last year, brought forward several recommendations for council to consider including changes to how close food carts could operate to restaurants, distance from intersections and building entrances, as well as hours of operation and parking limitations.

The proposal took a back seat to discussions about hiking the licensing fees for mobile food vendors but, in the end, there was little appetite for any action at this time from the majority of council.

The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce had expressed that food carts aren’t subject to the same costs as those businesses that pay property taxes and and have additional overhead costs. Mobile food cart operators who are residents of Steinbach pay a $100 business license fee each year. Non-Steinbach residents pay $300 fee. Those fees are same as any home-based business.

Councillor John Fehr defended the chamber’s position.

“You have someone come in, pay a fraction of what you pay, and they are competing with you,” he said.

“I love stopping at a hotdog cart,” Fehr added. “I just don’t think we need to give them a silver spoon.”

He proposed an increase in licensing fees for food carts to $2,400 per year and reducing the distance from restaurants to 200 ft. from 400 ft. City administration had recommended at 65 ft. seperation.

The motion received no support though there was general agreement that the fees should increase.

Councillor Jac Siemens suggested a $1,000 fee for Steinbach residents and a $1,500 fee for non-residents but his motion also failed to get support.

Councillor Susan Penner fielded a successful motion to put the discussion on hold for a year. Noting how much downtown construction is currently taking place, Penner suggested council debate the matter further when the Steinbach Credit Union construction as well as redevelopment on Elmdale Street and Lumber Avenue is complete.

Penner was supported by councillors Michael Zwaagstra and Earl Funk. Siemens and Fehr voted against her plan.

Fehr cautioned council it needs to be fair in its decisions. He pointed to the decision to increase non-residential development fees in recent years and the impact that has had.

“There was businesses that got hit by $10,000 fees,” Fehr said.

Fehr acknowledged to The Carillon that he was referring to his own business, Trucks Unlimited, which paid $8,600 in fees to the city for its expansion in 2014.

Recommended Reading

Mar 11, 2015
Jim Benson

Polli-Tico: Food Cart Review

Pssssst. Yo, over here.

Hey, dawg, you want
some rotisserie chicken? Naw, man, you don’t need to wait in line for
Pollo Norte just cuz everyone’s all up on them pollos Mehicanas right
now. I got the hookup.

Just be cool and keep quiet.

what’s up: I got a little place downtown. It’s better than the joint
all the West Hills ladies are flippin’ on. The chicken, at least. The
Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken birds at my spot get roasted long
enough to develop the dark and crusty spiced skin you want, not like the
lightly roasted birds. These are the real deal, off a charcoal
rotisserie imported from Lima. Up Norte, they’re cooking on gas like
chumps. Peel these plump breasts apart ($8 for a half with a wing) and
it’s wet and steamy like a leaky sauna. Here’s how you know good pollo a
la brasa: It’s been on the fire so long you can bite off the crispy
bones at the tips of the wings like chicharrones. My spot has only one
dipping sauce, an aji amarillo with mayonnaise, sour cream and earthy
yellow peppers. Get the wide fried papas on the side, and dip ’em in it,

catch? All right, I feel you. So the tortillas look store-bought, the
black beans are boring, and there’s this dried-out fried grilled cheese
sandwich mounted on a doughnut base ($4.50) that should not exist. This
spot is open from breakfast on, and they’re doing all sorts of stuff no
one needs, like veggie bowls and egg sandwiches. They don’t know the
gringos are losing their damned minds over rotisserie chicken, or else
they’d drop that shit and put all their efforts into letting people know
you can order a to-go bird online. Order by 2:30, pick up by 6 pm. It’s
$20 with three sides. Yo, I like Pollo Norte, but that shit burnt up
already. Chicken alone, my spot wins. You wanted chicken, right? Or just
an Instagram selfie standing in line?

  • Order this: Family platter with a whole bird and triple fries ($20).

EAT: Polli-Tico, Southwest 3rd Avenue and Oak Street,
971-258-2845, 8 am-6 pm Monday-Thursday, 8 am-3 am

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