Browsing articles in "food cart"
Sep 12, 2014
Jim Benson

Guilty plea in vicious snowstorm stabbing of food-cart vendor – Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Brooklyn man admitted Friday to viciously stabbing a halal food cart worker earlier this year in Grasmere during a snowstorm and to mugging two other victims.

Eric Peterson, then 20, was among three suspects charged in the savage Jan. 3 attack.

Authorities allege Peterson, Keith Young, then 21, and Christopher Daniels, then 17, assaulted the victim at about 1:55 a.m. during the height of a raging storm.

Peterson is also known as Steve Anderson and Young also goes by Kenneth Young. The three hail from Brooklyn but have ties to Staten Island.

The defendants saw the victim standing by his food cart at the corner of Hylan Boulevard and Old Town Road, authorities allege.

They rushed and robbed him, knocking him to the ground and stabbing him repeatedly with two knives and a box cutter, police sources said.

After taking the victim’s cash, the three fled, but they didn’t know the neighborhood well and were caught by patrolling police officers, one NYPD source said.

Police initially thought the 50-year-old victim wouldn’t survive, but his internal organs weren’t punctured, said sources.

Twenty-five minutes before the near-fatal attack, the suspects allegedly mugged a 29-year-old man at knifepoint at the Old Town Road train station. They snatched his cash, said prosecutors.

Peterson admitted to the two attacks and to a third incident on Dec. 20 on Bay Street near Virginia Avenue, in Rosebank.

Police said Peterson knocked a man to the ground, slashed his back and face with a box cutter, and stole his phone and cash.

Peterson pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court, St. George, to three counts of first-degree assault to cover charges in each case. First-degree assault is a “B” felony, the same classification as attempted second-degree murder, one of the charges on which the defendants were indicted.

Under his agreement, Peterson will be sentenced Oct. 6 to no less than 10 years and no more than 12 years in prison, said a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan. He’s also subject to five years’ post-release supervision.

Peterson made no statement in court beyond entering his plea.

His lawyer, Paul A. Capofari, declined comment.

Daniels’ and Young’s cases are pending.

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Sep 11, 2014
Jim Benson

Newport News could add more food cart spots

The city’s new mobile food ordinance, which went in to effect Sept. 1, gives vendors a set place to do business, but not all of them got a spot — including Newport News Shipbuilding.

The shipyard contracts with food service provider Aramark to set up food trucks inside the gates on private property, which the city cannot control.

The shipyard also wants to set up some food carts outside of its gates, City Manager Jim Bourey said, but they have to wait until the city adds new spots and apply for them along with everyone else.

The city will evaluate how the ordinance is working this month, and will likely have new spots available before the end of the year, Bourey said.

There have been no citations issued since the ordinance went in to effect.

City to disband handful of inactive boards

The city will disband five inactive council-appointed commissions and merge one with Hampton, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Among them, the Cable Television Advisory Commission was rescinded because it is unnecessary due to strict to state regulations, Bourey said. The Commission on Youth was rescinded because it overlaps with another youth board. The Architect Engineer Selection Committees were rescinded because those decisions are more staff-driven, Bourey said. The Newport News Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission was also rescinded.

The Newport News Mayor’s Committee on Disabilities was merged with Hampton’s existing committee in a joint effort to create more efficiency, Bourey said.

The changes were inspired by a study and council requests, Bourey said.

The Warwick wins historic rehab award

The National Housing and Rehabilitation Association awarded the newly-renovated Warwick with a J. Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation, also known as a “Timmy” Award.

The Warwick, built in 1928 as a luxury hotel, was the center of downtown activity before going vacant, a Community Housing Partners release stated. CHP acquired the property and turned it into 88 single-room occupancy apartments for people who were previously homeless in 2013.

Renovations were funded in part with state and federal historic tax credits and included a new roof, updated plumbing, windows, HVAC upgrades and more.

The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Virginia Housing Development Authority partnered with CHP for the project.

There were 40 applications from 23 states for this year’s awards.

Clift can be reached by phone at 757-247-7870.

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Sep 10, 2014
Jim Benson

Food cart options include paper or plastic

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This season’s accoutrement at a storied halal cart in Astoria is sleek, clear and magnetic all over.


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Fares Zeideia said he added a credit and debit card processing machine to his King of Falafel cart, which has been stationed near Broadway and 30th Street for a dozen years. The response has rapidly expanded the line that amasses behind his cart during evening hours.

“I see they’re in line feeling for cash and then get out to go to the ATM,” Zeideia said. “The neighborhood completely changed and younger crowds rarely carry cash.”

This assessment resonated with customers, like Lauren Zambelli, who happily handed over a card last week.

“It’s probably the biggest thing they could have done for business,” she said. “No one carries cash anymore.”

Zeideia, 48, said accepting cards required him to hand over about 2.7 percent of customers’ payments to credit card companies, but the fee was worth wooing clientele.

He hypothesized the fee was not behind most of his competitors’ no-card policies, but rather the burden of reporting and paying taxes that comes with it.

“I’m the first open food cart with it, I think,” he said “It’s Uncle Sam people who don’t pay taxes worry about. But I like to keep my Uncle Sam happy.”

Zeideia described the new technology as a natural move for a business that has been at the forefront of street cart strategies.

He claimed his staff began to don shirts with the King of Falafel logo and wear other traditional chef attire before others. He also described his practice of playing Middle Eastern music and belly dancing for waiting customers as unique.

“We were the first to wear these crazy pants with chili peppers on them, out in the middle of the street and playing music and dancing to entertain the customers,” he said.

About a year ago, Zeideia said King of Falafel began to allow customers to call in orders so the food was ready when they stopped by to pick it up. Now he is thinking of adding food delivery service to the menu.

Come September, he is planning to debut a food truck at Broadway and 30th Street and put the cart in storage until he is ready to open a fourth location.

King of Falafel was born out of Zeideia’s frustration over his inability to find what he called quality falafel while driving a cab.

He said he built his business by cooking everything from scratch and drawing on family recipes he covertly learned as a child. Zeideia, who emigrated from Palestine in 1981, said his mother kicked him out of the kitchen because she held traditional beliefs that women, not men, should cook.

Still, he said she came around and even offered him advice here and there as he built up his business.

Today, King of Falafel has three locations: one in midtown Manhattan, a second at 30th Avenue and 53rd Street and the original Astoria location.

The traditional Middle Eastern fare has taken home several awards at the Vendy Cup competition, open to street food vendors, and other cooking competitions.

King of Falafel will be battling other Vendy Cup winners at a new Master’s Cup cook-off later this month, Zeideia said.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at stran‌gle@c‌ngloc‌al.com.

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Sep 10, 2014
Jim Benson

Portland’s Food Carts Thrive, While SF’s Languish

Can San Francisco learn a thing or two from Portland, a city with a food cart scene that has flourished since the early 1990s?

Ever since food carts in San Francisco started serving fresh coconut rice, spicy curry and vanilla bean crème brulée in 2008 on Linda Street and elsewhere,  officials have talked about making legalization easier. Yet it still takes more than five city departments, thousands of dollars in permits and the permission of restaurants within two city blocks to make it into San Francisco’s food cart world.

As a result, some food cart vendors have remained illegal, selling food on the streets without a permit, while others have been able to leverage the cart into a legitimate business. The Magic Curry Kart, for example, became a wholesaler of sauces and the Pizza Hacker now has a popular restaurant on Mission Street, south of Cesar Chavez.

But in Portland, Multnomah County, which has 800 licensed mobile food units compared to 232 in San Francisco, the city has whittled down the process to a more straightforward and affordable endeavor. According to a recently published how-to manual from the Multnomah County Environmental Health Department, aspiring food cart vendors do not have to apply and pay for each multiple location that they intend to sell at. In San Francisco, they do.

Moreover, the information to obtain a food cart license is more centralized, instead of spread out across several different regulatory agencies — each with its own processing fees — as it is in San Francisco.

Portland as a model

In San Francisco, multiple city departments handle food cart permits, including the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Works, the Fire Department and the Planning Department. The bureaucratic layers often make the process more confusing for first-time food cart operators such as Koji Kanematsu, who had to submit more paperwork and pay additional money for each of his food cart locations, he said. He spent $1,000 to $2,000 to get a permit and nearly $15,000 to build his cart.

“The permitting process was very challenging,” said Kanematsu, who started the Onigilly Cart, selling Japanese rice ball wraps, miso soup and edamame near the Civic Center and Fort Mason. “The food cart is like a mobile open-air cart, so the inspection process was very complicated.”

Here, small entrepreneurs who want a food cart must apply for a $764 Peddler and Pushcart permit through the Department of Public Works, file a $341 application with the Department of Public Health, pay inspection fees of up to $701.50 and if the cart has an open flame, hand over $674 to the San Francisco Fire Department.

The total for permits: $2480 and that is before the cost of the cart. One that meets the city’s standards costs approximately $5,000, according to Imelda Reyes, senior inspector for the mobile food facility program at the Department of Public Health. In Portland, it costs $830 and takes a few weeks for a full-fledged mobile food unit license.

Lizzy Canton, the founder of the blog Food Carts Portland, cites “flexible zoning” as the key to Portland’s bustling street food scene. Accessible and easy-to-navigate food cart laws are the main reasons Portland has so much success in street eats, she explained.

Likewise, Brett Burmeister, the current owner of Food Carts Portland, believes that Portland can be a model for other cities. Its famous food carts sell everything from reindeer sausage to kimchi quesadillas. They roam the city without many bureaucratic hurdles to jump over, he said.

“The regulations here have helped grow the scene,” said Burmeister. “Beyond that, Portland is a food town and encourages a DIY spirit. The food carts are a direct result of both of those. Multnomah County, the arbiter of health code, makes it easy and quick to license a mobile unit. The city is pretty hands off and has been hands off going on 30 years, allowing the health code to drive the growth.”

Stalled progress

While Portland has a freewheeling mobility, San Francisco’s rules make getting a permit difficult.

According to current regulations, for example, food carts in San Francisco are not allowed within 200 feet from the next closest mobile vendor or brick-and-mortar restaurant. They also cannot be 600 feet, or two blocks, within other businesses selling “the same type of food.” However, this definition is unclear and has been interpreted to mean anything from grocery stores selling similar products to corner shops selling everyday pre-packaged foods.

This confusion has caused disputes between food carts and brick-and-mortar restaurants that see them as unfair competition. According to Rahul Shah, a junior engineer at the Department of Public Works in charge of issuing the permits, many of the proposed food cart locations encroach on the territory of existing businesses who can object to any proposed food cart location and stall the application process.

“The way our legislation works is pretty strict,” said Shah. “We’ve seen about 50 percent approval rate [for pushcart permit applications]. But 95 percent get objections, most from existing business owners and restaurants owners.”

Last year, Supervisor Scott Wiener passed legislation that helped simplify the application process for food truck operators by creating a compromise between food trucks and already established brick-and-mortar restaurants. The legislation consolidated the number of department that food truck operators have to go through and loosened the rule that prevented food trucks from operating within 1,500 feet of middle and high schools.

However, the legislation did not affect those hoping to start a mobile food venture via pushcart.

Wiener said that his effort, which began three years ago, focused on food trucks.  “At the time, the need to reform the permitting for push cart operators was not raised as an immediate need.”

Andres Powers, a legislative aide, added that although the supervisor’s office is “always open to take on issues that there’s a desire to have addressed,” there simply has not been enough clamor around reforming food cart licensing in San Francisco.

“The program that we have in San Francisco is a good program that has support from a broad constituencies in terms of the food truck operators as well as neighborhood groups and local merchants, so at this point, we would not look into modeling our program after Portland, particularly given that we went through a long process with a lot of folks to come up with a proposal that is now in the books,” said Powers.

A “versatile, mobile” food cart

As the senior program manager at La Cocina, a nonprofit incubator kitchen that helps low-income immigrants launch food businesses, Geetika Agrawal views food carts as a “latent opportunity for the city” to nurture a more lively street food scene in San Francisco and provide more opportunities for small, start-up food businesses.

But the city’s various zoning restrictions still stand in the way. The pushback that mobile vendors receive from nearby brick-and-mortar restaurants “adds a layer of complexity” to the process, explains Agrawal, who grew up and traveled within India’s and Southeast Asia’s thriving street food cultures.

“If you don’t have versatility in what you sell out of it and don’t have a versatile amount of locations at which you can sell food out of your cart, then it all just becomes less valuable,” said Agrawal.

In Portland, the boom in food carts led to a working group in 1997 that created a specific set of guidelines for the maverick mobile vendors that popped up along Portland’s major thoroughfares. Before, they abided by strict rules designed for restaurants. Now, Portland has become a leader in mobile eats through the city’s more hands-off approach.

“We know that it expanded super rapidly, to a point where we have anywhere between 500 and 700 carts out there, but have no actual recent count,” said Steph Barnhart, events and marketing manager for Willamette Week, which puts on the Portland Eat Mobile Festival every year. “One thing that keeps the scene still vibrant, we think, is that several carts that are moving or re-opening or just plain opening are opening with the capability to serve beer.”

Agrawal of La Cocina said that in an easier world, she could see small-time entrepreneurs setting up shop and selling food virtually anywhere on San Francisco’s streets. She dreams of a “versatile, mobile delivery system” that would allow first-time food cart vendors to follow customers and easily expand their clientele.

“It would give an entrepreneur the opportunity to figure out where their market is, try different products, be able to monetize at different times of the day which you can’t do if you’re a truck or fixed brick-and-mortar,” said Agrawal. “How cool would it be on a sunny Sunday morning on Valencia Street, you could get a delicious chocolate-dipped banana?”

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Sep 10, 2014
Jim Benson

Cart brings Southern twist to culinary landscape

Mark Sherman stoops over his meat smoker, wrought into the shape of a train engine by him and his master welder father Alvin Sherman, and slices into a thick rack of pork ribs.

Holding up the slab of meat near the Walgreen’s on Grand Avenue, he points to a thin, pink line rimming the cut.

“That’s a beautiful smoke ring,” he said. “If it’s truly been smoked, it will have that ring around it.”

Big Daddy’s BBQ, the mobile food truck Sherman runs with his wife Rosa Sherman, is just getting off the ground here in Nogales and their family of four is still getting accustomed to the area after moving to Rio Rico from California in February.

They’ve had their red food cart for under a month and really only got going after cooking for the Nogales Independence Day celebration and the Little League Intermediate Western Regional Championship held here this summer.

“We barbecued 10 days straight,” Sherman said of the Little League experience. “We hung tough. So many people fell in love with our food. It was a test.”

The test was a success. Shortly thereafter, the Shermans started setting up their cart and smoker at the Garrett’s shopping center in Rio Rico and the parking lot in front of the Nogales Cochise College campus. They’ve since decided to focus exclusively on Nogales and plan to set up Thursday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sherman said his father intends to build another smoker that they’ll set up somewhere in the produce warehouse section of Rio Rico.

Sherman said he can’t manage much more because he still works full time with Anaheim, Calif.-based KRP Brokerage.

“This is my hobby,” he said of his mobile restaurant. “I’m a produce truck broker. That’s my day job.”

The idea to try his luck with a BBQ business came from Sherman’s Nogales produce colleagues. They would ask him to make ribs for weekend football games when he would come to town for business deals before moving here.

“Every Sunday they got me cooking,” he said.

Sherman’s technique and recipes trace back to his grandfather Ezell Walls, who was originally from Pine Bluff, Ark. and who raised his 12 children, including Sherman’s mother Betty, in Modesto, Calif. At the sprawling family reunions they had, Ezell would cook up ribs, brisket and other Southern delicacies on an industrial scale.

Sherman’s father Alvin, originally from Louisiana, also passed along a tradition of southern barbecue, along with the welding prowess necessary to make smokers from scratch.

“Besides walking, I had to learn how to weld,” Sherman said of his upbringing in Fowler, Calif.

As the stand opened up last Thursday afternoon, just a few customers swung by the Walgreen’s parking lot, despite the smells rising from the smoker. For $10, a customer gets a plate of three ribs with a roll and a side of beans and coleslaw prepared by Rosa, who said she got the recipes “from his side of the family.”

Slow cooking

While the price is steeper than at the countless taco trucks around the city, the taste is a refreshing break from the Mexican cuisine that dominates local food culture. The meat slides off the bone with just a tug from a fork or teeth, though the three napkins an order comes with will quickly run out with the latter method.

According to Sherman, time is the most important ingredient in his recipes.

“It’s all about the methodology,” he said. “You can’t just throw them together.”

For ribs, he said it’s “six hours from the time you pull it out until it’s ready.” For the brisket and pulled pork Big Daddy’s BBQ also has on offer, it can be well over 10 hours.

“When we drove over here, all these ribs were in there cooking,” Sherman said, pointing to his truck-drawn smoker. “I got up at 3 (a.m.) this morning to check on it.”

While a hobby for now, Sherman said he’s got his eyes set on winning over so many customers “that we have to get us a spot.”

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Sep 9, 2014
Jim Benson

New food cart brings Southern twist to local culinary landscape

Mark Sherman stoops over his meat smoker, wrought into the shape of a train engine by him and his master welder father Alvin Sherman, and slices into a thick rack of pork ribs.

Holding up the slab of meat near the Walgreen’s on Grand Avenue, he points to a thin, pink line rimming the cut.

“That’s a beautiful smoke ring,” he said. “If it’s truly been smoked, it will have that ring around it.”

Big Daddy’s BBQ, the mobile food truck Sherman runs with his wife Rosa Sherman, is just getting off the ground here in Nogales and their family of four is still getting accustomed to the area after moving to Rio Rico from California in February.

They’ve had their red food cart for under a month and really only got going after cooking for the Nogales Independence Day celebration and the Little League Intermediate Western Regional Championship held here this summer.

“We barbecued 10 days straight,” Sherman said of the Little League experience. “We hung tough. So many people fell in love with our food. It was a test.”

The test was a success. Shortly thereafter, the Shermans started setting up their cart and smoker at the Garrett’s shopping center in Rio Rico and the parking lot in front of the Nogales Cochise College campus. They’ve since decided to focus exclusively on Nogales and plan to set up Thursday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sherman said his father intends to build another smoker that they’ll set up somewhere in the produce warehouse section of Rio Rico.

Sherman said he can’t manage much more because he still works full time with Anaheim, Calif.-based KRP Brokerage.

“This is my hobby,” he said of his mobile restaurant. “I’m a produce truck broker. That’s my day job.”

The idea to try his luck with a BBQ business came from Sherman’s Nogales produce colleagues. They would ask him to make ribs for weekend football games when he would come to town for business deals before moving here.

“Every Sunday they got me cooking,” he said.

Sherman’s technique and recipes trace back to his grandfather Ezell Walls, who was originally from Pine Bluff, Ark. and who raised his 12 children, including Sherman’s mother Betty, in Modesto, Calif. At the sprawling family reunions they had, Ezell would cook up ribs, brisket and other Southern delicacies on an industrial scale.

Sherman’s father Alvin, originally from Louisiana, also passed along a tradition of southern barbecue, along with the welding prowess necessary to make smokers from scratch.

“Besides walking, I had to learn how to weld,” Sherman said of his upbringing in Fowler, Calif.

As the stand opened up last Thursday afternoon, just a few customers swung by the Walgreen’s parking lot, despite the smells rising from the smoker. For $10, a customer gets a plate of three ribs with a roll and a side of beans and coleslaw prepared by Rosa, who said she got the recipes “from his side of the family.”

Slow cooking

While the price is steeper than at the countless taco trucks around the city, the taste is a refreshing break from the Mexican cuisine that dominates local food culture. The meat slides off the bone with just a tug from a fork or teeth, though the three napkins an order comes with will quickly run out with the latter method.

According to Sherman, time is the most important ingredient in his recipes.

“It’s all about the methodology,” he said. “You can’t just throw them together.”

For ribs, he said it’s “six hours from the time you pull it out until it’s ready.” For the brisket and pulled pork Big Daddy’s BBQ also has on offer, it can be well over 10 hours.

“When we drove over here, all these ribs were in there cooking,” Sherman said, pointing to his truck-drawn smoker. “I got up at 3 (a.m.) this morning to check on it.”

While a hobby for now, Sherman said he’s got his eyes set on winning over so many customers “that we have to get us a spot.”

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Sep 3, 2014
Jim Benson

Thief Stole $800 from Downtown Food Cart Vendor, Police Say

Food vendors at Whitehall and Pearl streets, Sept. 2, 2014. 

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FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A thief stole a bag containing $800 in cash from a Lower Manhattan food cart vendor last week, police said.

The 39-year-old food vendor was attaching his cart to his truck at about 2:50 p.m. Aug. 26 when he placed the bag on top of his truck, according to a police report. When he had finished about 10 minutes later, he noticed that the bag — containing the $800, three credit cards and his vending and driver’s licenses — was gone.

The vendor, who had parked at Whitehall and Pearl streets, did not see the person who took the bag, and there was no surveillance video, police said.

Other recent crimes in the 1st Precinct include the following:

► A man had more than $3,000 worth of camera equipment stolen from his car while it was parked on Maiden Lane last Saturday afternoon.

The 20-year-old man left his Ford Taurus sedan at 110 Maiden Lane at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 and when he returned at noon found the driver’s side door was damaged and his gear, including a Canon 7D camera, two lenses and a hard drive were all gone, according to the police report.

► A worker’s tablet was stolen from his Verizon van last week when he left it parked on Varick Street.

The 47-year-old worker parked the van in front of 183 Varick St. on Aug. 26 at about 10 a.m., police said. When he returned an hour later he found the driver’s side window smashed and the Verizon-owned tablet, which had been sitting on the center console, was gone.

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Sep 3, 2014
Jim Benson

Food Cart Review: Kim Jong Grillin’

Kim Jong Grillin’ went down the same year as its namesake.
In 2011, on the same night it won a judge’s choice award as the
favorite food cart at Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile festival, Han
Ly Hwang’s cart caught on fire and had to be shut. But just like
Jong-il, Grillin’ is “immortal as sun,” undergoing a rebirth on
Southeast Division Street in early August.

The menu should be
familiar to fans of the original; if anything, it’s even more focused on
the hits. The hot dog ($6) is still a toasted baguette from Binh Minh
Bakery delivering one mighty foot of meaty Sabrett snap, pickled mango
sweetness and daikon kimchee spice. Which is to say, it’s one of the
best dogs in town—an All-American three-way rolling in flavors from
Korea and colonial Vietnam.

But
it’s not even the best thing on the menu. Get the bibim box ($10), which
is exactly what it sounds like: a box of bibimbap, with your choice of
chicken, pork, or beef bulgogi or short ribs. The cart’s marinated
bulgogi is both charred and tender, and drenched in umami-rich soy
flavor. Throw in a perfectly sunny-side-up egg flavored with the
still-new grill burnt into its edges, and a handful of light-as-air
spicy kimchee, and you’ve got one of the best Korean plates this side of
Beaverton. The kalbi (short ribs) likewise are excellent. The only miss
on the menu is a too-dry lettuce wrap ($4) that could do with the
option to add the same gochujang sauce spicing up the bibim box.

Ly Hwang might have gotten edged out by fellow Portland cart cook Nong Poonsukwattana on the Food Channel’s Chopped
this year, but apparently the show gave him the kick in the butt he
needed to finally get back in the truck. It’s perhaps the first positive
thing reality television has ever done for America.

  • Order this: Bibim box with bulgogi ($10) or hot dog ($6).

EAT: Kim Jong Grillin’, 4606 SE Division St., 929-0522. Noon-8 pm daily.

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Sep 1, 2014
Jim Benson

Food cart has variety of fresh, low-price meals

Lake County Fair Foodtruck

Lake County Fair Foodtruck

Jolene Moore is serving up”dogs” at her Bitez On the Fly.



Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014 12:00 am

Food cart has variety of fresh, low-price meals

By LEE JUILLERAT
HN Regional Editor

Herald and News

LAKEVIEW — There’s a new place in Lakeview that has more dogs than an animal shelter.

No, they’re not the barking kind.

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      Sunday, August 31, 2014 12:00 am.

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      Aug 31, 2014
      Jim Benson

      Halal Guys food cart ‘Guys’ win lawsuit vs. same-name rivals

      NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiDavid Handschuh/New York Daily News
      “Halal Guys” Abdelbaset Elsayed, left, and Mohamed Abouelenein in their new store on E. 14 St . They won in a lawsuit against same-name rivals Halal Guys of New York.
      NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiDavid Handschuh/New York Daily News
      The REAL “Halal Guys,” Abdelbaset Elsayed (far l.) and Mohamed Abouelenein. Above, their original cart.
      NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiJOHN TAGGART/JOHN TAGGART FOR NEW YORK DAILY
      The Halal Guys located on the corner of 53rd and 7th Avenue are the go-to guys out of the many Halal food cart offered in Midtown. Center is Omar Mady.
      NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiDavid Handschuh/New York Daily News
      The “”Halal Guys” were serving customers from a food cart outside  before they opened their first retail store soon.
      • NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
      • NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
      • NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
      • NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

      Enlarge

       

      There’s peace in the Middle East — in the Middle Eastern food cart wars, that is.

      The operators of the popular Halal Guys food stand and restaurant have beaten a knockoff food business that had been calling itself Halal Guys of New York.

      The Halal Guys had argued in federal court last month that the counterfeit carts were trying to cash in on their hard work and reputation.

      Their suit said the Halal Guys of New York had been brazenly moving in on their turf — operating one food cart near the Halal Guys’ longtime stand at Sixth Avenue and 53rd St., and another on 14th St., where the Halal Guys just opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant.

      Under the terms of the deal, Halal Guys of New York has five days to “dispose of any signs, banners, promotional or advertising items (including food containers and bags) that bear the mark the Halal Guys, or any colorable imitation.”

      Halal Guys of New York’s lawyer, Ehab Moustafa, said his clients surrendered because they can’t afford to fight.

      “My client doesn’t have the money,” he said. “He decided it’s not worth it for him to continue.”

      NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiDavid Handschuh/New York Daily News The “”Halal Guys” offer their famed falafel at their restaurant.

      On the other side, the original Halal Guys — Egyptian immigrants Mohamed Abouelenein and Abdelbaset Elsayed, who spent 20 years expanding from a single Midtown food cart to a freestanding restaurant downtown — are poised for international greatness.

      Abouelenein, 59, and Elsayed, 51, opened their E. 14th St. restaurant in June — but are also working with the same franchise company that turned Five Guys Burgers and Fries into a nationwide chain. The goal is to license the Halal Guys name.

      “For me, the (East Village restaurant) is not my aim,” Abouelenein told the Daily News earlier this summer. “This is just the first step. I am imagining something bigger than this.”

      So does Dan Rowe, founder of Fransmart, who wants to expand Halal Guys.

      “Halal food is going to become the new standard,” he told The News. “There are already a zillion burger brands.”

      JOHN TAGGART

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