Friday, June 22, 2012

Sign Petition to Save Tasty Tuesdays Event

La Empanada - Photo by Mike Blank
After posting about how great the Tasty Tuesday in the Milk District event is earlier this week, I was disgusted to learn that Orlando Code Enforcement temporarily shut down all of the food trucks - including Melissa's Chicken and Waffles, Yum Yum Cupcakes, and Saigon Sizzle this week. Code Enforcement fined all the trucks, then they were forced to move from their spot on the street in downtown Orlando, to a parking lot behind local businesses. 


The reason behind the action? Even though the food trucks have been parking on the street every Tuesday for over a year, an unnamed business owner in the area called the City of Orlando to complain. Meanwhile, the other businesses there - such as Sandwich Bar - realize the great economic and community benefit to having the trucks there and are sponsoring a petition to convince the City to let the trucks back on the street.


Sandwich Bar - Photo by Mike Blank
A similar action happened in Oviedo this week: food trucks have been meeting peacefully at the corner of 434 and Mitchell Hammock on Wednesdays and Friday nights. They are looking for another spot after Code Enforcement shut them down. Both of these actions are so short-sighted! Not only do these food truck events support the truck owners, their employees and their families, but they economically support all the surrounding businesses. 


In addition, food truck events bring such a sense of community and fun to Orlando. Thanks to these enterprising entrepreneurs, our city is becoming known in other states, as a place to try gourmet, unique ethnic food from our diverse food trucks. I had out-of-town relatives visiting the other day, and they couldn't wait to try food from all the different trucks they have heard so much about. The owners of the Yum Yum truck put it well in a letter to Tasty Tuesday patrons: "While shutting down a food truck event may seem trivial to most, it is very important to some. It is all about meeting new faces, seeing regular ones, working with other businesses, serving food that we're passionate and proud of and most of all, it is about having FUN," Joey Conicella and Alex Marin wrote.


Orlando's strict "food truck parking" regulations have got to change! The owners of Melissa's Chicken and Waffles said they once received a fine because their truck was parked at their mechanic's shop! I hope city officials realize the importance of these local, small businesses and alter their parking regulations. Until then, I urge Flavorful Excursions' readers to sign the petition to allow the Tasty Tuesday food trucks back on the street: http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-orlando-let-tasty-tuesdays-food-truck-event-back-on-the-street-2?utm_campaign=share_button_mobile-share_image_experiment-C&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

4 comments:

  1. How can we find out who this "unnamed" business owner is? I have been patronizing all the bars in the milk district and I'd certainly hate to spend my dollars to a community unfriendly merchant.

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  2. Hmmm....good question! I think the food truck owners are trying to be diplomatic by not naming the business. You can certainly ask the food trucks though.

    UPDATE: The food trucks are working cooperatively with the City of Orlando on a solution and have a meeting set up for early July. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this meeting allows the event to go on as usual.

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