Food trucks mobilize fare in Nob Hill

By Justin De La Rosa / CJ 475 Reporter
Posted Dec. 4, 2012

Epicurean culture has become increasingly popular in the past 10 years. We are seeing food as art, fusion of culinary styles and creative presentation in the restaurant industry. While we tend to think of food as something that we sit down and eat at restaurants, another trend in food has been on the rise recently — food trucks.

Meals that come to you
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By Justin De La Rosa

Street-food vendors cater to the Nob Hill neighborhood.

In cities like Los Angeles, Austin, New York and Chicago, food trucks have taken the selling of food on a street corner to the next level. No longer does street meat consist of hot dogs and pizza. The offerings of food trucks span a wide variety of culinary choices that are crafted with character. The mobile meal trend has found Albuquerque, sprouting up over 100 food trucks throughout the city.

On most nights, you can find food trucks parked in front of Tractor Brewery in Nob Hill, which caused somewhat of a controversy recently. Members of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association (NHNA) wanted to take a look at food truck ordinances to see what needed to be changed, leading some people to believe they sought to ban food trucks from the area.

"We don't want to get rid of food trucks," said Tymn Waters, president of NHNA at the association's meeting. "We just want to look at what we can change in the ordinance to make this situation better for everyone involved."

The current ordinances for food trucks in Nob Hill require the trucks to be parked within the traffic code, keep sound levels below 60 decibels, and be closed for business by 9 p.m. The ordinance was presented at the neighborhood meeting, and many were unaware of the 9 p.m. curfew. Though the ordinance states the early curfew, board members and food truck owners agreed they can stay later as long as it doesn't cause any problems.

"If they want me to park on a side street, that's fine. If they want to limit the number of trucks, that's fine too," said Art Alexander, owner of Joanie and Art's Bar B Q. "I just want to be convenient for my customers and not be getting in anybody's way while I'm doing it."

Those who were in attendance at the meeting suggested a limited number of trucks at Tractor Brewery in order to free up parking for people who are going to other businesses in the area. Between food-truck owners and members of the neighborhood, there was a common understanding of wanting to keep food trucks in Nob Hill by updating the ordinances.

"I think what is going to matter most is just everyone working together," said Stephen Ormsby, a food-cart owner. "The food trucks have to work together to figure out what we want and how to make it work, so we can work with the neighborhood association so everyone can be happy in the end."