Here in Slowvannah party people have a problem: Bars are open as late as you can hang, but there’s nothing to eat north of Victory after 10pm but ick pizza that looks and tastes suspiciously like snot on cardboard.
It’s an entrepreneurial no-brainer, really: Drunk people need food. Make something cheap, easy and utensil-unnecessary and get it to them. Seeing as downtown rents are stupid high, it makes sense that you might mobilize your supply to meet the demand of the hordes of stumblers who have bathed in Pabst Blue Ribbon and Jell-O shots for the last few hours and want to end the evening with a full belly of goodness.
Lots of smart people have figured this out and put a kitchen on wheels. They’re called food trucks. They’re kind of a big deal in other cities, where this economic niche has been met with epicurean creativity in the form of rolling Korean barbecue, fresh tacos, ice cream sandwiches, Mexican-Chinese fusion, paninis and all kinds of other delicious snacks.
In Savannah, food trucks are
illegal just sort of impossible to get a license for. Or so I hear. I called the City of Savannah’s Revenue Department to find out if and why but didn’t get very far with the woman on the other end of the phone who said food trucks were perfectly legal as long as one jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops and paid the fees. (Dammit, Jim, I’m a blogger, not an investigative journalist!)
But the Savannah Street Food Coalition has made it its mission to “campaign for safe, affordable, and legal access to street food in Savannah” by “persuading local and state lawmakers to revise current restrictive vending ordinances which hinder the proliferation of street food culture,” so someone must be standing in the way of late-night gastronomical progress. I’m salivating over their Facebook updates and dreaming of Nutella crepes. And empanadas. And tofu hot dogs with chopped relish and a perfect dollop of mayo…
Meanwhile, some Savannah Twitter user has registered @kosherfoodtruck—which could mean latkes and other yiddishe yums. It’s been many years since I could keep my eyeballs open past 11, but I’d find the party in my pajamas if it meant hot knishes scarfed on the sidewalk.
UPDATE: The Savannah Food Coalition so nicely responded with this:
Food trucks aren’t necessarily outlawed – but the restrictions and regulations makes it near impossible to open and run one. Probably not intentional on the city’s part. I imagine the regulations were placed for good intentioned health code. But as we both know – there’s some great, safe food cooked on food tucks daily in other cities…We ran into a lot of contradicting information and dead ends. We were inspired by Atlanta Street Food Coalition to make it easier for all involved, potential small business owners as well as city employees.
Nice. So that it means it could happen sooner than later. Also, I found out the identity of @Kosherfoodtruck and I can tell you that this Savannah son is gonna ALL bizzy on Jewish Southern style cuisine…