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Jun 29, 2009 02:10 PM

New Street Carts - How are they doing?

Everytime I walk past one of the new street carts, I feel a twinge of pain. The owners (or staff) always look so lonely, when the hot dog carts close by are doing a booming business.

Has there been any info on how these people are doing? Seems like they spent a huge amount of cash, to be hamstrung by rules and bureaucratic taste taste bungling. Personally it all seems tasteless and kind of cardboard, seeing as the food is mostly if not all cooked elsewhere and then heated or kept at temp on the carts.

Was the pilot project doomed from the start? Some of my best meals have been from street vendors in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Beijing, Harbin... in some cases better than the Michelin 3 star resto's in HK.

I want these people to succeed, it just looks a little hopeless.

Any thoughts?

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  1. I don't live downtown and have never seen one of the carts... but that is quite surprising to me

    I wouldn't buy a nearby hotdog if I had one of these within the immediate area...

    if the food is good; people should buy it

    guess it begs the question: is the food any good though?

    1. I believe that the city's bureaucratic meddling doomed this from the start. I very much hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

      1. There's usually a small line-up at the jerk chicken cart at Yonge & St Clair at lunch time. (haven't tried it yet myself)

        1. Like so much in our over -bureaucratized city, they're of a dull essence. If I were a visitor I might confuse one with a bus ticket stand.

          1. i'm with you
            i saw the korean lady at yonge/eg one day on a rainy day smiling at passers-by trying to drum up business and it broke my heart! I really hope these people can make a living as they were brave enough to go out there and try something different.

            The city HAS doomed these carts and i really feel for these poor people. Anyone can knock out a bulgogi and make a ridiculously tasty dish for $6 but only if you can get it right off the griddle!

            5 Replies
            1. re: CoffeeAddict416

              i drive by Yonge and Eg occasionally - but never at lunch time.
              any time mid-day, she indeed looks lonely - between 3-6 i have not seen anyone eating there.
              frankly, why would you?
              who wants pre-cooked food?
              i hope the city reimburses these poor souls who had a dream of making delish ethnic food, but were screwed by the Rules

              1. re: atomeyes

                Just saw a preview from CityTV where they say a New Cart vendor is being hassled by the city for doing exactly what they told him to do.. and they said it would be in his best interest if he did not go to the media

                1. re: OnDaGo

                  Disgusting. This whole program is a joke. Way to go, City Hall.

                  1. re: OnDaGo

                    He's the Afghani food vendor and was given a spot by the city in front of the war memorial which stands at the north part of Queen's Park. Allegedly two military guys walked by and told him that he couldn't sell food there because it was disrespectful to the war dead. Then a municipal worker came afterwards and told him the same. He was supposed to begin selling in May and still has no spot for his cart.

                    1. re: Zengarden

                      Err... This is why we can't have nice things!