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Nov 25, 2009 06:13 AM

Zappi Factory - new "street" food coming to Toronto? (portable restaurant concept)

Saw this posted on . Looks interesting. I am hoping for more street food options in the future (the A la Carte thing is run so bad, hopefully the changes to that program will help bring some interesting options too).

Anyone tried it?

Link to Blogto article:

Link to the Zappi Factory website ($1 discount for month of November


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  1. Melted cheese on toast? Somehow I don't sense a breakthrough here. I especially liked the lame sandwich "trademark" pitch--c'mon... Nothing will change until licensed mobile trucks appear like the LA Korean BBQ and taco vendors whose websites announce menus, locations and hours. Zappi looks less like a solution than a continuation of the current street food problems, sorry.

    1. That is considered street food ?! Does not looks like it to me...but I doubt we will have some "street food" ever in Toronto like the one in the pics below.

      1. Well I for one support the idea and hope it does well. The street food situation in Toronto is dire, but Rome wasn't built in a day. If there was a food cart near me offering zapiekanki and sweet potato fries, I'd definitely be giving it a try.

        1. what does it take to get a taco truck around here!?!? Quick, easy, and the food is cheap to make. It's win-win!

          10 Replies
          1. re: fellini

            what does it take to get a good taco in toronto?? :)

            1. re: atomeyes

              Go to one of the good Mexican restaurants that are constantly mentioned despite the endless refrain that there is no good Mexican in Toronto.

            2. re: fellini

              Three ways to get a taco truck

              1) rewrite the current "nanny state" provincial food safety regs that currently only allow food trucks to sell "french fried potatoes", precooked sausages and hot dogs and commercially packaged sealed food packages.

              2) there are currently a very small number of locations where the city licenses trucks where there are also nearby public toilets (MTCC, NPS and U of T) if you could somehow acquire one of those licenses you could run a taco truck instead of the existing trucks

              3) set it up on private property somewhere, technically you are then a restaurant and must meet the minimum standards which includes being within a certain number of feet of a bathroom customers can use, portapotties count as long as there is also a handwash station.

              3) is the closest to what Zappi Factory is doing but without a loo he'll get the book thrown at him, probably pretty soon now that there is media attention.

              1. re: bytepusher

                Re:1 Hamburgers , fish, salads, and chicken are among those foods allowed if the the truck has a refrigerator in Ontario.
                Re: 2, 3, You won't find a loo near the chip trucks on 7, or fish 'n chips along the Great Lakes from Port Stanley to Killarney, and that is just like getting street food in Bangkok or Hong Kong.

                1. re: jayt90

                  I stand corrected. On re-reading reg 562 somehow I had not noticed that there is a distinction between "catering vehicles" and "mobile preparation premises" the former is limited to french fries and packaged things, the latter can serve anything as long as they adhere to all of the regs except the bathroom ones. Mobile premises are specifically exempt from the bathroom provisions.

                  Reading the regs is enlightening, if sleep inducing. For example my reading of section 30 suggests that the way Starbuck's and many other coffee shops decant their milk is technically illegal.

                  In any case as long as the Zappi guy has all the mandatory equipment, including screened windows and hot and cold running water for handwashing it seems he is legal, at least as far as the health regs go, he may be on the wrong side of zoning or licensing by-laws but that's a different issue.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    so there's no need to wash your hand or take a dump if you eat french fries?
                    why are french fries this holy non-function-inducing food?

                    1. re: atomeyes

                      I've long since given up trying to understand some of the stuff in out laws, our foood safety laws doubly so.

                      1. re: bytepusher

                        the best was a few years ago, when the health inspectors insisted that fried onions and corn relish were health hazards and couldn't remain at hotdog stands.
                        so hot dogs (nitrates) and sauerkraut (who knows what is in the bulk stuff vendors use) and pickles are fine. but fried onions can kill you.

                        1. re: atomeyes

                          I don't think corn relish is banned.. I believe the forbidden items are fried onions, cheese, and mayonnaise.

                2. re: fellini

                  What it would take to get a taco truck would be somebody willing to operate outside of the law. Somebody who will serve you a taco and then disappear into the night. Like Taco-Batman!

                3. I passed by this last week. I plan to return and check it out.