The Atlanta Street Food Coalition will hold its version of a debutante ball today.
Atlanta’s Urban Picnic promises to be a food festival like no other. Spilling over the sidewalks surrounding the Sweet Auburn Curb Market downtown, it will offer a movable smorgasbord food-truck yummies. Banish all thoughts of funnel cakes and greasy fries and consider instead biscuit sandwiches, Korean BBQ tacos, Caribbean food, vegetarian samosas, locally made hot dogs and wood-fired pizza.
Vendors begin slinging deliciousness at 11 a.m. All the details are on the event’s Facebook page.
I spoke recently with one of the Street Food Coalition’s founders, local attorney Greg Smith. Since the summer of 2009, this group has been busy gathering supporters for its petition and trying to make sense of the permitting laws and regulations.
“In my opinion the biggest obstacle is the state public health department,” says Smith. “It’s a result of policy, not a legislative thing.”
Among the rules that stand in the way of Atlanta’s developing a more vibrant street food culture:
Smith imagines a day when trucks could park by a Hawks game, or move to Piedmont Park, or set up in the parking lot of a food-starved Buckhead high rise.
For now, it’s a festival downtown, and that’s a beginning.
You can read the editorial that Smith and ASFC co-founder Hayley Richardson wrote in the AJC here.