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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta’s Urban Picnic today

ASFC

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:

  • Regulations that don’t permit the cooking of raw foods on trucks
  • Regulations that permit vendors to sell only in one or two predetermined locations, depending on the jurisdiction
  • The exemption that allows vendors to sell at festivals comes with a high price tag

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.

4 comments Add your comment

Ramona Clef

March 26th, 2010
9:51 am

Where can I learn more about “The exemption that allows vendors to sell at festivals comes with a high price tag”?

Scott Smallwood

March 26th, 2010
10:11 am

This is so cool! Atlanta Street Food Coalition is on Facebook and Twitter too.
http://www.facebook.com/ATLStreetFood
http://www.twitter.com/ATLStreetFood

Mark C.

March 26th, 2010
12:57 pm

Was very nice, but not much variety of food–no Korean BBQ tacos, Caribbean food, or vegetarian samosas. There were only 5 or 6 lunch options, plus a couple of gourmet food vendors:
- pizza vendor
- sausage vendor (from Athens)
- hot dog in french toast and cornbread waffle with greens and black-eyed peas
- Souper Jenny
- sandwich vendor with 2-3 options
- 2 cheese/salumi vendors
- 1 or 2 other misc vendors

Everything was very tasty and the vendors were all super nice. Was a nice time; hope they do it again with more offerings.

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