Sunday, June 17, 2007

Salinas, California proposes taco truck ban



(photo via New York Times)


Anti-taco forces are attempting to ban taco trucks in Salinas, California. For some communities the taco lifestyle is seen as a threat to the status quo. The culture war between anti-taco forces and pro-taco forces is reaching a fever pitch my friends. Taco fever is here to stay but nobody said the road to freedom would be paved with tortillas hechas a mano. So the struggle continues. In solidarity with my taco brethren up north I will grill some carne asada and eat a jalapeno. Otra vez!

Proposed Ban on Taco Trucks Stirs Animosity in a California Town[NY Times]
Taco truck controversy elevated to next level[Monterey Herald]
Taco Trucks vs. The Restaurant Cartel in Salinas, CA[Carpe Diem]

31 comments:

  1. Pathetic. The market clearly allows "brick-and-mortar" and vans to co-exist right now. Hysterical fears about E. coli are raised by the existence of the "brick-and-mortar" factory farming operations that put the spinach scare into the public in the first place. No one got E. coli from eating carne asada from a van. That MEX restaurants are also behind the ban is even more disgusting.

    What's really mind-boggling is that I used to live in Monterey and, at that time, Salinas was a forgotten town with a dying city center, full of "for lease" signs and sure-to-fail initiatives. No one went there who didn't live there, except on a cultural excursion to see the remnants of Steinbeck's history or to that Brit pub or to experience for half-an-hour what a migrant experiences for decades by pickin'-yer-own vegetables. After that, it was back up Highway 17 to "civilization" on the coast.

    Now, apparently, things are looking up as the city becomes a bedroom community for the South Bay. City leaders are way too arrogrant about their town's prospects, and the Van Ban is one indicator of that.

    They don't know, that in the American cultural pantheon, Salinas remains Salinas, with only three things to show for it to the well-fed American: Steinbeck, lettuce and E. coli.

    None of those relate to having or not having taco vans. Those vendors are innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm really surprised a small town like Salinas gets a write up in the NY Times. The people with money proposed something similar in Oakland, not with taco trucks, but with push cart peddlers, a PBS station actually made a documentary. It's kinda like "not in my neighborhood" or the old excuse "more crime will occur." I feel like driving down to Salinas, sitting in that clown's restaurant, ordering food, then tell him, I've changed my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please do come to Salinas and enjoy our street taco culture. Here's an archive of reports and a google map to guide the way.
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407568

    And, be sure to let our mayor know how you feel. You can email Dennis Donahue at dennisd@ci.salinas.ca.us .

    ReplyDelete
  4. In my hometown of Redwood City, CA, there was a similar battle between the taco trucks and restaurants about 20 years ago. Somehow it was resolved. The local paper, which I think was the Peninsula Times-Tribune, covered it. Perhaps some intrepid taco truck supporter from Salinas could dig around the archives in RWC and see how it was resolved. It might provide a template to resolve the problem in Salinas. We did a crawl in Salinas years ago and the tacos were stupendous. It would be a shame to see them go.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Melanie

    you've done some great reporting. One of these days I'll have to make my way up to Salinas.

    I'd love to interview one of the salinas taco truck owners for my better know a taquero segment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who cares, Salinas, like most of LA, is a shithole.

    ReplyDelete
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  25. Pathetic. The market clearly allows "brick-and-mortar" and vans to co-exist right now. Hysterical fears about E. coli are raised by the existence of the "brick-and-mortar" factory farming operations that put the spinach scare into the public in the first place. No one got E. coli from eating carne asada from a van. That MEX restaurants are also behind the ban is even more disgusting.

    What's really mind-boggling is that I used to live in Monterey and, at that time, Salinas was a forgotten town with a dying city center, full of "for lease" signs and sure-to-fail initiatives. No one went there who didn't live there, except on a cultural excursion to see the remnants of Steinbeck's history or to that Brit pub or to experience for half-an-hour what a migrant experiences for decades by pickin'-yer-own vegetables. After that, it was back up Highway 17 to "civilization" on the coast.

    Now, apparently, things are looking up as the city becomes a bedroom community for the South Bay. City leaders are way too arrogrant about their town's prospects, and the Van Ban is one indicator of that.

    They don't know, that in the American cultural pantheon, Salinas remains Salinas, with only three things to show for it to the well-fed American: Steinbeck, lettuce and E. coli.

    None of those relate to having or not having taco vans. Those vendors are innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  26. In my hometown of Redwood City, CA, there was a similar battle between the taco trucks and restaurants about 20 years ago. Somehow it was resolved. The local paper, which I think was the Peninsula Times-Tribune, covered it. Perhaps some intrepid taco truck supporter from Salinas could dig around the archives in RWC and see how it was resolved. It might provide a template to resolve the problem in Salinas. We did a crawl in Salinas years ago and the tacos were stupendous. It would be a shame to see them go.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Melanie

    you've done some great reporting. One of these days I'll have to make my way up to Salinas.

    I'd love to interview one of the salinas taco truck owners for my better know a taquero segment.

    ReplyDelete

 
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