Street Food Purveyor Persecuted at Street Food Festival


Your Lunch writes:

This Saturday afternoon I was surrounded by four police, threatened with a misdemeanor and forced to leave the area for selling street food at the San Francisco STREET FOOD Festival. They forced me to show ID and confiscated a menu I had printed, presumably because it had my twitter account listed on it. One officer said that she would “remember my face” and that if she sees me selling food again she will make sure that I’m fined. I was sitting on a stoop selling organic, vegetarian Indian food that my sister and I made from scratch. Definitely a menace to society.

I liked that the festival got people venturing east of Mission Street for once. For blocks and blocks in every direction, sidewalks were inundated with pedestrians pedestriating their way to and from the fest. Surreal. The whole city descended on the Gang Injunction Zone to wait hour-long waits for huaraches.


Gang Injunction Zone


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21 Comments on “Street Food Purveyor Persecuted at Street Food Festival”

  1. […] original here: Street Food Purveyor Persecuted at Street Food Festival « Mission … By admin in Uncategorized  .::. You can follow any responses to this entry […]

  2. tittyburger Says:

    I would have rather been accosted by a very fat cop resembling a looney tunes depiction of a man in blue than stand in line for an hour for a bite of wet pork. One man’s fat abusive cop is another man’s over hyped poorly planned street food fest.

  3. SarahC Says:

    That makes me sad. We bought food from Your Lunch cause it was some of the rare street food at the street food festival. And we could get it without waiting in 2 hour lines.

    We walked down to the festival, were so turned off by the lines and were on our way out in a huff when we found Your Lunch. You made our day. Sorry you got busted.

  4. Daylurker Says:

    I love street food so much, but I do understand that while you may not be in any way trying to cause a problem, there’s always the issue of food illnesses with no proper way to deal with them. Perhaps you give someone salmonella (sp?) or another issue and they can’t contact you/your employer to let you know of the problem. Potentially this could make many more people sick by shere lack of knowledge. Other than that I love st food, and believe that permits should just be more viable. I’m not really sure what you have to go through to get one. Can anyone explain that to me? Thanks.

  5. nv Says:

    It was my sense that the “street food” festival lacked street food. It was mostly food from established restaurants. Now, I love Delfina Pizzeria as much as anyone, but it’s not really street food.

    It could be I got there after the cops had cleared out all the actual street food, though.

  6. sangroncito Says:

    Having traveled and lived all over Latin America and eaten more authentic street food than I can remember without ever getting sick, I’m always amazed by some gringo’s prissy concerns about street food sanitation.

    • Anonymouse Says:

      Just because it’s sold on the street doesn’t mean the food has to be undercooked or handled improperly, i.e. Jack in the Box e-coli burgers, bacondog that gave me the runs once.

    • Olivia Says:

      You ever think that maybe in Latin America they know how to do street food without making you sick, while hipster gringo food cart in SF doesn’t?

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    • jimbeam Says:

      Yes, because your limited experience really explains away 100 years of food safety laws.

      This is a very simple issue- We have laws so that restaurants/vendors can’t poison you. In general, these laws are good.

  7. mcas Says:

    The event was to promote La Cocina, a great organization and the successful restaurants that they helped start– it wasn’t a Street Food Cart Party, (a la Mission Pool 2 weekends ago).

    And as for this guy– you can’t just bring your business into someone else’s event. They paid for the street closure and permits and flyers and promoted their event– you can’t just waltz in and think you should be allowed to benefit off all their time, money, and energy spent promoting THEIR event…

  8. Jackson West Says:

    Sigh. The official fest was a clusterfuck, with mostly restaurants (feeling maybe a bit threatened and resentful of regulation flouters). But! La Cocina looked like a worthy cause from the inside. Who wouldn’t love to make a mess of that kitchen? So I tried some stuff I hadn’t tried before and then ducked out to Usulutan for some pupusas with friends.

    Honestly, having lived at 24th and Potrero, seeing all those pedestrians was heartening. I, for one, am happy to see a delightful corner of the city “discovered” and celebrated.

    The question is, who’s going to write the New York Times travel article about how awesome La Torta Gorda is? Assuming they’ve already written up the St. Francis, at least.

    And there’s a story in how the totally awesome antojitos trailer at 16th and Mission managed to benefit from the new street food regs by being attached to a restaurant. A neighborhood win? Yet more than a few neighborhood losses among the unlicensed lot who seemed to feel the brunt of the crack-down?

  9. Anonymouse Says:

    My sister became ill after eating some indian food from the street fair. Personally, I would not buy indian food from a street cart. Only if it was made on the spot.

  10. Sean Says:

    It wasn’t great, a bit of a mess, but a benefit for La Cocina, is surely worthwhile. It wasn’t street food, but a benefit. So this guy shows up and thinks he can sell his own food? Did any of his proceeds go to La Cocina?


    • HD Says:

      Whoah. Dude, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? La Cocina did very well by the BUCKETS of money that were at each vendor. “Remember your face” to a guy selling Indian food? I remembered HER face because she was a big ugly pitbull. Why wasn’t she busting the 25 drug dealers I saw on my walk home?

      • Olivia Says:

        “Big ugly pitpull” and you’re asking if Sean woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

  11. Neo Displacer Says:

    it was a cluster fuck and the cops are idiots. I know there is at least one person who reads this blog who defends the cops and it makes me sad when he does. You have to acknowledge they are idiots first, or something like that from the stupid 12 steps. For those of us in the heart, who live here every day, it’s amusing to hear comments about going east of Mission. Silly idiot, most of the good stuff in the mission is east of mission including me!

    • mcas Says:

      I don’t defend cops (and yeah, maybe they were mean to Mr. Indian Food)– and in fact gave one some pretty good lip on Friday for harassing a BWHD vendor asking ‘with 50% of the murders in the city unsolved, don’t you have something better to do?’… but in the end, if you sell food created in a kitchen without a permit, you are breaking some pretty basic health codes. Which is why:
      1) La Cocina exists and is a great org for low-income folks wanting to start a business and
      2) couldn’t have all the carts that most people are complaining was the lacking ‘street food’ they wanted.

      …kinda logical, no?

  12. mamiel Says:

    There was no street food at the so-called street food festival.

  13. nate Says:

    So it took 4 lesbian cops to tell the guy he couldn’t sell his food there?

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