One of the joys of street food is that it’s usually cheap, compared to what you’d get in a sit down restaurant or even a fast food joint. But New York City officials say a rumble broke out near Ground Zero recently when a food vendor was accused of charging tourists $30 for a hot dog, while sticking to the $3 price for locals.
The first time I ate a hot dog from a New York City street cart I felt like I’d taken part in some mysterious initiation rite — would I get sick from eating “street meat” and either way, did I just prove I was cool enough not to care or worry about it? While I (and countless others) have come out just fine on the other side of a plate of rice and meat sold on the street, there’s always that underlying hesitation of, “Is this really sanitary?”
Diners in New York City are used to seeing letter grades posted in restaurant windows, which can act as an either an inducement to eat there or a turn-off. And now, one local politician wants to apply that same grade standard to food carts operating in the city.
Following the news earlier this week that a street food vendor in New York City had lost his permit because he left his hot nut cart unattended while he used a nearby restroom, several vendors gathered outside the City’s Dept. of Health offices yesterday in protest.