Evanston Votes in Food Trucks, Dithers on Backyard Chickens | Bleader

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Evanston Votes in Food Trucks, Dithers on Backyard Chickens

Posted By on 09.14.10 at 09:32 AM

Evanstons Hummingbird Kitchen
  • Evanston's Hummingbird Kitchen

Very early this morning, in what was expected to be a slam dunk, Evanston's City Council voted 8 to 1 to legalize food trucks. Unlike in Chicago, food trucks there had simply never been addressed in the suburb's code. Now they're not only legal, but chefs are allowed to cook on them.

Evanston's food truck ordinance had the active and enthusiastic support of the city government, including the suburb's health department, which was good news for Hummingbird Kitchen, run by the folks behind Campagnola and Union Pizzeria, who provided the primary business thrust behind the law.

Partners Heather Behm, Vince DiBattista, and Stephen Schwartz, already had one "unofficial" inspection of their fully tricked-out truck, so the official inspection, which they hope to schedule today, seems like a bit of a formality. So where can you find their made-to-order sandwiches such as braised short rib, cheddar and onion frites, or crab cake with Old Bay aioli and red cabbage slaw? You can follow the truck here, but until then, "We're throwing about a few ideas" says Behm. "It's going to be trial and error a little bit. It's been our whole object to bring great food where there is not great food now . . . wherever hungry people are gathering."

In other Evanston news, if it feels somewhat provincial that Chicago's northern neighbor was first in the food truck race, consider that it's still perfectly OK to keep chickens here despite the best effort of Alderman Killjoy. But just after giving food trucks the green light, council members tabled a proposed ordinance that would make it legal to keep hens in the city. Apparently they're only going to allow about 20 licenses for chicken coops, but backyard chicken enthusiasts will have to wait until next time for that to happen.

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