Mobile Food

The Press Herald has published an article about Portland food carts,

While hot dogs are a food-cart staple, there are plenty of alternatives for anyone who’s looking for a quick and tasty lunch. Food carts in Portland offer everything from burgers and lobster rolls to ice cream, pizza, falafel, cookies, tacos, barbecue and shish kabobs.

and the Portland Phoenix has profiled a lobster roll vendor at Fort Williams as well as examined what’s holding back food truck culture in Portland,

While this location is ideal, next year the couple hopes to be rolling down the streets of the Old Port. They were originally inspired to start a food trailer after visiting Austin, Texas last year. “The food trailer scene there is huge,” she says. “I practically ate every meal out of a truck the week I was there.” She couldn’t figure out why Portland — in all its foodie-town glory — doesn’t have more of a mobile-food scene. And then she found out: city ordinances and tight restrictions block the trend.

See the PFM Directory for a list of the food carts in Portland.

3 comments on “Mobile Food

  1. Just imagine a mobile fifteen foot long by at least six feet deep food vendor trailer parked anywhere in the Old Port! Even a standard cart now leaves barely three feet in front of it to pass by it on most of the streets where the carts are now. Or imagine just one of these beasties in Monument Square during the Wednesday FM.

    The City shouldn’t take to blame for being too restrictive on this matter as they really need to figure where and when they can operate. It’s not like Fort Williams where there’s space for them.

  2. I see the major problems with food carts in Portland to be that there aren’t enough people to satisfy demand, and that there isn’t a culture of food carts in Maine. There have been attempts to do off-beat food from carts in Portland, but they never hold up because people don’t frequent them enough to stay in business. While the overhead is low for a cart, the revenues can be miniscule. If you’re selling a taco for three dollars, and only a taco (no beer, fountain soda, chips -ie, all of the things restaurants rely on to actually make $$) then you have to sell a whole lot of tacos. I don’t foresee food carts selling things other than hot dogs and maybe some lobster related treat as being sustainable in Portland.

  3. I ran an oyster bar from a lobster boat on Casco Bay in the mid ’90s. Although some weekends I’d sell right out of Damariscottas and littlenecks, I ended up with a lot of chowder in my freezer. Not a bad thing, but it ain’t a living.

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