Taking Liberties with Expiration Dates


This is NOT the corner store in question. This one is in Brooklyn.

I was reading Prince of Petworth, a blog which encourages readers to write in if they have a question. Today’s reader submission worried me; a corner market in D.C. is replacing the Manufacturer’s expiration date with their own (including meat products!):

“I caught this once…some Purdue chicken…I peeled back their sticker and found a manufacturers date that indicated expiration was 5 days sooner.

Anyways, I’ve gone back twice since to try and catch them, and both times found that they had scrubbed off the manufacturers expiration date before applying their own sticker.

I’m concerned for a lot of reasons…Is what they are doing illegal? Most disturbing is the fact that I reported this yesterday to the Department of Consumer and regulatory affairs food safety office…and no one has returned my message yet (It’s been over 24 hours).”

PoP blogger Dan Silverman offered to put them in touch with someone immediately, but what several commenters are disturbed by is the lack of identifying information for the market. Understandably, there is none because the letter-writer is worried about a defamation suit; he has offered to provide more details via email.

Food Truck-palooza ends today, at 8pm.

Gautham Nagesh

You don't even need cutlery for most Curbside noms.

If you were looking for something fun to do today, you may want to head to the Curbside Cookoff at 11th and H Streets NW. Although the “most popular Food Trucks in D.C.” have been serving everything from sandwiches to sweets since 11 am, this evening, from 5-8pm there will be live dance performances and music.

Trust me when I say that you will be grateful for the distraction, as your food is prepared. That’s how I felt yesterday, when I waited for a delicious District Taco.

I was in line for about thirty minutes, which flew by because of all the people watching– the event was packed. Once at the front, I  was told that our tacos would be made to order and considering how slammed they were, that might take a little while. It all seemed so festive, I barely cared. I took my number and wandered over to the stage and watched hand-dancing, break-dancing and finally line-dancing.

The best thing about Curbside Cookoff is how it took on the feeling of a neighborhood block party– in the middle of buttoned-up, downtown D.C. By the time the dancing was over, my tacos were ready– and well-worth the almost year-long wait. I have seen some complaints on Twitter about the lines (true) and the lack of vegetarian options (not true– I could’ve had pizza, Sauca, Indian food and more if I didn’t want tacos). The lines are long; there’s no denying that. But this is a one-off event meant to celebrate Food Trucks, so it’s not comparable to trudging out of your office during a regular work day to grab something portable, to go.
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Curbside Cookoff is a hit.


Several hundred people are still happily waiting in very long lines for grub from D.C.’s 20 best food trucks, as of 6:45. Though some trucks are already out of treats, the event will continue until 9pm, at 11th and H streets nw. If you are busy today, it resumes tomorrow, at 11am.

p.s. Check out our review of the event, here!

Red Hook Lobster Truck: The Interview


So remember way back on Monday, when I blogged about Council member Tommy Wells’ tweet? The one which admonished the red-hot Lobster Roll truck for doing business near Eastern Market without paying a vendor fee? It also mentioned Lobster Roll patrons shamelessly devouring their sought-after seafood at Marvelous Market’s tables. Well, it is irrelevant whether you remember it at this point because I just recapped it all. Handy!

I said I would reach out to Red Hook Lobster Truck to find out more and I did. We eventually connected late Tuesday afternoon, when I had a very long conversation with co-owner Leland Morris about “The Food Truck War”, his business philosophy and whether or not they let people get tacky and mooch Marvelous seating.

The first thing Leland said to me was this, and it set the tone for the entire interview: “We do everything by the book and in the spirit of the community we’re doing business with. We want to put positive energy out there. We do this because we love the positive experience people are having.”

What would you take away from that intro, DCentric readers? Yeah. Positivity. Morris was upbeat and up front. He sounded ready to answer any question I might pose. He also sounded…nice. I found myself hoping that he had a great explanation for Wells’ tweet…
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I hope that was hyperbole, tour guide.


Segway tour of the Capitol

I don’t think I can phrase this better than Will Singer did on Twitter, so I’ll just quote him: the following is a news story “in which white folks from Baltimore compare the injustice of DC professional licensing to that of the Dred Scott case”:

Whenever Tonia Edwards leads a Segway tour to the Capitol…she continues to the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, which has become a place of particular interest for local tour guides – especially Edwards and her husband, Bill Main, who own and operate Segs in the City. Last week, the couple joined the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit libertarian law firm, in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the District’s tour-guide regulations, which make it illegal to lead a paid tour in Washington without a license.

The $200 licensure process, which includes a multiple-choice exam on Washington history, violates those First Amendment rights, Edwards says: “They’re telling me that I have to be licensed to talk to my customers? That’s a real violation of my right to free speech.”

Of the people who take the exam, 91% pass it; it’s not difficult. But let’s get back to the part where tour guide operators who don’t take the easy test are compared to slaves denied U.S. citizenship (I can’t believe I just typed that):
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Speak Up for Food Trucks

Breakfast from Sauca

Sauca, one of many mobile purveyors of food in DC.

If you are enjoying the diverse array of food trucks which currently dot DC, especially around lunch time, you may want to speak up– by 5pm today. Yes, the deadline to comment has been extended. The Washington Business Journal explains why you’d want to:

D.C.’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs recently proposed regulations regarding the city’s many food carts, as part of a general overhaul the department has been doing regarding street vending in the city. But some business owners are against the regulations, and the food trucks in general, saying they create unfair competition for the existing businesses which draw lunch crowds.

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