Should Mayor SRB win or lose the foodie vote over the food-truck snafu?

May 12, 2011|By Laura Vozzella

The city of Baltimore ordered a couple food trucks to shut down Wednesday morning because they didn’t have a license that, during the permitting process, they were never told they needed.

The license costs a measly $25, nothing compared to the $450 mobile food vendor permit and other expenses involved in getting the trucks up and running. But it could take weeks, or even months, to secure. The delay could have put them out of business.

By early afternoon, City Hall was emitting the beep-beep-beep you hear when something big, like a food truck, or a bureaucracy, is backing up.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had granted a reprieve, allowing the trucks to operate while the licensing issue gets straightened out.

Irene Smith, owner of the Souper Freak soup truck, was hopeful in the midst of the shutdown scare that the mayor would come through.

“She eats at my husband’s restaurant,” said Smith, referring to Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbecue. “I see her a lot at the farmers’ market. She’s a foodie. She gets it.”

Smith had nothing but praise when SRB granted the reprieve.

“Mayor Rawlings-Blake has answered my prayers,” she wrote on The Sun’s dining blog, Dining@Large.  “Her leadership could not be more appreciated.”

So, should SRB get credit for reining in an overzealous bureaucrat and making city streets safe again for Vegan Thai Carrot soup and Santa Fe Turkey Chili with Hominy?

Or should she be held responsible for her official and for a permitting process that's as clear as, well, pea soup?

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