Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:27pm
I dropped by T-Town Dogs in Tollefson Plaza for lunch today to try out the first food cart parked downtown. Owner Ken told me about their namesake dog (all beef dog with bacon, melty cheese, and cock sauce) so I had to go for it. I got two -- one for each hand to hold on this chilly January day. I was soon joined by Tacoma KOMO's Halley and a crew of student from Seabury Middle School. A quick survey of the youngsters yielded positive, mouth-full response of, "guuuhd," when asked how their dogs were.
My dog was pretty tasty for the price. Nothing over the top of fancy but a nice option for an on the go option downtown. It's no competitor to the quality of taste and place that comes with a place like The Red Hot but I'm OK with that for the convenience of it.
Ken's son stopped by to help re-stock the custom-made cart and to fetch a copy of this week's Volcano where they're featured on the cover. Ken himself said he's excited to be the first food cart in Tollefson and said a couple other people were looking to start carts there too. Sounds like one of those might be sandwiches! From start to finish he said it took about 3 months from idea to cart building to approval to selling hot food on the street but that he hopes Tollefson will become a center for all things food cart/truck here in town. Especially since he was disappointed to be hindered by the "must seek local business permission" to locate in other spots around downtown.
I hope the myth that carts will ruin other restaurants around downtown will quickly fade once owners, residents, and visitors alike realize competition is good and, heck, if a cart can out-do a sit-down restaurant then, by gum, maybe they deserve that victory. I, for one, welcome more food cart options around town as a great option to grab a bite and add some life to our walkable neighborhoods.
comments  | posted under downtown, food, food cart, quick bites, tacomaComments
by fredo on 1/12/2012 @ 3:34pm
|Where do the customers and workers go when they want to wash their hands or make wee wee?|
by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2012 @ 3:39pm
|There's a sink built in to his cart and he has a deal with the Marriott next door for folks to use their restrooms. Hat's off to the Marriott owner, btw, for setting this up with Ken to help make his food cart possible!|
by fredo on 1/12/2012 @ 3:46pm
|Hey, that's a good arrangement. If anybody DT wants to use the Marriott bathrooms all they have to do is tell them they are going to buy a hotdog. SWEET!|
by fredo on 1/12/2012 @ 3:47pm
|That customer looks a lot like our own Urbanist. True or FaLSE?|
by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 1/12/2012 @ 3:48pm
|good lord, i hope he survives the 'curse of tollefson plaza.' that place is where good ideas go to die.|
by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2012 @ 3:53pm
|@fredo: False. Nice guy but don't know him.|
@TDI: Here here. My hope is that if we can get a few carts in Tollefson it'll start to become a destination for lunch -- rain or shine.
by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 1/12/2012 @ 4:09pm
|i think that's the artist james sinding. he dropped all the letters / words in tollefson plaza. in better weather, you can usually see him riding his bike all over downtown tacoma.
also: what about 'hot rod dog'? from what i can tell, they serve hot dogs out of what looks to me like a cart (although indoors and with tables/chairs nearby) and are only a block away, but somehow lack the same buzz / excitement.
you're right about the red hot. i was there last night. that place is unbeatable.
by NineInchNachos on 1/12/2012 @ 4:13pm
|omg todd, is that Dear Leader's hearse ?
by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2012 @ 4:13pm
|Funny enough, never been to Hot Rod Dog. Meant to try them out but I guess I'm a) just not on that stretch of Pacific when they're open and b) always forget they're there in that hallway.
by NineInchNachos on 1/12/2012 @ 4:15pm
|"must seek local business permission" = lame sauce|
by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 1/12/2012 @ 4:22pm
|@nin -- indeed.|
by NineInchNachos on 1/12/2012 @ 4:25pm
|I too shall have a cart. This I decree|
by fredo on 1/13/2012 @ 10:20am
|I have a name for this guys business:
"Is that a HOT DOG...or are you just happy to see me?"
by low bar on 1/13/2012 @ 11:04am
|Well that's one way to cull tacoma's population:)|
by Maria on 1/13/2012 @ 11:36am
You could sell Feed Taco Mix.
by NineInchNachos on 1/13/2012 @ 11:37am
by KevinFreitas on 1/13/2012 @ 1:34pm
|@Maria: I approve of this message.
Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.
So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.
Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!