At its meeting today, Toronto City Council voted to allow existing hot dog carts to expand their menus.
As reported elsewhere, here’s a list that provides some examples of what the carts can now sell (these are not the only items they can sell under the new rules however):
- Pre-packaged cut fruits and vegetables using only vinaigrette dips;
- Whole fruits and vegetables, including corn on the cob;
- Pre-packaged fruit salad;
- Bagels with individual serving containers of butter, margarine, peanut butter or jam;
- Pre-packaged nuts and seeds;
- Pre-packaged salads containing only vegetables and/or fruits with all dressings to be pre-packaged and not requiring refrigeration;
- Pre-packaged Tabbouleh salad and pita bread;
- Pre-cooked veggie burgers;
- Coffee and tea
Compared to some of the unique creations coming from Toronto’s new gourmet food trucks, that list will be interpreted by many as somewhat boring. However, what’s interesting is the fact that under the new rules, cart owners can now sell anything they want as long as it’s pre-cooked and approved by Toronto Public Health.
While restricting the carts to pre-cooked food is still pretty limiting, it does open the door for cart owners to get creative about the kinds of pre-cooked items they are going to serve.
For example, Marianne Maroney already sells pre-cooked wild game sausages, ribs and baked potatoes from her cart in front of Mount Sinai Hospital.
The bottom line is cart owners now have the opportunity to cook more than just hot dogs. Let’s hope they get creative and push the boundaries with what ‘pre-cooked’ means and bring some unique offerings to Toronto Public Health for approval.