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Viva El Tonayense Libre! Time to Circle the Taco Trucks

February 2, 2009

Benjamin Santana, El Capitan of our favorite taco truck, El Tonayense,  is supposed to have his appeal hearing on Wednesday, Feb 4th to see if he can stay at 19th and Harrison.  More here at Eater and Mission Loc@l.

Can anyone confirm if this is still on?  Where is it being held?  I’m coming up with bupkis on sfgov.gov other than a PDF of the appeal paperwork.

UPDATE — El Tonaynese Appeal Delayed Again Until March 11. (Thank you Adam at MenuPages SF)

Tragically I am in LA that day (especially ironic as this issue is pretty much what started this blog — I suck.)  Can ‘civilians’ give testimony?  Kind of a friend of the court (or more specifically ‘friend of the truck’?)  If anyone wants to go and question the fundamental basis of this ruling I will buy you tacos and a jarrito. I’m a little concerned that El Tonayense’s “grandfather defense” will get steamrolled by the “The Student Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee” (aka SNPAC, a wholly owned division of SEIU).

To maintain burrito justice, feel free to raise the following issues.

1) Why go after a truck that most of the students can’t even go to, and those few who could, don’t?  The principal and vice-principal don’t have an issue with it, and you’d think they have the students’ interests in mind.

2) Why is there a regulation banning food trucks near schools in the first place?  Students can buy whatever they want at ‘stationary’ stores on Folsom.  If SNPAC’s intent truly is to preserve the school lunch system, then why can any student leave campus?  And do they inspect the lunches that students bring to school?

3) Why isn’t SNPAC  concerned with the ice cream trucks that flock around schools (especially elementary schools)?  To me this is the most hypocritical aspect of the whole thing. To quote Dana Woldow, That’s a separate battle someone else will have to fight. Nice, Dana. You are the epitome of consistency.

As I’ve said several times, let El Tonayense stay if he commits to not selling to minors from 7 am to 5 pm, the time indicated in the regulation.

But let’s face it, his food is healthier than the alternatives on Folsom, and he got a restaurant inspection score of 100 (yes, one HUNDRED). Why punish Santana and the taco lovers?  While a move is not the end of the world, it’s the principle that matters here.

(Note — in order to defeat SNPAC, we should form the “Serious Mission A-burrito Confusion Kommittee — SMACK!  Otherwise we will all end up like this — we cannot haz that. That, or rename them the “Student Physical Activity and Nutritional Kommittee…)

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