Saturday, March 21, 2009

The oppressive hot dog

The hot dog...symbol of Western imperialism!

"I have a problem with hot dogs from a health point of view and from a diversity point of view," declared John Filion, who chairs the board of health.

Any normal city would simply issue a set number of permits and require periodic food safety inspections. The market would then decide if people really want street side shawarmas, tacos, chicken balls or whatever.

Ahh...but not Toronto. In order to sell non-hot dog food you must purchase a $28,000 cart, the owner must be on site 70% of the time, the menu must be pre-approved by a panel of four chefs and any changes in the menu after that must be approved by the medical officer of health.

Unfortunately only 8 people decided that this process was worth it.

So instead of having a flafel stand on every corner, these carts become indistinguishable from restaurants. There is now no difference between the single souvlaki cart and your favorite chinese place on Spadina.

Thank you Toronto from saving me from making my own decisions and judgements about the quality of street food. I don't know what I would do otherwise...

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