BillyB: We do serve nachos and (sometimes) Chili. The other items sound good as well, thanks for the suggestions. We were thinking about a sausage, but never thought of meatballs for subs. HD already said we can not sell BBQ from our hot dog cart, but I think I will ask again using the term FOOD CART like Lornaschinske suggested. Thanks for your suggestions. I’m sitting here at work near lunch time and after reading your reply…I don’t know now if I want Mexican Food (My favorite, aside from a good Pizza…NY style of course[:p]), or a meatball sub for lunch!!
Tasty Dogs: I purchased the airpot at Restaurant Depot. I’ll check the brand when I get home from work this afternoon and let you know what brand it is. I believe it is a 2.7 Litre (or maybe a 2.2 Litre…I’ll check that as well). It’s one of the airpots with the glass inside. I was realy surprised when the water was still pretty warm well over 24 hours after I put it into the airpot. Last night, I filled the pot and didn’t empty it. This morning I checked and when I pressed the button and the water came out, it was still steaming. This was after about 12 hours. What I normally do is put some hot tap water into the airpot to warm it while the water I am going to use is heating to a boil. Then I dump out the tap water and put in the water I just boiled. I’m thinking that by “pre-heating” the airpot that may be helping it to hold the heat so long.
I’m impressed by the efficiency of your airpot. Can you tell us what brand, size and where you got it, Thanks
Hi Janine, If you serve Chile, you could serve chili & cheese nachos. Precook/smoked Italian, German, Jalpapeno whatever there are many smoked sausages. They also sell a shredded pork for BBQ pork sandwiches. Precooked meatballs for Meatball mozzarella melt subs, you can also do this with Italian sausage……………..The best………….Bill
For starters, try referring to your cart as a FOOD CART. Ask your HD what you can sell from your FOOD CART.
I knew if you saw my post you would come up with a great suggestion! You were the one that suggested an airpot to me for hot chocolate (A GREAT idea!!). I’ll do what you suggest. I never thought of the cart in that context. I always thought of it as a “hot dog” cart. But, you’re right…it is actually a FOOD CART. We have a Victor cart. We no longer use the round covers that Victor sells. We use all flat top steam pans that we purchased from Restaurant Depot. We have all different sizes from full steam trays to 1/3 trays, so we can configure it to prepare and sell a lot of different things.
I’ll call the Health Department tomorrow and ask them what we can sell from our FOOD CART. Actually, our permit from Pinal County does not even say “Hot Dog Cart” it says “Mobile Food Unit”, now that I think of it.
Thank you again for the great advice! Oh, by the way about the airpot…I put some hot water in it on Sunday morning before I went to our new spot at the Harbor Freight Tools place. When I got home, I forgot to empty the hot water out of the airpot. Monday morning, I was getting ready to go to my regular “day job” and I remembered the water in the airpot. I put the pot in the sink and depressed the button on top. When the water came out, it was almost still as hot as when I put it in the pot almost 24 hours earlier! I tried it again Monday night and it was noticeably cooler, but still pretty hot. I’m impressed!! It held the heat for OVER 36 hours!
Have a great day!
J9, (I like that)…
I am here in Phoenix, a total Newbie awaiting final approval from HD to pick up my Victor Cart… (so really, what do I know?) but from everything I have read and asked and heard… the only thing you can serve on a ‘Mobile Food Cart’ (on the street) here in Phoenix (Maricopa) are precooked sausage products, or precooked chili. If you find out anything different… or find out a way to ‘word it differently’ I would love to know. I’m with you on the being legal thing… less to worry about!
The ‘wrap’ on the cart on Victors website is a vendor who only does special events. The beauty of his carts are that they are versatile specifically for special events… At special events you can do lots of things… BBQ’d pulled pork, beef, or chicken, fajitas, tacos… whatever you can keep at the right temp that was pre-cooked… but on the street, just sausage products.[V]
Again, let me know if you hear anything different!
For starters, try referring to your cart as a FOOD CART. Ask your HD what you can sell from your FOOD CART.
Well…we went to the Motocross track tonight for the usual Tuesday night practice session, and WOW…was it dead!! There were all of 14 vehicles there. We got out of the truck, watched the people for a few minutes, then decided to get back in the truck and head home. We never even unhooked the cart. We could see that there was not going to be any business tonight.
I was thinking, though, of trying to change our menu a little for the winter. As far as I know, in Arizona (at least in Maricopa and I believe also in Pinal counties) all you can serve from a hot dog cart is hot dogs. I know I have to talk to the HD to get a definite answer to the question of whether we can sell anything else or not, but I was wondering if anyone knows of anything hot (temperature wise) that can be sold from a hot dog cart without the HD getting upset. I’ve spoken to several other hot dog cart owners, and they all say the same thing…”Oh…no one from HD ever checks us”. This may be true, but I don’t want to get into any hot water while trying to survive the Winter. Also, being legal is better because then we have nothing to worry about if an inspector does come. We do still have the gig at the Harbor Freight Tools place, but who knows what the crowd is going to be like a month from now after the holidays are over. So…any ideas are welcome!
Thanks and have a great day!
Obviously you have experience here… so regarding the HD asking you how you heat your chili to 165 degrees in the proper time frame, what is the right answer?
Dragon…. like the others have said… get in good with your hd..show them that you aree knowledgable about the rules and what you are serving….this they like.
My permit allows me any high risk food… I smoke pork butts for my pulled pork, and want to use this when I do out of town gigs, this needs to be done ahead of time…. some hd’s won’t allow anything that has not been prepared on site.
I was talking to her about this the last time I got inspected, she said if I run across this problem again, to have them call her….she will vouch for me…….the hd office staff also are regular customers of mine!
… Lorna, I wouldn’t think there was very much Shark fishing going on in NM, but you know me I’m game………….
My cousin fishes out of east coast of FL. He goes to the Gulf as well. It’s really not that far to the gulf from here. I would make a special trip just for you!
You’re right, BillyB. They make alot of different stuff. I’ll just have to do some thinkin’ here as to what to come up with. You and lorna have really opened my eyes, though! Thanks muchos!
By the way…are you from the east coast? We’re from Jersey originally. I only found two places out here near where I live in Mesa that have Pizza just like NY. One is a Ray’s Pizza in East Mesa (near Apache Junction) and the other is a small place called “Rome’s Pizza” in Scottsdale. When I eat pizza at either of those two places, I can close my eyes and feel like I’m sitting in a pizza place on 34th and Lex in Manhattan (where I lived for about 6 years in the mid to late ’70’s. Almost every place else that I’ve gone to is pretty much equal to D’jorno or Red Barron frozen pizza [woot]
Janine, They have all kinds of precooked Beef, Pork and Chicken. They also have a Pork Carnitas that your could use to make Tostadas, Burritos, Tacos. I think you need to come up with what your needs are and they will see what precooked products to match your needs, Flour Tortillas steam real well in a sealed plastic bag
Lorna, I wouldn’t think there was very much Shark fishing going on in NM, but you know me I’m game………….
BillyB and lornaschinske: You guys are right. It IS all in the wording. I’ll have to call the HD tomorrow during my lunch at work because the inspectors are gone by now. Anyway…I had originally asked about precooked BBQ (like the stuff from Sam’s Club) and I was told that all we can sell from a hot dog cart are hot dogs. I think I’ll try your guys’ approach tomorrow and ask how we can sell the BBQ (or meatball subs which also sounds good) from our FOOD CART and still be in compliance. I know it must be possible, because I was at the Victors Hot Dog Cart site last night, and I noticed that they changed their web site. They also are now doing wraps (like an automotive wrap). They had a photo of a hot dog cart with a wrap anouncing it as a Taco Stand. So, I know there is a way to sell more than hot dogs from these carts here in the Phoenix area.
Tasty Dogs: The airpot is a “Eco-Air” 2.2 Litre airpot made by Service Ideas that I purchased at Restaurant Depot. I was trying to put a link here to the page on Restaurant Depot’s web site for the airpot, but I couldn’t get the link to appear…sorry[:I]
It is now 3:18pm, and about 20 minutes ago I checked the temperature on the water that I put in the pot last night around 5pm and it is still hot enough that I could not hold my finger there for very long.
Again…thanks to everyone!!! Have a great day!
Janine (J9) <— My nickname!
Hi AZ Doggers,
Ok I am local too and have gone through Maricopa HD. Heres the deal. There are two different distinctions of what you can do with your cart. Are you own “public property” like a park, or street vending or some kind of city property or are you on private property. Its makes all the difference in what you can serve. Also one thing about precooked food that is not sausages/ franks you must heat it to 165 degree in the proper time frame before it goes on the cart or somehow on the cart but thats difficult with standard equiptment. I am not saying its not doable, it is but know that the HD will question your methods. have the right answer ready for them. I am somewhat a newbie too. I found out the most wacked thing the other day, don’t want to go into it here but I am still confused if I have the right info because other more seasoned doggers say no. Tax issue? would like to talk and see if you are in the same quandry.
… HD already said we can not sell BBQ from our [strike]hot dog[/strike] cart…
Did he say home cooked BBQ or already prepared (commercial) BBQ? Get him to specify. Billy is right, you need to say ” We would love to serve BBQ off our food cart, how could we do that?” or even better “We would love to serve BBQ off our cart. We have located a pre-cooked and frozen BBQ from our supplier that we can heat up on the cart. Would you allow that?” Gives them a yes/no answer they don’t have to think too hard about. you have already located a suitable item to sell, you have told the HD that it is PRECOOKED so you aren’t actually cooking it, just warming it up. It’s FROZEN so the HD doesn’t have to worry about spoilage. And it’s from an approved supplier that you are using. We can serve anything that is precooked off our food cart. If you can serve a precooked BBQ, get one with a good texture and then “tweak” it to make it better and your own. Our HD prefers our BBQ. He hates to have to deal with the ones who cook a whole hog in the ground. We had sold a pulled pork BBQ in NC but couldn’t get it out here in NM. [V] Found it in TX when we were in CC. When we came back up to NM, we found it again . We “tweak” the seasonings a bit which changes the taste a fair amount.
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