As Chicagoans last week survived paleta-gate, one of Chicago’s premier taco makers is entering the scene. Carnitas Uruapan on Sunday unveiled a new paleta cart which will be pushed by friend of the restaurant, Don Ananias. The restaurant, which has two locations, is a member of the Eater Chicago 38. They’re also launching a new line of paletas.
Maybe it’s the summer heat, but paletas continue to be a pressing subject around Chicago. Over in Gage Park, a paleta vendor who’s served the neighborhood for 12 years says a Chicago police officer forced her to shut down operations last week under threat of ticketing or arrest, according to Block Club Chicago. The officer cited a 2016 ordinance that “prohibit[s] peddling in certain areas of S. Kedzie Avenue from S. Archer Avenue to W. 59th Street.” When the vendor, who requested anonymity in Block Club’s story, sought out Ald. Edward Burke’s (14th Ward) staff for support, she was rebuffed and told that “street vendors were not welcome” in the ward.
Street cart restrictions disproportionately affect immigrants, according to the Institute For Justice’s clinic on entrepreneurship. The organization has supported the Street Vendors Association of Chicago with legal aid for years. The Gage Park vendor had the appropriate permit, according to reporters, and this was the first time she’s been forced to cease operations by police. Organizers with youth-led initiative Increase the Peace and other community members held a press conference Thursday where they called on Burke to “stop ‘targeting’ street vendors,” who have become especially vulnerable during the pandemic.
When reached for comment by Block Club, a police spokesperson wrote that the officer’s actions were in response to unspecified “complaints” about the vendor. The episode is reminiscent of the complaints levied against Claudio Velez, the Tamale Guy. Complaints filed from the West Loop ultimately led to a cease and desist letter sent to Velez.
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Got to knock out 2 birds with one stone on this beautiful Sunday. Launched our "Paleteria Uruapan" line of Paletas with our new paleta cart... And helped our old friend Don Ananias from Pilsen with the help of our generous customers. Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a success!!!
And in other news...
— Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall, the forthcoming food hall slated to open August 3 on the Near West Side in the Illinois Medical District, has announced 12-vendor lineup dominated by women- and minority-owned businesses, according to the Tribune. The list includes some well-known spots like Lexington Betty Smokehouse from pit master Dominque Leach (Spiaggia), who also has a stall at One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman, and Lil’ Delta, a spinoff of popular Wicker Park restaurant the Delta. The hall will also feature some food hall first timers, such as fruit pie and cobbler vendor Classic Cobbler and healthy Vietnamese spot Viet Nom Nom, which also operates a suburban Evanston location. A full list is available on the food hall’s website.
— At long last, essential Vietnamese restaurant HaiSous, is selling to-go cocktails. One of the two drinks, the Mint Julia, pays homage to Julia Momose, the bartender at Kumiko who kept pressing lawmakers to legalize to-go cocktails, to give bars that are closed due to the pandemic an additional revenue stream. The drink, formulated by Hai Sous co-owner Danielle Dang, is made of aged white rum, plantation pineapple rum, lime, and mint. It’s available via Tock.
— A meal kit delivery service is featuring food from some of Chicago’s top chefs. It’s called Daba. Customers place orders a week in advance, and then received the meals, which are about 90 percent finish, just needing a few finishing steps at home. Chefs rotated on a regular basis. This week, it’s Soo Ahn, formerly of Michelin-starred brewpub Band of Bohemia. Previous chefs include Jeff Williams (Press Room), Lawrence Letrero (Bayan Ko), and Justin Dumcum (RPM Italian, RPM Steak, Mon Ami Gabi).