Grid Shots: Food

Here’s an interesting study: people who typically arrive by bicycle to bars visit them more often, spend less per visit, but spend more overall in a month than people who typically arrive there by automobile. We might call that “barbikenomics”.


A man sells mieles from a cart. Photo as seen from the Bloomingdale Trail by Joshua Koonce.


The Tamale Spaceship food truck parked on Clinton Street while investigating police park their SUV in the bike lane. Photo by Seth Anderson.


“Meat snack trailer” on the California Avenue sidewalk in Humboldt Park. Photo by Joshua Koonce.


If you ever shop at the Trader Joe’s in the South Loop (Roosevelt Road and Wabash Avenue), take note that their bicycle parking is hidden in the back. It’s probably more convenient to lock to a fence on the sidewalk. Does the store have an entrance that’s not oriented to the car parking lot? Photo by Dubi Kaufmann.


There are sometimes bikes like this parked outside the Hannah’s Bretzel locations in the Loop, but I’ve not heard of them being used for deliveries. Photo by Seth Anderson.

Bridgeport Pasty proves there is such a thing as a “green” food truck


Patsy the Pastymobile stands out among her gas-guzzling colleagues (most photos courtesy of Bridgeport Pasty)

Although they are beloved by foodies, mobile food trucks are generally not the most environmentally-friendly business model in the world. Most food trucks are big vehicles that use plenty of gas just getting from place to place. They usually have noisy, smelly generators on them to keep the food hot. And a lot of the time the staffers have to run the truck and the generator while they’re selling the food, just to keep their power going. And if they’re cooking on trucks (currently illegal in Chicago but likely to become legal soon) it requires even more power. So conventional trucks are probably less “green” than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

When Bridgeport Pasty owners Carrie Clark and her husband Jay Sebastian wanted to do things differently when they decided to roll out a vehicle to sell pasties (“pass-tees,” not to be confused with the “pace-tees” worn by burlesque performers), large, savory pies that are the national dish of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. On a recent bike tour in the U.P. I developed quite a taste for these hearty pastries, consuming three of these nearly football-sized pies in one 24-hour period. Continue reading Bridgeport Pasty proves there is such a thing as a “green” food truck