Of Lucky Dogs and Pizza

I was on Bourbon Street a few weeks ago after the Abita 20th Anniversary Party. Now I love the French Quarter, but Bourbon Street is not usually my cup of tea. I tend to stay towards the darker, seedier, less tourist friendly joints in the French Quarter. Like Dejavu (the restaurant/bar, not the strip club) or One Eyed Jacks.

Well, this time I had a bunch of friends from Baton Rouge with me and Bourbon Street is where they wanted to be. When we got down there, all of the drunks that were with us decided they were hungry. They wanted food, and they wanted it in a hurry. I told them that there were pretty much two choices for quick food in the French Quarter: Lucky Dog, or pizza by the slice at some corner place. Not being brave enough to tempt fate, my friends all agreed on Pizza.

This experience re-awakened a question that I have been asking myself for quite some time. It is a question that might have been brought up by another Metblog author, but if it was, I could not find it, and I think it needs to be revisited. Why are Lucky Dog vendors the only street vendors in the French Quarter? Wouldn’t it be really great if there was actually a variety of different kinds of foods that street vendors in the city sold? Think of all the great regional foods that would lend themselves perfectly well to being sold out of a cart. Jambalaya, etouffe, BBQ, just to name a few. During the cold winter months, how great would it be to be able to get a cup of corn and crab bisque from a street vendor on Bourbon Street.

I don’t know if this is correct, but I seem to vaguely recall being told once that Lucky Dog has a contract with the city making them the exclusive street vendors in the French Quarter. If that is correct let me go on record stating how horrible I think it is.

11 Comments so far

  1. Craig (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

    It’s not that Lucky Dog has an exclusive contract. It’s that they are the ones who fit the criteria for street food in the FQ and teh CBD — namely that the vendors keep moving. I investigated selling my BBQ in the wake of the storm, but the rules are pretty specific and the fees are enough to keep any part- or short-timers out. The exception is for things like the French Quarter Festival and such — as well as the French Market itself.

  2. Ray (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

    Not being brave enough to tempt fate, my friends all agreed on Pizza.

    Buncha pussies. It’s just a frickin’ hot dog.

  3. Rayna (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

    I haven’t tried a lucky dog yet but I am looking forward to the right oportunity

  4. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

    I’d be very impressed if someone came up with a way to create very good local food out of a cart. I guess if retaurants can pull out the booths for Jazzfest and FQF, it’s surely possible.

    I’d even settle for a decent kabob stand.

  5. Craig (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    It’s entirely possible. They prove it in New York and in other cities every day. The key is in letting the cart operator be in charge of what’s served. But too often, formulaic rules tend to stifle that.

  6. Sharon Tipton (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 1:42 am

    I was missing the talmale cart in Fat City in the early 80’s…so much I bought a CAN at BIG LOTS…it was yummy.

  7. Ray (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 7:00 am

    I think they should bring back the Takee Outee.

  8. termite (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 7:37 am

    I was just thinking about that Ray! Remember in the 70’s & 80’s??? On Burbon, Takee Outee had those ‘yellow’ windows, showcasing HUGE eggrolls and Chicken-bow-wow on stick. verdy verdy good.

    Paul! aka ‘Marathon Man’…wuz happin’ baby??!!

    ….this weekend is the Destin Triathlon…gonna be fun! :D

  9. Dan F (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 7:56 am

    Lucky Dogs are one of New Orleans most under-rated cuisines. I eat at least one a week and am quite regular if you catch the drift

  10. Chris Martel (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 9:28 am

    This has been brought up before, and although I am unsure of the current agreement between the city and Lucky Dogs, I do know that Lucky Dogs was once granted exclusive rights to vend in the quarter- this was challenged and upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court. The argument was that lucky dogs has “historic value” and that giving them exclusive rights helps preserve the historical character of the french quarter.

  11. Laurie (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

    Ugh!! Dan! I’m turn’n green. Some one throw me a gas mask quick!!


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