2009 Alt Foodie Trend No. 9: Getting Busted

Categories: Trend Watch

From now until Dec. 31, SFoodie is counting down the city's top alternative food and restaurant trends of 2009 -- the ones you won't be reading about in the Chron. You're welcome.

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Spencer Brown
In June, Sexy Soup Lady was told to get scarce.
S.F. Alt Foodie Trend No. 9: Sidewalk Shutdown
So maybe getting busted wasn't quite a mark of a food business's relevance in 2009, but it came close. And -- let's be accurate here -- nobody in a chef's jacket and kitchen clogs was actually frog-marched into Mission Station (though Amuse Bouche vendor Murat Celebi-Ariner did get detained by ICE, and subsequently deported).

But from Sexy Soup Lady's June encounter with the law on Linda Street, to a would-be vendor's jawbone session with the fuzz during the S.F. Street Food Festival in August, to the pirate vegan chefs of Brassica Supperclub being ambushed by S.F.P.D., 2009 was a reminder of how San Franciscans' love of underground scenes could come smack up against The Man.

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For "Luke" of Don't Forget Your Lunch, even a street-food festival wasn't safe.
​The result? A certain speeding up in the evolution in the fervid, sweaty street-food movement, which -- after the sprawling summer festivals that cemented a legit status for businesses once derided as little better than lemonade-stand vendors -- sort of got off the streets. And in 2010, it looks like the kind of legitimacy a roof confers (like the one shaping up at 331 Cortland) will continue to confer a new status to the city's food hawkers.

Unless, of course, it doesn't.



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