Kefi Review: Appetizers at Kefi and food truck news

Kefi Review: Appetizers at Kefi and food truck news

Lately I’ve felt uninspired to write about food. Blogging in your spare time is like a hobby that feels like a job. No one likes a job. Sometimes I wonder if it’s New York City though. Coming up on my 11th year in the five boroughs, some of it feels old. I’m the hairball that a cat is ready to spit out. Sometimes you plant yourself in a place for a long period of time, and it doesn’t mean it’ll always work out in the long term. Look at food trucks. NYTimes says they’re getting shoo’ed out of Midtown. The Treats Truck had been in her spot for years, and still gets no respect. I think food truck owners are just reaping what they sowed. This whole time, they should have been lobbying for a more fair system – auctions of spot permits. But hey, what do I know. They’re the ones having to schlep their livelihoods just because cops say they gotta move.

Earlier this year, a select group of food trucks hired a lobbying firm according to the WSJ. Does the lobbying group help its members who pay dues, or does the group help mobile food vending in general. Like all groups that self-organize, their goals probably are to promote the wellness of the group while giving the group a competitive advantage. The problem with that is, unless you get a law changed about vending from a metered spot, the food trucks are going to have a lot of parking trouble. I wouldn’t support a change in law about parking at metered spots for food trucks and I love food trucks. It would be selfish of food trucks to push for such a change and incredibly asinine. The idea of a meter is to allow car users to gain utility of a parking spot, while sharing the benefit of that utility by putting a price on that spot. Just because you’re hungry and want falafels, it doesn’t mean that it’s inherently ‘right’ to let food trucks park at a metered spot and just keep feeding it. Whether or not brick and mortar spots are calling the cops is irrelevant. What the food truck vendors should be after is a more fair, more better system that’ll work to the benefit of the best food trucks, even if the best food truck comes along tomorrow.

That’s the issue we face today with food trucks. They’re both trail blazers and business owners. While the founding fathers of the U.S.A. could focus on rules and laws that best governs a country, they didn’t have to make their living based on what those rules were. Saying that all individuals have freedom of speech didn’t impeded Thomas Jefferson from having a good life. Therefore before saying the rest, I do note that food truck owners have it tough because they probably should walk the line between a pioneer and a business owner.

If a current food truck owner backs measures to allow for auctioned spot permits, that food truck owner could one day lose in an auction and then lose the spot. Thus almost all food truck owners would not theoretically want auctioned spots. They’re already here, they’re established, why would they want a system where an upstart might usurp their thrones? So boo hoo, they can’t park in Midtown at the moment. Suck it up. You get what you deserve. Lobby for a better system where the best truck wins, even if it’s not you. Otherwise you end up with things like the autoworkers union or the teachers union. Yea that’s right, we all buy Toyotas and move to districts with better schools because a majority of them suck. See the pitfalls of supporting a system simply for selfish reasons?

The funny thing is that at the end, many mobile vendors want a brick and mortar presence. Think of the Calexico cart or the Van Leuwen cart or the Souvlaki GR truck. When I don’t want to think about politics, I just go straight for a regular restaurant. Kefi is located in the UWS, and only a short bus ride away from my apartment. As far as neighborhood restaurants go, this is a gem. Much of the food is very tasty and affordable. There are some misses like the meatballs. They were covered in a rich sauce, although the meaty orbs weren’t adorned with salt. Perhaps that was the intention though, since Frank Bruni said the food exhibited “runaway saltiness” when he reviewed it for The New York Times in 2009.

The house-made Cypriot sausage was very good and struck a better balance with the salt level. It’s one dish I can highly recommend from the appetizers menu. The restaurant obviously does lunch entrees, but for two people, it’s definitely do-able to just order a few appetizers to sample more of what Kefi has to offer, and you’ll still be under budget and well-fed.

Kefi505 Columbus Ave.New York, NY 10024212-873-0200

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