Friday Foodstuffs 12.16.11: Dewey’s Dogs Denial, Brigantine Bam-booze-le, and Tuckahoe’s a Go!

photo by Elaine Piniat at Lacey Patch

Lots of interesting food-related news items to discuss this week. Here are three of them…

It’s becoming more and more clear that if you operate a food truck in Ocean County, your business is becoming less and less welcome. Deez Dogs had their battle down in Barnegat, Bayville got rid of their food trucks along Route 9, and now Dewey’s Dogs has no place to call home here in Forked River. The plot of land that Dewey’s has rested upon for years has been sold to be used for office space (even though there’s still plenty of unused office space already here in town, but I digress), and a plan to use land next to Forked River House as their new home was voted down by the local planning board. So now a local institution, which is as much a part of the fabric of the area as The German Butcher and Mr. Walking Billboard, is just going to get tossed aside.

The argument against food trucks is this: they don’t pay taxes and utilities as regular restaurants do, and since food trucks and restaurants compete with each other it gives food trucks some kind of advantage. The reality is that you could just stop reading after ‘they don’t pay taxes’ to see why food trucks are going bye-bye in Ocean County. It’s all about the tax revenue. So while there are flourishing food truck scenes in New York, Philly, Austin and LA, don’t look for that to happen here.

I know that politicians tend to over-promise and under-deliver, but this next story takes that notion to an interesting level. Laguna Grill in Brigantine is going to pay a $23,000 fine and have to be closed for a week next summer as punishment for having cheaper vodka in the top shelf brand bottles. What gives this liquor story an extra kick is that the owner of the bar is Tony Pullella, a councilman in Brigantine. He says that he wasn’t aware of this, has sincerely apologized and has fired the person in charge of the beverages – his sister. Can we believe that he didn’t know? I will leave that determination up to you.

Let’s finish up with a more positive story. More suds will be a-flowing down Cape May County way: Tuckahoe Brewing got the green light to start making beer! With licensing all in place, it looks like their brews will be available on tap in local establishments next month, with a tasting room of their own soon after.

With Cape May Brewing already up and running, and now Tuckahoe Brewing joining them, we’re seeing a nice jump in local microbrews. And when Pinelands and Stone Turtle get going next year, you will have the makings of a legitimate beer trail running through Cumberland and Cape May counties. Woohoo!

So while you’re running around like mad getting everything done on the last full weekend before Christmas, maybe take a breather and enjoy one of the following food events:

If you don’t like cookies, I feel a great sense of sadness for you. For the rest of us, your cooking-liking selves can enjoy a few crunchy events this weekend. Tonight is the annual Cookie Walk at Ocean City High School from 5:30PM to 8:30PM. Proceeds will be going to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch. A Cookie Walk will also be taking place on Saturday at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on Northfield Avenue in Northfield starting at 9AM. For viewing purposes only, check out the Gingerbread House Contest that will be coming to its exciting conclusion on Saturday at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City.

Saturday is also the day for the annual Holiday Bazaar at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church on Wheat Road in Vineland. The bazaar runs from 10AM to 5PM and will include some Russian taste treats for you to sample.

And as mentioned in a previous post, Monday is The Great Potato Pancake contest at Dubh Linn Square in Cherry Hill. The contest is from 6PM to 8PM and it’s $10 per person.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the weekend:

Tonight: Kwanzaa Foods at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College in Mount Holly and Winter Favorites with Le Creuset at Sur La Table in Marlton.

Tomorrow: Gingerbread House Workshop and Best of Class: Date Night in France at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Holiday Cookie Workshop at Sur La Table, The Feast of the Seven Fishes at Phillips Seafood at The Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, Kids in the Kitchen: Winter Cupcake Decorating at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown, and Date Night at In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield.

Sunday: Holiday Chocolate and Truffle Workshop at Sur La Table, Around the World Cocktail Party and Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes at Viking Cooking School, Cookie Exchange at In The Kitchen Cooking School, and Kids in the Kitchen: Winter Cupcake Decorating and Baking with Santa! at Kitchen Kapers.

Blogging Out Hunger

Looks like the Food Bank of South Jersey is finally going to get the $2 million they were promised by the DRPA.

More food is coming to the FoodBank fo Monmouth and Ocean Counties, as well as more demand.

Sister Jean’s Kitchen is Atlantic City has struggled since Jean Webster passed away last January.

The Cape May County Herald is making its lobby at their Rio Grande location a drop off location for food donations.

Bancroft in Haddonfield is holding a food drive through December 19.

Colonial Bank is running a food drive at all of its branches through the end of the year.

And in the news this week…

Bill S-3172, which allows for direct shipping as well as keeping wine tasting rooms in place, passed in the State Senate yesterday. Now it goes on the Assembly and a January 9 date for them to act upon it. If they don’t, well, we don’t know what’s going to happen – and that’s not good.

West Cape May decides not to allow bars to be open until midnight, and yet they do not have any bars (they’re have two liquor licenses that they would like to sell). If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does the tree need to go home or can it stay there?

A recall was ordered by D’Orazio Foods in Bellmawr on some of their stuffed pasta products.

Here’s a positive story about the potential future of Jersey’s aquaculture industry. And speaking of shellfish, the shellfish beds in Barngeat Bay were reopened this week.

Let’s face it – you really needed a Sack O’ Subs app for your iPhone, didn’t you?

And be on the lookout for Gary Monterosso’s book “Artisan Beer”, which is being released today!

Have a great weekend!



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