By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,992)
If an application from Taco Trio is approved by the City of Portland, there could well be a food pushcart at Lincoln Park for the first time ever. In an application dated May 18, the owner and chef/manager of the company serving traditional Mexican food applied for a license to serve their speciality menu at the east end park, beginning sometime in June. For the first time, the city’s purchasing office issued an RFP for concession operations at various park locations throughout the city. The deadline for applications was this afternoon at 3:00 pm when the applications were publicly opened at city hall. Successful applicants will be notified next month of their approval or not according to Matthew F. Fitzgerald, of the city’s finance department.
Taco Trio was the only applicant for Lincoln Park. The company also applied for a pushcart on the Western Promenade as well as a food truck at Congress Square Park and the Western Promenade as well. According to its application, Taco Trio is a restaurant serving traditional Mexican food in South Portland. “The development of Portland’s food truck culture is exciting and we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to set up our cart and/or trailer in Portland’s parks,” the letter of application said. Manuel Pena, chef-manager has 10 years of experience in food concession (food truck and cart operation). The menu would include, among other items, individual soft tacos with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetable fillings, along with chips and one salsa for $4.00. It also includes home-made Mexican fruit juices and desserts among other items.
The lone applicant for the one pushcart spot at East End Beach at Cutter Street was Perry’s Sidewalk Cafe. His application states he’s far more than a hot dog stand because he also serves customers with special dietary needs including food allergies and d hose sensitive ti gluten. Mogul began his cafe on the corner of Commercial and Moulton Streets in 1994. Since that time he has operated in various locations in the State of Maine, although he did take a six-year break while living in Arizona. He’s the “Concierge of Portland” happily sending customers to shops and competing restaurants that meet their needs….and happy to play Tour Director of Portland.
The Congress Square Park received four applications including: Small Axe Truck, Mobile Cafe and Taco Trio as mentioned previously. The Kiwanis Pool was the only location not to receive any bids.