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20 Catt. 3: In re Food for the Soul

2013 May 22
by JEREMY, C.J.

Opinion of CHIEF JUSTICE JEREMY, in chambers.

I granted cartiorari on the question of the pulled pork barbecue sandwich and fries at Food for the Soul (“FFTS”).

I. JURISDICTION

As an initial matter, I must decide whether this Cart has jurisdiction to hear a case involving FFTS. Under our Rules of Procedure, the jurisdiction of the Cart extends to mobile gastronomic enterprises (“MGE”) in Arlington, Alexandria, and the District reasonably proximate to public transportation of a reasonably rapid and efficient character. However, FFTS is a primarily Fairfax-based MGE which happened to visit Arlington one blustery day. The question then is whether a Fairfax-based MGE which serves its cuisine at times within the combined area of Arlington, Alexandria, and the District may fall within the jurisdiction of this Cart.

Our decision in In re Make My Cake, 16 Catt. 4 (2013) answers this question. Though that case was dismissed on other grounds, we held that a New York-based MGE which served cupcakes at the second inauguration of Barack Obama was properly within the jurisdiction of this Cart. There is no principled distinction between a New York-based MGE and a Fairfax-based MGE. Accordingly, FFTS must be found to fall within this Cart’s jurisdiction.

Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul

II. STREET FOOD

I next must inquire whether FFTS’s pulled pork sandwich and fries constitute “street food.” If so, the dish must be affirmed absent grievous error. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). If it is not, the food truck must prove the worth of its creations. See id. “Street food” is food which “can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011).

We have consistently held that a sandwich is “street food.” See Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2. And though the decision predates our explicit street food jurisprudence, we have affirmed a pulled pork sandwich. See In re El Floridano, 2 Catt. 2 (2011). FFTS’s pulled pork sandwich, too, is clearly “street food.” And though a side dish alone cannot defeat application of the presumption, see In re OoH DaT ChickeN, 16 Catt. 3 (2013), fries, too, meet our “street food” test. Accordingly, the presumption of affirmance holds, and I proceed to adjudication of the MGE’s cuisine.

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries

III. CUISINE

A. Sandwich

I have registered my general dislike of the pulled pork sandwich. El Floridano, 2 Catt. 2 (2011). I have also, however, affirmed a pulled pork sandwich, finding it to be quite delicious and quite well executed. See id. But, in my experience, a pulled pork sandwich is more generally dry and somewhat bland. Unfortunately, FFTS’s pulled pork sandwich falls into the latter class. It was both dry and bland; it was underwhelming. Therefore, I find the presumption of affirmance to be rebutted.

B. Fries

FFTS’s fries were crinkle-cut. They were palatable, yes, and not altogether terrible, but they tasted suspiciously like Ore-Ida. I have a sneaky suspicion they were Ore-Ida. You can read reviews here.

IV. CONCLUSION

For the reasons given in this opinion, this case is

REMANDED to Food for the Soul for revision. It is so ordered.

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