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22 Catt. 2: In re SUNdeVICH

2013 July 17
by JEREMY, C.J.

JEREMY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. CATTLEYA, J., wrote a separate concurrence.

We recently held that “this Supreme Cart has jurisdiction to review a brick-and-mortar restaurant that concurrently operates a food cart or truck when that brick-and-mortar offers the same menu items as the food cart or truck.” SUNdeVICH v. SUNdeVICH, 22 Catt. 1 (2013). In that case, in which a single enterprise’s, SUNdeVICH’s, mobile and immobile forms were pitted one against the other like gladiators, we found it within our power to rule on a particular food item (a) that was also available in mobile form, and (b) where the mobile version presented itself in the same case. In this case, however, we are presented with one sandwich (Kingston) solely in its immobile iteration (though it is served mobile) and two others (Athens, Buenos Aires) which, as far as I know, are not served on the truck at all. As discussed below, I find that our jurisdiction extends to all three sandwiches.

KINGSTON

In In re Curbside Cupcakes Kiosk, 20 Catt. 4 (2013), we held that we had jurisdiction over a kiosk in a food court “by virtue of its relationship with a mobile gastronomic enterprise that is within our jurisdiction.” In that case, we addressed only the kiosk’s fare, not the truck’s. The same logic extends to a true brick and mortar, such as SUNdeVICH. Accordingly, we have jurisdiction over SUNdeVICH’s Kingston sandwich.

Kingston sandwich

Kingston sandwich

It is SUNdeVICH’s custom to name their sandwiches after world cities. Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. It is also a ficelle filled with jerk chicken, pineapple salsa, greens, spicy slaw, and garlic mayo. (Needless to say, it is most certainly not a beef patty on coco bread.) The careful reader might recall this Cart’s general aversion to fruit-, and in particular mango- and pineapple-, based condiments. See In re OoH DaT ChickeN, 16 Catt. 3 (2013); In re Pedro and Vinny’s, 9 Catt. 2 (2012); In re Doug the Food Dude, 5 Catt. 3 (2012); In re El Floridano, 2 Catt. 2 (2011)However, in this case, the pineapple imparted a beautiful, charred, floral acidity that paired nicely with the heavily seasoned chicken and unctuous garlic mayo. As in El Floridano, I am happy to rule in the party’s favor with regard to their fruit-based accoutrement. The chicken was a well prepared interpretation of a traditional jerk seasoning (allspice, Scotch bonnet). All in all, the sandwich’s flavors melded harmoniously. This was, in fact, the favored sandwich of one of the two clerks present with us at our proceedings. While I tended to favor the Buenos Aires (see below), the Kingston is really a very good sandwich.

ATHENS

As noted above, we found jurisdiction over the kiosk in Curbside Cupcakes Kiosk “by virtue of its relationship with a mobile gastronomic enterprise that is within our jurisdiction.” 20 Catt. 4 (2013) (emphasis added). While that decision addressed a particular cupcake also sold by the mobile gastronomic enterprise, it in no way foreclosed our consideration of food items not purveyed by the mobile gastronomic enterprise itself. Instead, as the cited language indicates, we stressed the importance of the relationship that exists between the mobile and immobile gastronomic enterprises rather than the particular food served. We hold here that, because SUNdeVICH the brick and mortar operates a mobile gastronomic enterprise under the same branding, our jurisdiction extends to all items purveyed by the brick and mortar.

Athens sandwich

Athens sandwich

Athens is the capital of Greece. It is also a ficelle filled with chunks of succulent lamb, tomato, sumac onions, tztaziki, and greens. Like many other sandwiches purveyed by SUNdeVICH, the particular combination of flavors is no way revolutionary. The beauty of SUNdeVICH lies more in its execution than the ingenuity lent each individual sandwich (though the concept of the restaurant as a whole is, I should say, quite creative and successful). The lamb in particular was an exquisite medium rare–pink on the inside but not so blue as to emit baas. It was, in other words, perfectly toothsome. The flavors, like that of the Kingston, were well balanced. They were crisp and fresh. Of the three sandwiches, the Athens was probably my least favorite, but that is a matter of taste alone. Its preparation was immaculate.

BUENOS AIRES

For the reasons given above with regard to the Athens, our jurisdiction extends also to the Buenos Aires. No principled distinction can be drawn between the capitals of Greece and Argentina, respectively, other than the fact that one is in South America while the other is not. This has no bearing on the question before us.

Buenos Aires sandwich

Buenos Aires sandwich

As noted, Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina. It is the birthplace of tango and the stomping grounds of Borges. It is also a ficelle filled with (flank?) steak, chimichurri, and sautéed onions. Though the meat itself was perhaps a tad more cooked than I might have liked, the Buenos Aires was my favorite of the three sandwiches. (I’ll leave it to my sister to reveal her and her clerk’s preferred bocadillos.) The chimichurri lent an incredible pungent freshness to the dish–a fragrant bouquet of garlic and parsley and olive oil. While not a revolutionary or innovative chimichurri by any means–such does not appear to be SUNdeVICH’s modus operandi–it was made from good ingredients, well executed, and served in proper proportion to the sandwich itself. There was also the matter of the sautéed onions. I am a sautéed onion fiend and would think nothing of eating a bowl of them. (Fortunately for you, our decisions are delivered electronically rather than aloud in open court.) For these reasons, I find the Buenos Aires to approach the perfect sandwich, which is quite a feat given the competition from the Kingston, the Athens, and the Milan (which may still be my favorite of the four).

For these reasons, the case is heartily

AFFIRMED.

CATTLEYA, J., concurring.

SUNdeVICH’s Kingston, Athens, and Buenos Aires sandwiches are rightly affirmed for the reasons stated in the Court’s opinion. I write separately to clarify why the Cart has jurisdiction to review the Athens and Buenos Aires sandwiches even though they are available only at the brick-and-mortar location. It is true, as the Chief Justice says, that the Cart’s jurisdiction over a brick-and-mortar establishment stems from its “relationship with a mobile gastronomic enterprise that is within our jurisdiction.” (quoting In re Curbside Cupcakes Kiosk, 20 Catt. 4 (2013)). However, it is not true that any relationship is sufficient to extend our jurisdiction to those food items that are purveyed by the brick-and-mortar alone. For example, sibling enterprises under different names and with different menus would not bring a brick-and-mortar under our power of review on the basis of their relationship. The relationship must be, as it is here, one “under the same branding”, supra, so that the new food items are a natural extension of the mobile gastronomic enterprise’s menu. Clearly, SUNdeVICH’s sandwiches–on the same baguettes, following the same theme of globally inspired fillings–are natural extensions of the food truck’s offerings. And so, for that reason, we properly exercise jurisdiction in this case.

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