‘Roach coaches’ not my idea of ‘hip’ dining

Roach coach. That’s what we called them. The “food trucks” that stopped by the hospital maintenance department where in 1962 I had my first job with a paycheck that deducted Social Security taxes and federal income taxes.

They were still roach coaches when they stopped by the road construction sites when I worked for the state prison system, on the flight line at Air Force bases, and among the warehouses at Army logistics depots.

Now, they’ve become “food trucks,” a “hip” concept for “dining” that is about to invade Peachtree City. (That is, if they’re the “right kind” of food truck. Anyone besides me wonder what that means?)

Peachtree City is about to consider an ordinance that would permit these mobile purveyors of food to set up operations.

Modern food trucks may not attract any more roaches than modern restaurants, but suggesting that they constitute a hip dining experience is so gross an exaggeration to approach the territory of a lie.

It’s bad enough that the local fast food places call themselves “restaurants,” and that the counter attendants ask “Will you be dining in today?” before asking “Do you want fries with that?” or “Do you want that grossly oversized to match your ... waistline?”

It’s sad that Peachtree City has only a couple of “white table cloth” restaurants. To lower the bar by permitting “food trucks” is, or should be, anathema to anyone with good taste.

On the other hand, it’s been said that “bad money drives out good.” The entire quotation and the philosophy behind it is probably too complex to be understood by someone for whom a burger and fries constitutes a “dining experience” and who would find solace in knowing that he or she could expand the dining experience by eating food from the back of a truck.

Paul Lentz

Peachtree City, Ga.

peachy
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Hookah bar not my idea of "hip" either

What's with a hookah bar opening in PTC? Sharing those smoking pipes is just nasty. Naturally, many McIntosh students would disagree.

kcchiefandy
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Well, peachy...

...you're not 'sharing' a pipe; each person gets their own insert-able/removable plastic tip (sealed in plastic, like your crackers at Golden Corral); the only thing shared is the actual hookah (water pipe) which heats the water. It's a flavored tobacco water mist you inhale. Tried it; didn't care for it, but a nice atmosphere. It's owned by the proprietor of the Beirut restaurant in Kendron Square. Sorry something new has intruded into your world, but it is something different than another Outback Steakhouse or an Applebees. Btw, (and probably a moot point); have you been there?

Spyglass
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How NOT to handle the food trucks..
SLUF
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It's a new era

The food trucks of today are actually pretty good. You can get some gourmet food at a lot of them, especially in the big cities like LA or New York. I'm not sure what the food will be of the trucks proposed here, but the trucks are very in style these days. Maybe you should give it a chance and you may like it? I used to really enjoy Maxwell's and I'm sad they didn't make it. I'm also a big fan of Borgo Italia and the Beirut in town. Why can't you support good local restaurants and also the food trucks? I don't get it.

Sensible_American
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As fine as you can get around here...

Have you tried Downtown Grill? OK, it's not in PTC but in Tyrone. We went there about a month ago and it has become our favorite place.

AtHomeGym
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Dining

Try SA ZA, in Newnan. Serious Italian. Pizzas are very good. I like App of Polenta & Wild Mushrooms! Owner/Chef is relative of Joe Dimaggio.

AtHomeGym
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RKS, Lentz & Fine Dining

So you want fine dining do you? Remember Maxwell's & SunDriedTomato? Two pretty good restaurants that went under because of lack of support from PTC diners. You want Crystal glasses & starched table cloths, they don't come cheap--neither does a first-class Chef. Your call--oh, you've already got a record of non-support--never mind. Personally, Thai Spice works pretty good for me--should I decide to venture into PTC, which isn't too frequent!

RKS
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At Home Gym - Dining

I consider "finer dining" places like Thai Spice, Pascall's, the place across from the hospital, whose name I cannot remember and even Frank's. Mama Lucia's is finer dining. Not stuffy places with fancy dishes and such, but something more than the boring chain restaurants like LongHorn's and Applebee's. We don't dine out often, so when we do, we want it to be something special.

As far as my record of support, or lack thereof, since you don't know me from Adam's housecat, don't be all judgmental. We frequent places that are locally owned and support them, not the big box stores and the chains. Give me the PTC Farmer's market and a privately owned restaurant any day over the likes of Wally World and a Ruby Tuesday type.

You are correct that I would not be a supporter of gut wagons as we don't spend our money casually like that. Since you don't venture into PTC, then why do you even have an opinion on where they are going to be in PTC? Just sayin'!

AtHomeGym
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rks & dining

in this case, the "you" is a blanket cover for the city population. And nowhere did I express any opinion about the trucks and their location--I simply don't care but I do think it's good to have a choice.

NUK_1
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We demand fine dining and Whole Foods! We're SPECIAL!

It's real easy to sit around and tell everyone else, including businessfolks, what to spend their money on it seems.

Have any of the blockheads whining about lack of fine dining considered the fact that if there was suitable demand for it, there would be a lot more of it? The market isn't there for much fine dining at all. A few people wishing for it doesn't mean that others will risk hundreds of thousands of dollars to offer fine dining here because the risk of failure is HIGH. Very high. Higher than Horgan on a Friday night, yo.

Same with frickin' Whole Foods. Why do PTCers expect Whole Foods to open a store in a market that is tremendously smaller than the current markets Whole Foods' serve. You take an upscale, specialty business, and think it's going to succeed with all of its overhead in a city of 35K people? Really? Do you think PTC/FC is THAT upscale itself? I got news for you...it's not.

As far as I know, the only thing stopping more fine dining in PTC/FC is SOMEONE ELSE investing a ton of money in it. Those who want it.....hey, sounds like a business opportunity for you!

Lentz's experience 50 years ago with food trucks? Seriously? That's a gauge of something? Time to move, yeesh.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & Whole Foods

I seem to remember Whole Foods used language like "PTC doesn't have the right demographics to support one of our stores."

Spyglass
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Not enough density

Check where they are located, very populated areas.

RKS
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NUK_1
NUK_1 wrote:

It's real easy to sit around and tell everyone else, including businessfolks, what to spend their money on it seems.

....Same with frickin' Whole Foods. Why do PTCers expect Whole Foods to open a store in a market that is tremendously smaller than the current markets Whole Foods' serve. You take an upscale, specialty business, and think it's going to succeed with all of its overhead in a city of 35K people? Really? Do you think PTC/FC is THAT upscale itself? I got news for you...it's not.

As far as I know, the only thing stopping more fine dining in PTC/FC is SOMEONE ELSE investing a ton of money in it. Those who want it.....hey, sounds like a business opportunity for you!

Lentz's experience 50 years ago with food trucks? Seriously? That's a gauge of something? Time to move, yeesh.

Personally, I'd like to see Trader Joe's come to either Newnan or PTC. I went to Fresh Market once...too pricey and I prefer supporting the locals by hitting the PTC Farmer's Market and 360 Farm in Sharpsburg for a CSA.

NUK_1
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360/Adams/Coweta Farmer's Market/PTC

Agree...I've been to all of the above and really like them.

Husband and Fat...
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Adams Farm

My family and I really enjoy Adams Farm. The produce and the people are fantastic

Spyglass
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Steaks

And the meat counter in general are great at the Fresh Market. I have yet to go wrong, filets, bone in rib eyes, seafood, brats, etc.

mudcat
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To prove your point, Nuk, She's Bistro went down

Becky She had to move because super mogel, Super Christian, Trinity Realty owner, Vince Riggio raised the rent 30%, so then she's in Westpark where she can't be seen and now she had to sell to the folks that run Sany. Going to become their homeplace, just like Peking Resturant which was also Becky's that catered to Panasonic and Hoshisaka back in the day. What goes around comes around. Too bad for Becky though, she is a nice lady.

Pascal's and Georgia Shrimp are the two nice places we have left. Used to like Longhorn but they fired the long time manager and things are going downhill. Ted's was ok, but haven't been. Green Ginger still has potential, but they seem distracted and not focused on the customer. Carraba's is great for the pasta-loading triathelites.

I think Fresh Market might survive. I go twice a week and see a store sort of full of shoppers. Love the service, Love the sushi, Love the fresh fish and veggies. The coffee thing is an expensive indulgence, but I love that as well.
I saw the mayor and his wife about a year ago talking to a nice young man dressed in a sports coat. I guess they were talking about the price of fish because the nice young man kept shaking his head no. Guess he didn't want to pay that much for the fish. What can you do? Fish is fish. He has not been back.

MYTMITE
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Mogul????

Mogul??? So, Christians shouldn't raise rents? Maybe they should just let people use their property for free?

Was you mother scared by a Christian when she was 'carrying' you? You sure seem to have a fixation where they are concerned. Maybe if you are nice, Barlow will pray for your soul and put in a good word for you--you just might need it.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & New Business

Even Trader Joe's declined to play in the PTC sandlot. BTW, if you don't think a Food Truck is evidence of commitment, try pricing one!

Danbertex
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Mr. Lentz, I found your

Mr. Lentz, I found your column goofy at worst and misinformed at best. Comparing your 1962 memories with today is absurd. I began frequenting these purveyors of alternate quisine a few years ago in DC. Without exception, the fare was outstanding. They wouldn't stay in business if it weren't. Many of these trucks are "specialists" at what they do and a brick and mortar establishment would be hard pressed to outdo them in their specialty. Further, more competition is better for all! Don't you think that the brick & mortars will be forced to up their game if clientele is getting the best gourmet burger in towm on 4 wheels? If you serve great food, you've got nothing to worry about regardless of location. We will find you. But this is a win-win for the customers looking for the best food for the available dollar, even if it just happens to be on wheels.

Citizen_Steve
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Cafeteria

Hang in there Paul, the way the city's demos are trending you'll be in a prime market for Piccadilly Cafeteria and like restaurants that cater to the old folks.

Spyglass
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Zing...

:)

ILuvFayette
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Mr Lentz

You should use the technology that is right at your fingertips. Google Atlanta food trucks and learn what todays food trucks are all about. These trucks are so popular that some of them run out food within an hour.

ptctrader2010
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You need to watch the Food Channel and "catch up"

This is 2012 Mr. Lenz... Food Trucks are rapidly becoming "haute cuisine" in many metro areas. Top chefs are manning these gourmet kitchens on wheels. I suggest you catch an episode on Food Channel when they are looking at some of these "roach coaches". Yeah, we had them at Ft. Campbell in 1971 when Uncle Sam had me there... and also at Ft. Sill... but they have changed.

asdabag
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Roach Coaches?

Mr Lentz,

I guess you have not tried a food truck since 1962. Far from being "roach coaches" food trucks today are great! They provide a platform for new and upcoming chefs and entrepreneurs to provide interesting and alternative dining. You are right, no white table cloths but that does not define a "dining experience" to most.

The post 1962 truck provide delicious, fresh, sometimes organic food. How awful.

Before passing such scathing judgement you should try some of the food at the Howell Mill Road truck location. Delicious and fun! You remember having fun right?

This is a great idea for the PTC. I can already see the lines of golf carts queuing up at a chosen locale. I'll bring you a tablecloth and candelabra.

RKS
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Skip the Gut Wagons/Roach Coaches and Stay Home

Cook your meals at home instead of stopping by the truck for overpriced crap. I vote no for Gut Wagons in PTC. I vote yes for more finer dining that isn't a part of a national chain.