Real Street Food in Kalispell?

By Beacon Staff

My co-workers and I strolled up to Depot Park today to get lunch from the new vendor in the parking lot selling Szechuan noodle and teriyaki rice dishes. I’m not sure how long the noodle cart has been there, with a friendly woman cooking up lunches to order, but I sincerely hope the – dare I say – trend of street food in Kalispell is only going to grow.

In March, the Beacon did a business profile of New York Dawgs, a hot dog stand set up on First Avenue West near the Department of Motor Vehicles by two transplanted New Yorkers homesick for the taste of real all-beef, kosher-style Sabrett hot dogs. Every day these ladies are out there serving the cylindrical, processed meat needs of county and city employees who work nearby.

Last week, after covering a story south of town, I stopped by for a “Brooklyn Dodger”: two dogs on a roll with sauerkraut, mustard and grilled onions. It was every bit as good as it sounds, though messy.

And while it’s not a stand, Mexi-Tacos at 214 First Ave East in Kalispell, has recently added “lengua” or tongue to their offerings for tacos and burritos. While I haven’t quite built up the nerve for a tongue taco yet, I’m pretty excited that the chefs there feel confident enough to offer such authentic Mexican food on their menu. I’ve also heard from friends that someone is occasionally selling homemade tamales from a makeshift stand across from the Subway on West Idaho.

Street food is an inherent part of any urban area where people work, walk and bike, so I see the rise of these food carts selling delicious ethnic food as only a good thing – and one long overdue in Kalispell. Now, what this town really needs is a decent bagel shop. Who will step up to the plate?

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