Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Taco Truck Apparent Cause of Local Teenage Obesity -- Despite Not Selling to Minors Between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:33 PM

We love El Tonayense's taco trucks -- we gave them our Best Burrito award in our 2007 Best of SF issue, and wrote about them in our 2008 cover story "State of the Cart", where they made our Top Ten street food list -- but some people apparently don't.  

Or, rather, they don't want the alluring burritos and tacos available within 1500 feet of John O'Connell High School. An ordinance banning catering trucks within that distance was adopted by the city in 2007. And parents convinced that it was contributing to their childrens' obesity have forced the Board of Supervisors to broker a "compromise" wherein El Tonayense has to find another location than its 19th and Harrison one near the school (but can stay there until June).

Cooler heads, who pointed out that (1) El Tonayense had signs up stating that they would not sell to anyone under 18 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., (2) Only seniors are allowed to eat off-campus, (3) There are two storefront taquerias closer to the school's entrance, (4) El Tonayense makes excellent fresh food from good ingredients, as compared to the school's own menu, which features such commercially-made processed items as bagel dogs and "pizza dippers," whatever the hell those are, did not prevail.

(Interestingly, the ban does not apply to elementary schools, which explains the mysterious appearance of ice cream trucks when the school bell rings. SF blog Burrito Justice drew up a clever map showing the 1500-foot limit encircling Mission schools.)

El Tonayense, which operates 3 taco trucks as well as a stand-alone restaurant at 3150 24th Street, has been at the disputed corner since 1997. John O'Connell High School moved to its present location in 1999. (Anybody heard of a "grandfather clause"?)


good news is that El Tonayense is looking at two alternative locations

which may work out.  And move the instrument of the devil ten or

fifteen yards further away from the hapless students of John O'Connell.

The lucky students at Gateway High School,

a rigorous college prep charter school at Scott and Geary that's also

part of the San Francisco Unified School District, don't have to cross

town to sample El Tonayense's superb pollo asado, carnitas, and lengua

tacos, or vegetarian burritos. El Tonayense is contracted to deliver

lunch to them twice a week.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Meredith Brody


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"