No offense, Orlando, but your anemic dining scene isn't exactly packing downtown streets with foodies every night.
Parking is a pain. Retail shops are nonexistent. The restaurant and bar scene is better than it once was, but scant on variety.
Except for an uninspiring NBA team and the occasional Broadway hit, downtown O-town doesn't have anything you can't get in Winter Park. Or Winter Garden. Or Sand Lake's Restaurant Row. Or any other neighborhood generally considered more entertaining among 30- and 40-somethings.
So it's hard to fathom why Orlando would let the air out of the tires on the city's food trucks.
New rules quietly approved by the City Council in May regulate even the most minor details, such as the kind of disposable plates the trucks can use, and whittle way down the number of days trucks can operate each week.
Next month the 90-day grace period will end, and city officials will begin enforcing the rules.
That might be a boon to traditional restaurants that didn't like these wheeled foodie magnets eating into their clientele.
Don't count on it to do much to lift Orlando's overall dining scene.
There's a reason why places such as Restaurant Row and Winter Park succeed. Because they have a lot of dining options clustered together.
The more the merrier goes not only for seats around the table, but also for places to eat.
You would think a city like Orlando that is yearning to grow up would love importing gourmets via portable operations that bring instant food cred.
No sushi restaurant in the heart of Thornton Park? No problem. Fish Out of Water was happy to roll into the parking lot of The Falcon Bar and Gallery.
No more, though. The city's new rules require landowners to approve food trucks, and The Falcon's landlord declined.
"Nobody had an issue with this for two years," said sushi truck owner Al Ruiz. "Every place I work right now, I'm technically not able to work. When they start enforcing the rules, I have no idea what I'm going to do."
Orlando isn't wrong to impose any regulations on food trucks. They are very much needed.
As food trucks morphed from the old "roach coach" model into movable gastronome meccas monitored by state health inspectors, the city let them operate without local rules.
So it's only natural, now that it's clear the food trend isn't going away, that Orlando wants to protect itself. The city doesn't want trucks hopping curbs, blocking city right of way and pouring their grease into the streets or planters.
The city also wants the trucks to buy $50 permits. Fair enough.
But the city is also telling private establishments such as The Imperial Wine Bar and Beer Garden on Antique Row that they can only host one food truck one day each week. That kills days of work and income for the trucks.
The trucks are also required to provide their own trash cans (very fair) and empty all city trash cans within 25 feet of their trucks if customers use them to deposit their food waste. That's an unnecessary burden, considering those city cans will be emptied by Orlando's garbage collectors anyway.
The city also is banning all Styrofoam on the trucks. A noble gesture for the environment and something all restaurants should consider, but again it seems designed to make things hard for the trucks when restaurants with carry-out service aren't subject to the same rule.
The city seems to want to favor brick-and-mortar restaurants that have complained about the trucks.
There's a reason people bemoan over-reaching government regulations for punishing businesses. Because sometimes, as in the case of the Orlando food trucks, they do.