Easing back into work after being on holiday for a week, here’s a story about a food truck that was told to leave the Saratoga Race Course because of it’s name. Wandering Dago food truck.
Our friend Roberto B. sent us the link, which was in the (Albany) Times Union.
Click through to see if you think their name is offensive.
“We got the boot,” Snooks said Saturday.
He and co-owner Andrea Loguidice were told Saturday to remove the truck from the property or it would be towed, Loguidice said. Wandering Dago’s contract requires a 30-day written notice of cancellation, Snooks said. No concerns over the name were raised during six months of negotiations with the New York Racing Association, which manages the track, and Centerplate, which supervises food service there, Loguidice said.
A Centerplate news release distributed on Thursday mentioned Wandering Dago at the top of a list of nine food options at the track, calling it “one of the country’s top barbecue fusion trucks.”
“We received several complaints” on Friday, said NYRA spokesman Eric Wing. “Once we received complaints, we took immediate action on behalf of our customers,” Wing said.
“We had to turn down several weddings and a few festivals to make this commitment to the racetrack,” Snooks said.
Wing said Centerplate will not charge Wandering Dago for the cost of products it ordered for the track.
But Loguidice said that ”doesn’t begin to cover all of the costs we’ve incurred,” including new equipment purchases and lost revenue.
Wandering Dago is also banned from selling at Empire State Plaza in Albany because of its name, Loguidice said. The truck’s name was accepted on state incorporation papers, she said, but an official of the Office of General Services, which oversees the plaza, said the name was unacceptable for a vendor.
“It is ridiculous that we are a licensed New York state corporation, yet we are being blocked from doing business by state officials,” Snooks said.
Snooks and Loguidice are Italian and chose the name to honor their heritage, she said. “We don’t think it’s offensive in any way.” The term originated from Italian immigrants who worked as laborers and asked to be paid “as the day goes,” which became “dago,” Loguidice said. “That’s how we make our money, as they day goes. … And since we wander to different cities during the day, we thought the name was perfect.”
See how informative New York Street Food is. Now you know the origin of the Italian slur “dago”.