Welcome to Cartography: Putting Good Food on the Map!
Cartography is a food cart co-op that features traditional foods from desert-dwelling cultures across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Did you know that these extreme regions feature some of the most extremely delicious food in the world? Step on up and let your tastebuds do some traveling!
Front - Above. Four deserts are represented by the four food carts of Cartography: the Sahara, the Karakum, the Kalahari, and the Chihuahuan. There is also a permanent structure on the lot (the bathrooms) that features a map of the world where guests can place markers on places where they've eaten delicious food.
Floorplan - Overall
Floorplan - Sahara. Sahara is the original food cart on the lot, owned by the co-op's founder, Mustafa Ziyad. The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, and the people and foods across it are extremely diverse. Ziyad, a Tunisian Berber, focuses on the foods he grew up eating, like tajine, couscous, and merguez. All food offered at this cart is halal.
Floorplan - Karakum. The Karakum desert is one of the defining geographical features of Turkmenistan, and it is from Turkmenistan that owners Adnan and Sona Vardanyan draw their inspiration. Describing their food as "central Asian with Russian influences," their savory filled pies and mouthwatering melons are some of the most popular dishes at Cartography. Like Sahara, their food is halal.
Floorplan - Kalahari. The Kalahari desert covers much of Botswana as well as parts of Namibia and South Africa. Owned by the Masisi sisters, the food cart offers a number of different soups, stews, and porridge, served alongside vegetables and dumplings. All food is prepared over a wood-burning grill. If you're feeling adventurous, a shipment of mopane worms comes in once a month!
Floorplan - Chihuahaun. The largest desert in North America lies primarily in Mexico, but also reaches into the southwest United States. This food cart is owned by the Quintero family. Emelina, the family matriarch, is often the first one at Cartography in the morning so she can get a head start on her handmade corn tortillas. Popular dishes include enchiladas, tamales, and pozole. There is a friendly rivalry between the Quinteros and the Masisis over whose food cart is the most fun to say.
Floorplan - Bathrooms
Sahara (left) and Karakum (right). When this round started, I knew I wanted to do food carts right away, but the thing that really sold me on making it desert-themed was the license plate that says EATMYDUST. Get it? Because you're eating? And deserts are dusty? HA HA HA HA HA HA hahaha... ahahaha.. haha... aha... I'll let myself out.
Sahara, Karakum, and the seating area viewed from above Chihuahuan and Kalahari
I hope to add a bit more commentary and one more picture, but I have to leave for work right now and then I'm hitting the road. I'll try to log on tonight from my motel unless I have trouble with the wifi or I forget. Great entries everyone!! See you on the other side!
edit: I got the wifi to work and added in the backstories for the food carts that I thought of during the last 5 hours of driving. Now it's bedtime. Good jorb everyone!
"Passion makes no accommodation for self-preservation."