Globe Editorial

Greenway: Boston's immigrant food trail

June 21, 2010

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Since its opening in 2008, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway has struggled to attract regular visitors. So it came as a welcome surprise last week to see crowds forming in Dewey Square to nosh on spicy falafel sandwiches and rosemary-garnished French fries. The food was served by the Clover Food Lab truck, one of six mobile food vendors that recently began operating in the 15-acre Greenway. In different sections of the park, hungry visitors could pick among carts offering Central Asian grilled meat skewers, Argentine sandwiches, Italian sausages, and fresh smoothies. Those seeking more traditional food-cart fare could find locally made hot dogs served out of a solar-powered pushcart for $2.

Credit should go to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy for adding innovative food options with an international flair. Long lines prove they made wise selections.

If the Greenway’s cart culture continues to flourish, the park could easily develop into a foodie mecca. When the Conservancy calls for new vendor applications later in the year, local business people — from celebrity chefs like Ming Tsai to mom-and-pop entrepreneurs — should submit concepts worthy of a cosmopolitan city. Boston’s immigrant communities should be active participants. Options like Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches, West Indian curries, and Latin American ceviches would add more welcome spice to the Greenway’s cheap eats.

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