Back when I was a kid, back when I was a teenager, even back when I was only slightly less of a grown-up than I am now, one of the biggest drags about eating on the street was having to carry cash. Today, you can add parking, the occasional vending machine soda and supporting the local homeless community to the reasons for carrying cash. Still, I often find myself short of dough, which means I've been shit out of luck when it comes to getting my fix of Mexican ice creams, taco-truck tacos, barbecue sandwiches and dirty-water hot dogs.
While I still may have a rough time getting my hands on some of the above, one thing I won't have to worry about anymore? Whether I have enough cash to get a reindeer dog or aLouisiana Red Hot from Biker Jim's dog cart at Skyline Park, our Best Cart on the 16th Street Mall in the recent Best of Denver 2009. Because Biker Jim has gone and gotten himself a portable credit-card machine.
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Last week we chatted about this new machine, as well as about the coming zombie apocalypse and the various members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals who paid Jim's cart a visit during the recent convention. (One of them told Jim that interviewing him was better than talking with either Tom Colicchio or Thomas Keller.)
Here's how the new credit-card system works at Biker Jim's: "I take cards if 1) I remember to charge up the damn machine. And 2) I remember to take the damn thing off the charger and bring it," Jim explains. "The thing has been pretty handy. Saves a lot of people time, 'cause who's got cash anymore?"
So provided you catch Jim on a day when his memory is in order, you, too, can be living in the glorious world of the future where all hot dog guys are constantly on the lookout for hordes of the living dead and you can buy all the hot dogs you can eat with just a little piece of plastic.