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Wandering Dago leaving summer home

Popular Capital Region food truck Wandering Dago has gotten the boot from the Saratoga Race Course.

Co-owner Andrea Loguidice said they were told late Friday evening that they were not welcome for the rest of the meet.

New York Racing Association spokesman Eric Wing said they receive several complaints about the name of the food truck, as "dago" has a history of being a derogatory name for Italians. "This should have been handled before Friday, but once we received complaints we took immediate action on behalf of our customers," Wing said.

Loguidice said they heard no complaints of the name on opening day and no one from NYRA had previously raised concerns over the name with them.

A press release from Thursday announcing the lineup of food venders at the track listed the Wandering Dago at the top of its list and billed it as "one of the country's top barbecue fusion trucks."

Loguidice was upset about the decision to oust them because of the name, which is a point of pride for her and co-owner Brandon Snooks. She said that both are of Italian descent and the name is derived from Italian immigrants who asked to be paid on a daily basis after employers started to refuse payment at the end of the week. "We get paid as the day goes," she explained, "and that's where we came up with the name."

This was supposed to be a big summer for the Wandering Dago, as Loguidice said they hoped to use the additional revenue to open a second food truck in the Capital Region.

Wing noted that Centerplate, which is hired by NYRA to oversee food sales at the track and has the contract with the Wandering Dago, has agreed to food costs incurred by Wandering Dago.

Loguidice appreciates the actions by Centerplate and said the really villain in this situation is a state official who has a problem with the name. She maintains that the call on Friday night kicking out the Wandering Dago came from a NYRA official, who she wouldn't name, who said the decision was being pushed by a state official.

The Wandering Dago has had its run ins with the state before, as they were denied a food vender license at the Empire State Plaza, which is run by the state's Office of General Services. Because of a recent NYRA agreement, OGS is also overseeing the Saratoga Race Course, but Loguidice didn't want to speculate on a possible connection. Instead, she hopes they can have a dialogue with the unnamed state official to explain what the food truck's name means to her and Snooks.

Wing said he was not familiar with concerns from anyone other that people at the track.

In the end, the Wandering Dago never served any food at the Saratoga Race Course, as Loguidice said a late arriving propane tank kept them from serving food on the opening day of the track. According to a tweet from the Wandering Dago, they will be returning to the Riverview Center in Menands.

Read a story we wrote on food trucks in April, which featured the Wandering Dago.

Follow @Poozer87 on Twitter.

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July 20, 2013
11:28 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

While that might not have been my first choice of business names in uber-sensitive upstate NY, any tyme there is a glitch in Saratoga County between 7/1 & 9/1, some politician screwed up!

July 20, 2013
11:51 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Just Typical of A Nanny State And Over Paid Politicians That don't have Real Jobs !!!Just People trying to make a Living get Screwed in this State as usual !!! Guess they didn't pay somebody off and the Friend of the Politician got the Spot !!!

July 22, 2013
11:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The list of vendors has probably been around for many, many months. I'm sure many people have seen it and it was probably put together to offer a variety of fun food to track attendees. Most likely the stiff who complained has box seats and is mooching off some Saratoga nobility, but needed to exert himself and show off his manliness. Sounds like an over-compensator to me.

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