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The other day, Y&H was returning to the office after lunch when I spotted the new Zola on the Go food cart, located not far from where the Spy Diner food cart used to cop a squat. Knowing that Zola and Spy City Cafe share the same parent group, I asked the man inside the cart what gives.

He said the Spy Diner cart, a collaboration between D.C. Central Kitchen and Stir Food Group, had been rebranded as the more upscale, Zola on the Go. A clever idea, I thought. What better way to separate yourself among the street food pack than to brand yourself as gourmet? It’s half the reason the lobster truck has ’em lined up like sheep to slaughter.

Back in June, Stir Food executive chef Bryan Moscatello offered a preview of the sandwiches that you could expect to see at the Zola cart, and earlier this summer, the cart was selling fresh peaches and watermelons from a nearby farm. All of which would indicate an upgrade from last year’s offerings at the Spy Diner cart.

Could the rebranding have anything to do with the sudden departure this year of Dan Mesches at Stir?