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Off the Grid

off-the-grid food truckMENLO PARK, CA – Ten food trucks will roll into the Caltrain station on Feb. 19, when Off the Grid expects to kick off its new weekly event in Menlo Park.

Despite protests by about 20 downtown business owners and patrons prior to the Planning Commission’s approval of a permit for the event, no one filed to appeal the decision by the Jan. 29 deadline, according to city staff.

Off the Grid, based in San Francisco, started organizing food truck events nearly four years ago. It now hosts gatherings in 25 Bay Area locations, including the Belmont and Burlingame Caltrain stations.

The Menlo Park event will use the corner of the train station parking lot near the intersection of Merrill Street and Ravenswood Avenue and close to the West Bay Model Railroad building. Signs will ban parking within that section of the lot from 3:30 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Food will be served for three to four hours, starting at 5 p.m., with live music, chairs and lighting provided along with a portable toilet.

Find the entire article at paloaltoonline.com <here>

STANFORD, CA – Net Appetit, a popular food truck that has served Thai food on Santa Teresa Avenue for more than a decade, has been asked by the University to cease operations on campus as part of Stanford’s new mobile food vendor policy, which took effect on Jan. 7 of this year.

net appetit food truck

Chon Vo, founder and operator of Net Appetit, has operated the truck on the Stanford campus since 2001. All Vo’s profits go to Aid to Children Without Parents (ACWP), a nonprofit organization that provides two meals to children in Vietnam for every dollar donated by the truck.

Stanford’s new policy regarding food trucks mandates that trucks must register with Off The Grid, a food truck management company that has partnered with the University for the winter pilot program to bring food trucks to campus.

Assistant Vice President for Business Development Susan Weinstein ’72 MBA ’79 who helped draft the mobile food vendor policy, declined a request for interview but released a statement saying the notice about the food truck policy and its implementation was given to trucks operating on campus beginning last November.

“The notice informed the trucks that they would be required to have a permit from Off the Grid in order to continue [to] serve campus beginning on Jan. 7, and also contained information on how the food trucks could register with Off The Grid,” Weinstein wrote.

Vo was informed of the decision through an unsigned notice from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety on Dec. 7, one week before the University closed for winter break.

“On Dec. 7, the campus police dropped off the letter,” Vo said. “We only had one week to react, and the letter wasn’t signed, so we didn’t know how to get in touch.”

Since then, he has tried unsuccessfully to appeal to administrators, citing a spotless health record.

“That’s the thing that perplexed us the most,” Vo said. “If we violated stuff like the food safety, then of course we know why, but we have a good record of 11 years. Not a single violation– a spotless record.”

Students and other members of the Stanford community have sent Vo more than 200 emails expressing sadness over the absence of Net Appetit.

Find the entire article by Samantha Lynn at the Stanford Daily <here>


PALO ALTO, CA – The ASSU Executive will bring food trucks onto campus starting this Friday as part of a winter quarter pilot program that aims to diversify late-night dining options. The food trucks, a pillar of the Executive’s platform, will be serving food every Friday and Saturday night during winter quarter.

stanford-logoThe program will be run through Off the Grid, a food truck management company that works with over 100 vendors to organize and bring food trucks to locations across the Bay Area. Food trucks will be open from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in two locations: Wilbur parking lot and the parking lot between Florence Moore Hall and Theta Delta Chi.

To navigate the legal and health obstacles to having outside groups serve food on campus, ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 and Vice President William Wagstaff ’12 worked with the University throughout the summer and fall. Administrators had been working on a mobile food vendor policy at the same time.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, the University enacted a mobile food vendor policy that sets guidelines for any food trucks on the Stanford campus. The food truck policy sets guidelines that cover everything from parking to sustainability.

Find the entire article by Samantha Lynn at the Stanford Daily <here>


PALO ALTO, CA – With an increase in the popularity of mobile food services, the university has engaged Off the Grid, one of the largest food truck festival operators in the Bay Area, to run a pilot program. Off the Grid will schedule and manage food trucks at three new campus locations. Stanford also has adopted a new policy designed to ensure that campus food trucks meet its safety, sustainability, parking, insurance and other requirements. The new rules will take effect at the beginning of winter quarter.

off-the-grid food truck

This week, the university notified the food truck vendors currently operating on campus about the new program. These food trucks were invited to contact Off the Grid about continuing to serve the campus community and informed that they would have to meet Stanford’s food truck policy requirements.

Only food trucks that have been invited will be allowed to operate on campus, and they will only be allowed to sell in approved locations.

The pilot program includes one food truck location for lunchtime service on Lomita Drive between Panama and Santa Teresa streets from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The area, which is close to the Terman Fountain, has plenty of outdoor seating.

The other two new food truck locations will serve students near the residence halls in the evening, when food options on campus are more limited. Schedules and locations will be developed in collaboration with the ASSU student government and will be announced when finalized.

“Off the Grid’s rotating schedule will bring a variety of cuisines that wasn’t possible when the same trucks came on campus every day,” said Susan Weinstein, assistant vice president for business development. “We hope there will be something for everyone at some point during the week. Off the Grid will also help us ensure that food trucks follow our important safety and sustainability policies.”

Food trucks engaged for special events will be required to comply with the new Mobile Food Vendor policy. Off the Grid is ready to help all campus event planners find just the right food truck for their events.

Construction sites will be served by food trucks invited on to the site directly by the construction contractors.

Find the original article by Elaine Ray at stanford.edu <here>


Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi recently spent her lunch break touring the new outpost of mobile eateries in SF on Folsom and Second Streets as part of a renewed effort to explore San Francisco’s onslaught of small businesses. Guided by Off The Grid founder Matt Cohen, Pelosi sampled the wares of some of the city’s newest sect of entrepreneurs, learning about the special ingredients in the Phat Thai’s famous pad thai and how the Doc’s staff keeps customers on their toes with a lively Twitter account.

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Image by Aaron Sankin

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi believes food trucks and restaurants can actually benefit from one another. “It’s not competitive so much as it is complementary,” she told The Huffington Post. “Someone who hasn’t tried ramen before might then go to a Japanese restaurant.”


Winning food truck and donation to San Francisco and Marin Food Banks will be announced as competition culminates in celebration event Saturday, October 15 at Fort Mason Center

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM], announced today the top ten food trucks in the Eater’s Choice Awards presented by Chase Sapphire(SM) Visa Signature(R) in partnership with Off the Grid, an organizer of street food events in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ten San Francisco food trucks will be serving up their beloved fare at the Eater’s Choice Awards event October 15 at Fort Mason Center from 12 to 4 p.m. Liam Mayclem of “Eye on the Bay” will emcee the culinary celebration where the number-one favorite “mobile eatery” — and donation to the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks — will be revealed.

From September 21 to October 5, Bay Area food truck fans voted for their favorite of nearly 30 participating food trucks online, with Chase Sapphire Visa Signature donating $1 for each vote cast up to $10,000 to the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. The finalists are:

        --  Bacon            @baconbaconsf
        --  Doc's            @docsofthebay
            of the Bay
        --  Ebbett's         @ebbettsgoodtogo
            Good to Go
        --  Fivetenburger    @fivetenburger
        --  Little           @lilgreencyclo
            Green Cyclo
        --  Pacific          @PacificPuffs
        --  Senor            @senorsisig
        --  Seoul            @seoulonwheels
            on Wheels
        --  The              @TheRibWhip
            Rib Whip
        --  Toasty           @Toastymelts

During the event on October 15, Chase Sapphire cardmembers will receive exclusive perks, including early entrance to the event, an exclusive menu item at each food truck, VIP seating in the Chase Sapphire Lounge and exclusive meet-and-greets with food truck chef-owners. The winning food truck will win a customized makeover valued at $5,000 courtesy of Chase Sapphire Visa Signature. The company will also present the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks with a donation check.

“Chase Sapphire rewards its cardmembers with unique and memorable experiences,” said Sean O’Reilly, general manager, Chase Card Services. “The Eater’s Choice Awards is truly a unique spin on dining in that it allows San Franciscans the chance to show their passion for food truck dining and their favorite food truck as well as help raise money for people in need. We are thrilled to be able to offer our cardmembers access to this exclusive event.”

To learn more about the Eater’s Choice Awards presented by Chase Sapphire Visa Signature, please visit http://www.eaterschoicesf.com

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: For questions regarding the Eater’s Choice Awards presented by Chase Sapphire Visa Signature, please contact Alicia Balkrishna at alicia.balkrishna@ketchum.com / 415-984-6281 or Jessica Lee at jessica.lee@ketchum.com / 415-984-6234.

About Chase Sapphire

Chase Sapphire is a rewards credit card that offers premium travel rewards and benefits, a range of redemption choices, exceptional customer service and memorable experiences, such as the San Francisco Eater’s Choice Awards event. More information is available at www.ChaseSapphire.com

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co.JPM -1.58% , a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 5,200 bank branches, 16,200 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com .

About Visa Signature

Visa Signature is a premium payment card issued by banks in the United States. Visa Signature offers cardholders a range of benefits and perks, in addition to a number of rewards programs that may be offered by Visa Signature partners, such as airline, hotel and cash back programs. Visa Signature cardholders enjoy access to a host of benefits, such as complimentary concierge services, the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, and warranty manager service, as well as special offers for perks focused on cardholder passions, such as travel, wine and food, sports and entertainment events. Perks range from everyday values, such as special offers on movie tickets and discounts at select retailers, to VIP tickets for premier concerts, Broadway shows and epicurean events, and once-in-a-lifetime packages for events such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. For more information about Visa Signature, visit www.visa.com/signature .

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50021202&lang=en

SOURCE: Chase Card Services


After winning 9-0 last night, the San Francisco Giants are leaving town with a 2-0 World Series lead over the Texas Rangers. Even though AT&T Park will be closed (possibly until next season) San Francisco residents and visitors still have a chance to have fantastic food while gathered with a large group of Giant fans this weekend. A new food venue is available on weekends in four communities including Upper Haight, Civic Center, McCoppin Hub and Fort Mason Center. Off the Grid brings a wide range of mobile food truck food options and packages them with music and a wonderful atmosphere.

Although not a new trend in San Francisco, food trucks need foot traffic to remain sustainable, and current regulations prevent groups of trucks from gathering together on the public right-of-way. The owner of Off the Grid and originator of the SF Cart Project, Matt Cohen has created a way to bring groups of vendors and consumers together.

The idea for OTG was to bring 15 to 20 of the best street food trucks from around the San Francisco area and park them in the same lot between 5 and 9 PM on a weekend evening, provide fantastic food at low prices. Add some great tunes and a full bar, and presto, you have a gastro-party worth your time, and worthy of many return visits.

Cohen suggests, “Come with a group of friends, get a drink, and relax. You’ll wait in some lines, but break up and get food from a couple different places and share. Start conversations with people walking by and ask them what they’re eating. It’s an evening of eating. It’s great for families, too. The kids can be loud!”

Current location lineup:

Upper Haight: Stanyan Street at Waller Street; Thursdays, 4pm to 8:30pm

Civic Center Plaza: Fridays 11am to 2:30pm

Fort Mason Center: Fridays, 5pm to 9pm

McCoppin Hub at Valencia: Saturdays 11am to 4pm and 5pm to 10pm

Participating vendors:

AdoboHobo, Azalina’s Malaysian, Chaac Mool Yucatecan cuisine, Chairman Bao Bun Truck, Creme Brulee Cart, Curry Up Now, El Huarache Loco, El Porteno Empanadas, Global Soul, Gobba Gobba Hey, Hapa SF, Kung Fu Tacos, Onigilly, Seoul On Wheels Korean BBQ, and Senor Sisig.

Vendor lists are posted on Facebook and are updated as new vendors join.

Follow on Twitter.

With its fun, festival atmosphere and abundance of cheap tasty treats, if you haven’t had the chance to check it out, be sure to add one or more of its venues to your must do list.

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