What it Takes to Open Your Own Mobile Food Cart or Truck….

Drewski's Food Truck delights! photo courtesy of www.poorgirleatswell.com

By AnneHart | AllVoices.com

Drewski's Food Truck delights! photo courtesy of www.poorgirleatswell.com

Are you coming to Sacramento’s mobile food truck festival this Saturday, April 30, 2011? It will be held at noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in Sacramento at Fremont Park (16th and Q streets, Sacramento). Free admission. Most food items cost under $10. Bring cash, not checks or credit cards. Many of the vendors will take only cash. And please, leave your pets at home. For further information see the Sacramento Mobile Food Festival website.

Also see the April 29, 2011 Sacramento Bee article, “Walk up, order up at Mobile Food Festival,” and the Sacramento News 10 TV article, “Mobile food festival in Sacramento this Saturday.”

You’ll be able to experience food from the Mini Burger food truck as well as 20 other types of food vendors in the local Sacramento Mobile Food Festival. It’s called, for short SactoMoFo. And it will take place in midtown at the Fremont Park. The goal is to celebrate mobile food and raise awareness about Sacramento’s latest trend, the burgeoning food-truck circuit, according to the Sacramento Bee article.

You’ll also be able to taste potato tots, and super stuffed grilled cheesewiches from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen. If you like a Latin/Mexican flavor, there will also be tacos and burritos served by Chando‘s mobile food cart. If you want dessert, try the frozen sweet items from Davis’ Fat Face.

Famous food trucks will also be there, such as the Bay Area’s “Chairman Bao.” There also will be the mobile food truck called “Spencer on the Go,” and the San Francisco truck featured on the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”

Try the snail lollipops, that is the escargot lollipops, or the braised lamb cheeks or other food items you wouldn’t think came from a mobile food truck, but they do, and they taste great.

One SactoMoFo organizer interviewed in the Sacramento Bee article is Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Sacramento folks should know these are gourmet food trucks operated by successful caterers and restauranteurs.

These cooks know how to prepare a wide range of creative cooking that tastes great. You’ll find plenty to eat. Remember that Sacramento has especially strict city ordinances that keep mobile food vendors from flourishing in Sacramento.

In most sections of Sacramento, including downtown and midtown, ordinances prevent food trucks from staying in one spot for more than 30 minutes. They also have to shut down and roll home after 6 p.m. November through March.

There’s only one issue–where are the food trucks locally for our vegan and raw food enthusiasts? Sacramento has a new trend, a movement toward mobile food. It’s working here and in other cities. It’s up to you to enter the discussion. How about some mobile gourmet food trucks for us vegans who enjoy our low-salt, no-added sugar vegan raw foods? Or how about vegetable stews that don’t have enormous amounts of salt added like we taste in local restaurant faire?

Emphasis seems to be on, at least in the media, how fast the orders are cranked out to feed a long line of people at a busy stop. If a food truck only has 30 minutes to stay in one spot, usually it shuts down just as the long line of people reaches the front. And a lot of people have waited a long time to buy food. But after 30 minutes in one spot, the food truck has to move on, at least in Sacramento, according to the local city ordinance.

For workers who sit all day behind a desk and don’t have more than a few minutes for lunch, standing in a long line isn’t calming. People may enjoy their burgers and fries, but a lot of Sacramentans would enjoy the diversity of getting something other than burgers, fries, tacos, cheese, or burritos. How about some whole grains with parsley, olive oil, pine nuts, and lemon juice–without added salt using garlic and onion instead?

When is a raw foods vegan eatery going to open a mobile food truck in Sacramento?

Numerous senior citizens, that’s right, ladies who lunch and go to raw vegan food preperation classes, who enjoy eating more fresh, organic plant-based foods and dark green juices would love to see in Sacramento even one raw food mobile truck that serves tasty veggie burgers or grain, legume, seed, and nut salads, smoothies, or stews. But if you ask most food vendors, most of the standard veggie burgers you buy frozen in food markets and then sell for example, at the State Fair, just don’t sell as well as the meat-based burgers, at least from the point of view of State Fair attendees.

If a food truck came to an area where there are lots of vegetarians and vegans, for example, near the midtown natural food stores or in Arden Arcade where there’s a fast-food chain eatery on nearly every other corner, maybe there would be a turnout, especially from the senior citizens who like to lunch around the Country Club shopping center at noon.

In Sacramento and nationally, owning a food truck recently has become a huge culinary trend. You have food trucks serving waffles, chicken with ethnic side dishes and condiments, and various ethnic food. For example,

Look at some of Sacramento’s recent food history. Last summer The Food Network presented “The Great Food Truck Race” which at least got 2 million people to view the network. So for popularity, youth and most middle-aged commuters enjoy food from food trucks because of the convenience of eating a few steps from where they work without having to drive through heavy noon traffic to find a place to eat. Not many people bring lunch to work each day because it means cooking it the night before and eating it cold at your desk. It’s about taste and convenience.

Check out Sacramento’s strict city ordinances about food trucks just in case you are thinking of opening your own mobile food cart. The law notes that there’s a 30-minute limit before food trucks must move another 400 feet. And there’s lots of paperwork to file. If you want to open your own food truck, you need a health permit. You apply for a health permit from Sacramento County. It takes money and energy, perhaps the most of the wisdom of age and all of the energy of youth.

If you do get your permit, it would be great if you parked far away from local restaurants. There are businesses you can park nearer to where the people coming out of their offices, meetings, churches, schools, or medical centers are in need of food, and there may not be anyplace close where they can have lunch.

Speaking about much-in-demand burgers, if you’re interested in looking at some great mobile food trucks in Sacramento that are popular and have excellent food, also check out the website of Mini Burger. Of course, if you already have a food cart, one of the best ways to get people over there to eat is to use social media networking on the web.

This is what is heard from some, not all of course, senior citizens in Sacramento: How about something healthier–gourmet-made from fresh ingredients, not frozen, overly salted, ready-to-eat commercial-type veggie burgers? And serve the gourmet burgers on sprouted whole grain flatbreads, including some that are gluten-free, perhaps made from lentil or garbanzo flour?

Or the type of salads such as cabbage and black sesame seeds that you sometimes may find in the deli section of Sacramento’s Whole Foods Market? The issue is, the food trucks serve most of the working public, the commuters, office workers, and health workers. When will someone with a food cart or truck serve a plate of black “forbidden” rice like you find in popular vegan restaurants in Sacramento?

Where are the mobile food trucks serving vegan, healthy meals to our crowd–the senior citizen ladies who lunch looking for meals priced below $10? The moral of the story is there is a market and room for every type of food preference and taste in Sacramento. It’s about food diversity and taste.

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