Food Truck Festival Off the Grid Returns to Fort Mason


After almost three months away, Off The Grid returns to Fort Mason Monday

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, food experience company Off The Grid hosted one of San Francisco’s biggest outdoor dining events — a weekly, Monday night gathering of about 30 vendors and food trucks that typically fed thousands of diners. You can see why the company shut that event down in early March, as the pandemic began (and gatherings ceased) across the Bay Area. Now, as the city begins to reopen for business, so will Off The Grid Fort Mason, just at a far smaller scale.

According to the SF Chronicle, Off The Grid’s new Monday event will be called the “Fort Mason Center Food Spot.” It kicks off on Monday, June 8, at 5 p.m. in the parking lot of Fort Mason, but this time around there will only be five vendors a night, an effort to keep crowds light. “We have room to scale,” Off The Grid founder Matt Cohen tells the Chron, “but we want to make sure we have the right safety practices in place. We don’t expect this to be gangbusters in the very beginning in terms of turnout.”

Tonight’s vendors will be organic meat-focused Capelo’s Barbecue, Mexico City-style taco truck Al Pastor Papi, Lamas Peruvian (a food truck from the Half Moon Bay Peruvian/Mexican restaurant of the same name), longstanding Korean food truck Korean Bobcha, and six-year-old sandwich truck Izzy’s Cheesesteaks, with new trucks planned for following weeks. By the end of June, Cohen tells the Chron that Off The Grid expects to launch similar scaled-down markets in “20 public spaces throughout the Bay Area.”

And in other news…

  • Phawaree Udomkusolsri, the owner of new Cow Hollow restaurant Le Moon Thai Eatery, wanted to open an Instagram-ready spot that featured “deconstructed Thai dishes” that diners would mix themselves. With the area’s takeout-only rules, diners are indeed doing a lot of the work, but not in the way she intended. [SF Chronicle]
  • Columnist Daniel Borenstain says that the “slow response” of Alameda County’s health officials to a coronavirus outbreak at a Fruitvale grocery store “might help explain why Santa Clara County has tamped down the spread of the virus and Alameda County has not.” [San Jose Mercury News]
  • The East Bay city of Oakley says that a new location of Skipolini’s Pizza only has to pay $1 per month in rent for their first 28 months. Two other restaurants have failed at the city-owned site, and officials hope that this third, deeply discounted time will be the charm. [East Bay Times]
  • Black chefs in the Bay Area say that their decisions to speak out against racial injustice aren’t inspiring the social media backlash they expected — in fact, it seems to be good for business. [SF Chronicle]
  • Alameda County announced that it’s encouraging residents to engage in “social bubbles” (outdoor gatherings of up to 12 people who meet up on the regular), but outdoor restaurant dining isn’t allowed quite yet. [KPIX]
  • Food writer Urmila Ramakrishnan’s trip to Napa County for a sit-down meal was “bizarre, scary and confusing.” [KQED]
  • The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has reopened for strolling and dining, but its rides and games are all closed. [San Jose Mercury News]
  • The pandemic has spurred a golden era of chefs who prepare food at their homes and sell it to the masses — but county regulators, which must OK those businesses, have been slow to issue the necessary permits. [SF Chronicle]

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