Note: Today's post is geared specifically to food truck owners, but applies to general customer service as well. Also, pictures do not pertain to this article except to show trucks conducting business.

In the 1988 movie Coming to America Eddie Murphy plays an African prince who comes to America in search of a bride. He ends up playing the part of an exchange student and gets a job at a fast food joint so that the woman he has his eye on will love him for himself and not for his title. In the Mark Twain tale The Prince and the Pauper, two boys that look the same but come from the different ends of the economic spectrum swap places. The pauper is playing the prince and the prince is living as a pauper. 

A great story is one where Melvin Dummar picked up a bum off the side of the highway one night in 1967. Turns out it was the millionaire Howard Hughes.

The reason I bring up these examples is that you can never know the background of a stranger or customer you meet. Let's extend this a bit further with Six Degrees of Separation.  You never know who they know and who their friends know, etc.

Applying it to the food truck business...

Boulevard Bistro on Urbanspoon

One of the things that most often happens with urban sprawl is that you find entire newly developed communities that consist solely of national chain restaurants. You know what I mean. For a 10-20 mile radius all your dining options are are fast food chains and casual dining along the lines of Chili's and Outback Steakhouse. If you want a good, farm-to-fork style meal from an independent owner, it means getting in your car and driving.

One such gem like this is Elk Grove's Boulevard Bistro. And true to form, it's not in the newer sections of Elk Grove, but in old Elk Grove on Elk Grove Boulevard on the east side of Highway 99. My first time there was for business and I drove right past it. That's because it is housed in a converted bungalow in the midst of insurance companies, banks, etc.

Bungalows are generally small homes and so Boulevard Bistro has an intimate air. There a few tables on the porch and then two small dining rooms on the inside. The decor is tasteful with a touch of simple elegance. It would be the perfect spot for a romantic dinner and a drop to the knee.

This was my very first time to eat at BB, but I should disclose that I do know the chef. Bret Bohlmann was one of the chefs that participated in my Have an Offal Day event in August. He was a last minute addition when another chef dropped out. But I am certainly glad he joined us. For Offal Day he made my favorite of the day - lamb sweetbreads and tongues in a mushroom and wine sauce. Turns out he loves to make offal dishes and usually has one or two on his menu regularly. I was hoping for sweetbreads this night, but was unlucky.


We've grown to accept that dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by man. I would venture that riparian birds were next. After all, both dogs and hawks would have helped early man to catch and kill animals for food. 

For thousands of years man has paired up with hawks, falcons, and eagles to create a unique hunting relationship. This relationship has been a part of Arab culture for most of that time. Having lived in Saudi Arabia for 16 years, I've had a fascination with all sorts of Mideastern themes - camels, palm trees, Arabian horses, salukis, and falconry. A few months ago a half-off deal came up for a basic falconry class and I jumped at the chance.

West Coast Falconry is a facility sitting in the foothills about 20 minutes northeast of Marysville. It is one of only a handful of facilities licensed in the United States and the only one in California with a satellite in San Diego. The six acre property is perched on the hillside with several enclosures. Most contain birds, but there are also dogs and horses. 

Although there are other raptor facilities in California, they are all rescue or wildlife facilities which do not allow public access to the birds. WCF is the only place where you are going to be able to get a hand-on experience with them. WCF has quite a variety of raptors. There was an eagle, a vulture, an owl, and then several hawks and falcons that are used for falconry.

A quick update on where things stand in the truck/restaurant relationship.

Sacramento trucks that now have brick n mortar space:

Drewski's - at McClellan and in Folsom
Krushburger - Krushburger at Lottery bldg
Coast to Coast - Pour House and The Republic
Papa Dale's - Starlite Lounge

Restaurants to trucks:

Mama Kim's
Rudy's Hideway
Streets of London - Big Red Bus
Squeeze Inn
North Border Tacos
Sun Pizza
OMG! Yogurt

Soon to get a truck - Mikuni's and some that can't be announced yet ;-)

Soon to get a B&M - some that can't be announced yet ;-)
I've never done a cookbook review on my blog before. Mostly because it's not what I want my blog to be about or for. But when I was approached about Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free my curiosity got to me. 

Regulars to my blog know that I like to bake gluten-free. The way I figure it, humans have been consuming all sorts of grains for millenia, so why are Americans so wheat and corn-centric?  Because wheat and corn are subsidized by the government!  Why should we limit ourselves when there are so many interesting alternatives out there - often making things much more flavorful and complex than boring bleached wheat flour.

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free also intrigued me because the cookbook recipes are also dairy-free, vegan, and don't use white or brown sugar.  They are all sweetened in such a way as to have low glycemic influence. That means using stevia, agave nectar, etc. instead. Just like everyone else out there, I'm curious to see if such recipes can really stand up to my dessert taste buds. After all, I love dessert and there is a difference in flavor with different sweeteners.

Please read Part 1 on regarding the successes and some problems with Farm-to-Fork Week events. (Sadly, now deleted. )

Sell it to the locals

When Mike Testa gave his speech last spring and talked about selling it to the locals first, it made a lot of sense. Sacramentans, he said, need to understand the message so that when they travel to other cities they can talk about it and spread the word with enthusiasm. It’s Sacramentans themselves who have to be the biggest cheerleaders, it can’t all be on the shoulders of the Sacramento Conventions and Visitors Bureau and the restaurants.

Yet as much promotion as there has been all year for F2F week, I became more and more bothered by the emphasis on the dinners and restaurant events and the lack of promotion for the Festival itself. After all, the free Festival on Capitol Mall was the event that was engineered to target the most people and the general populace.

Who was going to be there? What activities were going to take place? What could people expect to find there?  These were all questions I had that had very vague answers up to the day of the event. It wasn’t until several days before the Festival that the first overview went up on the website of what to expect. It wasn’t until about 24 hours before the event that a map and an actual schedule of events went up.