Almanac

News - February 5, 2014

Off the Grid sets date for launch of food-truck gathering in Menlo Park

by Sandy Brundage

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. Off the Grid must clean up the area by 10 p.m. after each event and dispose of all garbage offsite.

Ben Himlan, director of business development for Off the Grid, said the company hasn't finalized which vendors will attend the Menlo Park opening. Food trucks seen at other Off the Grid gatherings include Curry Up Now, Kung Fu Tacos and Sam's Chowder Mobile.

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