« Debate Recap - One Man's Opinion | Main | Post on Peceimer »

September 25, 2013



Here is a little more detail from Zagat:


Off The Grid is moving down the Peninsula and will debut a new weekly food truck market at the Caltrain Burlingame station on September 26, continuing every Thursday from 5-9 PM. There will be a weekly rotation of around 10 trucks. This week's lineup includes An the Go (Vietnamese), Fiveten Burger, Hapa SF (Filipino), KoJa Kitchen (Korean-Japanese fusion) and Pacific Puffs (cream puffs)

Note they messed up the location--it's Caltrain B'way.


What a great event last night with all the people and the kids running around. It was a great start. I worry that as the days get shorter and colder it may not last but they have proven that it can work when the weather is nice.


I know food trucks are controversial because they take business away from local tax-paying merchants, but I think that Burlingame has to step up its food game! Noticing some of the restaurants around here get pretty complacent and taking advantage of the captive market of Burlingame locals, by not changing menus for years or offering anything innovative or exciting. Hopefully the food trucks can breathe some fresh air into the burlingame food scene or at least get local restaurant proprietors to take some risk with the menus or keep coming up with new recipes and flavors. Sometimes competition can be healthy.



Many merchants will disagree with you because this is unfair competition. The trucks don't have to pay the high rents of our lovely commercial strips. This rent typically includes property taxes that in turn fund our services. I loved the event but I wish we could make it such that the Broadway merchants can benefit from the crowd. How 'bout we move the whole thing to Broadway and close it off every other week? Merchants would surely benefit and we get to keep this great community event.


Dear Mark,
That is about the most ignorant post I have ever seen.
(Been there, Done that.)
Being an x business owner, I believe it was horrible for the COB Elders to allow this "Festival" to happen, and should apoligize to every single resteraunt owner in Burlingame.
AS well as compenstate their loss'es
At the very least, the business's that were going to be effected should have had ample notice that this event was going to happen.
To share their input and concerns.
By the way..
How many of those Food Trucks had Offical City of Burlingame Business Licences?
Should be pretty easy to find out.

Anne Kerrigan's statement "The COB has no ability to manage what happens on Private Property" is total BS.
When portable Real Estate Offices,Wine Shops, Sport/Pawn shops, Portable Health Food Stores, Foot Massage/Nail Salons-very popular in Burlingame,(what are there now about 12 now)and Produce Markets start showing up on "Private Property" in Burlingame with their Trucks then there might be a little more "push back" from the hard working business owners on Broadway.
Anne Kerrigan's statement regarding "The COB has no input" is an and important look into the Politics and Politictions of Burlingame.
If you do not like the food in Burlingame go to someplace else.
Better yet.. Microwave some Mac &Cheese.


With all due respect, I disagree with most of what the above poster said. Actually I rarely eat in Burlingame anymore, which is a shame because it causes some inconvenience for me personally but on balance still worth the extra trips. Yeah there are a few go-to places that I will always love here and in the surrounds-and lo and behold they are always packed and I have a hard time getting tables-but compared to the south bay (Palo Alto) and cheap eats in the Mission District (where I go most of the time), the restaurants here on average need to be a lot more innovative.

If food trucks come to Burlingame and everyone is out there eating at them, to me that means that there is an unfulfilled need. Maybe its just a novelty, but I have eaten at most of those same food trucks in SF judging from the picture and again far more innovative and tasty compared to the average burlingame restaurant. I do agree that the trucks should pay some sort of permit fee or tax to the city as they are using our facilities and serving the residents. What's to stop burlingame proprietors from operating their own food trucks? locally owned and operated food trucks with their kitchens in the buildings on rollins rd would probably generate a lot of business or could be extensions of existing restaurants that can rove around the peninsula?

Take the extreme example of the restaurants near the hotels..most of them-some exceptions obviously- aren't very good in comparison to downturn burlingame and the bay area in general, due to the captive hotel market--its all relative. Have an open mind when making judgments about food quality, innovation and flavor,in that there are lots of people who sample food from all over the bay area and may have a broader perspective than those who just eat on the peninsula all the time. Customers determine what is popular and what isn't and proprietors need to listen to their customers. I have family in the restaurant business and while the competition is intense they never seem to have a problem with recession, food trucks, fast food chains etc as competition makes them listen to customers more carefully and step up their game to keep them coming in the door.


I loved the event and I hope it stays just where it is. It was easy. I could be quick if you wanted it to be. I eat out in Burlingame all the time but never at the couple of fast food places and I plan to keep it that way. This will be it for fast food so the Broadway restaurants have nothing to worry about from me.


You have to ask yourself...where is the Chamber of Commerce who should be protecting tenants interests. Tenants are paying $7000-$15000/month in rent while the city decides to favor competition in the form of Farmers Markets, Thursday and Sunday and the Roach Coaches to steal business away without paying for city taxes and rent.

Its time to start entertaining contracting our city's public services to private companies a way to save money.

If someone is willing to fix streets or put out fires, give tickets, for less money, that should be a plus for a government’s bottom line.

What can we do to speed this up?


Did anyone go to Off the grid last night? I'm curious to see if it is still popular or was it more of a one-time thing for most people. The time change has to be a consideration for people with kids I think.


I saw on Nextdoor Burlingame that the Off the Grid is leaving courtesy of the City Council. Has anyone else heard of this? I live right up the street and really want to go, just haven't made it yet. I know there are complaints from Broadway Ave... but seems some sort of compromise could be worked out, no?

local motion

I hear you are half right. Off the grid is gone but it aint because of the city council. The Broadway restaurants probably browbeat Caltrain who owns the lot and was the landlord. I like Off the grid and it may be time to browbeat Caltrain into bringing it back. We know they can be bought and sold like a cheap you know what.


The Broadway restaurants feel this is unfair competition because the trucks do not have to pay rent, they don not have to pay the large sewer fees that repay our infrastructure upgrades and are not subject to various other regulations. The property owners understand that bringing competition to town that can drive their tenants out of business is wrong. These restaurants operate on very thin margins and losing most of their business every Thursday can drive them from barely profitable to losing money.

There is no financial benefit to the City other than a small license fee. Because the Caltrain property is not on City land, the sales taxes go to the County. Because these trucks pay no property taxes (or rent that helps pay property taxes), we miss out on our share and jeopardize businesses that are paying. Because they pay no sewer fee, there is less money going to service our bonds.

There is however, increased traffic and parking. There is a dangerous situation with pedestrians crossing California Drive. So if we add increased parking enforcement in the adjacent neighborhoods and police to oversee traffic, it is probably a net loss to the City.

Off The Grid, however, is wildly successful. There are many who eagerly await the variety of food and the mingling that makes this special.

So what to do? The brick and mortar restaurants have good reason to be upset but people love the event. So how do we find a compromise? Something that brings benefit (or at least lessens the damage) to our tax-paying enterprises while keeping a popular community event? Do we relocate it like the Broadway merchants have requested? Do we limit it to less frequency? Do we involve local restaurants in a way that they benefit from the crowds? There has to be a reasonable solution that keeps Off the Grid in Burlingame and we need to find a compromise.


Move Off the Grid-"Off the Grid."
Let them gather at places like the City of Burlingame Bay Front.
For example:

-Bayside Park
-"The Golf Center"
-Fishermans Park
-Coyote Point
Lots of space. Easy Access, and lots of parkng.
Do I have to think of everything?
Oh, wait a minute, do you think the hotels will have a problem with loosing business too?


Think the idea above about allowing the Burlingame restaurants to be involved is a good one. Let them go toe-to-toe with the best that San Francisco has to offer and see how they do. Should be a net benefit for the Burlingame restaurants as exposes them to more people, providing the food is up to snuff. Also residents can enjoy a greater variety of food not otherwise available. Win-win for everyone.

Burlingame Betty

I think everyone is getting upset for no reason - If I'm correct this is not a nightly thing - isn't it once per week?

I can't always afford the restaurants in town nor do I always want the choices - Offering a modern solution that is fun family oriented is good!

Burlingame restaurants are welcome to branch out and join in to promote their businesses -or not - but introducing diversity is not a bad thing!!


The activist website Change.org is a place to start petitions large and small. I first found it when a friend told me about the Olympic committee trying to get rid of wrestling as an Olympic sport.

Now the Keep Off the Grid in B'game petition has more than 500 signatures.

Check it out here:


And the Facebook page is growing too:



Online petitions are easy to quickly rack up a ton of signatures. If someone were to start a petition that would say keep off the grid out of burlingame, the same strategy could be used to argue the opposite. I would not be surprised if such a petition were circulated, those signing the keep off the grid IN burlingame would outnumber the "keep off the grid off" by 2 to 1 or more. It seems to be pretty popular with the residents.

J. Mir

looks like OTG's last event (at the current location) will be december 5. then they're going on "hiatus" due to issues with the council.

Bruce Dickinson

Actually the Broadway merchants are proposing to host Off-The-Grid right on Broadway on tuesday nights, likely a slow night for Broadway restaurants. The merchants probably realize that should be a benefit to them as exposes more people to the restaurants on a slow night. Either that or a Machiavellian plot to congest Broadway so that residents are frustrated and want to pull the plug on the whole thing? Should be interesting debate to say the least.


Seriously? You're going to close off the main artery off the 101 when people are trying to get home? This is a bad idea. It made sense at the train station, but pardon me, this is just stupid.

Myself, I'm over the food trucks, they were good a few years back, now the prices have gone up and the portions have gone down. But they should be allowed to function where it isn't an intrusion and is convenient.


100% agree on the first point. This idea should have been dismissed 3 seconds after it was uttered.


Here is all you need to know about the sanitation of these trucks:

When they park the trucks at night, where do they store their food products and what enforcement agency monitors it.

If you haven't had bad food contamination before just wait.

Its the same as buying corn-on-the-cob soaked with butter from a Mexico City street vendor


Food trucks have been around a lot longer than since when they started parking 10 in a row. I have never gotten sick from one. I can't say that about the cheapo Chinese restaurant on Burlingame Avenue. Has anyone else ever had a problem with truck food?

Burlingame Betty

I've eaten from gourmet trucks to the famous 'roach coaches' and have been lucky enough to never have any problems - I've even rolled the dice and eaten off a truck in Mexico (which I probably wouldn't do now and my older age)

Food trucks have to adhere to rules of food prep and considering their lively hood is on the line I doubt any of them would knowingly risk contaminating their food -


Hai Guyz...yup yup yup to my ladiez...BB and Anne. Notice everyone the ladiez have no ego issuez & keep it real as in real deal? As ur resident food truck expert....I have sampled all from SF to the Alto, never had an issue once. I've def eaten at fewer sit-downs than foodtruckks and gotten sick a few times at the restsaurannts. Guyz (ahem Hollyrollerz), time to get out and xplore da space to quote BruceyD (as IF u never got the 100 times he said that ahahhaha).....much more in this world than early bird specialz at IHOP and tasteless italian food :) SEE ya tomm pm at Tasty Tuez! ;-) Yum yum YUM!

TTFN ;-)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.