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January 08, 2014


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In case anyone missed this interesting background story on Off the Grid in December's SF Magazine.

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Here's the link:


Burlingame Betty

So excited to have this starting up again - a little bummed it was moved from Thursday to Tuesday but we are so excited about it we will make it work!


Do you think this event could start presenting other off the grid products?
Dentistry, Car/Dog Wash for High Schools,language courses, and "Garage Sale" like set ups, Bruce Dickeson signing autographs, and Gerald giving Wine Tastings.
One more thing-Antique Road Show.
That would be a nice overture to the entire business community in Burlingame to be representeded.


Here's a little bit from today's DJ article on the OTG move--see if you can find the irony in it, especially considering the source!

“In the letter from Mayor [Michael] Brownrigg, it is evident the policy-making body of the city now has taken a formal position,” Mark Simon, Caltrain’s executive officer for public affairs, wrote in the letter dated Dec. 30, 2013. “I recognize that the merchants are unsatisfied with the decision by the City Council to seek a continuation of Off the Grid events and your letter of Dec. 17 clearly states several grievances that remained unresolved. ... While I sympathize with your position, it is not Caltrain’s place to impose upon the city our judgment about whether city requirements are being followed to an adequate degree.”

The rest is here: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2014-01-09/off-the-grid-returning-to-burlingame-food-trucks-staying-at-caltrain-location-moving-to-tuesdays/1776425116207.html

Burlingame Betty

I am so very disappointed with the few outspoken Broadway merchants.

Dare I bring up the Starbucks controversy? Or Burlingame foods vs Earthbeam?

Having food trucks in one night a week is not going to hurt Broadway - chances are, we as a family would not even be going out on a Tuesday night but the food trucks are bringing us out - they are not taking away any business from restaurants.

I would like the merchants to work on their own marketing campaign and get off the food truck issue.

As an avid supporter of Broadway businesses I am very disappointed in their constant negativity - how about we fill some of the empty stores - with something that will stay open past 6pm -


I read the article in the Daily Journal this evening.
Unfortunetly there was a lot of information missing...
-Elder Ortiz again spoke out of both sides of his mouth and was unable to answer a simple question.
Obviously he was unable to determine the wind direction at that moment.
-Mayor Brownrigg declared that there was a formal position through City Council..
What is it?
-Terry Nagel continues to find a way to defer from any question with a response, that has nothing to do with the question. Elder Nagel really has no business as a representitive. (This is not personal attack Elder Nagel, just an obvious observation) Elder Nagel ends up talking about safety issues.
Burlingame Betty- obviously a "shill" representing the Food Truck Lobby.
At least one person on this link is doing something positive for her "community."
Burlingame Betty, should be the bete noire of Broadway Business's.
Yet she is the most honest and besetting voice of anyone who knows anything about what is REALLY going on out there.
I think that if the Broadway Merchants really have a problem with these Catering Trucks, next time an event is scheldued, close all their shops, turn out the lights, and see what happens.
Unfortunetly, more Food Trucks will most likely show up.
You merchants really need to hold your City Elders accountable for loss of business.


I can hardly believe myself but I am going to agree with Holyrollster. After years on the voice he has finally figured out that Nagel can't answer a plain question and has no business being on the council. I think he should buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.

Burlingame Betty

To set the record straight - I'm not a 'shill' for anyone - just a Burlingamer who is very proud of our city just like the rest and I don't want to see us get caught up in doing things the 'old' way -

What I really enjoy about the food trucks was seeing the the diversity of people from older people to teenagers who came out to eat and hang out for a while. The kids like the music and the atmosphere (...they are good kids in between practices and homework who now have something to look forward to - so please don't make comments about how kids are hoodlums....). It is a very easy, low stress, social outing.

As far as referring to me as the 'bete noir' of Broadway....hardly....I spend most of my time on Broadway spreading my hard earned dollars in many different shops - I even did a portion of my Christmas shopping on Broadway and the rest on Burlingame Ave.

You can't blame the city council for a businesses lack of marketing, branding, storefront aesthetics, hours of operation, inventory or menu options (or the landlords for that matter) that lies solely with the businesses.

Being in favor of a fresh new idea hardly makes me the dreaded black beast of Broadway....

Poppy Guy

Calling someone you disagree with a "shill" is an intellectual cop out. Lame.

That being said, it goes beyond marketing for the B'way merchants. Most of them simply do not have a product that people want to use. They want to do better? Then improve the product. It's called a free market.


I am sorry if I offened you BB.
It was not my intension at all.
However, having come from a "brick & morter" family business, I feel deeply compassionate regarding the cost of running a B&M business.
I also belive that there is nothing on those "here today/gone tomorrow" food trucks that is not available on Broadway, for the same price.

Less, property taxes,business licences, insurance, Worker compensation insurance, building codes, Health inspections, toilets, electrical/gas bills, property maintenance, advertizment, and most important-a long term commitment to benefit the community, and other Brick & Motar neighborhood business.

Your opinion is very welcome BB.
I just do not agree with it.

Jeriann Fleres

I have a question abou the food trucks. Are they required to pay a fee and if so how much is it per truck? Do they pay taxes to Burlingmae? I can understand the concern of the merchants who may be just making it. Even one a week night of business lost can mean the difference of making it. If they are required to pay taxes and other fees to stay in business and make money why do the food trucks have different requirements? I know that the Burlingame merchants have always been there for us whenever we needed donations for our schools fundraisers. Burlingame Betty said they would not have ordinarily gone out to dinner on a Tuesday night but did decide to go to the OTG. What do they have that the merchants don't? What kind of food is missing from Burlingame? Would you have liked it if trucks pulled up to your families business and pulled revenue away from them?
I am trying to see some kind of value in the OTG but besides a fad to taste different food I can't see it. I don't think it is worth hurting our merchants especially when so many are struggling. They are the ones who have been here for us.


Hai guyz! why the hate for the food trucks? theyre soooo yum, yum FUN :-) lots of choices & a good time right here in da'Game! Holyrollerz I took a pic of my fav food from my fav food wagon Lets Be Frank just for u bud..think this may whet ur appetite :P TTFN!!



At least it looks Kosher...

pat giorni

Dear Holy longwong,
Between the 2 of u Ima gonna toss my cookies.

Burlingame Betty

As far as I know nothing is keeping the Broadway restaurants from joining OTG on Tuesdays - I'm sure if they reached out they could reserve a spot and use this as an opportunity to market their own food and restaurant -

I know money is tight but maybe it would be $$ well spent for advertising if they participated and used the forum to sell a few of their best 'branded' items - the community would have the opportunity to taste some of the food they offer - which in turn may bring customers to their restaurant on a regular basis -

And most likely they would make back the cost of the exercise and gain a few new customers!


What you are saying BB is that either way, it will be a "Gamble" for the Broadway Restaurant Merchants.
I just do not see the "upside" of that arguement.
Especially, if the Mobile Food Business's can drive off to another site, if business takes a downturn.
Or, any type of Public Event-Soccer, Softball, Hardball, Volley Ball,Football, Track &Field, bocce tennis, on and on.(First Graders to College, and Adult Leagues too.)
No Taxes, No inspections, No PG&E, No insurance, No Address.


Hai Guyz! I get what ur saying bout the bricks n mortar suffering cuz of the food trucks. trust me tho, they are not substitutes...U really think that grandpa says "lets go to the italian place on b-way and have a nice sit down italian dinner and grandma says, 'no I want Kung Fu Tacos instead" ..no way man. step away from the screen and walk the streets…or take some Ginkoba to get the brain cellz workin Guyz! ! :) ask the food truck patrons on tues nites if they R there instead of the sit down restaurant on bway that nite. prob can count them one one hand. R they taking biz away from Panda Express, Jack in the Crack -(i mean Box hahahha :P)- , Mccy D's, KFC, hell yea but not sit-down places! Think hard about it guyz and get a pulse on da'Hood, LIke Brucey D as example no way hes clued in on whats hip hop & happenin! …too rich & too old!! not like us workin stiffs hahaha . (I do [heart Brucey D! I esp love love LOVE the 1st 4 letters of his last name!! Bigg Wink !! :P j/k Love ya lots Brucey). TTFN! :-)

Burlingame Betty


you've said it correctly (albeit very colorfully!) - this is my point - we go to the food truck because that is what we want - we go to cafe figaro because that is what we want on another night - we go to sahara for hummus because that is what we feel like - or mivan for the lentel soup - food trucks are not substituting anything - only adding to the out door ambience of burlingame -

we'll walk down broadway to go to OTG and walk to broadway to eat food or shop for fruit.... but we are out of the car and out of our house - that is what will stimulate business

my idea was the restaurants could try something new if they so desired - best thing grace garden ever did was sell egg rolls on the corner during the pet parade!

Timothy Hooker

Time to implement a Health Inspection process; Just like New York


Why pontificate about facts when you can just go get them?

The food trucks are a pseudo event, and people come check it out to perhaps socialize a bit and listen to music.

It's really not that big of a deal. I think the cannibalization on Broadway restaurants is very minimal.

It would be very easy to do a survey of people at the food truck event and ask them if they were about to go to a Broadway restaurant or a brick restaurant, etc.

Why pontificate about facts when you can just go get them?

Bruce Dickinson

Why pontificate about the facts when you can pontificate about pontificating on ways to obtain those facts, i.e. actually going to the event and asking Off The Grid patrons questions about why they're stuffing a hot dog in the mouths instead of calling a waitress to their table and ordering a bottle of wine. Bruce Dickinson will politely say: interesting suggestion, and we'll just leave it at that.

Guess what, I'll save everyone the trouble of trolling the food truck area with a dose of common sense and logic. Bruce Dickinson has actually gone to Off the Grid once, when my personal chef was on vacation, and lemme tell you this: the choice between sitting down in an Italian Restaurant on Broadway in comparison to eating from a carton box, using another chair as a table, having napkins blown all over the place by the wind, spilling BBQ sauce on your pants and having trains blare through at 60 miles per hour every 20 minutes is not exactly what Bruce Dickinson calls substitute experiences. I sense some paranoia by the Broadway restaurant owners.

Competition's a b*tch!

And, why pontificate about your personal chef when we're talking about the mass market and whether Off The Grid is too cannibalistic upon brick and mortar restaurants on Broadway?

If there's a debate which causes the city staff and commissioners and the BID and the restauranteurs and the towns people to have to Kvetch about it...then its far more common sense to just get real data to settle the debate.

And, to give Bruce some credit, yes OTG is a different market segment than the higher end Broadway restaurants, but not the majority which are casual.

In the end, the landlords of Broadway, most of whom inherited the property and wealth are just worried about their money, and whether OTG will weaken their tenants or otherwise reduce the value of their properties. The size of their egos are truly overwhelming to the point of being downright assaulting. Less stimulants, my friends...

Competition's a b*tch!

Blah, Blah, Blah

This whole thing is a tiny little molehill. Nobody who ain't in the food biz cares a rat's bottom. It's a couple of trucks one night a week serving food in the cold that you stand around and eat. Get over it.


Well said Mr. Dickinson
Well said.

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