Tasty Tuesday: Trucks hit RP

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The Eat Fleet mobile food trucks that have popularized Munch Mondays in downtown Santa Rosa are adding Tasty Tuesdays in Rohnert Park beginning February 1.

According to Laure Tatman, market manager for the Rohnert Park Certified Farmers Market, vendors including La Texanita, Sift Cupcakes, Karma Mobile Indian, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Dim Sum Charlie’s, Matchbox DinerĀ  and Fork Catering will roll into the Callinan Sports and Fitness Center parking lot (5404 Snyder Lane) from 10 am to 3pm each Tuesday. Tatman is also inviting local vendors from the Friday night farm market to be part of the lunchtime gathering.

More details: Check the Tasty Tuesday Facebook page

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. Amen to just about everything you just said. Also La Tex does rock the socks off when it comes to cuisine, couldn’t agree more. I had a Torta Texana and it was bomba!

  2. Every once in while, people have to get clear. It is sometimes referred to as a rant. I agreed with everything BITE CLUB said. Thank you, keep up the good work.
    For the folks that are upset….. would you like some cheese with that whine?

  3. As far as location, my doctor, physical therapy and dentists office are all around the corner from the site. When ever I have had office work, where to buy lunch or a snack is always a concern.When we set up our brownie/ice cream booth, we were pleased at how many people have a reason to be there for school, appointments or a workout between 10 and 3. We loved the location and the other vendors!

  4. What a disappointment. Way overpriced food, $12 for a crab sandwich, $7 for 3 pieces of dim sum (are you kidding me!) $9 for a so-so gyro…ridiculous. The taco truck and the hot dogs were the cheapest fare and you can get these at any local taqueria. Did purchase some great dried fruit from the produce vendor in the back…..I won’t be going back.

  5. Geeze people, get over yourself and enjoy the food.

  6. Doesn’t bore me at all. You are, in fact completely correct. I’m not comparing the costs of opening and maintaining a brick and mortar restaurant with those of mobile food trucks. I am very aware of the permitting costs and overhead. What about ABC licenses? Those add a huge cost as well. I get that there is no comparison — again, I spend a lot of time talking to chefs about their restaurants. I get it. I appreciate your well-researched input.

    This is a great discussion topic, and I could sit here all day and debate back and forth — because I realize there are two sides. But my point is merely that it strikes me as rather sad when restaurants use the trucks as a convenient scape goat for their bad business practices. I soundly disagree that folks are forgoing a sit-down meal at Gary Chu’s or Rendez Vous or Flavor because they’re grabbing a burrito off a truck. It’s just a silly argument.

    I see several businesses — and trust me, I hear who’s crying foul the loudest behind the scenes — who were struggling long before Munch Monday use this as an excuse, rather than an opportunity and try to rally people around false information. I worry that a few already-struggling restaurants could jeopardize the future of the fledgling food truck industry here. And that would be pretty short-sighted.

    Studies in numerous other cities have show that the trucks can actually benefit the brick and mortar industry rather than hurting it. The Eat Fleet folks (and again, I have no vested interest here other than supporting something I think is an opportunity for the Sonoma County food scene) have repeatedly reached out and continue to reach out to try and find creative solutions and work with the brick and mortars. If you haven’t heard from them, let me know…I’d be glad to connect you. Several of them have brick and mortars for crying out loud. Let’s also not forget that these are small business owners themselves who can spend upwards of $60,000 operating the trucks, permits, food costs, etc. — that is a significant cost and I feel that they have many of the same rights to operate a competitive business as brick and mortars.

    But here’s the bottom line….success is in everyone’s best interest. Let me say that again. Success is in everyone’s best interest.

    Trust me, there is no bigger champion of Sonoma County’s brick and mortar restaurant scene than me. I am urging folks to stop infighting and find creative solutions to make Sonoma County continue to be a vibrant, exciting, EVOLVING restaurant scene.

  7. I work in Rohnert Park and have a half hour lunch. Today I arranged to take a slightly longer lunch, just so I could make it to TT and to the Farmers market that was over there. They have awesome food. Karma was there and his food is AMAZING! I would not travel all the way to Snyder and RP Expressway for any brick and mortar. I am so excited that the food trucks are there, and I plan on making this a regular tradition on Tuesdays! YAY!

  8. The trucks at Munch Monday have special use permits from the city. I assume it is the same for Tasty Tuesday, so the 30-minute rule does not apply. The trucks are obligated to have health permits, along with a slew of other permits in order to operate. The truck owners at MM and TT are very familiar with the rules, and are helping each other navigate the waters. It is complex. But they are required to be legal.

  9. So Biteclub.
    I enjoy the energy and variety provided by the new wave of food trucks and I think that there are truly good venues and uses. However, there are real economic issues that come into play in the battle between the trucks and the “brick and mortar” establishments.

    Try opening a restaurant these days and realize the financial impact that you MUST have restrooms ( probably two) and that they must be handicapped accessible and If you have a counter, a portion must be handicapped accessible, trucks evidently don’t have to comply with the ADA?. Then there’s the city (SR) fees; Conditional Use Permit, Design Review, Capital Facilities Fees, Area Development Impact Fees, Water Demand Fees, Irrigation Water Demand Fee, Water Meter Fees, School Impact Fees, Building Permit Fees, Energy Compliance Fees, Fire Permit Fees, Health Department Fees ….. which can easily be $25,000 to $50,000 not to mention that a restaurant sewer connection fee can be $70,000 to $80,000 and that’s all before any construction begins. Oh yah, and if you want to put a table on the side walk in front, you have to pay for that permit as well.

    Granted, there are costs associated with permits and fees for the lunch trucks, but nowhere near those for “bricks and mortar” establishments. So it’s not all about a restaurant creating a nice place, with good food and happy staff to be competitive, it’s also about being able to support the financial commitment thats been made in the community and paying for the true/equal costs of services.

    So rolling into a winery that can’t have food service, or a business park or construction site or late night, seems OK, but being in specific competition with a real restaurant just doesn’t seem fair and frankly shouldn’t be sanctioned by the City.

    And by the way, driving to RP specifically for the trucks doesn’t seem very resource or “locally” responsible.

    So I’m sorry if the realities of business bore you or I’m being small and petty, but a broader view of an issue sometimes helps.

  10. Where is the health dept when you need them! It is against the law for these truck to stop longer that 30 minutes at one location. The health dept only goes after high profile restaurants so they can get print to justify their jobs. These trucks are great if they follow the rules to make it fair for everyone.

  11. Okay, I had a cupcake. I”m better.

  12. Great turnout. I liked the addition of some of the farm market food vendors. nice touch. Perfect day for the event.

  13. Pretty awesome really. It was crowded. People walked there from the high school, middle school, University, the medical centers and State Farm. I saw students and adults from the high school. It is an easy location and a nice place to eat you lunch. Good Job. My crab sandwich was divine.

  14. If your reading is so exhausting that it creates such drama with simple food reviews, perhaps it’s time to seek something to do that’s less taxing, or just stop reading the comments. Best wishes nonetheless.

  15. I think this is a great way to bring something new to the grid of finding lunch every day and I can’t wait to try them out ………….but I have to say – what a horrible location in Rohnert Park!!

    I think a much better spot would be the parking lot or side streets by the RP Library – where the Friday night market is held. This way you could get the business crowd, the parents and kids going to the Tuesday events at the library and the police crowd from the near by police headquarters….and if the high schoolers really wanted to come they could drive to this location just as they do to the fast food locations. Plus this is an easy location to quickly get off the freeway and back on if you were coming from other locations.

    Great concept – bad location – – – – hope the location changes soon so that more people can enjoy.

  16. As far as the brick and mortars go, all I have to say is: “Too bad, so sad.” Either the food truck craze will come and go like any other fad leaving the brick and mortars largely unscathed, or the restaurants will think of some innovative ways to compete with the food trucks and thrive. The ones who can’t will go the way of the Dodo, and rightfully so.

  17. Good luck, but I cannot imagine that this venture will work out to be profitable with so many vendors at Snyder and Rohnert Park Expressway.The location is terrible. Where’s the requisite longterm customer base? Shallow-pocketed students and a few gym members? Munch Monday in downtown Santa Rosa enjoys its measure of success because of a very large, nearby customer base…not so in Rohnert Park at the current easternmost neighborhood location. Move it closer to Commerce and they might come.

  18. See below. You hit a nerve that’s been raw for a while.

    Considering the fact that my job hinges on spending every day in brick and mortar restaurants with chefs who own brick and mortar restaurants, I believe I have at least a little insight.


  19. RE: Biteclub – Quite the rampage there; one simple remark and you go on and on ad nauseam. Since I’m not in the restaurant business, I’m not going to bother to ask what your motivation is, because I couldn’t care less. But if you were the owner of a brick and mortar, I’m sure you’d have a different view.

  20. I am absolutely exhausted about hearing the brick and mortars whine about this. The cold, hard truth is that I have spoken to many successful brick and mortar chefs and they aren’t the least bit worried — in fact they’re trying to find ways to leverage the success for their own benefit. Great food, great prices and a great location won’t change your traffic. Having something new and innovative adds to downtown interest and traffic. Frankly, I wouldn’t be going anywhere near Rohnert Park today if it wasn’t for Tasty Tuesday, but I’ll be bringing several other folks and I will be checking out what’s happening in the area. If I see a brick and mortar I like — or taste something new, or got some kind of coupon for a brick and mortar to come back and visit, I would. If I saw a brick and mortar supporting the food trucks, I’d ABSOLUTELY patronize them. I’m not alone in this feeling by a long shot.

    Stop spending energy being angry and turn that energy back to your kitchen, your menu, your marketing and how you’re treating clients. Clean up dark, dingy dining rooms. They depress me. Get rid of rude, uninterested staff. Make sure your restaurant smells delicious — again, if I walk in and it smells like disinfectant or stale fried food, I’m turning around. Offer grab and go meals or quick lunches as an alternative for people who don’t have the time to spend an hour eating. Have an innovative menu. Update your website. Poor business practices are your own fault. Stop blaming the food trucks.

    And YES I’m on a tear. But this is like week five of me hearing all the bitching and moaning. I’ve tried to keep quiet, but I’ve had it. I have no motivation other than the fact that I’m sick and tired of people being small and petty.

    PS. I had a carnitas burrito off the La Texanita truck yesterday and it blew the doors off any burrito I’ve ever had in Sonoma County. Delicious, moist meat, a perfect blend of rice and beans and cheese, and a nicely grilled exterior. Seriously. Amazing. Take note.

  21. Great news! I would love to see something like this in Petaluma as well. As for the brick and mortar restaurants, they will have to offer something that the food trucks cannot, learn to adapt with the times.

  22. I’m sure all the Rohnert Park brick-and-mortar restaurants appreciate this…

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