SactoMoFo, the first (annual?) Sacramento Mobile Food festival, will be held on Saturday, April 30 from noon to 6 at Fremont Park. We'll have over a dozen trucks - some from Sacramento and Yolo counties, others from the Bay Area - and an equal number of carts and other non-motorized vendors. Bicycle valet parking will be provided free of charge, and Fremont Park is right across from the Light Rail station, so it's easy to get here from almost anywhere in the area.
There's no admission charge - just bring your appetite!
We're currently soliciting additional food vendors, volunteers, and other partners. Drop me a line if you're interested in participating at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many kudos to The Sacramento Bee's Chris Macias for his excellent article on this city's ongoing attempts to force mobile vendors out of business. If you are interested in seeing more small businesses succeed in Sacramento, please do sign the petition further down this page.
No, this is not some newfangled cooking technique, rather the continued fascination with the wonderful taco trucks of California: Your California hosts Randy and Kira interviewed us about the trucks here in Sacramento and the upcoming Sacramento Epicureans taco truck tour and we're very happy to be featured (around minute 23) on their most recent program. Thanks guys!
Good morning & welcome to those of you who heard about us in Elaine Corn's piece this morning on Capitol Public Radio, and thanks very much to Elaine - we had a great time on our tour of a few local trucks. listen here:
For new visitors: while we are mainly about the map, lately I'm also trying very hard to get the word out about the Sacramento City Council's actions in regard to the taco trucks and other mobile vendors. While San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Vancouver and many other cities are beginning to embrace gourmet and other mobile vendors, Sacramento has effectively banned the truck-based foodsellers. The City Council, which voted overwhelmingly for the ban, will tell you that it's just a regulation, not a ban - but a 30-minute-per-location time limit does indeed make your profitability nil when it takes 20 minutes to lock down the propane mechanism, heat up the grill and do whatever kitchen prep is necessary. And for many truck owners, who have paid months or even a year lease in advance on a private parking lot or other space to sell food from, it's just impossible to keep moving at all when your customers expect you in a particular location at a particular time.
I've written to every single councilperson asking them their rationale for putting these budding businesspeople in the poorhouse, and only two took the time to respond, giving me a line about litter and noise complaints - something that could not be substantiated by the Sacramento Police Department's own statistics folks. In fact, they said there was no evidence that such complaints were any higher around the trucks than when the trucks were not in those locations, effectively nullifying that argument. And, as some of you may have heard, the taco truck operators never got notice from the city before they were attacked. Luckily the County embraces them, as long as they pass inspections, and a few have a new lease on life/business outside of the city limits.
I've written to every incoming councilmember asking their opinion on the regulation; the only one to respond was Angelique Ashby, who said she'd definitely be in favor of more common-sense and less punitive regulation, like preventing a truck from setting up in front of an open restaurant. So - please do contact your councilmember and ask them what they can do to help these businesses and restore some of the richness to Sacramento's food culture!
Well, more like a taco truck reception, at least. Sacramentans Camille and Chris had their reception and wedding at McKinley Park and hired Aurelio and his excellent Tres Hermanos truck - the same fellow who catered my and my wife's birthday party last month - to cook up some tasty treats for their guests. This is a great idea and yet more chance to show our city council that regulations making it impossible for these guys to do business hurt the entire community!
I'll be there, as will taco trucks & plenty of other good, cheap, mobile street food (to participate, you gotta have wheels). From the press release:
Street food, fresh summer fruits and veggies, live music, handcrafted local beers, ice cream sold from the back of a bicycle. Come find it all and more at Eat Real, a free festival, taking place August 28-30 at Jack London Square. Buy from your favorite street food vendors, pick up a ticket for the Beer Shed and sample from among the 40-something microbrews, or shop in the Market for local produce and artisanal snacks. In between the good eats, enjoy the non-stop entertainment and activities that include chef demonstrations, dance performances, bands, films, food competitions, and lots more, for free.
The artist who made our wonderful mascot has created several high-res papercraft taco trucks for you to cut, fold & stick together (note the official Yum Tacos truck above - click for the large version, then print & assemble!). They do not, unfortunately, include tacos.
Our friend Chris Shimoda has a great article on the impending death of Sacramento's taco trucks in today's Sacramento News & Review, with plenty of information on why this sort of thing happens - and why we need to fight it. Thanks for the plug(s), Chris!
Last year, however, the Sacramento City Council saw fit to declare food-vending vehicles at permanent locations a nuisance, effectively a death sentence for Sacramento’s taco trucks, this despite similar measures being struck down throughout California. Only a handful of local trucks survived the ban—and they’ll disappear, too, by 2012.
Joshua Lurie-Terrell, local resident and curator of yumtacos.com, recently served as guide to Sacramento’s going-the-way-of-the-dodo taco vendors. Lurie-Terrell, author of a useful Google map documenting trucks both here in Sacramento and as far east as New York, has been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. And with a merry taco-eating band in tow — Lurie-Terrell’s partner in crawl, Gaela; this writer; and said writer’s lovely girlfriend — we set off to explore the last days of the Sacramento taco truck, leaving no ceviche tostada unturned.
A journalist friend here in Sacramento asked me why, exactly, that taco trucks were good. Not why was the food good - we all know that some are and some are not. He was asking why I believed they were a beneficial thing, and why the Sacramento City Council should reverse their decision to effectively outlaw the trucks. What is it about these vendors that is good for the community, besides the obvious (allowing third-shift employees, factory district staff and others to eat something other than MacDonalds; cheapness; nominal healthiness). Any ideas?
A lot of people are hesitant to try tongue - they think of the tough, thick meat they remember from Jewish delis - but Mexican lengua is another thing entirely. Tender, delicious, rich and moist. Try this recipe and I guarantee your inner carnivore will be satisfied.
Click on the image for a larger version!
If you know of a specific truck - whether it is one you visit regularly, or just see it on your way to and from work - please list it in the comments below and I'll include it on the map.
A general location (i.e., a street intersection) is just as good as a specific address. Thanks!
(sign the petition by leaving your name and city and a note, if you like, in the comments below)
Recently, the Sacramento City Council almost-unanimously enacted an ordinance drastically restricting the ways in which mobile food vendors - principally taco trucks - may do business in the city. Even though the vast majority of Sacramento's taco trucks (including all those relied upon by downtown and Natomas third-shift employees) do business from private property - parking lots where they've received owner permission to be - the new city regulations basically tell property owners that they don't know what's best for themselves, and enact all sorts of new rules on the trucks.
And even though the ordinance claims to only regulate "operation on the public right-of-way," we've been told by two sources on the City Council staff that it will be enforced against trucks in private parking lots, as well, even if they have permission from the property owner to vend at that location.
Most first-time visitors coming to Yum Tacos may have heard about us on NPR - so many thanks to you, and to Cyrus & NPR. And please do let us know where your favorite taco trucks are, so we can add them to the map! Thanks also to Karla Cook & The Food Times for picking up the story as well, and to the ingenious Goopymart for our new mascot.