Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goofin' Around With Off the Grid

By Jesse Hirsch
Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Off the Grid impresario Matt Cohen has a new lark. Each week he’s loaning out a food truck to a different Berkeley brick and mortar for his Wednesday night pods. “Everybody likes to do something quirky and new,” Cohen said. Oh you crazy guy.

But behind the giggles lies a dose of savvy PR. Though Berkeley’s restaurant community has embraced food trucks more than, say, Oakland, Cohen recognizes there’s work to be done. His new “guest truck” gambit functions as community outreach, an olive branch to North Shattuck’s non-mobile restaurants.

Funnin at the Lush Gelato truck
  • Ira Serkes
  • Funnin' at Lush Gelato
Lush Gelato got a truck last week, and upcoming guest hosts include: Saul’s Delicatessen, serving pastrami latke and vegan mock liver sandwiches on October 26; a Juice Bar Collective member, serving tamales on November 2; and sandwiches and tallow chips from Local Butcher Shop on November 9. Guerrilla Cafe and Taste of the Himalayas are also slated to take a turn.

Does Cohen think the experience might entice anybody new to follow the call of the open road? “If you get a few drinks in Peter [Levitt] from Saul’s, he might talk about starting his own food truck,” said Cohen, “but I think it’s just talk.”

Comments? Tips? Get in touch at Jesse.Hirsch@EastBayExpress.com, or follow me on Twitter @Jesse_Hirsch.

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