Goodbye to the Vesta truck...

Goodbye to the Vesta truck...
April 2013: We're sad to announce that the Vesta Flatbread food truck's last service will be April 13th. We are tremendously grateful for you, our amazing customers. Your support, loyalty, and positive feedback kept us going while we grew our business from a humble pop-up tent at two farmer's markets to a flashy brick oven-bearing food truck serving 4-5 days a week in three different cities. It's been an incredible ride. Vesta will be on hiatus for the remainder of the year, but stay tuned for more Vesta news in the future, as our quest for a brick and mortar project progresses.

Vesta Flatbread at the Winter Brews Festival

Woo hoo! We gals of Vesta Flatbread spent the day maniacally shopping and prepping for our debut this  Saturday, Jan 30th, from 1-8pm at the Winter Brews Beer Festival at Oakland's own Linden Street Brewery. You should go, because the $25 admission gets you a commemorative glass, 5 pours from a selection of no less than 38 west coast microbreweries, and the opportunity to eat some awesome food, hear live music and rub elbows with your fine fellow Oaklanders. Linden St Brewery is near the Port of Oakland, in the shadow of the iconic gigantic dog cranes (or horses, or whatever you call them). Hope to see you there! Oh, and serve you a sandwich, of course. Help us to sell out early so we can start drinking.

Our (99% sure) menu for Saturday will be three sandwiches on our grilled-on-the-spot rustic flatbread: (1) grilled Marin Sun Farms short ribs, harissa, and carrot jicama pickle, (2) grilled chicken, spiced carrot hazelnut pate, and savoy cabbage slaw and (3) vegetarian with carrot hazelnut pate, fresh beet relish, and feta yogurt sauce. We will also offer homemade ginger limeade, turkish coffee to balance your beer buzz, and chocolate stout mini cakes for dessert (made with Lagunitas Cappucino Stout).

Trial Run Part One

Today was our first outing with the trailer and all our equipment: we had a tasting over at the Marin Farmer's Market headquarters. It was also one of the biggest storms of the year, and a test of our determination to cook up a mean lunch for all the Bay Area to enjoy.

Jenya and I met in Oakland dark and early to load the trailer and head over the Richmond bridge. We were both excited and nervous about our first assignment, a feeling that was compounded by the thunder, lighting and inches of rain being dumped on our heads as we struggled to liberate all five locks on the trailer. The locks seemed to think that rainy days were vacation days, and requiered a bit of prodding, pulling and pleading to release. By the time we'd freed them all, the water was three feet into the street, making it impossible to avoid without trodding straight through. Not as much fun as crossing a river while backbacking, but kinda fun in a bad girl way.

Within 20 minutes our feet were totally drenched, as well as most of our clothes. And I was wearing heavy duty sailing foul weather gear. We finally pulled out of the driveway and made our way to the freeway. Our attempts towards 580 West were almost thwarted by a giant puddle under a bridge on MacArther Blvd, but we plowed ahead. Just when we thought we were in the clear, the high wind alerts appeared for the Richmond Bridge. We weren't free yet!

With minimal tossing about on the bridge, we arrived at the MFM offices and got our first break: the rain let up, and we were offered a spot to park under a covered ledge. We began to unload the trailer and set up our goods. Things seemed to be turning around. Then the wind kicked in, providing us with yet another lesson in Running a Concession Stand 101: tie EVERYTHING down. Well the weather was particularly unforgiving today, providing us lots of learning. And for the grand finale: the grill wouldn't ignite. After trying just about everything, a lovely gentleman who works for MFM tried turning the propane tank upside down and then righting it. That seemed to do the trick??!!

Well, it was a bumpy ride, but at noon, as promised, our flatbread sandwiches were hot off the grill and waiting eagerly for tasters. A lovely crew of market managers and support staff came down to try and talk. What a great bunch of people, and a fun place to work at that! I for one am very grateful to all the hardworking folks who make these awesome farmers markets possible. Hopefully we'll get invited to join them for a market or two!

Meat day at Star Meats

Today was Meat Day. Jesse, the man behind Star Meats (in Star Grocery) invited us to the other side of the counter while their crew broke down a whole side of gorgeous beef.  These guys (and gal) have such a blast at work. And they do their jobs well. Not only did we learn the intricacies and merits of the chuck, but we were mesmerized by their knife skills, slicing up bavette steaks and other meat love for the better part of the early afternoon.

We left with a delicious cut of chuck steak, new ideas for our business, and a whole lotta love for Star Meats.

What a gem this place is, the quality of their products is fantastic, prices reasonable and customer service beyond friendly. As I wandered through the grocery store I was struck by their committment to small local producers.   Can't wait to thank them with some juicy flatbread sandwiches.

Da Trailer

We are ready to roll, literally. Trailer day was an all day, four person extravaganza. It began Saturday morning. First we fueled ourselves with Arizmendi Emeryville's caramel latte, pastries and savory yums. After we spent some time admiring some of our new wares, we got to work. Matt and Eddy set to installing the hitch on the car while we tackled assembly of the griddle. A few hours and greasy shirts later everything was installed.

We looked over Jenya's business card designs ( I highly recommend getting yourself a business partner with design skillz), and then hit the road to Gilroy and the offices of Trailer's Plus. There she was, the last on the lot... a pristine white trailer name Bessie, waiting for a good home. One mark on the company credit card and a few signatures later,  she was all ours. We drove her proudly in the slow lane til nightfall hit near San Jose.

In San Jose we pulled off the road to install the trailer lights, and just so happened to park near La Chalateca 100% Guanaco, a Pupuseria.  The restaurant is run by a rock star Salvedorean family, all with multiple unique face piercings. And they bring each table a huge vat of Savladorian slaw. Awesomeness. I looked up the word Guanaco later, and the dictionary definition is: a wooly, reddish-brown, wild Andean llama. My housemate David, who lived in El Salvador, says it just means 100% Salvadorean.

Another hour or two later, belly's full, and lights installed (Thanks Matt and Eddy, you guys are the best!), we pointed ourselves and Bessie towards Oaktown where she now resides, eagerly awaiting word from some farmer's markets.