A MOVEABLE FEAST
Local food truck events create community.
WRITTEN BY CATHERINE ENFIELD
PHOTOS BY DEBBIE CUNNINGHAM
When SactoMoFo presented the first Sacramento food truck event in 2011, it quickly demonstrated the single most important aspect of such gatherings — community. Food truck events cater to the masses by providing a variety of dishes so that everyone can find something that they will like. These events bring families and friends together, from the youngest child to the eldest grandparent, and sometimes even with the family dog. New friendships or contacts often are forged as people stand in line to order, wait for their food, and critique each truck. Warm summer nights mean dining al fresco — drawing out the community to enjoy the weather.
Food truck owners love Sacramento weather for the long season of sunshine that generally lasts from May Day to Halloween. Sunshine also means a blossoming of their calendars as more and more events start to pack the weekends and weeknights. Full schedules mean money to be made and saved for the leaner, wetter winter months. Luckily, there are food truck organizations that are in the business of creating events where the food trucks can gather and attract their followers. And there are plenty of those.
Food truck cinema
The newest organization on the scene is Food Truck Cinema. Started in the latter half of summer 2016, this organization features outdoor movie events with food trucks providing a variety of food to purchase. Each monthly Food Truck Cinema event takes place at a golf course owned by parent company Sports Restaurant Inc. The first location was Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville, and this year the organizers added Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord to the schedule, with events soon planned for the company’s Fairfield and Santa Rosa golf courses. Attendees can take their own blankets and/or low beach chairs (no tall chairs allowed), or they can rent them. There are two types of seating available: preferred, which puts attendees closer to the screen, and general, which costs a bit less and is farther back. At least four trucks attend each event. Alcohol is available to purchase from a golf course concession stand, and a band provides musical entertainment until it’s dark enough to start the film. A blend of movie genres comprises the schedule, ranging from animated films to action flicks.
July 3: The Goonies
July 22: Pretty Woman
Aug. 19: Toy Story
Sept. 23: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Oct. 28: Hocus Pocus
In advance: Preferred seating $13 adults, $6 children
In advance: General $10 adults, $5 children
At the door: Preferred seating $15 adults, $6 children
At the door: General $12 adults, $5 children
Season pass $49
Food Truck Cinema (office)
Woodcreek Golf Club
5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd., Roseville • 916-750-0035 • Foodtruckcinemas.com
Off the Grid
Off the Grid has been the nationwide standard for food truck event organizers. Off the Grid was the first organization in the country to create coordinated food truck events that included the trucks, seating, music, and (sometimes) alcohol sales. Off the Grid entered the Sacramento market in 2016 after six years of successfully developing more than 40 food truck events throughout the Bay Area. Off the Grid is all about creating spaces where organic interaction occurs among friends, family members, and strangers, around a diverse food experience. The most popular Sacramento Off the Grid event is at The Barn in West Sacramento. This year it moves from Friday to Saturday nights, but it still will feature musical entertainment, craft beers, and a cocktail bar. Alcohol is not served at the other Sacramento area Off the Grid events. All events listed below are year round except for The Barn’s, which ends the season on Aug. 26.
Off the Grid: Sacramento Zoo
Every Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m.
3930 W. Land Park Drive, Sacramento (on 15th Avenue, adjacent to the zoo)
Off the Grid: Rancho Cordova Prospect Park
Every Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova (Parking lot is adjacent to the Sacramento Children’s Museum)
Off the Grid: Folsom Premium Outlets
Every Saturday and Sunday, noon – 4 p.m.
13000 Folsom Blvd., Folsom
Saturday Nights at The Barn: Presented by Off the Grid
Every Saturday through Aug. 26, 5 – 10 p.m.
The Barn, 985 Riverfront St., West Sacramento
Off the Grid Contact
2 Marina Blvd., Fort Mason Center, Building C370, San Francisco • 415-339-5888 • Offthegrid.com
SactoMoFo, short for Sacramento Mobile Food, is the original local food truck group. The original partners started the gourmet truck movement in 2011 in an effort to help change city ordinances to allow food trucks on city streets. The partners looked to the successful Off the Grid organization and founder as an example and for guidance. Since then, SactoMoFo has increased its reach with Food Truck Mania events throughout the Greater Sacramento area on a monthly rotation: Galt on the first Saturday of each month, Citrus Heights on the second Wednesday, etc. SactoMoFo organizers also assist truck owners with filling their schedules by finding and booking weekday lunch locations throughout Sacramento and Placer counties.
For details about SactoMoFo events, visit Sactomofo.com.
Catherine Enfield was a cofounder of SactoMoFo in 2011. Since then, she has worked with food trucks on a private basis. She also has traveled to other cities to experience and write about the industry for her food blog, Munchie Musings.