Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shopping is supposed to be fun...

It's about that purchase our appliances.  Eeeeekkkkk!  So many many decisions!  It's hard to know where to start when making such a big purchase...these appliances have to fit within our budget as well as serve as a functional asset to the cart.  Oh yeah, and a million other factors to consider as well...

Electric vs. Propane

Countertop model vs. Built in stand

New vs. Used

The double basin fryer we are considering
(Creeper in the back)

There really are so many different models to chose from.  Factors to consider are the amount of space we have (errr, don't have), our energy output, the volume each appliance can handle, whether it comes with a warranty, how to install,'s just mind blowing!  

One thing I think we can handle....the potato slicer!
We will have huge muscles after using this thing for a few weeks.

Because our food is all fresh, there are added expenses that come with it...of course.  The better the food, the more expensive it is.  We are going to have fresh cut fries, so we'll be cutting all the potatoes by hand.  AND WE'RE GOING TO SELL A LOT OF FRIES!

Once we purchase a few things, the kitchen will really start coming together...

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh, December...

I wish pictures could do the weather in the Northwest justice, but they just simply CAN'T.  This weekend was so rainy that we had to limit our work day to running errands... but very important errands at that.

Originally, we were hoping to never go to Home Depot, but unfortunately it is IMPOSSIBLE to get everything donated, so we made a trip and got some much needed supplies.

The large white sheets are FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) that we are going to be putting on the majority of the walls.  It is going to make all the surfaces smooth and easy to clean, and also keep us up to code with the health department.  Once this is up, the kitchen transformation can begin.

Old Door

One of the things I DISLIKE on the cart is our door.  It's little and janky and not very secure.  Because it's so narrow, it is also impossible to get any large appliances through (like a refrigerator) so we are going to build a new one.  I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of cussing on this day...eeekk.

We stopped by the Rebuilding Center to pick up a new door...and the price was right for our budget!
$1 we can handle.

And this is what we came home with.

I might be setting myself up for failure with this post, but I'm confident we can figure out how to get this new door on the cart.  We'll have to take out the existing door, build a frame for the new door, cut the new door to fit, mount it and make sure the knobs and locks work, and then taaaa-daaaaa--new door!  (If any of you have ever done something like this or have any advice, please post!)

I hope the rain lets up a bit...I'm not joking when I say we were DRENCHED after unloading the truck. 
Thumbs down to the downpour.  

Thumbs up to getting some work done this week!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's the little things, really..

Okay, now that that's out of my system, let's talk FOOD CART!

We have progress people...and the transformation has officially begun...finally!  So far everything we've done has been MAJOR (foundation, walls, floors, etc), but not necessarily VISIBLE changes.  This most recent phase is going to make a huge difference because they are tangible changes we can all SEE. 

Time for cabinets.

These things were UGLY when we got them at The Rebuilding Center. U-G-L-Y.  But, the price was right, so I digress. 
 First I had to clean and sand the grime off.

 And as you can tell, I was limited on space because it was a mere 30 degrees outside and I chose warmth over comfort....I was literally SORE after this little task!

Then I painted them "Winter White," which was an instant improvement.

Once we got the cabinets sanded, primed and painted, we were able to get them mounted on the wall.  This is the first thing that actually gives the cart some dimension...and we were ECSTATIC!  (Cue dance moves and squeals here...)

The 5th and final attempt at mounting this cabinet in the right place...

The cart itself isn't perfectly LEVEL, so mounting these against the wall and flat against the floor was a bit of a pain in the butt.  After some deep breathing and several 10-counts, Travis got 'em just where we wanted 'em.

(If you could see the bubble on the level, you would be impressed!)

Travis did an excellent job cutting these things to make them (almost) perfect.  He then did an equally excellent job cutting the heavy, orange counters to fit on top.  (Don't worry Duck fans, paint has already been purchased to change the color of these bad boys...NO Beaver Colors in this cart!)


It's kinda starting to look like a kitchen, don't ya think? 

Cue more dancing and squealing here..

Monday, November 22, 2010


OMG---it's officially COLD in Portland, Oregon!!  Fall is long gone and as winter closes in, the newest reality is that we are going to be working on this cart in the RAIN, SNOW, WIND and FREEZING COLD TEMPERATURES!  If you know me, you know that I despise being cold, but we powered through the 30 degree temps on Saturday to get a lot of work done on the cart.  No complaints...this is what we signed up for, right?

We moved on to cabinets this week.  The walls are UP and STURDY, which means we can get going on the interior stuff.  This has not proven to be an easy task...just ask Travis.  The cabinets were too long, so we had to cut them to size (and by "we" I mean Trav), and then had to cut the shelves to fit and the drawers to fit, etc.  WOW!  There may or may not have been a lot of cussing throughout the day, but we're halfway done and proud of our progress!  Once we get them mounted on the wall, we'll be able to lay the counters on top.

The most stubborn cabinet we bought because of the drawers.

Cutting the drawers to size...(Don't mess up....You only get one shot!)

Next up will be paint...I think I can handle this part.  (I'm really good at drilling, taking out screws, painting, measuring stuff, holding stuff, picking out the music and making cocktails when we get irritated or frustrated).  

Thanks to Denise Hanggi from W+K for donating the paint for this project...amazing!

Now the bigger question is, what color should I chose??

Sorry about the delay in posts....I had to get outta Dodge and head to Vegas for a much needed vacation...BIG SHOUT OUT TO TWO OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD- JEN AND JUD.  I love you both and am so excited I got to spend some time with you--thanks for the continued support and excitement over The Grillery!  (Another thanks to Jud for teaching me how to play craps--and win!!--I might be going back to Sin City sooner than I fun!)
(Not Jud in this picture...he's a little camera shy, but Jen and I look cute so I had to post!)
View from our room at Caesar's Palace....sweeeet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cameras Rolling...

NOVEMBER 1st....I can't believe it.  NOVEMBER 1st?!?!  October ended well with the Oregon Ducks ranked #1 in the country and the Trailblazers off to a 3-0 start....I'll take it!

Hard to believe we came up with this idea 3 months ago and all that has gone into it so far.  Annnndddd, the fact that the cart still LOOKS the way it does....Let me explain.

This project is massive...(you've seen the pictures).  Every little thing we do makes a huge difference in our eyes, but to the layperson, it looks EXACTLY the same...which is to be expected... but disappointing all the same.  It's all the OTHER things we've done that require so much time and energy.  Examples include writing a business plan (whoa), research, fundraising, more research, meeting with vendors, interviews with our producer, research, designing the logo, meeting with cart owners, eating cart food (i.e. research), buying materials, thinking of more fundraising ideas, hitting the gym to work off our "research," get the idea.  Now, combined with the fact that we can only work on the cart after work and on weekends, this whole project is going to take longer than expected...sigh.

Oh yeah....and we're filming the whole thing.  Meet Colin.  He likes to keep the camera rolling even when I ask him to "CUT!"  (I guess that's the point?!)  He is responsible for capturing this whole thing and turning it into something each of you will actually want to watch...hmmmm.... Those of you who know me, know I'm silly, irreverent, sarcastic, honest, sweet, crass, strait forward and funny (so I've been told).  Now times that by a million and add Travis to the mix....yikes.

Floors are DONE!  They look pretty damn good too!

Travis got familiar with power tools to cut out the walls.

And I got familiar with the drill to actually put the walls up--so empowering!!
(click the link above to view awesome video)

The good news's still fun.  And we are both really excited about the whole thing.  We are constantly getting amazing feedback and killer ideas from everyone we talk to.  The task may be daunting, but we know it will be worth it.  Even if we are the only ones who SEE the least we know we're making it...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chipping Away...

Tap Water and Dove Soap.

It turns out soap and water actually go a long way.  43 years of dirt and grime came off easily as I started working on the exterior of the  It's the littlest things that make the biggest impact!  Travis and I had a little more time on our hands to work on the cart last week (and minimal rain!) so we were able to get a few things done.  Working after "work" and crunching everything into a few daylight hours is just another obstacle we will have to overcome.  It's worth it when you can see the results instantly...

Here are a couple "before" shots of our floor.  We had to fill the cracks with putty, calk and cement before we got started on the fun stuff.

One of the interesting things about doing a project like this for the first time is all the important things you have NO IDEA about until a professional steps in to help.  Like whether or not the cart is LEVEL.  Finding the center of the floor and working from the INSIDE, OUT.  Completing the foundation and making sure everything is sealed and water tight...(kind of a big deal in Portland, Oregon it turns out...)  Me being a rookie, I just want to DO everything and make it look NICE, and FINISHED, and PRETTY.

Well....this is a start!!  We love our floors!  (Thank you Rasuli and PREM)  These are simple, adhesive laminate squares that we reinforced with additional spray adhesive to the wood floor.  The transformation was instant!  It's all coming along and improving every day... 

I know we have a long way to go, but I'm glad we're getting closer to "pretty."

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Productive Day...

Wow!  Saturday was a huge step forward for The Grillery... Did I mention this project is 2-fold?  Not only are we building the cart (from SCRATCH), but we are also filming the entire thing.  Our producer, Colin, is a young, aspiring film maker/struggling art student, and he has willingly taken on the task of filming this entire venture.  Not only are Travis and I AMATEUR everything, but we are also silly, ridiculous and sometimes a little crass.  Having a camera in our faces for any duration of time has proven to be, again, silly, ridiculous and somewhat crass.  BUT FUN.

We started the morning off at the PSU Farmer's Market...talking to vendors about their farms, their meat, organic vs. all natural, etc.  If you haven't experienced the outdoor market scene in Portland, I suggest you go.  It hits all of your senses....the sight of fresh fruit and vegetables at every turn, the smell of roasted peppers and pickled asparagus (yes please), the feel of homemade wool and blossoming artichokes (did anyone else know they did that?), the taste of homemade salsa and fresh cheese curds from a creamery in southern Oregon... IT'S ALL HERE.  The market embodies what we are trying to do with The Grillery...Keep everything local.  Everything FRESH.  Everything good.
Our goal for the cart is to get all of our produce locally.  Every week.  Venturing to the market will be a part of our weekly routine..... We need to find farms that will have enough product for us, the best quality and reasonable prices.  It is important that our food reflects what is in season.  For example, we don't want to feature a burger that has avocado in it if avocado is completely out of season.  What we purchase at the market is what we are going to use that week.  Fingers crossed for limited last minute runs to Safeway and Freddy's.

After the market, we ventured down to The Rebuilding Center--cameras rolling.  We were in the market for sturdy, inexpensive cabinets....check and check.  These will add to the inside of our cart both aesthetically and for storage.  So far we have purchased cabinets, windows and sinks from here, and I have a feeling we'll be back for more.  Everything from the RBC has been donated and they have the best prices in town.

After we had been at it for a few hours I was hungry and impatient (it happens), so I may or may not have gotten a little grumpy.  Camera in my face, empty stomach and completely overwhelmed, I was over the RBC.  Not sure how that's going to translate on film, but my guess is real and maybe a little bratty.  Good news is that  sometime during our time sifting through hundreds of doors, Colin had a creative breakthrough.  He said it hit him how this project is going to take shape... (GREAT!  Now time for lunch, please.)

My guess is it's going to take a lot of editing, but he'll get a few laughs along the way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Starting From Scratch

It all started with an idea. The idea grew. And now it's a tangible thing.

So, we have the trailer...and we are really turning this thing into a food cart....a kitchen on wheels!  And, God willing, it's going to be the bomb.  This picture above is the original shell...a 1967 Shasta Trailer, completely gutted and in need of some major TLC.  After a little bit of demo...and a lot of unscrewing, hammering, patching and calking...we have progress.
With the inside secure, and the foundation water tight, let the fun begin!

We have the service window cut out and a place for people to come up and order their food.  Everything used for construction this week was donated or purchased from a scrap material store...($5 windows, CHECK!)

It's a start.

Did I mention this week's construction was done in the pouring down rain??