Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A learning experience..

Well...the health inspector came today, and sadly, we didn't get licensed.  But luckily, it's just a minor fix, so we need to tweek a few things and then we should be ready to go!  How does one even prepare for this kind of thing you ask?  Well, we got a list online of the codes and regulations.  And we started checking things off the list.  Bearing in mind that we've been following the list since day one, the major thing to do was just actually PUT IN WORK and get the little things done.

See this guy right here?  He's not actually a plumber...

But the great thing about him, is he figures things out.  I have to give credit where credit is due.  Travis is a stud at this whole cart building thing...he has figured out every little thing so reading books and observing what other people do.  I just take the lead from him most of the time (or i just stick to cleaning, painting and running important errands!).

Water tanks in the back

So, the above picture is actually why we didn't pass the inspection.  These tanks (fresh water on the right, grey water on the left) have to be up off the ground and attached to your unit so that the cart can be mobile at all times.  We now have to figure out a way to get them both mounted, or buy a different size tank that fits under the cart.  Sounds easy enough...buuuttt...keep in mind how heavy these suckers will be once they are filled with water.  They are each 55 gallon tanks, so you do the math.

I am very happy though, because the health inspector did give us a few props on our cart.  He said we were "way ahead of the game" with the quality of our hood and fan, and thought that everything else looked great.  I'm sure he's seen it all, but I have to admit....this food cart is pretty awesome.

The Grillery...
Strike One.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Careful what you wish for...

...because all I've been doing for the last 9 months...(yes, 9!) is complain about the weather here in the NW.  It's SO annoying.  Rain, rain, rain...with maybe a day or two of sunshine just to tease you....then more clouds and more rain.  Seriously, so annoying.  The whole POINT of living in Portland is that you suffer through the crappy winter and spring just to bask in the beautiful summer and fall weather and remind yourself that it's all worth it!  Ummm...that hasn't been the case this last year, so summer this far has been a total let down.

My two favorite guys

So, the sun came out... and it was HOT!  Omg.  Hot.  Travis and I worked on the cart all weekend in preparation for our big inspection on Wednesday and we basically just hung out and watched each other SWEAT.  It got hot!  We did manage to get work done...(between water and cocktail breaks...)

Cutting the hole in the ceiling to fit the fan for the hood in

A view from the top (I thought it was much cooler when I took it)

Travis masterminded the set up for the hood, vent and fan that are mounted to the ceiling.  This is one of the KEY things that go into a kitchen, so making sure it's just right is super important.  Now that this is up, we can get everything secure inside.

We also had to do some aesthetics to clean up the inside a bit.  We cut wood trim to cover the entire floor (sounds much easier than it is...), used wood filler for any holes and imperfections, painted white, then nailed them to the base.  They will give the cart yet another "finished" look.

Before trim

And after.

I'll be the first to admit I didn't take the best pictures this weekend...ummm...did I mention it was hot?  Moral of the story is that we're getting things done!  Almost ready for the big day.  Keep your fingers crossed's HAPPENING!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(tapping fingers...)

Our plan review got approved (whoooo hooooo!) so the next step is for the health inspector to come and check out the new diggs.  Still waiting...

One of the great things about this adventure is that we've gotten to meet a lot of interesting people over the months.  We have met cart owners, artists, electricians, plumbers, contractors, bloggers, media people, photographers, bartenders, bakers, farmers, baristas, shop owners, you name it!  Travis and I looooove to talk.  We have interesting and irreverent conversations everywhere we go..(it's partly why no errand is a quick one).

One of our favorite people we've met thus far is Franklin.
Trav and Franklin talkin' "food cart."

Franklin works at the Rebuilding Center, and we've seen and talked to him several times over the months.  He is the NICEST guy and we learned all about his mission to build a food cart similar to ours.  We thought WE were doing a good job of using sustainable and recycled materials...well, he really took it to another level!  

His ENTIRE cart is from the Rebuilding Center...(How convenient...he works there and is constructing it right outside!)  Not only does he get all his material from the RBC, but he is an artist and has painted and entire cart as well.

"Food Art" 
A cart celebrating food from Africa.

Hand painted work on the inside of the cart.

Franklin is so likable because he is super duper nice, and also humble and willing to share his knowledge.  We appreciate that so much!  Getting tidbits of information from all these different people we meet is helpful in many ways...(even the bartenders...believe me!)  We have learned a little something everywhere we go...whether it's Home Depot, the Saturday Market or the Goodwill.  We find value in all of these conversations we've had along the way.

Now it's time to get back to work!

Monday, July 11, 2011

And Now We Wait.

A little bit of movement with The Grillery this week, as Travis and I applied for our license and health permit with Multnomah County.  So, at this point, it's a waiting game until the health inspector comes out and checks out our cart. From what we've heard, he will give us a thumbs up, or thumbs down...and if we get the thumbs down we have to make any corrections he deems necessary and then re-apply.  HAPPY THOUGHTS!

We have read all the material online, spoken to several food cart owners, and worked with professionals to ensure our cart will pass the  FINGERS CROSSED!

The waiting game will NOT keep us from making progress though...NO NO NO.  We may have found a new love...
Making Pickles!

Travis and I have gone back and forth about needing a "thing" that makes our burgers special.  And we both LOVE pickles.  (Like, LOVE)  So, I thought it would be fun to try our hand at making our own.  Trav, never one to be left out, matched my excitement and we spent the day pickling!  (Literally, never envisioned myself typing that sentence.)

My mom was nice enough to go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and look for pickling supplies.

We found lots of great stuff including fresh bunches of dill and great produce.

As with anything you find on the internet, there are a million different recipes for pickles.  Trav and I both love SPICY.  We, of course, had to come up with our own flavors.  There is quite the process to pickling, and we followed the directions...(for the most part).

We sanitized the mason jars and got them ready for the process.
Cut up the Kirby cucumbers in spears and chips
Then added all kinds of yummy goodness including pepper spice, jalapenos, garlic, peppercorn and even habanero peppers! 

We learned a lot and of course, had a ton of fun doing it!  Now, just like everything else, we must WAIT to taste the finished product.  

Until then, we found another way to put the extra mason jars to use...

Happy Hour!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Special Thanks...

We reached our goal on kickstarter!  Definitely want to give a shout out to all the people who backed us!

+Nick+Katia+Jill+Mom+Bruce+Moesches+Shinns+Naches Reeders+NC Reeders+Loretta+Patrick+Nick B+Bill +Cindy Lew+Amy W+John Jay+Janice+Jess+Reme+Tara+Marni+Eden+Shannon+Kelly+Camille+Alison+Veronica+Johnna+Ben +Diona+Jen+Lauri+CPT+Anna+Margot+Kim K+Leah+Janice+Jamil+Andrew K+Coach Turner+Angie+Mandy +Kelsy+Pyro+Vicki+Tori+Garth+Tony+Brianna+Jamie+Henry+Mo $+Kasha+Jamie J+Jenn E+Courtney+
Gretchen+Rovi+Kecia+Laurie+Stradleys+Kim H-H+Michele+Allen+Lewis+Sharon L+Fasciatus+Christine+Mary B+Melissa M+Teri+Kai'Lee
(and of course, JUD for making the video, and Redwood Son for the music!)

Sending huge hugs and high-5's around the country for all of your love and support.  We are truly appreciative and grateful for your generous contribution.  Now the fun begins!  We get to purchase all the things that will make this cart a KITCHEN...and get licensed and find a spot to set up shop!

Cheers to YOU!