Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome to the Urban Grill Food Truck

Urban Grill Food Truck

by ugft, llc

We like our logo, we hope you do too. It's representative of........well never mind what went into it. Never mind the mind numbing discussions with the graphics people about the logic behind putting the words 'food truck' on what is obviously a food truck. (we wanted it, they didn't) Our name is Urban Grill Food Truck, we put it on our logo, but sometimes you'll see Urban Grill Cincy, because we like that too. And the more Cincinnati influences and elements which went into and onto the truck and the menu, the more that seemed appropriate, so Urban Grill Cincy exists and in fact is after @ and .com for our Twitter and Facebook addresses. And we don't mind if  you just call us "Urban Grill." But, please call us. A lot! Thanks.

The truck, which yes, we still call 'the boat' (we have some identity issues) is it a truck? a boat? what? Definitely favors Cincinnati themes, definitely likes bacon, but has some boat features - look toward the roof line and the back window in particular, and stand back if the horn is blown. 

Photo credit: Thanks to my sister Kathy Palmer for this and several other pics, including the one with Music Hall in the background! Great shot, and thanks for being there!!!!

Thank you to the very talented Carolyn Martin, artist and designer of these adorable flying pigs! Carolyn we appreciate you!

So what is with the BACON???? Well, bacon is good! And we will be serving it. If you aren't familiar with Cincinnati heritage then you don't know about the Flying Pig Marathon, or that Cincinnati among other things was known as Porkopolis back in the late 1800's and that the name and the heritage has stuck with us. And we really were known to be the hog trading and sausage making capital, due to our location on the Ohio river and our German heritage. Honoring that, you will find many bacon selections, and a bacon specialty item, as well a few Goetta selections from time to time.

Randy and I are native Cincinnatians, as well as former river people, as well as brother and sister-in-law, this boat, I mean truck, reflects all of that. So will our food.

So here is the food:
Usually, we will have marinated, grilled skewers of chicken, beef and shrimp which can be served on flatbread or with our grilled vegetable couscous. They come with the appropriate sauce and fresh vegetables as garnish.

We'll also have one or two of our handcrafted sandwiches on a daily basis. Our sandwiches are layered favors with lots of elements to them, descriptions coming. Our bread will be locally sourced, it's between two great bakeries, still testing which roll holds up to the sauces and flavors we add to those sandwiches. (Hint: we layer it up pretty good, these buns have to hold up under the pressure of the sauces etc.) Either way, you'll need a napkin - we'll provide. :-)

And there is a smoker on board too, so there will be specialty items from the smoker also. And other side dishes and desserts from time to time. So with the exception of the marinated skewers and couscous, you just have to check in to find out what is on the menu.

We'll keep you posted as to our location and if not outright tell you what we are serving, we'll give good hints. Special events and private parties are a different thing. We have a full commercial kitchen. We can and will fix anything. And we have a few things in mind for special events but won't regularly have those on the truck at a normal lunch stop, so things will change up according to need, occasion, and popular demand!

Best way to keep track of where we are and what we are serving is to 'like' our Facebook page. or follow us on Twitter, @UrbanGrillCincy. If neither of those work for you, we have our web address The twitter and facebook feeds both will update on our website also, so you can see all our updates. Our website is not fully activated yet but if you go to that address you will find us. Coming soon, go ahead and log-on.

 Oh, and we have a few products we'll be using on the truck as part of our recipes which also we can sell as retail products. This is me talking about the first one, it's our Cincy Cashew Crunch. It's a little bit of heat, also sweet and it's got another underlying flavor too! Our Cashew Crunch is made with 100% grade A genuine maple syrup, no corn syrup or sugars. It's intended and is, a gourmet food product. We are happy to share it with  you. You may want to purchase some to take home with you and we have it packaged for take home use also. Be sure to try it on ICE CREAM ! Really. Excellent. On. Ice. Cream.  (More about that second product another time.)

We had two professional photographers work on this truck. Most of the photos were taken by Pete Shively, photographer. Thanks, Pete. Additionally, a few photos were contributed by my terrific friend Stu Hyde of Stuart Hyde Photography. Thanks Stu!!
We had a lot of fun designing our truck. We appreciate Blake Castetter, Andrew, Wes, Antwan and the other fine professionals at Advertising Vehicles, the absolute best vehicle wrap company in town. Thanks to Peggy Shannon (Queen City Cookies) for the heads up to go straight to the best. We took that advice. (Right after that other excellent piece of advice  you gave us, Peggy.) Have you  tried the Bacon Schnecken from Queen City Cookies? Just sayin' 

Blake and Andrew (Sales and Designer, respectively) could not have been more patient, creative and kind with us, as they worked with what we all concede had to have been 'their most detailed food truck customers to date.'
Thanks again, we agreed we made a good partnership, those guys (men and women) out there are actually perfectionists themselves. Forgot Sarah the illustrator. Thank you Sarah!

Yesterday was a blast. It was GREAT timing that the Food Truck press conference at Washington Park to announce the new program and some new spaces to serve the public, was timed to coincide with our truck unveiling!! Perfect. The response and feedback was extremely positive. And Channel 9 (Facebook: WCPO 9 on your side) dedicated 12 of their 50 some photos of the event to pics of our truck and product!!! Thank you to Jenny Bak and Libby Cunningham, you two are great! We appreciate you and loved meeting you, also! Please come back when we are serving food in addition to our Cincy Cashew Crunch, we'd like to feed you more!

Randy and Betsy being interviewed by Council member, Laure Quinlivan after the Press Conference.

It's almost time. Randy and I are ready to actually start cooking on the truck. Can you believe it? It's really here. It's taken 11 months if you are counting. I decided in June, with my friend Sheila. I thought about her a lot yesterday. (Read blog post, Sisters Come in Many Forms, if you have not.) Randy jumped on board just a few short weeks later (like two?) And here we are. It's possible to do this faster. But I like the way we did it. I'm not saying there aren't a few things I wouldn't do differently. I'd start with more capital for one thing. The things you think are going to be great can be the thorn in the side. (that can read: people) But that's okay. It takes all kinds.

Here we come, ready or not!! We are excited. The response from the public, family and friends, and the people within the food truck business who are sincerely welcoming, has been heartwarming and has made all the difference. Sincerity is a nice thing.



Remember, make the most of today, it IS the ONLY one of which any of us is guaranteed!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Depot Demolition

We gotta tear it down before we can build it up.

Foreground is to be ramp, straight back: future parking of Urban Grill Food Truck

We are tearing out concrete, lots of it. Old, reinforced concrete flooring, to fill in below - think building a concrete box- to support the new ramp coming into the building and to support some relocated support beams for the second floor.

So first they cut out  as much of the concrete flooring in the intended ramp area, from this 112 year old building, as was safe to do.

Concrete is being poured in several separate pours over a period of time, to let it set between pours.

Some flooring remains but it comes out soon too...footers were poured and two walls are being formed to create our box area.Two walls are existing on the front and side of the area.

Looking through floor openings after the first pour.

After another pour. Looking through the remaining flooring from the other side.

 When the concrete gets up to a working height we'll quit
pouring for a while and that will give the workers a surface from which to safely stand to jackhammer out the remaining concrete. 
Where did those earplugs go?
Then ramp building begins. 

All this is being done because of those two little steps which you see in this photo. 
These steps get cut out next week and we start the ramp going up into the building 
right from the entrance.

That's the Depot progress! There is truck progress too. As you can imagine, Randy continues to invent, modify, perfect, refine, repair, surprise, innovate and work tirelessly. 
We can't wait to show it to you. We'll keep you posted. 

Sincerely, thank you for following along. 
I run into more people everyday who let me know they've been reading the progress. This means a lot to both of us that you are so interested in the business and we appreciate your interest in our success. We know you really just want to try some food!!!
It's coming, soon!
Remember, make the most of today, it's the only one of which any of us are guaranteed!
On behalf of Betsy and my Biz Partner/Bro-in-law, Randy.
ugft, llc.