Just when you thought Off the Grid couldn’t stretch its tentacles any further, the food truck organizing company just made a surprise announcement: they’re bringing several trucks down to Burning Man at this very moment.
Nicknamed the DustZone pod, this pop-up Off the Grid location plans to be sandwiched between the steampunk steam engine and the biggest geodesic dome the vendors can find. “We’re looking for a highly visible location on the playa,” said OTG founder Matt Cohen, who is traveling to the festival with the vendors. Burners can expect to sample dishes from favorites like Bacon Bacon, Sanguchon, Curry Up Now, and Liba Falafel.
The participating vendors were happy to bring their trucks down Black Rock City. “I grew up going to burns with my family, so it just felt right to share my falafel with so many kindred spirits,” Liba‘s Gail Lillian told us yesterday before hitting the road. “And I know from experience that wholesome, sustainable food is pretty scarce on the playa. I feel like I’ll be doing this community a great service by bringing my natural falafel to the desert.”
Jim Angelus of Bacon Bacon had a simpler reason for signing on. “I just fucking love Burning Man, man. Who wouldn’t want a free ticket? And who there won’t want bacon?”
According to Cohen, there will also be a burger duel between longtime rivals Docs of the Bay and FiveTen Burger. “We’re not sure when the duel will happen, but I’m sure the spirit of the festival will let us know when the time has come,” said Cohen. He added, “this will, of course, be a nonviolent duel that will end with an exchange of hugs.”
The question remains to be seen how the vendors will handle the actual task of vending. As anyone familiar with the festival knows, money doesn’t exist on the playa (except, of course, in the ticket-buying phase of the enterprise). “I think I’m going to leave it up to the vendors to choose their own bartering system. Hopefully they’ll choose to exchange food or nonalcoholic services. If they choose to barter for, let’s just say less-than-legal substances, I just don’t want to know,” explained Cohen with a sneaky grin.
Ultimately, though, any concerns about drug bartering are mitigated by the potential reward of sharing a dining experience with festival-goers. “Off the Grid believes in the power of a shared food experience to connect communities, and we work hard to maintain a shared sense of space wherever we serve,” says Cohen. “Burning Man sets the standard for community interaction, so we felt is was our duty as a community-building enterprise to make an appearance.”