Snapshot from Slow Food Nation: Slow on the Go vendor Fatted Calf

Late Saturday afternoon I ran into Taylor Boetticher, who with Toponia Miller are the meat geniuses behind Fatted Calf and the youngest rock stars of the Bay Area’s charcuterie boom. (They still laugh about me calling their duck-liver mousse “sex on toast.”) Fatted Calf had by far the longest queue of the Slow on the Go “slow fast food” booths; people were lined up for practically a full block to get the grilled sausage and peppers on an Acme bun. It was just the right combination of juicy fat and savory sizzle. Taylor said they’d sold about 450 and credited his borrowed “wiener wagon” — a mobile barbecue trailer, whose grill will run on propane, charcoal, or wood, for keeping the line moving. ‘You can really do some numbers on this thing,” he said.

The Fatted Calfers had learned from the previous weekend’s not-so-smooth experience at the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park that serving just one menu item was the only way to go. “We were selling charcuterie plates at a fucking rock concert,” said Taylor. “How crazy is that?”

Slow Food Nation had been incredibly well organized, Taylor praised. “I’m well aware that there are a lot of detractors, but everyone has been great to work with,” he shrugged. “I really like all the use of recycled and biodegradable materials. And I think the Victory Garden is just incredible; I hope it stays. The Victory Garden and Slow on the Go, awesome food in a cool setting that anyone can come to — they’re not just words, not people patting themselves on the back while they drink fine wine. It’s Slow Food in action.”

I asked Taylor if the $8 he was charging for his generously sized Slow on the Go sandwiches was covering the cost of the materials and labor. Fatted Calf was breaking even, he thought, but not making a profit. “Things like this, they run on the backs of a lot of favors. And you can only do that for so long — we’re stretched pretty thin right now,” he said, adding, “But we’re not looking at this as a moneymaking venture. I mean, look at the company we’re in! And we’re feeding people we’d never otherwise reach. They’re excited, they’re happy. It’s cool.”

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