Friday, April 18, 2014

Grind Burger Kitchen

I'm a little delayed in getting this post up so pretty much everyone knows about this by now BUT we have signed a lease on a brick and mortar location!  Yay!  Here are some FAQ's about the new place:

Are you keeping the truck?  Yes

Where is the new restaurant located? 3311 Preston Hwy.

That sounds far away. Depends on where you live.  It's between Eastern Parkway and The Waterson

Are you going to sell burgers?  Of course!

Are you going to have fries?  Absolutely.

What are your hours going to be?  We'll start just being open for lunch and then add dinner at a later date.

When are you opening?  No specific date yet but very soon after Derby.

We can't wait to get open and start serving.  Check here at our website, our Facebook or our Twitter for details about our opening!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wave 3 News Response

As with anyone who has followed the chain of events over the past couple of days you are probably aware of the Wave 3 news investigative report conducted by Eric Flack about the cleanliness of food trucks.  The link to the report is at the bottom of this post but the idea is that trucks are not as clean as brick and mortar establishments.  This was "proven" by Louisville Metro Health Department Representative, Connie Mendel laughing on camera when asked if she ate at food trucks (No, really.  She was that unprofessional), by the undercover filming of a temporary mobile food vendor using tubs of dirty water to wash utensils and by the owner of French Indo Canada doing a poor job of articulating his use of his 3 compartment sinks.  Let's address each of these:

#1 - A representative from the Health Department publicly damning mobile food operations is completely irresponsible and unprofessional.  Sure, established food truck customers know better but what about the people that just aren't sure?  This confirmed their suspicions.  The real question that should be asked though is that if the Health Department doesn't think we're safe to eat from then why are they continuing to issue permits?  Aren't they there for the sole purpose to protect public health?

#2 - They chose to highlight a BBQ vendor that operates on a 14 day permit.  In case you're not familiar with the difference, these types of operations do not have legal plumbing and therefore are not eligible for the Statewide annual permit that most of the food trucks you're familiar with have.  Now, this doesn't make them bad.  There are plenty of wonderful, safe, mobile vendors that work on temporary permits HOWEVER this was obviously not who they chose to film.  This gross, sensationalist tactic resulted in giving the viewer the impression that all food trucks operate in this manner.  Simply not true. Statewide Annual permit holders are required to have a licensed master plumber draw up and install their plumbing systems which costs somewhere to the tune of $2000+; not the $20 worth of bus tubs the vendor in the clip was using.

#3 - The entire food truck community let out a collective groan each of the 35 times we've seen the clip and heard Rob Ross of French Indo Canada explain how he did not use his sinks.  I make no excuses for anyone but if you've ever spoken to Rob for longer than 5 minutes you know he is just not always very well spoken.  I know for a fact that any trucks I have ever boarded or spoken to use their sinks.  I mean, why wouldn't we?  What Rob failed to explain was that the 3 compartment sinks (for washing dishes) are typically not in use during service.  Why?  Because we're busy serving during the 3 or 4 hour window we're open and leaving people at the window who are trying to order to take a 'dish washing break' just doesn't make sense.  What does make sense?  Bringing extra of everything so that if something does fall or become contaminated you can quickly take it to the sink and start using a fresh clean one without breaking stride.  And of course, if something needs to be washed we immediately wash it.  Again, why would we make a $2000 investment into sinks and just defiantly not use them and run the risk of making customers sick?  We wouldn't.  That's stupid.  So no, we don't typically find ourselves in need of using our 3 compartment sinks during service but we do use them after service to clean the things we used during service.  Make sense?  Good.  Let's move forward.

After a huge public outcry on Twitter and Facebook Mr. Flack decided to do a follow up story.  Trucks were given the impression that this follow up would show both sides of the story.  I requested to be contacted for this but was not.  The follow up was nothing more than Councilman Kevin Kramer explaining that the health department was going to start issuing the same letter placards for food trucks that restaurants already have and it was presented almost as if we had better watch out; as if it were a punishment.  Had Mr. Flack bothered to do his research he would have learned that we have actually been pushing for this to happen anyway.  Do you know how much of an uphill battle it is to prove to the uneducated consumer that we're clean and safe?  We got 100% on our last inspection.  I'd be thrilled to be able to post that big letter A.  This also makes each truck more accountable for what they're doing and their safe practices because it ultimately and very publicly will affect their business and sales.  So, don't threaten me with a good time, Kevin Kramer!

In the end I realize these sensationalist stories are all about getting ratings.  I don't fault Eric Flack for doing the story but I do fault him giving so much weight to someone as obviously biased and ignorant as Connie Mendel.  I also think the focus on the clearly, strategically chosen mobile vendor they decided to highlight was unfair.  Grind alone on Twitter earned them tons of completely undeserved ratings last night for this foolish story and had it resulted in a more fair follow up story I might have been alright with it but since it did not - here we are.  We along with all the legally permitted food trucks in this city, excuse my language, bust our asses trying to do it all and be it all for our customers.  There is not one food truck owner in this city that hasn't fully thrown themselves into their business financially, creatively and emotionally.  These trucks pay our bills, help us take care of our families and give us an outlet to be creative in a way that most people don't get the opportunity to do.  I can only speak for Jesse and I (and as you all know we've been and are very public about how we got to where we are) but we have over $30,000 invested in this business and I couldn't even begin to tell you how many hours.  We have worked over 2 years building a brand that we're exceptionally proud of and for one woman from the health department and one guy from a news station to tarnish that for ratings, I take issue.  So I encourage you to do what you've been doing since the beginning.  Support your local trucks that you love and defend us the way you have been and how I've heard you defend at our windows and events to the haters and don't let this nonsense get us down.  Last night we proved that we're an army and we won't stand for bullying or unsubstantiated claims.  Keep on truckin'

Liz Huot

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The trailer for our upcoming episode of Eat St. has been posted!

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Spy Grind a.k.a The #grindspotting Game

We have stickers!! and with all them going out we've already started seeing them places! If you're out and about and see one, snap a picture, post it to Instagram, Twitter or on the Grind Facebook wall with the tag, #GrindSpotting and you could win a free burger!

We'll select a winner randomly every couple of weeks and we'll contact you to let you know you've won.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Grind Invades West Sixth Brewery - Friday Feb. 22nd

burger topped with choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion

burger topped with brie, thick cut bacon, choice of habanero or apricot jam
*our signature burger*

While You Wait
burger topped with swiss cheese, spicy-pickled pineapple, dried and shredded pork, Sailor Jerry's rum glaze

The Chain
burger topped with crisp dill pickles, diced white onion, house-smoked ketchup, with or without american cheese

housemade veggie burger using various roasted vegetables (Ex. chickpeas, lentils, spaghetti squash, kale, etc) and our housemade adobo sauce
*can be vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free – just ask

San Pellegrino flavored sparking water
$2 each

“Dirty” brand kettle chips, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, water, extra cheese, bacon
$1 each

All the beef for our burgers are house ground from whole cuts and hand pattied.  No fillers.  No additives.  We use all grass fed beef from Foxhollow Farm in Crestwood, KY.  Our buns are baked locally by Dolce.  Veggies are local when in season.  Our veggie burger is all hand blended – no manufactured patties are EVER used. 

Notice: The consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of food borne illness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Protecting the Grind name

With Hammerheads opening their new burger concept, Game, it is now coming to people’s attention that their first name choice was Grind House.  We received an email from Zach Everson, Editor of Eater Louisville requesting us call him back to discuss the situation so we figured we would go ahead and put out a statement ourselves.

I didn’t think this was news worthy but since it has come up, I have no problem explaining what happened.  Hours after the first articles popped up on December 4th, we received calls and emails congratulating us on our new restaurant.  Having heard about Hammerheads new venture a few months before, we knew where to look.  On December 6th, a Business First article left out the word 'House' in the name calling the new concept 'Grind'.  My Wife and I had our grand opening of Grind on April 6th 2012 and had established the name on social media as early as January 10th.  We put as much work into our business as every other business owner so to have a restaurant open with a very similar concept with a very similar name; it was in our best interest to do what we had to do to protect the business.  We have over a years worth of equity in the name and didn’t want any confusion.  We contacted an attorney who called the owners of Hammerheads and followed up with a letter.  They said they had no idea that we existed. Adam (one of the owners of Hammerheads) called me and left a voicemail stating that they would change the name and didn’t want any bad blood.  Maybe I should have called him back to smooth it over but wasn’t sure if that was the right move.  We have no hard feelings and genuinely love the food at their restaurant.  What we did what was within our legal right as a business that has established itself in the region.  I honestly don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal and hopefully they don’t either because I think the new name is pretty killer.

Jesse Huot
Grind Gourmet Burger Truck