Omnivore Books had booked Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame) to come sign his book at their bookstore on Dec 6th. The lovely owner, Celia, had contacted me a couple months ago and asked me to come sell chai to her patrons while they waited in line for Keller. Today, Dec 6th, I was all excited to take the Chai Cart all the way to Omnivore Books - not only will San Francisco foodies be there, maybe Keller himself may fancy a cup of chai.
Line outside the bookstore
As usual, I made the chai, packed my cart and off I went. I forgot to do 2 things - one, check the flatest way to get to Church and Ceaser Chavez and two, check the weather report. I rode down Valencia and hit one hill on Ceaser Chavez (between Guerrero and Dolores) but managed it (although I did have to stop to catch my breath half way up). It sure was chilly and seemed like a smart idea to have hot chai for sale. Well, untill it started to rain - no wait, hail.
Thomas Keller speaking at Omnivore Books
People has asked and had wondered what would happen to the food carts when the rain hit San Francisco. This is what happened today. I was lucky to have my bicycle and trailer under a tree. So when the hail started to come down, I put all my stuff (except the table and big airpot) back in the cart and ran inside the bookstore for cover. It seemed like perfect timing as Thomas Keller came in 5 min later and I was up close to hear him speak.
By the time he finished talking, the rain had subsided as well. I went back outside, sold a few more cups to people who were unfortunate enough to be stuck outside (its a tiny bookstore), packed my stuff and rode back in the freezing cold. To add to the misery, my trailer had a flat.
The good thing about the pop-up food carts is that we control our own schedule. I guess I could've decided to stay home, had i checked the weather. People can expect food carts to be at indoor locations, such as art galleries, warehouses, etc. during the winter. I will be visiting the Sports Basement soon for some winter biking wear.
P.S. Thomas Keller asked for double espresso, not chai :(