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The Bistro Bus finally hits the road

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Dusty Buns’ renovated taco truck launches today, bringing farm-fresh, seasonal dishes to Fresno. If you missed my column about it, here’s a snippet:


Called the Bistro Bus, this 1975 truck is part of Dusty Buns, a catering service owned by Dustin and Kristin Stewart. Their philosophy: comfort-food versions of California cuisine.
… Chocolate ganache covers Three Sisters figs. A grilled-cheese sandwich contains Bravo Farms cheese. Organic vegetables from growers such as K.M.K. Farms appear in various sandwiches, such as Veg Out (roasted squash and eggplant with olive tapenade and Parmesan cheese) and the Dusty (chipotle roast chicken with pasilla peppers and cilantro-lime slaw).

Check out the full menu. If you like what you see, keep track of their whereabouts on Twitter. You also can send requests to chefs@dustybuns.com.

Right now, the bus can stop only in private parking lots, the Stewarts say. Here’s part of an e-mail they sent me:


The response to your article was huge and so many people are requesting us downtown & on Fulton; unfortunately most of these places don’t have parking lots and the city won’t let us sell on any city street. We’ve approached city hall with the lists of enthusiastic requests to show them we want to be an exciting addition to Fresno…

Are you listening, city of Fresno? I’d love to see a food truck culture as vibrant as Los Angeles’. Sure, we’d run a greater risk of turf wars, but I doubt it would ever get that bad here.

Responses to "The Bistro Bus finally hits the road"

this is really neat, it would be awesome if fresno had stuff like this, there are way too many ordinances,laws, etc that prevent fresno from ever becoming something

Joe says:

Here is the city’s Mobile Vendor ordinance. Maybe it needs to be made a little more flexible?

http://library.municode.com/HTML/14478/level3/CODE_C9_A11.html

Michael says:

I agree w/ Real Dave. I’ve heard about those tough oridinances laws. Per Joe’s link: this one baffled me:

The Controller may make rules and regulations which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this article and which may be necessary or desirable to aid in the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this article, including all necessary policies and procedures for the issuance of the mobile vendor permits, administration or registration of mobile vendor vehicles; collection of the mobile vendor permit fees, any required bonds and/or indemnities, or proof(s) of insurance. (Added Ord. 2003-67, § 29, eff. 8-31-03).

My point is that the city ordinance looks fair until I read that part, “The conroller may make rules and regulations which are not consistent with the provisions…” that saying, it reads like the rules can even be made up as they go.

Tom says:

I’d love to try it, but I don’t know where they were today. There was a tweet in the morning stating that they were looking for a parking area, and that was the last I saw.

Joan Obra says:

I just got off the phone with Dustin, and he’s having a hard time finding private parking lots that will let them serve to the public.

Since they can’t Tweet out public locations, they’re filling advance orders, delivering them and moving on.

(Again, city of Fresno, are you reading this?)

At least one place welcomes the bus: Movies in the Park at Eaton Plaza. Go there tonight, 5-8 p.m., to get your Dusty grub.

bradley says:

I offered up our parking lot via twitter, but got no response.

They need to listen a bit better…..

Harsh says:

WOW, those folks are welcome at North Pointe at Palm and Herndon anytime… I’d spread the word at my office If I knew ahead of time.

Joan Obra says:

Agreed. Dustin admits he’s still trying to get the hang of checking Twitter while slinging sandwiches. Next week likely will go better.

Hmm... says:

What about on campus (from a parking lot) at Fresno State, Fresno Pacific, or Fresno City College? Two of the three are government entities but they aren’t owned by the City of Fresno and they all have streets that are not “public.”

The Fresnan says:

This truck would look pretty sweet parked in the KYNO lot on Fulton during this year’s F.u.S.E. Fest. Just sayin’

bradley says:

word. dustin, are you listening?

I wish them all the best in their new venture! I seriously hope the City addresses many of the concerns local vendors have. I know that in Sanger there were similar issues that forced taco trucks outside the actual city limits, forcing them to park (only) on the outskirts of the city.

Where’s the love for small business, City of Fresno?

MF says:

It’d be nice to see the City of Fresno embrace this form of business and add to the current culinary landscape. I don’t see why this couldn’t be a win-win situation for the City of Fresno and surrounding areas if there was a designated lot for food trucks and food carts to set up shop to do business.
Maybe a schedule of different places on different days could be organized, like there is for farmer’s markets, where these mobile gastro-trucks can sell their goods.
Either way, I’m glad to hunt down this Bistro Bus and sample their fare.

Dustin & Kristin says:

We’re listening, great ideas! We will check each location out. Thanks for the mentions and motivation. Were learning twitter so we can fully embrace the tweet!

TwolfMom says:

I was lucky enough to have their food last night at Movies in the Park. It was absolutely WONDERFUL! I had the veg out sandwich, potato griddle cakes & the granola. It was ALL excellent!!! I also let them know that the Clovis Farmer’s Market has been extended until Halloween so that may be a possibility. Dustin said that they have a private event 9/17 but that the current plan is to be back for the final Movie in the Park 9/24 (Star Trek).
I am also for a vibrant gourmet truck community! I love the Farmer’s Market idea. C’mon City of Fresno, let’s think creatively here & help small businesses!

gw70 says:

Screw Fresno! Go to Clovis, or anyother city that business friendly.

kodak says:

We were lucky enough to come across Dustybuns bistro bus today at the Fresno Distributing Center. I had the The dusty Bun and my husband had Le Grilled Cheese and the peach tart. Incredible. Fresno’s lucky.

Joe says:

I don’t see anything in the ordinance explicitly prohibiting them from selling on city streets. Am I overlooking something?

cheryl says:

What up Fresno? Heres your opportunity to re-build your Downtown without construction! No trees cut down, or buildings changed. What a great opportunity to support local small buisiness and feed your people healthy. Heres an idea…local artist, local talent, locally grown organic food cooked by finely trained cuisine chefs! You support them…They support you! Go Dusty Buns!!!

Dustin & Kristin says:

Hey guys,
We’re trying to make progress with the city of Fresno and code enforcement for Dusty Buns Bistro Bus. Thanks for all the feed back and invites. Bradley, Sonic foundation, North Point, etc. What are the addresses and contact numbers so we can feed you? Joe- the Bistro Bus and Taco Trucks are only permited as “food peddlers” which can’t sell on City property. “Mobile food venders” are like ice cream trucks and they can stop on city streets. Feel free to contact us- chefs@dustybuns.com

George B. Feist (DUKE) says:

I used to work on the road alot and in Modesto there used to be 12 or more TACO TRUCKS parked in a row by the railroad tracks…away from other business’s in buildings. (the owners would complain that they have to pay rent, utilities, etc….and a truck does not?…less see gas, licenses, etc.))…anyway….we had the right to choose which truck fare to try…I would go by cleanliness of the outside appearance, and if possible see someone get an order and how it looked…then make my choice…this town used to have trucks all over…and I would love to go to them for tacos, burritos, etc……then some ass in the city council or some store owner made a beef about the trucks and they were gone….now…try to find a good double tortilla taco!!…

Art says:

Looks like we have to go to LA if we want to eat from the food trucks. Shame really. I’d like to go down there and try the Kogi truck, the Grilled Cheese truck, the Nom Nom, and the pizza SliceTruck. They gotta have a Hot Dog truck down there too.

Has anyone gone down and tried the LA trucks?

Art says:

Just heard about this. If you don’t want to chase the food trucks down in LA, most of them will be all in one place at the Gourmet Food Truck Festival in Valencia next month. At http://www.valencia.com/food_truck_festival/ A little closer to Fresno, kinda.