New menu, new signage, new attitude, and new challenges. Will we survive the year? Will we be here in 2012? As the owners of a trailer with no food industry experience and no start up fund, Abdu and I have faced innumerable challenges. The challenges range from the comic to the comically tragic. We have learned much about service, food preparation, business, money, loyalty, family, friends and hard work. The most profound revelations have been inward, where things get icky and lines are blurred. How a person faces incredible stress and deprivation with ones mate and still finds enough stillness in the day to enjoy the other person. How much your family and friends love you and desire your success and happiness.
METEORIC LESSONS: BIG portions are important, giving someone a free meal is awesome and you are not a chump for giving it away even if they never come back, plan ahead, plan ahead, get organized, get organized, pay your taxes on time (there is a 50 dollar penalty for being late), dirty water sucks, our trash can is lamentably public so the amount of trash we deal with will never change, music can literally get you through a 17 hour day, and the act of creation feels damn good.
WE THOUGHT RIGHT: Food quality is appreciated, no short cuts in food preparation, putting your true self into something although not always understood will be appreciated, esoteric expressions in food should never be avoided but embraced, even encouraged, classic recipes are not insulted by revisions, making more money can never be the ultimate goal to be personally successful and is not always the true sign of a professionally successful person, and finally Moroccan food is AWESOME.
WHY? There was a night (not too long ago) when Abdu and I pulled up to the trailer with a car load full of beautiful food, an empty tank of gas and 3 dollars to our name; literally. I put the three dollars in the register and prayed we had customers. We did. In fact, we had enough customers to fill our tank and get a bit of groceries. When stripped of the most basic comforts our vision became clear and our desire to succeed was not thwarted, just challenged. We cook for a living this is true, but in a greater sense we cook out of a love for the people we serve. Back to basics, we thrive in the financial dessert we call home and have made peace with the uncertainty of the universe.
Here’s to food trailers all over the world, street vendors, gypsies, artists, and anyone who decided to write his own music. My glass is raised and I cannot wait to take another drink.