GOING ON A FOOD TRIP ... This is a first: The Four Seasons hotel chain is sending a group of its chefs and culinary team members on a three-state, 18-city food truck tour for the next two months, starting in East Palo Alto. The FS Taste Truck, emblazoned with the Four Seasons tree emblem and a large "taste by Four Seasons" slogan, kicked things off this week at the hotel's University Avenue outpost, where Executive Chef Marco Fossati is bringing a piece of Northern Italy to northern California. Think fresh housemade pastas (gnocchi with chicken and marsala bolognese; bucatini with basil pesto and green beans), salad with beef tenderloin, a porchetta banh mi sandwich and bombolini and Italian-style donuts served with a salted caramel sauce. "Everything is $8 and yummy!!!" the truck's blackboard menu reads. The FS Taste Truck will be in East Palo Alto until Sept. 22, after which it heads off to San Francisco for a week. Each city gets its own menu, shaped by local flavor and farmer's market goodies. Hungry fans can follow the tour (and eat vicariously) from California to Arizona and New Mexico via Twitter with the hashtag #FSTasteTruck.
FATBERG DEAD AHEAD ... Oozing with her usual witticisms, Debra Katz, City of Palo Alto Utilities spokeswoman, recently reminded citizens to consider what they put down the drain in a post titledSewer Wars — The Waste Strikes Back. It was a notice that putting fat, grease, hair, diapers and other items down toilets and drains instead of in the trash frequently causes sewer backups into homes. An example of just how sticky that problem can get was in the news lately, she pointed out. "Please keep this 15-ton 'Fatberg' in mind before dumping stuff down your drains," she wrote, referring to a deposit of fat in the sewers of London, England, that was size of a bus and threatened to flood the London borough of Kingsley with sewage. Images of the London berg (which are not for the easily turned stomach) can be found by searching "fatberg" at theguardian.co.uk.
TAKEN FOR GRANTED ... The East Palo Alto Police Department is going to benefit big-time from a grant issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, but it won't get quite the boost Oakland will get. The Community Oriented Policing Services program, called "COPS" in an overt display of acronym reverse-engineering, will give the department an infusion of $250,000 to go toward hiring two new officers. The Department of Justice awarded $20 million from the program to 39 California communities, including Hayward, Vallejo and Oakland. The Department of Justice selected which departments got the grants based fiscal need, local crime rates and community policing plans. The long-struggling Oakland Police Department will receive the biggest grant of any department this year — $4.5 million.