Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

A New Truck and a Camera Crew July 29, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 10:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

I thought I wouldn’t be able to visit any bay area food trucks in the two and a half days I was in town, but I was wrong! On Wednesday, I checked my twitter feed and saw that a new truck, Bomb Truck, was going to be in downtown San Jose. They had just debuted while I was out of town, so I was excited to get a chance to try their popsicles!

Being lactose intolerant, my first question was which pops were dairy free. There were only two that weren’t, and with the huge variety I had a difficult time making a decision. Eventually, I went with the nutella flavored pop.

Nutella popsicle from the Bomb Truck

It was tasty, and I enjoyed the addition of the little cup that fit around the popsicle. It made it so I didn’t feel pressured to eat the whole thing before my drive home because I could put it in my cup holder. In fact, I soon regretted not getting more than one popsicle as soon as I realized they were so easily transported. The truck recently tweeted that their pops can even be taken to go with dry ice! I think my favorite part, though, was the little bit that melted at the bottom of the cup. Sipping it after I was done brought me back to my childhood when drinking the remains of an Otter Pop was the highlight of the whole experience.

That evening, I found out via twitter that The Wow Truck was going to be featured on Eat Street, a show about food trucks I had just recently started watching. They were filming at Bernal Park with Treatbot serving too. Despite the lack of veg options at the Wow, I thought I’d go check out the scene and grab some Treatbot. I had been to these trucks before at this location, and I had never seen the line so long!

The Wow Truck and the beginning of its line

...the line continues and ends near the camera crew

I was kinda glad I was only eating at Treatbot since the line was so long, but it was great to see so much support for a south bay food truck! I was also happy to have an opportunity to eat at a couple trucks before I drove down to LA today. Tomorrow the quest to hit up as many LA food trucks as possible begins!

Advertisements
 

My Milwaukee Experience July 26, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 10:48 pm
Tags: ,

I’m writing this post while on my flight home from Chicago (although it sadly won’t be posted until I get home thanks to a lack of free wifi). I wanted to put in writing my one experience at a MIlwaukee food truck while it’s still fresh in my mind. I’ll only be home for a couple days before leaving for LA, so things will be busy. Also, this probably means I won’t be able to eat at any local food trucks before my next trip. I miss them already!

I wasn’t actively seeking out food trucks in Milwaukee; we were only there for a day, so I figured it was best to spend that time enjoying the city, exploring museums, and not hunting down trucks. However, I had started following a couple Milwaukee food trucks on twitter just in case one happened to be near us in our travels. Lo and behold, one did! Monday morning while catching up on twitter I saw that American Euros would be about three blocks from the hotel where we were staying, right across the river. We had a day planned of taking the long way back to Chicago while making stops in Racine and Kenosha to see stadiums where the All American Girls Baseball League played, but grabbing lunch ahead of time sounded like a good idea. That way we could just stop and eat whenever we wanted (we were too full at the time to eat after our continental breakfast). After checking out of the hotel, we made the quick (but beautiful!) walk across the river to where American Euros was located. They were more of a cart than a truck, but I don’t know if that’s always the case. I ordered a veggie gyro and waited while they made it (nice to see again after the Chicago food truck experience, which one of the trucks confirmed is against the law there).

American Euros Cart

Two hours later after visiting two old stadiums and seeing lots of Wisconsin scenery, I opened up the gyro to eat it. Granted, it hadn’t been refrigerated, so the sauce had kinda made things soggy, but it was still absolutely delicious. It was chock full of veggies, sauce, and, surprisingly enough, french fries. It was unlike any gyro I’d ever eaten. I wish I had a chance to try one fresh after it’s made because it would have been even more tasty!

Veggie gyro from American Euros

Unfortunately, that was my only food truck experience in Milwaukee, but I was happy to have any at all! Now I’m off to try to entertain myself for another couple hours of flight time. I’ve already wasted $8 on an in flight movie, and we’re only over Colorado. Goodbye from 35,958 miles in the sky!

 

A Rainy Day of Food Truckin’ in the Windy City July 23, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 3:33 pm
Tags: , ,

Yesterday, on my first full day in Chicago, my friend I’m staying with, Joe, and I started my mission to hit up Chicago food trucks. We mapped the locations of three separate food trucks, but before we headed out a thunderstorm hit the area. We followed the trucks diligently on twitter and saw that some were delaying their start while others were still heading out rain or shine. We braved the rain, umbrellas in tow, and made our way via the “L” underground system to downtown.

The rain started to die down as soon a we reached our first destination, Meatyballs.

The Meatyballs Truck

I was sad to see that they weren’t serving their veg balls that day, but my Meatyball experience did not go to waste. Joe got a sandwich with buffalo style chicken meatballs in it. He said it was delicious:

Buff Balls Sandwich from Meatyballs

We also shared an order of their chocolate salty balls which came in this cute bag.

Chocolate Salty Balls Bag

Here’s what the inside of one of the balls looks like:

Chocolate Salty Ball from Meatyballs

I enjoyed the chocolate salty balls so much that I really wanted to try their white chocolate ones as well. After we had eaten, I went back and got some to go for dessert later in the day. I had to try one right away though, of course.

White chocolate salty balls from Meatyballs

Since Joe and I are 27-going-on-12, this experience led to an endless stream of ball-centered jokes throughout the rest of the day. When we had eaten enough of both kinds of salty balls, I made a joke about needing to consolidate our balls. Another thing worth noting about Meatyballs is that they had a special when you checked in on foursquare where if you showed them the check in you’d get a free drink, so our water was provided by Meatyballs! I think more food trucks should think about running this kinda foursquare special, but I might be biased 🙂

In the same block as Meatyballs were a couple other trucks I hadn’t even heard of. I love it when that happens! We next went to La Adelita, a truck I’m assuming is rather new because it’s not on roaming hunger (or even twitter that I could find!) and doesn’t have a website.

La Adelita Truck

We each got an elote from this truck, which is something I had never eaten before but thoroughly enjoyed.

Elote from La Adelita Truck

Next we made our way to the truck I most wanted to try, The Southern Mac and Cheese Truck.

Southern Mac and Cheese Truck

Armed once again with double the Lactaid, I ordered the sundried tomato, smoked gouda, and caramelized onions macaroni and cheese. To say it was fantastic is an understatement.

Sundried tomato, gouda cheese, and caramelized onion mac and cheese from the Southern Mac and Cheese Truck

I wasn’t able to finish it completely after all of the other food I had eaten, but I took the rest to go. It was just as good cold as it was warm.

I noticed a running theme with the Chicago trucks that all of their food was pre-made and just being sold out of the trucks. While it was still tasty and it made the service faster, I can’t help but wonder why they don’t cook the food in the trucks like the trucks I’m used to seeing. Joe thinks there might be some kinda city rules against it, and that’s why there are less trucks here in general. Hmmm… maybe I should do some research.

Tomorrow we’re going to road trip into Wisconsin and spend the night in Milwaukee. I have a couple Milwaukee food trucks I’ve been following on twitter, and if they happen to be convenient to visit I’d like to. With all the museums we hope to go to, though, I don’t know if it’ll be in the cards. We shall see!

 

My Last Bay Area Trucks for Awhile July 21, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 1:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Monday I went to my last food truck festival in the bay area for over a week. I think I’m already going through withdrawals. Today I leave for Chicago where I hope to have more food truck adventures. For now, though, let’s relive my last Edgewood Eats for about a month.

Edgewood Eats on Monday, July 18th

I started my evening at Iz It. I had eaten tacos at their truck a few times before, but this time I got something different. I can’t remember its full name unfortunately, but I know it was tofu katsu something-rather. (I’m totally losing my journalistic cred with this, aren’t I?) It was basically fried tofu wrapped in white rice and seaweed. It reminded me of sushi, and boy oh boy do I love sushi. Edit: Thanks to the commenter who let me know it’s called tofu katsu musubi or doan-fu.

Tofu katsu musubi from Iz It

My next stop was a truck I hadn’t been to before, Twisted Chill. They’re a relatively new truck that serves frozen yogurt. The best part is that the yogurt is all dairy free! This makes my little lactose intolerant heart sore. I wanted to hit them up second so I could fill my $5 cup up and get my money’s worth, then gauge if I wanted more food afterward. I got a mixture of vanilla, chocolate, and pomegranate raspberry yogurt. As soon as I tasted the latter I wished I had gotten more of it. So tart and tasty! I also topped it with lots: oreos, cookie crisp cereal, caramel, and sprinkles. I’m definitely glad I got the Twisted Chill experience, but I wish they had more than one size for people who just want a snack after other trucks.

Frozen yogurt from Twisted Chill

I still had a little more room in my belly, so I headed over to BBQ Kalbi for their spicy tofu taco that I love so much. I added a couple jalepenos to kick up the spice factor a bit.

Spicy tofu taco from BBQ Kalbi

Afterward, I was mostly full, but I sat around to wait for a friend to show up. While I waited the thought of getting an order of cheesecake eggrolls from MoBowl for later crept into my mind and wouldn’t leave. I eventually got some, and ate them on the drive home… so much for later. I’ve had these things multiple times and couldn’t recommend them enough.

Cheesecake eggrolls from MoBowl

Yum. Hopefully visiting four trucks in one trip will tide me over until my next truck experience in Chicago!

 

Lots and Lots of Eats July 16, 2011

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been to three food truck gatherings this week. That’s the nature of food trucks in this area now, and I’m totally loving it. In fact, I’m kinda bummed that I’m going to be out of town so much in the next month and won’t be able to frequent my favorite trucks. However, I’m also excited to experience food trucks in other cities (Chicago and Los Angeles, specifically) and share them with you here!

My first stop this week was Edgewood Eats.

Edgewood Eats on Monday, July 11th

One of my favorite trucks, Little Green Cyclo was there. This truck was high on my list before I became a vegetarian, but now I love it even more. It has multiple vegetarian options as opposed to most trucks which only have one or two. I had had their banh mi with chicken before I became a vegetarian and loved it, so I was excited to try it with tofu instead. It did not disappoint.

Banh mi with tamarind organic tofu from Little Green Cyclo

The sandwich was filling, so I just wanted a little something more. I hadn’t eaten at Curry Up Now in awhile and had never tried one of their deconstructed samosas before. I wasn’t sure how big it would be, but at $6 I figured it wouldn’t be too too much food. I was wrong. It was a lot of food and very filling. That is in no way a complaint; I just didn’t have enough room in my tummy to finish it!

Paneer deconstructed samosa from Curry Up Now

Although I was stuffed, I made one last stop at Kara’s Cupcakes. I love to take two of their cupcakes to go, eat one for dessert later in the night, and have the other one after lunch the next day. This time around I got the Fleur de Sel and Kara’s Carrot.

The cute box in which Kara's Cupcakes are served

Fleur de Sel and Kara's Carrot cupcakes from Kara's Cupcakes

And now on to my second festival of the week! Last night (Friday), I went to the first Fremont Street Eats in the Pacific Commons shopping center in Fremont. I convinced my mom to have her first food truck gathering experience as well and gave her recommendations for some of my favorite non-veg foods I used to enjoy before I went vegetarian.

Half of the trucks at Fremont Street Eats

My first stop was Grill Stars, a truck I had yet to visit. Being a burger truck, they only had one vegetarian option on their menu (although I’ve heard great things about their fried pickles they weren’t serving that night), sweet potato fries. Although I only had to wait for one person in front of me to order, it took an unexpectedly long time for my fries to be prepared. In fact, I went to another truck while I waited, and my food still wasn’t ready. I’m sad to say that when I finally did get my fries, I wasn’t that impressed with the flavor. They were missing the usual bite sweet potato fries have. It felt like they just barely fell short. The fries also came with a marshmallow dipping sauce, but I didn’t try it since most marshmallows contain gelatin. Considering how long I waited, I’m assuming that they make their food as it’s ordered, so maybe in the future I can order their nachos without meat on them. I’m trying not to write this truck off completely after one bad experience; after all, they’re still a rather new truck, so maybe they still need to work out the kinks.

Sweet potato fries with marshmallow dipping sauce from Grill Stars

The truck I visited while I was waiting for my food at Grill Stars was That’s Sweet! Dessert Truck. I had gotten cupcakes from them once before about a month ago at Newark Street Eats. This is why I was surprised when the gentleman manning the truck recognized me as a returning customer. Impressive! I got a red velvet and a salted caramel.

Red velvet and salted caramel cupcakes from That's Sweet!

The next two trucks I hit up, for both my mom’s and my meals were two old favorites, House of Siam on Wheels and BBQ Kalbi. I got a tofu taco from each.

Tofu tacos from House of Siam on Wheels and BBQ Kalbi

Tonight was my last Moveable Feast in San Jose for about a month 😦 I didn’t take many photos because I spent some time chatting with Food Truck Nerd and his wife. They also introduced me to Ryan, the owner of Treatbot and creator of Moveable Feast.

When I arrived I made a beeline straight to the line for Toasty Melts, a San Francisco based truck that doesn’t make it to these parts very often. I had had food from their truck once before and had been waiting to try more. I got an Irish Cheddar Bomb, which consisted of two types of cheddar cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. Being lactose intolerant, I had to double up on the lactaid, but it was totally worth it.

Irish Cheddar Bomb from Toasty Melts

I wanted some Treatbot afterward but thought I should cool it on the dairy, so I got a cup of their lemon sorbet flavor. It was perfectly refreshing and fun to snack on while chatting.

Phew! What a week. I’m gonna miss my regular truck gatherings while I’m out of town, but that will make them seem that much better when I come back, right?

 

My Foursquare Woes Come to a Close July 12, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 6:57 pm
Tags: , ,

I am happy to report that almost every worry I had during my previous post about foursquare has disappeared. Yesterday I received confirmation from foursquare that I am now a level one Superuser! I applied back in May, and I had pretty much given up hope of my application being accepted. Apparently the process just takes a couple months.

My first act as a superuser was to merge the two venues that were created for Edgewood Eats. I submitted the merge (that has to be approved by a higher superuser than me) right before I left for Edgewood Eats, and when I got there it had already been merged. I am happy to say that I am now the sole mayor of Edgewood Eats. Hooray!

When I got home I gradually started merging more food truck venues. I’ve mostly just focused on the ones where I had mayorships because I wanted to know if those mayorships were legit or not. As a result, I’ve gone from 27 total mayorships on foursquare (not just food truck ones) to 19. I’m not too bummed about it; I’d rather my mayorships be real. This morning I changed the name of SJ Eats to Moveable Feast and merged it with the other Moveable Feast venue. I don’t think they recalculate checkins and change mayorships when they merge venues because I’m pretty sure I would be the mayor now if they did. We’ll just have to see what happens the next time I check in there.

I’ve found the merges usually happen within a half hour of when they’re submitted. Some of the ones I’ve submitted haven’t been approved yet though, hours later. I’m wondering if someone thought food truck venues shouldn’t be merged and denied them. However, I’m slowly but surely making progress in making it so there is only one “moving target” venue for each food truck. I’ve succeeded with several of them, but am still waiting on several merges (Iz It, Chairman Bao, and Curry Up Now, to name a few).

And now, I present my updated list of food trucks for which I really, legitimately have a mayorship:

~ Treatbot
~ House of Siam on Wheels
~ MoBowl
~ Sancho’s Taqueria
~ Eat on Monday
~ Butterscotch on the Go

And, of course, Edgewood Eats. I also technically have a Chairman Bao mayorship, but I’m waiting on that venue being merged. I will lose it when that happens.

If you see any venues that need to be merged (food truck or otherwise), feel free to send me a link. Same goes for ones that need addresses, phone numbers, or twitter accounts added.

 

A Hot San Jose Night July 11, 2011

On Thursday, July 7th Moveable Feast held an event outside of their usual Saturday in San Pedro Square time and location. Seven trucks joined the rest of the Hot San Jose Nights festivities at the county fairgrounds for the evening.

I’ve found that my food truck obsession has brought me to places and events that I never would have seen otherwise on many occasions. This was definitely the case on Thursday. Old fashioned cars lined the perimeter of the event and often drove right by while I enjoyed my meal. There were also a lot of people dressed in poodle skirts and other ’50s garb who were attending the sock hop and decided to stop by for some dinner.

The first truck I went to was Tikka Bytes. I had only been to this truck once before and had had a taco at the time. This time I got a naanwich with tofu and tikka masala. Unfortunately, when I opened it up it definitely had chicken instead of tofu in it. I felt bad having to bring it back, but they were very understanding and my replacement naanwich came out much faster. I had a hard time getting a good photo of it though:

Tofu tikka masala naanwich from Tikka Bytes

Despite not photographing well and requiring multiple napkins to enjoy it, the naanwich was full of flavor and very filling. I had been eyeing a sandwich at another truck for afterward but soon realized I was too full for anything that big. Instead, I made my way over to The Wow Truck, a truck I never thought I’d eat at again because of their lack of vegetarian options. They have started serving a vegetarian dessert option, though, called a turon. This was basically a banana fritter, and it was tasty.

Turon from the Wow Truck

My final stop was Treatbot, where I got a chocolate chip cookie with eastside horchata ice cream. It was delicious, as always.

Chocolate chip cookie with eastside horchata ice cream from Treatbot

After I finished another messy treat (the messier it is, the yummier it is, right?), I met up with Food Truck Nerd for an interview for his podcast. He managed to record me between all the old fashioned cars driving by, and it was fun chatting with a fellow food truck lover. I’ll post as soon as he posts the episode with me in it, but until then I recommend listening to his previous episodes!

Tonight I’m heading to Edgewood Eats. I didn’t go last week, so I almost feel like I’m having withdrawals. Lots of my favorite trucks will be there, so I’m looking forward to it!