Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

So What Else Have I Been Eating Lately? October 6, 2012

Another post three days later? I guess I’m making up for lost time! I have visited a few trucks lately that weren’t at Eat Real, so I’d like to touch on them too.

It’s been several weeks since I’ve been to The Winchester Truck Fest, but the last time I went I picked up an item I hadn’t tried from Takoz, their vegetarian torta.

Vegetarian torta from Takoz

Despite the abundance of mushrooms and my feelings about mushrooms in general, I really enjoyed this sandwich. It had enough other veggies and sauce to drown out the taste of the mushrooms, and it was made on quality bread.

I’ve also recently tried yet another vegetarian dish from Banjara Bistro. I think I might have tried them all now, but it took awhile since they have so many of them! This time I got their vegetarian crepe in the “creperito” style.

Vegetarian creperito from Banjara Bistro

It was basically the same as the regular vegetarian crepe but folded differently. It was fun at first, but eventually fell apart and required a fork and knife to eat. Regardless, it was still every bit as delicious!

At a Moveable Feast a couple weeks ago, I tried a newer truck that is run by the same people as Louisiana Territory and No Way Jose, Pacific Coast Highway. Since it was at the Willow Glen location and night time, I didn’t get the best photo of the truck. It seems to be the same truck they use for No Way Jose though.

The Pacific Coast Highway truck

I ordered their “No Way Nachos” which they were happy to make vegetarian for me. At only $5, I was shocked by the size of the order when I received. That’s a lot of nacho for your buck!

No way nachos from Pacific Coast Highway

Unfortunately, I soon didn’t care about the quantity of nachos when I discovered their quality. The tortilla chips were stale, and the cheese had not been completely melted. Slices of cheese that looked like kraft singles were partially melted on top of my chips, and knowing that was the type of cheese used disappointed me as well. There was too much of this low-quality cheese and not enough of the other toppings, making the nachos lack in flavor overall. I enjoy many of the dishes Pacific Coast Highway’s sister truck No Way Jose serves, so I’m not quite sure how they got this dish so wrong. Hopefully it was just a busy night, and they were feeling rushed.

Last week, on the 27th Kyle and I went to the Yelp Mobile Mashup event at Club Auto Sport. It featured a large variety of food vendors (not just trucks), wineries, and breweries. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, but we didn’t get to eat much truck food since their menus were limited and mostly didn’t feature vegetarian items. Here’s what the spread outside where the food trucks were looked like anyway:

Food trucks at Yelp’s Mobile Mashup on September 27th

However, we did spy something I never thought I’d see outside of Vegas or New Orleans: an alcohol-based truck! That’s right, there was a truck serving wine.

SJ Sharkie’s wine truck

I think the truck was linked to a winery, and I even got wine from it, but I don’t remember which one it was. I had already had a few free drink samples at the time 🙂 I haven’t been able to find any information about them online either, so I’m glad I at least have proof it exists.

Finally, on Wednesday Kyle stopped by Milpitas Street Eats on his way home from work and picked up some dinner. He was surprised to find two new food trucks at the event and brought home food I hadn’t tried before. He got two appetizers from a new truck called Gow Chow.

Feta fries and fried artichoke hearts from Gow Chow

In front are the fried artichoke hearts. I love anything associated with artichokes, and this was no exception. The dipping sauce was also a great complement. Behind them are the feta fries. It’s hard to put into words how much I loved these fries. They consisted of three of my favorite things: feta, olives, and fries. They might have been my favorite fries I’ve ever had, and they definitely were the best I’ve had from a food truck. You’ve got to try these if you have the opportunity.

Kyle also picked up a dish from Yummi BBQ, a new Asian food truck from Concord.

Noodle bowl from Yummi BBQ

Although they weren’t warm by the time Kyle got home, the noodles were still tasty, especially when we added some Sriracha. I’m looking forward to checking out both of these trucks again in person some time.

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Eating Real in Oakland October 3, 2012

Well it looks like it’s been a month since my last post. I haven’t visited too many new trucks in that amount of time, but I did attend the Eat Real Festival on Sunday, September 23rd. I ate lots of new food there, and what better time to write about Oakland’s annual street food festival than while watching the Oakland A’s battle it out for the AL West champion title on a Wednesday afternoon? (GO A’S!)

Kyle and I went into Eat Real with the same strategy as the San Francisco Street Food festival: share everything and only get small dishes so we could try as many different vendors as possible. Our first stop was a cart I’d been eyeing ever since I knew Roaming Hunger existed and saw it on there all the time in SF, El Porteno.

El Porteno booth

We ordered their only vegetarian option that day, the mushroom empanada.

Mushroom empanada from El Porteno

I’m not a huge mushroom fan, but Kyle is. He ate the bulk of it since I wasn’t crazy about the filling. I can say that the crust was perfectly baked and flaky.

An inside view of the mushroom empanada from El Porteno

We next found ourselves at the booth for a restaurant called Plum. Food Truck Nerd will be happy to know I didn’t add them to my list of mobile vendors because I know they’re a restaurant and not usually a mobile vendor. Regardless, their organic tofu bowl looked delicious, so we had to order one.

The Plum booth

The bowl met our expectations. I especially enjoyed the variety of vegetables and how it wasn’t too large since we were aiming for small bites.

Organic tofu bowl from Plum

We walked across a grass hill to reach some booths on the other side, and one of them was for a catering company called S+S Gastro Grub.

The S+S Gastro Grub Booth

I had seen the black bean veggie burger they were serving on the facebook event for the festival over the weekend and wanted to try it. It was a tiny burger, perfect for our goal for the day, but it was full of flavor.

Black bean veggie burger from S+S Gastro Grub

Right next to that booth was another one I had seen in the city on Roaming Hunger plenty of times, The Grilled Cheese Guy. Currently, he only has a cart, but he is currently running a kickstarter campaign to upgrade to a truck. Check it out here and contribute!

The Grilled Cheese Guy Booth

Not wanting to fill up on grilled cheese, we went for the simple order of their sour pickles. I am a sucker for pickles, and these were no exception. Delicious!

Sour pickles from the Grilled Cheese Guy

From there, we headed into the section of the festival where actual trucks were parked, and we made sure to hit up a couple we had never seen before. The first was an Irish and Eritrean truck called Eire Trea. I had never heard of Eritrean food before, so we took a gamble when we ordered their vegetarian plate.

The Eire Trea truck, complete with samples being handed out

What we discovered was a cuisine that reminded us a lot of Ethiopian food (I’ve been saying we need an Ethiopian truck in the bay area!) complete with injera bread (or something similar to it) and very filling food on top. The side salad was also a nice touch.

Vegetarian plate from Eire Trea

This was the first time I started feeling a little full, but I plugged on. Our next stop was a truck called Ebbett’s Good to Go.

Ebbett’s Good to Go truck

We ordered their Asian tofu sandwich which was small in size but big in taste. I especially enjoyed the roll it was served on.

Asian tofu sandwich from Ebbett’s Good to Go

After this, I was filling up quick and ready to move on to dessert. My first dessert was a Nutella crepe from Brittany Crepes and Galettes. I somehow managed to devour it without snapping a photo, but I guarantee it looked just as a crepe should, complete with powdered sugar on top. I did manage to get a photo of their booth while I was waiting for our food though.

The Brittany Crepes and Galettes booth

I next went to a cupcake truck called Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar. They had a menu printed out that described each cupcake in detail, and noted which ones had won awards on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars.

The Sift cupcake truck

I knew I was in the presence of greatness and deliberated a lot over my choice. With Kyle’s contribution, I finally decided on the Snickerdoodle cupcake, and I’m very glad I did. The cinnamon creme cheese frosting was insanely yummy.

Snickerdoodle cupcake from Sift

After resting a bit, I was still pretty stuffed, but knowing popsicles are mostly water, I figured I could handle a final stop at Lick Pops.

The Lick Pops booth

And as a bonus, here’s a photo of the cart they had next to their booth, which is my way of saying to Food Truck Nerd, HEY THEY HAVE WHEELS!

The Lick Pops cart

A lot of their popsicles were sold out, but I went with the one popsicle that had a big label on its sign saying it was “For adults only” because it had rum in it, the watermelon mojito.

Watermelon mojito popsicle from Lick Pops

I couldn’t taste the rum (or feel it) at all, but I didn’t really expect to. It was the perfect refreshing end to my day, and I especially enjoyed the hint of mint that comes with anything mojito. Yum!

The watermelon mojito popsicle without a wrapper

Another delicious Eat Real Festival in the books! I’m bummed the summer festival season is coming to an end, but I can still look forward to next year. Now I must focus on my television as the A’s are attempting a comeback in the 4th inning. Go A’s!