Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

Yes, I Still Exist February 22, 2013

Oh hey, I haven’t written in over four months. I can’t say I really have a good excuse for this behavior. Mostly, I haven’t been going to as many new trucks lately. The colder months seem to launch fewer new trucks. I get sick of writing about the same trucks over and over again (and sometimes going to them over and over again when they don’t have many vegetarian options). The good news is I have been to six new trucks since my last post, and I don’t plan on sparing any details about those experiences. I guess it’s just safe to say that new posts, like new trucks, might be few and far between for awhile.

The first new truck I visited was so long ago I couldn’t even tell you the date at this point. (I’m hanging my head in shame right now, don’t worry. I never claimed to be a journalist!) I know it was at a fundraiser at a high school, but that’s about it. Fear not, I know the truck’s full name, website, and the names of the items I bought and ate. PHEW!

The Spice it Up truck

The Spice it Up truck

Spice it Up Cafe was a truck I had had my eye on for a bit before I ran into it. They advertised crepes online, and I was excited to try one. When I saw them they only had donuts though. Luckily I was in the mood for donuts too, and these ones didn’t disappoint.

Cinnamon and Sugar donuts from Spice it Up Cafe

Cinnamon and Sugar donuts from Spice it Up Cafe

Chocolate caramel swirl donuts from Spice it Up Cafe

Chocolate caramel swirl donuts from Spice it Up Cafe

The donuts were tiny in size but big in flavor. I thought I would be all about the chocolate caramel ones, but I was surprised to find I preferred the cinnamon and sugar flavor. They had just the right amount of sweetness so it wasn’t overpowering. Both kinds of donuts were light and airy and didn’t make me feel the horrible feeling in my gut that can often result from consuming donuts. This is definitely a benefit to small portions!

The next new truck I visited was on a Thursday night at @YC on Taylor street in San Jose. They often have a few trucks parked outside on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and for some reason this is the only time I ventured over there for this despite it being walking distance from where I live. A then new (now, probably not so much) truck was going to be there, and I was excited to try Melts My Heart.

The Melts My Heart truck

The Melts My Heart truck

I’m a big fan of grilled cheese despite being lactose intolerant, so I’m always eager to try the new grilled cheese truck in town. Unfortunately, they only had one vegetarian option on their menu which somewhat surprised me; grilled cheese is vegetarian in nature, and usually trucks centered around it have multiple vegetarian options. I ordered the That’s Amore and waited for it to arrive. When I arrived there was no line, so I thought my wait time would be short. Boy was I wrong. I quickly realized the people seated at the tables nearby were waiting for orders at the same truck, and there were quite a few orders before me. I ended up waiting for over a half an hour for my sandwich. Now, this was probably one of the truck’s first times out, mind you, so I’m thinking (hoping) that they’ve probably gotten their system down better since then, but I was amazed. I’ve experienced long waits for newer trucks before but nothing like this.

That's Amore from Melts My Heart

That’s Amore from Melts My Heart

The sandwich itself was yummy but not worth the wait. I haven’t had a chance to try them since then and see what the wait time is like now, but with only one vegetarian option I don’t see myself seeking them out.

The next new truck I tried was at one of the Moveable Feast mornings at San Pedro Square (so happy they brought those back, albeit temporarily). Grandma Catherine’s Homemade Foods is another truck that doesn’t have many vegetarian options, but when I saw macaroni and cheese on their menu I knew I had to double up on the Lactaid and try it.

Grandma Catherine's truck

Grandma Catherine’s truck

Macaroni and Cheese from Grandma Catherine's

Macaroni and Cheese from Grandma Catherine’s

The mac and cheese was delicious but a little oily. There was a pretty big puddle of oil at the bottom of the container after I finished eating. Grandmas do like their greasy food though, don’t they? 🙂

The next new truck I tried was at another Moveable Feast event. Bao and Bowl had been around for a little while, but I had made the silly mistake of thinking it was just a spin off of another truck and didn’t have many vegetarian options. (It probably wouldn’t take much thought to guess which truck…) Once I realized they were not only their own entity but also had a few vegetarian options, I had to give them a taste.

The Bao and Bowl truck

The Bao and Bowl truck

They actually had more than one vegetarian option (yay!), but I just tried one for my first time, the Imperial Red Braised Hodo Soy Tofu. It came in a classic Chinese takeout container served over rice.

Hodo soy tofu from Bao and Bowl

Hodo soy tofu from Bao and Bowl

It was tasty, especially with some Sriracha, and Kyle and I gobbled it right up. I’m looking forward to tying more from their menu.

The next food truck adventure happened at this year’s Meet the Brewers Festival, an event I’ve attended for three years and LOVE. What’s better than food trucks? Food trucks and beer, that’s what! One truck at the event was getting less attention than others though, and that was probably because people who are drinking beer all day aren’t really the type who watch their calorie intake. However, I was excited to see LoCal Comfort because healthy food is often also vegetarian food.

The LoCal Comfort truck

The LoCal Comfort truck

The concept behind this truck is that each of their comfort food dishes is low in calories. While researching them more for this post I discovered that they’re very newly opened and were partially funded by an indie gogo campaign! I love hearing about a funding success story. Kyle and I got two of their snacks that are guaranteed to be under 200 calories each.

Roasted chickpeas from LoCal Comfort

Roasted chickpeas from LoCal Comfort

The roasted chickpeas were dried and tossed with lots of seasonings that made them unlike anything I’d had before. I’m not used to chickpeas being served in a non-squishy way, and I definitely enjoyed the change. We were also informed that we got the last batch of them for the day, so maybe the truck was getting more business at the event than I originally thought!

Bean dip from LoCal Comfort

Bean dip from LoCal Comfort

Their bean dip was also not what I was expecting. It wasn’t brown in color, and the chips that came with it were not fattening tortilla chips. It was, however, quite tasty. Unfortunately, there also weren’t very many of the chips (especially in comparison to how big the cup of bean dip was), so after I downed as much of the dip as I could with what they gave us, Kyle went to a… um… non-low cal truck and got some nachos that completely cancelled out our healthy eating. Oops.

Spicy nachos from Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile

Spicy nachos from Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile

This Monday, we ventured up the peninsula to Menlo Park for the food truck event at the Willows Market. I had been to the Willows Market to fulfill my need for butterscotch now that Butterscotch on the Go is no longer, well, on the go, but I hadn’t been to one of the truck events there. There was one truck there making its presence much more known than the others, Hill Country BBQ. Despite the gloomy weather, the smell of barbecue made it feel like a summer’s day as we walked up to the gathering.

The Hill Country BBQ truck

The Hill Country BBQ truck

Of course, being a BBQ truck, the vegetarian options were limited. We managed to snag one of their sides though, the potato salad. It tasted just how potato salad should, and if I closed my eyes I could imagine I was at a picnic and not hiding under an umbrella trying not to get sprinkling rain on me.

Potato salad from Hill Country BBQ

Potato salad from Hill Country BBQ

Those are all the new trucks for now, but hopefully once this cold weather ends more new trucks will start showing their faces…. or whatever the truck equivalent to faces is. Windshields? I’ll leave you with a sign I spotted at the Willows Market tables that I found amusing and posted on instagram with the caption, “but food trucks make everything exceptional!”

willowsign

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