Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

Nostalgia Overload July 11, 2012

As those of you who follow me on twitter might know, this blog’s first anniversary passed last week. I accidentally missed it. Food Truck Nerd reminded me on Monday that it was coming up, so I looked up what day it was in the archives. I thought it was the 5th, but I apparently missed the fact that I had so many posts in July of 2011 that there was more than one page of them! The first post was actually written on the 3rd, and I didn’t realize that until the 5th, naturally. Ugh. By the time I realized that, I was so disappointed in myself I couldn’t bring myself to write for awhile, but now I’ve sucked it up and am back. This was mostly a result of another nostalgic moment for me yesterday, the last Edgewood Eats indefinitely. Before I write about that, though, let’s catch up on some of the truckin’ I’ve done in the couple weeks since my last post.

I caught up with Baba Kabob for the second time during one of their lunch runs. I had been craving the veggie kabobs I had the last time I tried their truck. This time they were serving them over rice I hadn’t had yet, and it was the perfect combination.

Veggie kabobs over rice from Baba Kabob

I also sought out Sugar Tree for a second taste on a lunch run. This time I even got to meet the owners and chat with them! I was sure to grab two new treats. I had to have more of the organic cotton candy, but this time I got a new flavor. I also picked up some cookies and cream popcorn, which one of the owners said had been referred to as “crack” before. I wouldn’t say that description is too far off; when I ate it I easily ate it all in one sitting.

Watermelon organic cotton candy from Sugar Tree

Cookies and cream popcorn from Sugar Tree

On the Fourth of July, Kyle and I headed to the Rose, White, and Blue parade, but we bypassed the Moveable Feast lineup to high-tail it to a new truck we hadn’t tried before, Grilled Cheese Bandits. When we found them we were greeted by a young lady handing out paper menus, which I thought was a nice touch to get the word out and prevent the usual crowding around the menu at a truck.

The front of the Grilled Cheese Bandits menu

We looked at the options, made our choices, and went up to the truck to place our orders.

The Grilled Cheese Bandits truck

Kyle decided on the Dillinger, which consisted of jack cheese and garlic on texas toast. I tried a bite, and it was a nice spin on a classic grilled cheese.

The dillinger from Grilled Cheese Bandits

I went with the Giuliano which was similar to a caprese style grilled cheese. It was smaller, but had much more flavor. I also liked how they served their sandwiches in baskets that you could then return to them after you finished; much better for the environment!

The giuliano from Grilled Cheese Bandits

My final food truck visit before I get into Edgewood Eats took place at yet another lunch run. (Do you see a pattern here?) I was in Palo Alto for a doctor appointment and happened to see on my phone that Manna was going to be at Sequoia hospital in Redwood City. I had only tried them once before and thought the roll I got was so awesome I couldn’t wait to have it again. They don’t really travel down to the south bay, so I didn’t mind going out of my way to try them again. I usually try to get something new when I go to a truck for the second time, but I couldn’t not get the best veg sushi I’d had again! I also got a Japanese soft drink to enjoy while I waited for my meal.

Ramune from Manna

They included a lollipop with the packaging for the sushi, and I thought that was a nice touch that I could enjoy on the drive home 🙂

The Manna takeout container with a lollipop

And finally, the wonderful sushi. Mmmmmm. I try not to post the same food twice on here, but I just can’t describe how great this roll is.

Veggie roll from Manna

And with that we can finally move on to yesterday’s Edgewood Eats. Like many, I am sad to see this event coming to an end. They are looking for a new location but haven’t found one yet. Edgewood was the first food truck gathering I attended in the bay area, and I’ve been going since February of 2011. I have discovered many, many new trucks there and will always associate the event with my earliest food truck memories. As I approached the shopping center for the last time before it is broken down, I saw that someone had spray painted a greeting along the wall.

A final greeting

Now, as those who follow Food Truck Nerd might know, he considers it a “Pacman” when you eat at five or more trucks at one food truck gathering. I have never attempted a Pacman, although I have inadvertently completed many Ms. Pacmans (four trucks) without trying. I didn’t exactly plan to complete a Pacman at the final Edgewood, but as I bought food and realized I was buying small portions, I also realized that a Pacman was completely within my grasp. It helped that I wasn’t rushing and was chatting with Dan Hugo throughout my time there. Unfortunately, since I didn’t realize I was achieving a Pacman until halfway through it, I didn’t take photos of all of my items. Dan will have to serve as my witness. I usually only photograph the food I haven’t had before, and some of the food I got was food I’ve tried many times!

I started my Pacman journey with a menu item at Little Green Cyclo I hadn’t tried before, tofu spring rolls. I had seen them serve duck spring rolls many times, but this was the first tofu ones. I jumped at this opportunity since spring rolls are one of my weaknesses. They were out of the peanut sauce that comes with them, but I got a soy sauce instead that complemented the spring rolls nicely.

Tofu spring rolls from Little Green Cyclo

My next stop was House of Siam on Wheels for my usual favorite, the tofu taco. Sadly, no photo was taken.

The third truck I visited was Conklin’s Catering, a truck I had only seen once before and hadn’t been too impressed with in terms of vegetarian options. This time I ordered some of their roti, which usually comes with a dipping sauce that has meat in it. Dan suggested I get a soy vegetable sauce that comes with one of the other menu items with it instead. I then waited about 20 minutes to a half hour for a little bit of bread. Dan ordered his meal after me and got it and ate it in the time it took them to bring my order up. I was rather disappointed.

Roti from Conklin’s Catering

The roti itself wasn’t bad, but the “vegetable” sauce had exactly one slice of a vegetable in it. While we waited, I heard one other vegetarian and one vegan ask about meat free options and get turned away by the truck’s staff. I try to be understanding of trucks without vegetarian options, but it really looked like they were losing business because of it, and it wouldn’t be difficult for them to just remove the beef from some of their menu items and make them vegetarian. As much as I hate to write negative reviews of trucks, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be returning to this one anytime soon.

The fourth truck of my Pacman was a much better experience. I ordered an avocado roll from We Sushi, and they let me know ahead of time that it would be 15-20 minutes. I was grateful for that knowledge because it allowed me time to go to another truck and pick up dinner for Kyle. (Don’t worry, I’m not counting that in my Pacman since I didn’t eat it!) When I came back, my food was ready when it hadn’t even been fifteen minutes yet. Unfortunately, I also didn’t take a photo of this item since I’ve had it before.

The final leg of my Pacman took place at Scoops where I tried a flavor I hadn’t had before, the raspbernet chip.

Raspbernet chip ice cream from Scoops

It was a refreshing end to my Pacman on such a hot day. By this time, Edgewood was the most crowded I’d ever seen it. Dan said they should have their last Edgewood every week with that kind of turnout.

The crowd at Edgewood Eats, July 10th

Today I ventured to Hiller Aviation to check out the trucks there for the first time, but I will save that for another post. I will leave you with a not-exactly-food-truck-related reminder that today is 7/11 which means it’s free Slurpee day! Don’t forget to get your free Slurpee. If you live in San Jose, I recommend the 7-11 on First and Gish. I’ve also had luck with the one on 11th and San Carlos in years past, but the one at 6th and St. James has told me they don’t participate in free Slurpee day before… pshaw!


Four New Spring Break Trucks April 15, 2012

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 7:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

It is Sunday night, and like most people, I’m lamenting the fact that the weekend is winding down and the work week is beginning again tomorrow. However, it’s even harder this Sunday because I’m coming back from Spring Break AND I came down with a cold yesterday. Oy. On the bright side, I went to plenty of trucks during this break, and four of them were trucks I had never been to before. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the four new trucks I tried during this Spring Break.

I visited my first new truck during lunch on Monday. I was eager to do some daytime truckin’ and the fact that Kaati Fresh was out when I hadn’t had a chance to try them before made me quite pleased. I headed to their location at Ebay and joined the line.

The Kaati Fresh truck

I was excited to see so many vegetarian options on the menu, but as I made my way to the front of the line, news started to spread that they were out of most of their items. When I ordered, the only veg option left was the vegetable biryani. The workers hadn’t bothered to cross off any of the menu items that were sold out like most trucks do. They also had a different way of handling orders in that they didn’t expect customers to pay when they ordered their food and instead asked for the money at the time of pick up. I’m curious as to whether this is more efficient or not. Regardless, the wait both to take my order in the first place and to get my food once I ordered was rather long. By the time I got my food there were many frustrated people outside since only two menu items remained, and the service was not going any faster. I’ve heard that Kaati Fresh has a few brick and mortar restaurants, and their truck doesn’t seem to be out often, so I’m thinking they still have a few kinks to work out in their system. On the plus side, the meal I had was very tasty. I was full before I ran out of food, and it only cost six dollars. I’m hoping once the truck has more experience out on the streets their service will measure up with the quality of their food.

Vegetable Biryani from Kaati Fresh

On Tuesday night, I ventured to Edgewood Eats as I normally do. This time, however, they hadn’t posted on their facebook page which trucks would be there. I only knew the event was taking place because a truck had tweeted it would be there. I was surprised to find when I showed up that there were two new trucks. I made a beeline for the first of the two, Taqueria Angelica’s.

Since I had looked at the menu for the other new truck and knew I’d be getting a larger portion there, I decided to just have a taco at Angelica’s. They didn’t have a veg taco on the menu, and the prices only listed tacos sold in twos. However, they were very accommodating when I asked for one vegetarian taco. The result was rather yummy with lots of toppings; I especially enjoyed the guacamole.

Vegetarian taco from Taqueria Angelica's

The next Edgewood Eats newcomer was Saruno Burger. When I saw the word “burger” I assumed there wouldn’t be anything for me at the truck but was pleasantly surprised when I saw a tofu burger on their menu.

The Saruno Burger truck

The wait was a little long for a rainy day with few customers, but the meal was worth it. The tofu crumbled easily, causing the burger to fall apart completely, but I used a utensil to make sure I consumed every morsel.

Tofu burger from Saruno Burger

My final new truck of the week didn’t take place until today. I had been following Baba Kabob on twitter for a few weeks and waiting for my Spring Break to give them a try since they seemed to only sell at lunch time. Then, they unexpectedly stopped tweeting this week! They were rumored to be attending Milpitas Street Eats on Wednesday and didn’t show up. Then they started tweeting again yesterday, but I was, of course, at the Taco Festival instead. Finally, I caught up with the elusive Baba Kabob truck today at Santa Clara University where they were serving at an international fair.

The Baba Kabob truck

Kyle and I arrived twenty minutes before the event was scheduled to end, and as you can see in the photo, one of the doors on their truck was already down. Luckily, they were still happy to serve us, and they had a couple veg options left! We ordered two of their vegetable skewers and a salad. Since they were about to close down anyway, they gave us another skewer free of charge.

Vegetable skewers from Baba Kabob

Salad from Baba Kabob

We thoroughly enjoyed both items. The highlight was probably the condiments – the dipping sauce for the skewers and the dressing for the salad. The vegetables in both were also very fresh and flavorful.

Tomorrow I return to work, but I hope this won’t mean as few posts as it recently has. Since I’m sick, I might take a day off of work this week to catch up on rest and recover. If that happens, I will use that down time to write my post about the Taco Festival yesterday. Until then, you can check out Kyle’s photos from the event here to tide you over.