Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

More Food Porn April 12, 2012

If you follow me on twitter then you know that this week I have had the opportunity to eat at more trucks than usual due to the fact that I’m on SPRING BREAK! In fact, I’ve been to at least one truck on every day of my Spring Break except for Sunday. (That seems to be a common day off for trucks.) I was hoping this would also mean more blogging, but it’s already Thursday, and this is my first blog of the week. Ugh. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to post another before the week is over with the few new trucks I’ve tried this week, but this post will be a classic food porn post consisting of trucks I’ve been to before.

First, the truck that was originally Small Time Cooks has gotten an upgrade including a new wrap and new name. They’re now called 333 (or Triple Dash Three).

The 333 truck and menu

I’ve tried them a couple times since the upgrade, and both times I’ve gotten their tacos. Most recently, I saw them at Milpitas Street Eats last night and ordered a paneer tikka taco. They also gave me a mushroom tofu taco on the house and came out of the truck and hand delivered it to me. Such service!

Paneer tikka and mushroom tofu tacos from 333

I’m not sure if I’ve written about Seoul on Wheels before, but I’m a big fan of their BBQ rice plate with tofu. I haven’t asked if the kimchi has shellfish in it, and sometimes I like to just remain in the dark about that kinda stuff πŸ˜‰

BBQ tofu rice plate from Seoul on Wheels

And now for some new dishes from a few trucks who need no introduction because I’ve written about them before…

Orange chocolate cake from Butterscotch on the Go

Chocolate peanut butter tart from Butterscotch on the Go

Vegetarian taco from Tacos de Los Altos

Paneer sexy fries from Curry Up Now

Caprese sandwich from Eat on Monday

Mini red velvet cupcake from Fairycakes

Aloo tikki chaat from Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile

Chocolate dipped peanut butter cookie from Mini Yums

Mint chip ice cream from Twisted Chill

At a recent Willow Glen Moveable Feast I experimented with making my first mashup. I’ve tried a few mashups that friends have made before, but this was the first one I made! I started with pandan waffles from O’Mi Ninja.

Pandan waffle from O'Mi Ninja

Then I added the waffle to Mexican chocolate ice cream from Treatbot. The result was a sweet and scrumptious mashup!

The Treatbot and O'Mi Ninja mashup

Yesterday I got to see Truckin’ Sweet in person for the first time despite trying their ice cream before.

The Truckin' Sweet truck

I tried their Voodoo Crunch flavor, which includes oreo cookies and malt balls. It was delicious and much enjoyed despite the cold weather.

Voodoo crunch ice cream from Truckin' Sweet

Today I headed to Whisk on Wheels for lunch at their usual Thursday lunch spot at Lockheed Martin. When I’m not on Spring Break, my boyfriend always goes there on Thursdays and meets up with other food truck enthusiasts, and I’m always so jealous because Whisk rarely makes it down here any other time. This time Kyle wasn’t able to make it, but I was! I ordered the pesto pasta and was soon told they had run out of pasta 😦 I opted for the spinach and ricotta empanada instead, and they also gave me a free bowl of their cream of tomato soup.

Cream of tomato soup from Whisk on Wheels

I especially enjoyed the croutons that came with it. One of these days I’ll get my hands on that pesto pasta! One thing that I saw at the Whisk truck that I haven’t seen at any other truck was a bowl of mints. I thought that was a nice touch. Many restaurants have mints that are free for the taking as you exit, so why not trucks too?

Bowl of mints at the Whisk on Wheels truck

Finally, I’d like to write about a couple of occasions where Kyle came with me and brought his camera. I bet you thought his goal to take photos for my blog had been a one time thing, huh? Well, he’s remembered on a couple more occasions now πŸ™‚ First, he brought it with us when we went to a Moveable Feast at a new location. A week ago Saturday a few trucks came out to the History Park in San Jose for a Spring Garden Festival. We were excited to see trucks at a new location and liked the line up, so we went not knowing what to expect. What we saw was a different crowd than most; instead of the usual food truck lovers, the event was mostly gardening lovers, and there were tons and tons of plants for sale! It was also raining, but that doesn’t usually stop me.

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Our first stop was Eat on Monday. Since the event had started at 9am, they were selling a few breakfast items we hadn’t tried before. We went for the egg crepe roll and absolutely loved it.

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They also gave us a free dish, that had a name I unfortunately forget. It wasn’t on the menu for the day, but it was also very yummy.

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Our next stop was the B2 coffee booth where we each got a drink to warm us up. Kyle took this opportunity to take a silly photo of me drinking my mocha.

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Afterward we walked around for a little while, and I even took the opportunity to buy something for my grandma for her 89th birthday! My family was planning on fixing up the patio of her apartment and making a garden out of it, and when I saw a hummingbird feeder at one of the booths I thought that would be a fun gift for her. She likes to watch the squirrels that run around her retirement home from her apartment, so I thought she’d like watching hummingbirds even more.

Hummingbird feeder (photo taken with my phone, not Kyle's camera)

I just love how my food truck obsession sometimes brings me to places and things I otherwise would not access!

Kyle also brought his camera along to the Moveable Feast this weekend at Garden City. We both ate at No Way Jose. Kyle got a veggie burrito.

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I got a veggie taco salad. They first made it with meat in it, and when I sent it back I could tell they made an all new one for me instead of just picking out the meat like some restaurants do because the toppings I had thrown on were missing. That’s good vegetarian customer service!

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As always, I recommend checking out Kyle’s flickr photostream for more photos. He got some good meta photos of Food Truck Nerd taking photos of his food that day.

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More Where That Came From March 16, 2012

Oh dear. I guess it’s been over a month since I hit 100 trucks and posted the big list. I even posted two blogs in one week then thinking I was going to start writing more often, and now look at me! I blame my blogging absence on two things: 1) Having to finish Mockingjay before its due date at the library, and 2) taking on a new long-term subbing job. Obviously the latter has taken up the most time in my life, but for awhile all my free time was reserved for the former. Worry not though; I haven’t stopped going to trucks after reaching 100. Much to the contrary, I’m actually up to 104 now. As with any new job, I’ve just been learning how to balance my time again, and hopefully I’ve come pretty close to figuring it out. Also, I know how Katniss Everdeen’s story ends now, so that is no longer a hurdle πŸ™‚

Since I last wrote, so much has happened. First of all, if you follow Veggie Truckin’ on twitter or facebook, you know that I have a new logo! It was created by friend and avid food truck follower Dan Hugo, and I’m happy to finally post it in my blog for the first time!

Credit: Dan Hugo

Secondly, if you follow food trucks at all, you have probably heard about the bill that has stirred a lot of response in California, AB 1678. I’m obviously against it as both someone who follows food trucks and an educator in public schools. I don’t think it is a solution to childhood obesity at all. For more detail on my thoughts, I’d like to direct you to this Food Truck Nerd podcast where I was interviewed, as well as many owners of food trucks, about the bill. The bill has since been amended, and while the changes are welcome, I would prefer there not be a bill at all and believe these issues should be handled at a local level, not a state level. I highly recommend checking out the many Food Truck Nerd podcasts and blogs about the bill; he has been a huge advocate against it and has done a great job of covering the issue as it unfolds.

Now, on to the trucks! While I have been to four new trucks in recent weeks, I’m going to make this another food porn post of new dishes (to me) from trucks about which I’ve already posted.

First on the agenda? Eat on Monday!

The Eat on Monday truck

Is it possible that I’ve never posted a photo of the actual Eat on Monday truck in here and just the food? Maybe, I’m not sure. I’ve revisited this truck a couple times recently and tried items I hadn’t tried before. First, the same day I hit my 100th truck, I ate at Eat on Monday for lunch, also at Rockage. Kyle and I got their fried brussels sprouts, and holy geez were they amazing.

Fried brussels sprouts from Eat on Monday with a side of fries

On another occasion, we met for lunch at Eat On Monday, and I finally had the anticipated veggie burger. Kyle had raved about how great their veggie burger was, and it did not disappoint. I especially enjoyed the bun.

Veggie burger from Eat on Monday

Another truck that has become incredibly active on twitter and whose constant communication with customers has made me appreciate them even more is Koja Kitchen. After trying and loving their teriyaki zen koja I was eager to try more, and on a couple different occasions I’ve tried two more items from their menu. First, the kamikaze fries. They’re usually made with meat and kimchi that includes shellfish, but they make a vegetarian option that is superb. The fake meat they use is delicious (which can’t always be said for fake meat), and I’m a total sucker for criss cut fries.

Vegetarian kamikaze fries from Koja Kitchen

Another tasty item from their menu is their signature dessert, the Mochimisu. From the unique plastic dish that gives the Mochimisu a fun spinning effect to the strawberry on top, this dessert rivals some of the best desserts on the food truck scene.

Mochimisu from Koja Kitchen

As part of SF Beerweek, Kyle and I attended the third annual Beerfest which had multiple trucks in attendance. For lunch we decided on a truck I had only actually tried from their booth at the farmer’s market, Oaxacan Kitchen. Beware: the following photo includes Kyle being adorably excited to get their food from a truck.

The Oaxacan Kitchen truck

I forget the name of what I got (I swear I hadn’t that many drinks at that point; it just happened awhile ago!), but rest assured that it was yummy.

Our meals from Oaxacan Kitchen (and beer!)

We also tried their churros, which were better than any churro I’ve ever had at a fair. One of the elements of Oaxacan Kitchen’s food that I love most is how authentic it is.

Churros from Oaxacan Kitchen

I feel like I’m being a tad verbose, perhaps due to my lack of writing in the last month, so for the next three trucks I’d just like to say that they were all trucks I had only tried once before, and not since the summer. I was happy to try new items from each of them, and they were all delicious!

Tofu sisig from Senor Sisig

Curry rice bowl from Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile

Seasoned fries from Whisk on Wheels

Kyle and I have started frequenting Gorditas Universales on weekday nights because it’s conveniently located between our two apartments. We’ve tried many of the fake meat options from their menu in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Somehow I only managed to take photos of a couple of their tacos though. I haven’t had a single thing from their menu that wasn’t delicious. Now if only they’d get a website, twitter, or facebook I could link to!

Tacos from Gorditas Universales

Finally, I’ll close with a special I tried at the Tikka Bytes truck. At a recent Edgewood Eats, they were serving a vegetable briyani that was so spicy I had to eat it in shifts.

Vegetable briyani from Tikka Bytes

I’m hoping my next post will be much sooner and will include the four new trucks I’ve visited in the last month. Stay tuned!

 

New Food From Old Favorites February 8, 2012

I’ve decided to take a break from my countdown to 100 trucks. I have visited my 98th and 99th trucks since my last post, but the 100th still looms in the future. Rather than spend one post writing about only two trucks, I’d like to play some catch up. I try to have themes in my posts, and as a result some of my visits to trucks fall through the cracks if they don’t fit a theme. I have a lot of photos of trucks on my phone, and they deserve some recognition! Many of the trucks I’ve written about I eat at on a regular basis, and I’m constantly trying new menu items from the trucks that offer multiple vegetarian options. This will be a photo-heavy post without a ton of words. Enjoy the food porn!

Apple walnut cake from Butterscotch on the Go

Paneer kathi roll from Curry Up Now

Fried pickles from Grill Stars

Mushrooms on a roll from Hiyaaa!

Rice box with tofu from Little Green Cyclo

Tofu tacos from Eat on Monday

Eat on Monday will make any of their meat tacos vegetarian by substituting the meat with tofu, so you have your choice of styles! They do the same with their burgers and veggie burgers, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try them yet. Kyle says they’re super tasty, so I look forward to trying them sometime soon!

Sweet potato fries from Sanguchon

Chocolate cupcake with caramel frosting, sprinkles, and cinnamon from Project Cupcake

Veggie gyoza roll and cucumber avocado roll from We Sushi

We Sushi recently updated their menu, and they added these two veg rolls to it and lowered the price of the veggie burrito I wrote about previously. I especially enjoyed the gyoza roll. I love gyoza, and it was my first time having it inside a sushi roll.

Sugar cookie and pecan cookie from Mini Yums

Tofu burrito from Mogo

MIlkshake cheesecake from Mogo

This isn’t the best photo because of the plastic wrap, but Mogo’s cheesecake is probably my favorite dessert from a non-dessert truck. They don’t always carry it, but I highly recommend grabbing a slice when they do have some!

Last night’s Edgewood Eats marked my one year anniversary of attending the event. It was cold and gloomy, and the turnout wasn’t as great as usual, but I still managed to fill my belly with yummy food, and there was a new truck that wasn’t a food truck; it was an art truck!

The Palo Alto Art Center truck

Quite a crowd of children ended up developing around the tables, and they all seemed to be enjoying making cupcakes out of clay. Definitely a fun idea for food truck events where there are a lot of families.

Once again, my boyfriend Kyle and I made a cameo on the latest Food Truck Nerd podcast. We had a round table discussion about food trucks in general, and I went into a lot of detail about what sorts of vegetarian options I like to see on food trucks. Food Truck Nerd’s podcast is now up on iTunes as well, so you can download it from the iTunes store and even subscribe!

Finally, Kyle has decided to start photographing our food truck experiences as often as possible (or as often as he remembers his camera). I guess he was getting sick of my less-than-stellar camera phone photos πŸ™‚ He started his quest when we went to Moveable Feast on Saturday, and he snapped quite a few good shots. You can find a photo of me receiving my ice cream from Treatbot as well as many more photos in this album. Once I figure out how to take his photos from flickr and put them on my blog, you can expect even better photography on Veggie Truckin’.

I hope this post tides you over until the big 100 hits!

 

Newness All Around September 20, 2011

Oops, it’s been two weeks since my last post. There’s a whole lot of newness going on in my life. I have a new job and a new boyfriend, and all the new Fall teeevee is eating up my schedule. Despite not yet learning how to efficiently budget my time to allow blogging on a regular basis, I have still been frequenting the local food trucks. Luckily, there have been plenty of new trucks in my last two weeks too!

I’m going to start with Newark Street Eats, a gathering I’ve opted to go to the last two Mondays in lieu of Edgewood Eats, mainly due to the fact that I work in Newark. I look forward to when Edgewood moves to Tuesday so I don’t have to choose anymore. However, it will also only be once a month at that point, which makes me sad. Each of the two Newark Street Eats I’ve been to recently has provided me with the opportunity to try a new truck. First, there was the September 12th Newark Street Eats when I ate at a truck I’d never even heard of before, and with possibly the longest name I’ve heard for a food truck, Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile.

The Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile Truck

I ordered a paneer sandwich. It was super spicy and very filling. It also made a mess, to the point where I needed about ten napkins. As I’ve stated previously though, I don’t find this to be a bad thing.

Paneer sandwich from Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile

This week’s Newark Street Eats featured another new truck I hadn’t been to before, Gourmet Rockstars.

The Gourmet Rockstars Truck

I ordered the caprese grilled cheese. I think I have written about my love for pesto before, but I would just like to state for the record that pesto is the besto. And when you mix it with sundried tomatoes and mozzarella? Even better (besto-er?). It also came with a delicious fresh made pickle. I might be biased because of the whole pesto-loving thing, but it was probably the best grilled cheese I’ve had in months. And if you read my blog, you’ll know that I’ve had a few in recent months. My only complaint is that the wait for the food to be made was a little long. I heard them discussing with another truck owner that this is due to them preparing everything fresh, but I still hope that, being a newer truck, they figure out how to make fresh and delicious food a little faster.

Caprese grilled cheese from Gourmet Rockstars

A couple days before this Newark Street Eats, I went to two food truck gatherings in one day for the first time. I’m lucky that my boyfriend enjoys food trucks almost as much as I do, and having him around means getting to share and try more food because of it! On Saturday afternoon, we went to Moveable Feast, which was teaming up with SJ Made again. The crowd was the biggest I’ve seen at a Moveable Feast recently.

The trucks and crowd at Moveable Feast on Saturday, September 17th

For our main course, we shared an order of garlic noodles from An the Go, and afterwards we each got a veggie taco at Eat on Monday. When I wrote about this truck before I mentioned their ever-changing menu and how vegetarian options weren’t common. They tweeted at me saying they’d have more veg options soon, and sure enough, they did on Saturday! Each of their tacos could be ordered vegetarian. I chose the ingredients of the shrimp taco, which included avocado. It was absolutely delicious.

Veggie taco from Eat on Monday

In the evening, we headed to The Gourmet Food Truck Festival at the Alameda County fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Having grown up in Alameda County, I have a lot of memories associated with the fairgrounds. It was fun to come back and enjoy food trucks and nostalgia at the same time. There were lots of trucks, and lots of people.

The Gourmet Food Truck Festival on Saturday, September 17th

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend was because a truck I’ve been trying to track down both in LA and the bay area, Nom Nom, was going to be there. Like many, I first heard about this truck on the first season of the Great Food Truck Race. I have since been to many Vietnamese trucks that sell banh mi and wanted to try the one I have come to think of as the original.

The Nom Nom Truck

The line was long, but their methods were efficient. I waited for much less time than I expected, and before I knew it I had tofu banh mi and tofu tacos. I ended up liking the tacos more than the banh mi, but both were good.

Tofu tacos from Nom Nom

Tofu banh mi from Nom Nom

For dessert, we headed to yet another new truck, Sunshine Susan’s Solar Ice Cream Parlor. This special dessert truck runs entirely on solar energy.

Sunshine Susan's Solar Ice Cream Parlor

We ordered two desserts whose names I forget since they aren’t listed on their website’s menu. One included apples and vanilla ice cream, and the other was a brownie a la mode.

Apples and vanilla ice cream from Sunshine Susan's

Brownie sundae from Sunshine Susan's

Both desserts were sweet and filling, making us wish we had only split one. At least we’ll know for next time!

Four new trucks in two weeks… I don’t think I’ve set a record like that when I wasn’t on vacation in a different city. I’m loving all the new trucks that are popping up. Keep them coming, bay area!

 

I’m a Liar, and I’m Home August 10, 2011

I pretty much posted all over the internet that my last post about LA food trucks would be my last, and then I went ahead and ate at another food truck in LA a couple hours later. What can I say, I’m addicted. Plus it was in South Pasadena just a ten minute drive away…

I went to Dumpling Station, which I wrote about more extensively in my first post about LA trucks. It’s the only LA food truck I’ve been to more than once (four times now!), and is quite possibly my favorite LA food truck as well. They get bonus points for putting up with my sister’s dog barking and growling at them this time around. I didn’t know he would be so rude in a food truck setting, but they were totally cool about it! I got their vegetable dumplings (which I had had before) and their Nutella banana wontons (which I hadn’t).

Nutella banana wontons from Dumpling Station

Sunday I drove back to the bay area, and Monday evening I returned to Edgewood Eats. It felt good to be home, and at a local food truck gathering again.

Edgewood Eats on August 8th

My first stop was Eat on Monday, a truck that doesn’t usually have vegetarian options. This time, though, they were serving fried mozzarella, and I knew I had to try it.

Eat on Monday

Fried mozzarella from Eat on Monday

I loved the dressing and tomatoes on top. It was the perfect return to bay area food trucking. Next I went to The Armadillo Willy’s BBQ truck. I was never a huge BBQ fan even when I ate meat, but they were serving a veggie salad that I hadn’t tried before. After eating something fried, I felt like trying something more healthy.

The Armadillo Willy's menu

Very veggie salad from Armadillo Willy's

As a new vegetarian, I find myself trying to expand my tastes and eat more veggies I didn’t used to eat since I’m already limiting my diet. I have started eating tomatoes and cucumbers when I didn’t before, and I’m working toward eating mushrooms as well. A lot of vegetarian dishes use portobello mushrooms as the “meat” of the dish, so I’ve been wanting to like them. This salad had huge portobello mushroom pieces on top, and unfortunately, I knew after the first bite it just wasn’t gonna happen. I ate the rest of the salad around them, but I’m still mad at my tastebuds for not adapting to mushrooms yet!

My final stop for the night (that salad was filling!) was Twisted Chill. I was happy to see they had lowered their price from $5 to $4. They still only had one size though. I loaded my cup up with the pomegranate raspberry flavor I loved so much from last time, and I added a little kiwi strawberry too. I only put one topping on it, bits of heath. Yum.

Frozen yogurt from Twisted Chill

While I enjoyed my foray into trucks from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles, it still feels good to be home and eating from local trucks again.