Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

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 🙂

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!

Advertisements
 

Three New (to me) Trucks! January 10, 2012

Filed under: food trucks,vegetarianism — Laura @ 8:25 pm
Tags: , ,

In the last week I’ve been to three food trucks I hadn’t been to before! The first was introduced to me when Moveable Feast posted on facebook about a vegan taco truck that always stays in the same location on Julian and 26th in San Jose. Of course, I immediately had to check this out. The next day I went there to pick up dinner for the boyfriend and me. The truck is positioned in the parking lot of a liquor store, and it even has some tables and chairs set up.

The tables set up outside Gorditas Universales

I was greeted by an informative young woman who gave me a lot of the details about the truck. Goditas Universales doesn’t have a website, facebook, or twitter yet, but they’re working on a website. All of their “meat” is meat-free (soy protein, I’m assuming), although it’s all listed on the menu as the meat it is imitating.

The Gorditas Universales menu

The burrito sizes are “regular” and “super” which, as the girl who works there said, basically means “huge” and “humongous”. They’re at the same location all the time, and they’re there Wednesdays through Sundays from 6pm until roughly midnight, although they’ll stay open later if there’s a line. Everything on the menu is vegetarian. I regret not asking her if it’s all vegan as well. There was definitely sour cream in my meal, but I don’t know if it had dairy in it or not. They have a Supreme Master sticker on the truck, which usually means vegan. I will be sure to ask when I return, which I am definitely bound to do!

I got two “regular” burritos, one chipotle chicken flavored and one fajitas flavored. My boyfriend and I shared them, switching back and forth regularly, and they were both amazingly delicious. As vegetarians, we were both so used to eating burritos with just the fillings or some tofu at the most that it was great to have them with a little something more in them. Unfortunately, only my photo from the chipotle chicken burrito came out well. (I guess the foil can still be a problem with my new phone.)

Chipotle chicken burrito from Gorditas Universales

I have a story that is also worth noting. When I finished eating, I got up to throw my trash away, and my cat hopped up on the couch because I had left some crumbs, one of which being a big chunk of fake meat. My cat scarfed it down and even licked the couch to get the last remnants of it, completely oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t real meat. He was licking his chops for awhile afterward too. In summation, Gorditas Universales is so good it fooled my carnivorous cat into thinking he was eating meat!

The second food truck I went to was actually a food cart, and I happened upon it accidentally. (I love it when that happens!) On Sunday, my mom and I ventured into the city to see Shen Yun at the Opera House. The grandmother of one of my students from last school year had bought us tickets, so we made a day of it. When we came out of the Civic Center BART station, we were greeted by the Heart of the City Farmers Market. This immediately made me wonder if any food trucks would be around, and I whipped out my phone and used one of my many food truck apps to figure out that Onigilly was there. Before long, I hunted the cart down.

The Onigilly cart

Since I had already eaten lunch, I just wanted a quick bite of something small. I had some choices since there was more than one vegetarian option on the menu.

The Onigilly menu

I settled on the hijiki, and I was happy with my decision. It was similar to sushi, of course. I also added extra soy sauce and sriracha 🙂

Hijiki rice ball from Onigilly

My third and final food truck was just visited today! I first heard about ChowBow from Food Truck Nerd a few weeks ago. After viewing their menu and all the veg options on their website, I was determined to check them out. Food Truck Nerd said they were at the same location ever day on Freedom Circle in Santa Clara, but I think they might skip Fridays. I tried on two different Fridays, and they weren’t there. However, the third time was the charm. Today I subbed a half day, so I was able to do some daytime truckin’. I headed to Freedom Circle, and lo and behold, there ChowBow was!

The ChowBow truck

One of the (many) unique things about ChowBow is that their food is served buffet style, so you actually get to step into the truck to grab the food you want. Then it is weighed on a scale and priced by the pound. I have to admit, being my first time stepping foot on a food truck, I was kinda geeking out over being inside one. Your first stop when you step in is a pile of to go containers located right next to the driver’s seat.

The pile of to go containers that greet you on the ChowBow truck

Next, you make your way in to see a classic buffet spread across the interior of the truck.

The spread inside ChowBow

If you walk a couple more feet and look on the other side of the truck, you see the sign that pretty much made my day.

Yesssssss!

Upon seeing the sign I immediately started dishing up just about every vegetarian option the truck carried (although I did skip the one with paneer in it since I didn’t want to take Lactaid).

The vegetarian options on ChowBow

After piling food on my plate, I went to have it weighed, and to my surprise my heaping plate only cost $6.50! And the best part? All proceeds go to charity. You can’t beat that!

Everything on my plate was tasty, and some of it was also spicy (although I couldn’t tell you which dishes were since I mixed everything together). I will definitely be back the next time I’m in the mood for some daytime truckin’ when it’s not a Friday!

With these three trucks, my food trucks foursquare list has reached 100! Don’t forget to follow if you’re a foursquare user and you want to see which trucks and truck gatherings I’ve been to. I haven’t tallied up just how many trucks I’ve been to now, but it’s definitely nearing 100 since I probably only have about 10-15 gatherings in that list. I’ll have to figure this out soon so I can celebrate my 100th truck!