Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

My Latest Adventures in Food Truckery September 2, 2012

Now that I’ve cooled down from my San Francisco Street Food Festival excitement, I can let you in on some of my other recent food truck experiences. I’ve been to four new trucks in the last month or so and tried new dishes from a few others.

The first new truck I visited was Tastee Bytes.

The Tastee Bytes truck

Tastee Bytes is sort of limited in the vegetarian options department. They have a churro and the tastee fries, and that’s about it. Kyle and I decided to try the tastee fries on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago.

Fries from Tastee Bytes

We were a little surprised by the bright green color of the sauce once we received our order, but it definitely matched the color of the truck. They were your run-of-the-mill fries, nothing to write home about. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get them again, but if they added something else vegetarian to their menu I might order some fries on the side.

Another new truck I’ve recently tried was The Cupcake Lady truck. This truck seems to hail from the central valley, but they were in San Jose for a fundraiser at a local high school.

The Cupcake Lady truck

Kyle ordered a black and white cupcake. After I bit into it, I realized the “white” part was marshmallow and didn’t have anymore. No gelatin for me, thanks! I guess we should have asked what the filling was before buying it.

Black and White cupcake from The Cupcake Lady

Wanting to still try a cupcake from the truck, I went back and got a mini pink champagne cupcake. It was a little dry and flavorless for my liking, but I might be spoiled by some of the other cupcake trucks in the area.

Mini pink champagne cupcake from The Cupcake Lady

Just last night I visited another two new trucks at the new weekly truck event The Winchester Truck Fest. The first was Gold Rush Eatery, a new California history themed truck.

The Gold Rush Eatery truck

I was happy to see that any of the burgers on their menu could be substituted with a veggie patty. I went with their basic burger.

Veggie burger from Gold Rush Eatery

The highlight of the burger was definitely the sourdough bun it was on. As you can see with the following close up, the burger didn’t consist of much besides cheese and sauce. I would have preferred some more veggies, but that just means I need to explore their menu a little more.

a close up of the veggie burger from Gold Rush Eatery

The next new truck I checked out was Oh Miso Hungry.

Kyle ordering from the Oh Miso Hungry truck

When Kyle asked if their kimchi grilled cheese included shellfish, we were happy with the response that it didn’t. We are both huge fans of both kimchi and grilled cheese, and this was a match made in heaven. The sandwich was delish!

Kimchi grilled cheese sandwich from Oh Miso Hungry

I haven’t only been going to new trucks though. I’ve been going back to old favorites, and I’ve especially enjoyed a few different options from Banjara Bistro. Since my first visit there, I’ve been back twice and tried their vegetarian crepe and vegetarian omelette. They tend to have the same ingredients as the sandwich, but they are such delicious ingredients I don’t mind at all.

Vegetarian crepe from Banjara Bistro

Vegetarian omelette from Banjara Bistro

Since Banjara Bistro is owned by the same owner as Mini Yums, they still serve some of the old favorites from the baked goods truck. I’ve recently ordered their chocolate chip cookie and also received a free oatmeal raisin cookie, probably because I keep coming back for more 🙂

Chocolate chip cookie from Banjara Bistro (as you can tell, I couldn’t help but eat some before I snapped a photo)

Oatmeal raisin cookie from Banjara Bistro (again with my eager appetite)

I also got to try Grilled Cheese Bandits for a second time. This time, I got the Bandit, a somewhat traditional grilled cheese with three kinds of tasty cheese in it.

The Bandit from Grilled Cheese Bandits

I also tried their mashed tater balls, which are exactly what they sound like: mashed potatoes molded into a-little-more-than-one-bite-sized balls. I especially liked the seasoning they had on them.

Mashed tater balls from Grilled Cheese Bandits

Following are a few more photos of dishes I’ve tried from trucks I already enjoy. You can consider them all yummy and recommended.

Cannoli from Speedy Panini

Split pea soup in a bread bowl from SF Soupmobile

Chocolate chip cookie from SF Soupmobile

Mixed berry and maple syrup reduction waffle from Waffle Amore (my new favorite from this truck!)

Advertisements
 

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!