Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

All the Food I Shouldn’t Have Eaten (And then Some) October 8, 2011

Two weekends ago I came down with my first cold of the school year. This was a little bit of a triumph in itself because with my weak immune system it usually takes a lot less time. I had convinced myself it wasn’t a bad cold, and I proceeded to go to food truck gatherings two days in a row when I should have been resting. As a result, I ended up having to take a day off work (which, as a sub, means without pay) later in the week. It was a mistake, but at least I got some good food and good blogging material out of it. Now I will summarize all the food truck food I ate that weekend that I shouldn’t have…

First, I went to the Moveable Feast that took place at TechShop for their grand opening. I went to two trucks I knew about but hadn’t been to before. First, I went to Soulnese, a Chinese comfort food truck that only has one vegetarian option.

The Soulnese Truck

That one vegetarian option was mac and cheese egg rolls that I had had my eye on every time I’d previously seen them but hadn’t had a chance to try. They required double lactaid and made it so I had to skip my original plan of following the egg rolls with a toasty melt, but they were worth it.

Mac and cheese egg rolls from Soulnese

My next stop was Hiyaaa!, a truck I’ve known about for months but never tried. I had avoided them because their vegetarian options are heavy in mushrooms, and as anyone who’s read this blog at any length knows, I have very mixed feelings about mushrooms.

the Hiyaaa! truck

Since I was already dairy-ed out from my mac and cheese egg rolls, the only vegetarian option left was Hiyaaa! so I decided to take a chance on the mushrooms, and I’m glad I did. I got the vegetarian salad, and although there were a lot of mushrooms, they were seasoned so much (and so tastily) that they hardly tasted like mushrooms at all.

Vegetarian salad from Hiyaaa!

That weekend was also the Eat Real festival in Oakland. It lasted all three days of the weekend, but I planned to attend on Sunday. It was the first gloomy, rainy day of the fall, and I realized about halfway through my time there that it was only making my cold worse. That didn’t stop me from enjoying yummy food though. I first went to Liba Falafel again since it is so rare I’m at an event where they’re serving. This time I tried their vegetable tempura, and it started the day off right.

Vegetable tempura from Liba Falafel

My next stop was a truck I had never heard of before, Vesta Flatbread.

The Vesta Flatbread truck

I got the one vegetarian option they were serving that day not knowing what to expect because I had never heard of and couldn’t pronounce most of the ingredients it contained. However, I was met by amazing flavors and some of the freshest bread I’ve ever eaten.

Vegetarian Flatbread from Vesta Flatbread

I next went to the Scream Sorbet booth. I had been hoping to try them since I first started using Roaming Hunger over a year ago and always spotted them in the east bay. This was the first time I’d come across them, and I was happy to discover that all of their sorbet was dairy free. I got the chocolate option and it enjoyed it inside since it was already so cold outside!

Chocolate sorbet from Scream Sorbet

My final stop of the festival was the Tru Gourmet Dim Sum booth where I got an order of vegetable egg rolls. After this, I was sufficiently full and ready to get out of the cold for good.

Vegetable egg rolls from Tru Gourmet Dim Sum

By the following weekend, my cold had mostly gone away, so I don’t have to look at any of those food truck experiences in retrospect with regret. Friday the 30th I went to my first Word on the StreEatz (although the second they had held) at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara.

Word on the StreEatz, September 30th

I got my dinner from Babaloo, a truck I had eaten at before but not since I became vegetarian. I got the Babaloo itself which was filled with black bean humus, mushrooms, and peppers. It was delicious.

The Babaloo from Babaloo

On Saturday October first, I ventured to another Moveable Feast. This one featured another truck I hadn’t heard of, Tacos de Los Altos. I haven’t been able to find a website or twitter account for them either.

The Tacos de Los Altos truck

They didn’t have any vegetarian options on their menu but were happy to make a vegetarian burrito when asked. The truck also had a full spread of salsas, guacamole, and other toppings that could be added and came with tortilla chips. It was very filling!

Vegetarian burrito from Tacos de Los Altos

With the weather getting cooler, many of my favorite food truck events are ending or becoming monthly instead of weekly. The visits might become less frequent, but I still plan on eating at trucks whenever possible. The good thing about living in California is not having to worry about the weather being too too cold. I’m especially loving when food trucks add pumpkin flavored options to their menus!

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My San Francisco Street Food Festival Experience August 23, 2011

There are plenty of food trucks in San Francisco that I haven’t had an opportunity to try because they don’t venture down to the south bay at all. I had been meaning to make a trip up there to try some of them at some point, and when I found out about The San Francisco Street Food Festival I figured this was the perfect opportunity. The three main trucks I’ve been meaning to try would be there: Liba Falafel, The Creme Brulee Cart, and Nom Nom. The day of the festival, my friend and I set out to get there early before too big of a crowd arrived. I feared super long lines like I’ve experienced at food truck festivals in the past, but that didn’t end up being the case at all. The event was very well organized, and each truck or booth’s menu was limited to no more than three items to make things run more quickly. I don’t think I waited more than five minutes in a single line, but the crowd was still ginormous.

The crowd at the San Francisco Street Food Festival, August 20th

Sadly, the limited menus meant not eating at Nom Nom since they weren’t serving any vegetarian options. On the plus side, each truck or booth (and there were many more booths than trucks) had a special menu for the event, and vegetarian options were marked with a little leaf. This made it easy for people like me to tell where we could and couldn’t eat without having to wait in line and ask questions.

When my friend and I entered the festival, I spotted the Liba Falafel truck.

The Liba Falafel Truck

I had been following this truck on twitter ever since I saw them featured on Eat Street and couldn’t wait to try it. You might recall that I mentioned in a previous post how I’ve developed a bit of a falafel habit since I became a vegetarian. I ordered the falafel sandwich. I must admit, I was a little disappointed about the size of the sandwich for the price (eight dollars), but the flavor more than made up for it.

Falafel sandwich from Liba Falafel

My next stop was clear when I saw that The Creme Brulee Cart booth was nearby. Despite it not even being noon, I was ready for dessert.

The Creme Brulee Cart booth from afar

Although the raspberry nutella creme brulee sounded amazing, I wanted to go with a more classic creme brulee taste, so I got the honey vanilla creme brulee. Holy crap, it was good.

Honey vanilla creme brulee from The Creme Brulee Cart

The mass amount of people there meant my cell phone was not sending or receiving texts at the rate it usually does. I had separated from my friend and was having trouble finding him again, so I wandered around a bit and came across Hapa Ramen.

The Hapa Ramen booth

They were serving a tomato, corn, and basil salad that sounded nice and light after my dessert, and it was only two dollars. It was the perfect thing to snack on while I maneuvered the crowds trying to find my friend.

Tomato, corn, and basil salad from Hapa Ramen

Once I had finally found my friend we continued to walk the rest of the festival, and when we saw the veg option at Osha Thai we were both intrigued.

The Osha Thai booth

I’ve had a thing for egg rolls since childhood, and I’m also a big fan of samosas, so it was an obvious choice. They were both extremely tasty.

Veggie roll and Thai samosa from Osha Thai

We continued to walk around the festival afterward, but I was too full to eat anything else! Overall, I’m super glad I went and enjoyed myself, but I was done with crowds by the end. I will have to make another trip up to the city at some point to catch Nom Nom when they’re serving their regular menu with veg options!