Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

School’s Out for Summer! June 10, 2012

You read me right. I’m done teaching for the school year, so I’m hoping that means lots more blogging in the near future. Granted, I’m moving in two weeks and still plenty busy because of that, but not working full time tends to be a big difference in terms of time on my hands. I’m also still looking for summer work if you know of a truck that’s hiring!

On with the food, though! I’ve only visited a few new trucks since my last post, and I’ve also sampled some new food from trucks I already visited. I’ll start with the new ones and then hit you with a wave of photos from trucks I’ve written about before.

The first new truck I tried was at a recent Word on the StreEatz. It’s called Mustache Mike’s, and it serves Italian ice.

The Mustache Mike’s truck

I had never had Italian ice before. I expected it to be somewhat like shave ice, or maybe I hoped it would be since I’ve been craving a shave ice truck in the bay area ever since I went to one in LA last summer. The consistency was more like a cross between ice cream and shave ice, very similar to sorbet.

Juicy rancher from Mustache Mike’s

I chose one of their mixtures of three flavors, the Juicy Rancher. It included lemon, watermelon, and green apple flavored Italian ice. They had two choices for price based on what container you received your ice in; you could pay two dollars extra for an MLB themed container, shaped like the baseball cap of your favorite team. Being a big A’s fan, I already have plenty of the same hats from going to games and getting frozen treats at them, so I opted for the simple plastic cup. I enjoyed the Italian ice, especially since it didn’t require me to take lactaid. I haven’t seen the truck since, so I hope they start popping up in more locations!

The next new truck I visited happened in San Francisco before an A’s/Giants game a few weekends ago. Kyle had noticed a truck was supposed to be parked just a few blocks from the ballpark, so we headed into the city early to hit up Le Truc. Le truc is not actually a truck at all but rather a bus!

Le Truc

(Note the enthusiastic cook inside cheesing for the camera.) Le Truc was serving vegetarian Thai tacos, but they unfortunately had eggplant in them that couldn’t be removed. Once again, I despise my dreaded eggplant allergy. Kyle got the tacos though, and I got a salad.

Tacos and salad from Le Truc

The food was delicious, but perhaps the coolest thing about Le Truc was the fact that patrons are invited to eat inside the bus. They have tables set up and music playing so that you get the full dining experience.

Seats and tables inside Le Truc

Our food right next to the driver’s seat

Another new truck I tried, just this week, was El Taco de Oro. I haven’t been able to find a website for them, being one of the more authentic local taco trucks. They were at the new Moveable Feast location at Five Wounds on Tuesday.

El Taco de Oro truck

I just grabbed one vegetarian taco from this truck because I had my eyes set on a bigger menu item at a different truck. At $1.50, it was one of the cheapest tacos I’ve had a truck, and well worth the price. They piled it high with fresh ingredients.

Vegetarian taco from El Taco de Oro

My final new truck for this post was one I tried on Wednesday when Kyle stopped by Milpitas Street Eats on his way home from work. He picked up some food at Spice Hut Gourmet as well as at 333.

Vegetable curry rice bowl from Spice Hut Gourmet

This rice bowl combo came with naan and chole. We found the “spice” part of the truck’s name to be quite accurate. The curry was very spicy and full of flavor. It also included tasty paneer.

As far as 333 is concerned, Kyle delivered the news that they’ve decided to focus on one of their three cuisines each week, and this week the focus was on Mexican food. He picked up a vegetarian quesadilla after accidentally ordering one with steak in it. The vegetarian option wasn’t on the menu, but the 333 guys were kind enough to cook one up after Kyle realized his mistake.

Vegetarian quesadilla from 333

An inside view of the quesadilla

It was easily one of the best quesadillas I’ve tasted, and the green sauce that came with it complemented the flavors especially well.

Now on to other new foods I’ve tried from some of my favorite trucks!

I had been to Mona’s Fruits once before last summer at a Moveable Feast. I only saw the truck one other time, at the taco festival with way too huge of a line to wait in, before I saw them on Tuesday at Moveable Feast Five Wounds.

Mona’s Fruits truck

I ordered one of their small fruit bowls, which is still quite large! When you ask for the fruit bowl “spicy” they add chili flakes that add some pep to the fruit. I have to admit I like the spicy and sweet combination more with some fruits than others, but it definitely feels nice to eat something sweet and healthy from a truck when that isn’t always the case.

Small fruit bowl from Mona’s Fruits

And while we’re on the topic of Moveable Feast Five Wounds, here’s a photo I took of the spread:

Moveable Feast Five Wounds on June 5th

At the same Word on the StreEatz where I saw Mustache Mike’s I also tried Kaati Fresh again, and I’m happy to say that this time I had a much better experience. It helps that they didn’t have a line at all when I went up to them, and they decided to start taking money when you order like most trucks. When I asked for a veggie roll, the gentleman taking my order let me choose between the potato and paneer options and let me sample each one to make my decision. I had wanted to avoid lactaid, but the paneer option tasted too good to pass up.

Paneer roll from Kaati Fresh

I also appreciated that it came with a small salad, and the two only cost $6. Definitely a good amount of food for the price!

A couple weeks ago, Kyle and I walked down to St. James park for a special event called A Day in the Park. We were excited to have trucks walking distance from where I live again (we miss when Moveable Feast was at San Pedro Square). There was a DJ playing some great remixes of oldies and 80s music.

After getting some of our usual favorites at trucks we frequent, we grabbed dessert at Scoops. I went for a flavor I hadn’t tried before, their salted caramel on a cone. Then I decided to take a Foodtrucknerd-esque photo that captured both the food and the truck with its “I am San Jose” sign on it.

Salted Caramel ice cream cone from Scoops

At Friday night’s Moveable Feast Willow Glen, I saw the Market Express truck that carries fresh produce for the first time. I didn’t get a chance to browse it much, but I did take a photo!

Market Express truck

I will close this post with a few photos of menu items I haven’t posted before from trucks I have posted about before. I might not post comments about them, but I guarantee all of this food was delicious.

Cream of asparagus soup from Whisk on Wheels

Tofu bi bim bap plate from BBQ Kalbi

S’more brownie from Mini Yums

Sugar cookie from Mini Yums

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

 

Daytime Food Truckin’ December 2, 2011

Being an on-call substitute teacher has its pros and cons. One of the bittersweet parts is the fact that some days you just don’t get a job. This is a con because, of course, you don’t get paid, but it’s a pro because it’s a good opportunity to do things during weekday afternoons that you wouldn’t usually get to do. One of those things is visiting food trucks at their lunch stops.

The week of Thanksgiving, the school district where I work was on break the entire week, so I took full advantage of the opportunity to hit up some local food trucks that I don’t usually get to see during the week. My first stop was for lunch on Tuesday when I met up with my boyfriend to get some grilled cheese at Gourmet Rockstars. They are now spending every single day at the great mall in Milpitas, both for lunch and dinner. This was another one of my blogger fails where I got so excited about eating the food that I forgot to take a photo of it ahead of time. Luckily I’ve written about this truck before! I did manage to get a photo of my boyfriend’s cajun fries before they were devoured though.

Cajun fries from Gourmet Rockstars

From there, I ventured on my own to a new truck to the area (although from their website it appears as though they’ve been at it for awhile in L.A.), Mini Yums. They had a window that displayed all their tasty treats, making it even harder to choose than looking at a menu would be!

The Mini Yums truck

I narrowed my choices down to two, despite being full from lunch. I went with the brownie (I forget what kind of nut was in it) and the pumpkin cream cheese cupcake. I ate the brownie during my drive home and saved the cupcake for later.

Brownie from Mini Yums

The cupcake ended up lasting me for dessert after two separate meals because it was so big and sweet. You know me and pumpkin; I just can’t get enough.

Pumpkin cupcake from Mini Yums

The cupcake also came in a container that had a cute label with the Mini Yums logo on it.

Mini Yums indeed!

The next day I ventured out to try a new food truck on the streets, Thela.

The Thela Truck

This was the first food truck I’ve been to that didn’t include tax already in their prices. This wouldn’t bother me so much if their food stood out, but I’m sad to say it didn’t. I ordered the masala veg burger, which came with an entire container of fries on the side.

Masala veg burger from Thela

I was excited to try a veggie burger with an Indian spin, and all the veggies on it made me optimistic. Unfortunately, it was served cold, and despite the veggies it lacked in flavor. The veggie patty also fell apart easily, which is something I’ve never experienced with a veggie burger before.

Fries from Thela

The fries definitely helped. They were warm and plentiful, but nothing really stood out about them. Being a new truck, they might just need to get some of the kinks worked out. Or maybe I would have more luck with a more traditionally Indian menu option.

Afterward, I tried to hunt down the Project Cupcake truck but couldn’t find them. I found out today that that was because they only venture out every other week. Duly noted for future daytime trucking outings!

Speaking of today, I didn’t get a job today, so I set out to find some more trucks. This time my first stop was another meeting with my boyfriend at Small Time Cooks, a new truck I wouldn’t have known about if they hadn’t tweeted at me. They’re at the same location every day in Milpitas from 11-3.

The Small Time Cooks truck

Being a new truck, they gave us samples of their two veg options, paneer tikka masala and mushroom tofu tacos. I once again forgot to take a photo of our samples, but when I decided on the mushroom tofu burrito I did manage to take a photo of that!

Mushroom tofu burrito from Small Time Cooks

We were both impressed by how flavorful both veg options were. My boyfriend even commented that the tacos might be his favorite from a truck he’s tried yet! We hope to see more of this truck as they continue to grow.

From there, I made my way to another Project Cupcake location, determined to build my own cupcake this time. I found them at the Tivo offices in Alviso, and the owner was impressed that I had hunted them down. I chose a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting this time, but I think I chose the exact same toppings as last time. When you find something yummy, why not stick with it?

Red velvet cupcake from Project Cupcake

Many thanks to the food trucks in the area for making my days without work enjoyable!