Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

A Couple New Ones and a Couple Old Ones August 10, 2012

I have to admit, I haven’t been to many trucks lately. August is pretty much the worst month for substitute teachers, since we’re somehow supposed to make ends meet during the summer without getting paid, and my attempts at working on a food truck failed. As a result, I’ve been trying to save money, and that means more eating at home and less food trucking. I do have a few trucks to write about though!

I finally got a chance to meet up with Banjara Bistro, the new truck by the makers of Mini Yums. It’s the first crepe truck that I know of in the south bay, so I’d been very excited to try it ever since I heard about it.

The Banjara Bistro truck

I was happy to see some remnants of the old Mini Yums cuisine in a window on the truck. They’re still selling homemade sweets!

A window of baked goods on the Banjara Bistro truck.

I was immediately greeted by the truck owner, Manisha. She engaged me in friendly conversation as I decided what to order. Unfortunately, none of the crepes they were serving at the time were vegetarian AND savory, so I went with their vegetarian sandwich special with a side egg salad. I also ordered a dessert crepe to share with Kyle later.

Vegetarian sandwich and egg salad from Banjara Bistro

The sandwich was filled with melted brie and caramelized onions, among other vegetables that are escaping my memory. Regardless, it was delicious, with a hint of spiciness to it that I enjoyed. I found the bread it was served on to be especially fresh and tasty.

A close up of the vegetarian sandwich from Banjara Bistro

The crepe was a nutella and vanilla crepe, and for such a basic crepe I didn’t expect the amount of flavor it included. This definitely left me wanting to try more from this truck, and I’m hoping to catch up with them tomorrow at a Word on the StreEatz.

Nutella crepe from Banjara Bistro

The next new truck I tried recently happened this weekend at the Fremont Art and Wine festival. Having been raised in the tri-city area, I’ve been to countless Fremont Art and Wine Festivals over the years with my mom. This time Kyle and I met up with her there, and we were excited to go to our first art and wine festival that included food trucks. After walking half of the festival, we happened upon the side street that included trucks hosted by the food truck mafia. They even had their fancy sign up!

The Food Truck Mafia banner at the Fremont Art and Wine Festival

I was sad to see a lack of vegetarian options in the trucks there, but I did spot one option at a truck I hadn’t been to before, Munch India.

The Munch India truck

We ordered their vegetable samosa and split it among the three of us. My mom is usually not a fan of Indian food, and she even enjoyed this dish! She especially enjoyed the garbanzo beans in a masala sauce that surrounded the samosa.

Vegetable samosa chole from Munch India

We also shared a vegetarian burrito from Tacos de Los Altos, but I’ve posted photos of those a couple of different times 🙂

On Wednesday, I decided to head up to Hiller Aviation for their weekly lunch event again. I figured the number of Wednesdays before the school year starts and I won’t be able to make it to Hiller are few, so I should get another one in while I could. I got there around 12:40, and all of the lines were super long. I decided to brave the line for Nom Nom and try their special for the day, the Nom salad. I got mine with tofu, of course.

Nom salad with tofu from Nom Nom

The salad included many fresh veggies and a tasty dressing, but I’m not sure if the size was worth the $7.50 I paid for it. I still wanted more food when I was done, so I got a bao from The Chairman. In retrospect, I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted a photo of their tofu bun. I hadn’t been there in awhile because they always have crazy long lines, but for some reason theirs had died down considerably at Hiller. The next time I pick one up I’ll be sure to snap a photo.

My final stop was The Butterscotch Girl where I sampled and then chose her honey lavender butterscotch. The perfect end to a perfect meal!

Honey lavender butterscotch from The Butterscotch Girl

Now that I’m working at a summer school program for a couple weeks, and the new school year is approaching, hopefully I’ll start feeling better about my finances soon and will go back to my old food truckery shenanigans!

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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!