Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

Hiller and Coupons and Soup, Oh My! July 16, 2012

Surprisingly enough, I’m writing another post less than a week after my last one. It helps that it’s summer, and it helps even more that one of the truck gatherings I went to this week I didn’t even know was a gathering until I got there! Man, I love it when that happens.

We’ll start, however, with last week’s event at Hiller Aviation. This weekly event happens every Wednesday and is put on by The Mobile Gourmet. I have known about Hiller for a few months, and during the school year I was constantly looking at the truck list and lamenting the fact that I was working and couldn’t drive up to San Carlos to taste some of the trucks that don’t always make their way down to the south bay. I knew when school was out I had to check it out at least once, and I’m glad I did. What I found was a very organized event. The museum’s sign even welcomed the trucks!

The Hiller Aviation Museum sign

There were many people scoping out the trucks along with me.

The spread at Hiller Aviation on July 11th

Another touch I appreciated was that they had tables set up for people who wanted to enjoy their food there. I always appreciate a gathering that comes with seating.

The crowd enjoying their meal at the tables

After enjoying the scenery, I zeroed in on the trucks and made my choices. I decided to go with Senor Sisig first since I had only seen them twice before and hadn’t tried everything on their menu for vegetarians yet. This time I went with their sisig nachos with tofu on top. I had never had tofu on nachos before, and I don’t know why more people don’t offer it as an option. It was delicious!

Sisig nachos with tofu from Senor Sisig

I also got a tofu taco from Nom Nom since I rarely see them as well, but I didn’t take a photo since I’ve posted one here before.

Finally, I got a chance to check out The Butterscotch Girl. Since Butterscotch on the Go stopped hitting the streets, there had been a lacking in butterscotch at food truck events, and I was excited to try this new take on butterscotch pudding.

The Butterscotch Girl truck

I ordered two of the flavors, one of the regular butterscotch pudding and one of the orange cardamom butterscotch pudding, and took them to go so I could share them with Kyle later. I liked how both were served in a container that told the ingredients, leaving nothing a mystery.

The Butterscotch Gril’s informative container

Later, when we enjoyed our pudding, we found them to be quite similar, except the orange cardamom had a hint of orange flavoring to it, naturally. Kyle preferred the orange cardamom, and I preferred the plain butterscotch, but we agreed that they were both quite tasty.

Butterscotch pudding from The Butterscotch Girl

On Friday, I headed out to Mountain View to find SF soupmobile again. They had mentioned on facebook that they were at coupons.com with six other trucks at a public event, but I hadn’t seen any other trucks mention it. I figured as long as they were there, I was interested, so I drove out and was surprised to find not one, not six, but NINE trucks gathered at coupons.com!

The spread at coupons.com on Friday

Signs that were posted explained that it was a private gathering from 11-12:30 and public from 12:30-2. I was glad I had gotten a late start and arrived at 12:40 since SF Soupmobile hadn’t explained that in their post. I have a feeling the semi-private nature is what kept other trucks from advertising. I, however, felt like the luckiest person ever on Friday the 13th.

Despite all the options, I still had a craving for soup, so my first stop was SF Soupmobile where this time I got a small bowl of their organic tomato bisque. I should have waited awhile to devour it, but I couldn’t help myself and burned the top of my mouth and tongue in the process.

Organic tomato bisque soup from SF Soupmobile

As I wandered around the event checking out the other menus and weighing my options, I decided to glance at the menu at Road Dogs despite thinking they wouldn’t have anything for me.

The Road Dogs truck

Lo and behold, I spied fine print at the bottom of their menu that said “any dog can be served veggie for $1 more”! I immediately felt quite silly for never checking out their menu before and always assuming they didn’t have anything vegetarian. However, when I went up to order they told me they were out of veggie dogs that day. I wasn’t thwarted for long, though, because I had also seen some different tater tot options on their menu. I went with the cheesy jalapeno tater tots.

Cheesy jalapeno tater tots from Road Dogs

I was pleasantly surprised with how many tater tots came in the order. In fact, I started to run out of room in my tummy and had to take some of them home for later. Definitely worth the five dollars. I look forward to trying one of their veggie dogs when they have them!

My next stop was Truckin’ Sweet, which I had only been to once before and enjoyed. This time I went with their caramel brownie bash flavor, which consists of brownie pieces and caramel swirl in vanilla ice cream.

Caramel brownie bash ice cream from Truckin’ Sweet

I found it to be more vanilla than anything else, but maybe I just got a scoop without much else in it. I tasted some of the caramel, but didn’t get much brownie at all. I think next time I’ll go back to the Voo Doo Crunch I enjoyed so much last time.

My final stop was Oaxacan Kitchen to get some of their amazing churros to go. Again, I didn’t take a photo since I’ve posted them before. I can’t emphasize enough how great their churros are though!

Today, like a crazy person, I went to SF Soupmobile yet again! This time I mostly went because they were in Mountain View again, and Kyle hadn’t gotten to try them yet. Since he works too far from Mountain View to go there during his lunch break, I picked up lunch for both of us and met up with him closer to work. I was happy to try more from their truck too. They have a rather expansive menu, and many vegetarian options. This time I went with a salad instead of soup since all of their salads can be made vegetarian. I got their Asian chicken salad sans chicken.

Asian salad from SF Soupmobile

It was as good as I hoped it would be, and I especially enjoyed the edamame and crispy wontons. There might have been too much dressing for some, but I love dressing so it didn’t bother me.

Kyle went for the organic southwestern corn chowder and a half egg salad sandwich. I had a bite of the chowder, and it was yummy. He said the same was true of the sandwich, and I have to believe he meant it because he ate it so quickly I didn’t get a photo of it before it was gone. Luckily I snagged one of the soup though!

Organic corn chowder from SF Soupmobile

I probably won’t write before then, so I’m happy to announce that next week Kyle and I are going to Los Angeles to visit my sister, and I’m hoping to hit up some LA food trucks while we’re there. I can’t wait to mix it up with new trucks!

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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!