Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

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!

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This Week in Food Trucks June 18, 2012

I’ve gotta say, it’s nice to be writing a mere week after my last post. This means I get to write a little more thoroughly about each truck and all of my food truck experiences.

Last week I went to Edgewood Eats on Tuesday. There was a new truck I hadn’t heard of there. Sunrise Deli seems to be a brick and mortar restaurant that became a truck. When I saw falafel on their menu, I was in. It had been far too long since I’d had falafel from a food truck!

The Sunrise Deli Truck

As you can see, their doors were down when I arrived about twenty minutes after Edgewood started. I was willing to wait to try a new truck though. It didn’t take much waiting either, and before I knew it I had ordered my avocado falafel wrap.

Avocado falafel wrap from Sunrise Deli

I have to admit, I pretty much inhaled it. I couldn’t help it; falafel is so yummy, especially when paired with avocado. I don’t know how I never had falafel until I became a vegetarian. I feel like I have 27 years of falafel eating to catch up on.

The avocado falafel wrap after meeting my wrath

I also stopped by Scoops and grabbed a scoop of their birfday cake flavor. The gentleman taking my order made sure I pronounced the name the “right” way before serving me. He also took a photo of me and put it in the “happy customers” folder on their facebook page here. I ate a bit before I got a really good photo of all the colors of confetti in this ice cream.

Birfday cake ice cream from Scoops

On Friday, Kyle and I decided to go to a Word on the StreEatz event at Piedmont Hills High School for dinner. While there I got to try a new truck I’ve heard lots about but hadn’t run into yet, Takoz Mod Mex.

The Takoz truck

I ordered a vegetarian “el tako”. I was impressed with all the toppings which consisted of more than just the regular toppings you see on a traditional taco. It was very yummy.

A vegetarian taco from Takoz

My next stop was the Dough Truck. I had been wanting to try their tater tots ever since listening to Food Truck Nerd’s podcast about them. After verifying that the “special sauce” was vegetarian, I ordered the Animal, which is basically tater tots served animal style like at In-and-Out: melted cheese, special sauce, and onions on top.

The Animal from Dough Truck

From there, we drove to Club Auto Sport where a new candy truck, Sugar Tree Sweets and Treats was serving at an event. If you know me, you know that I love candy. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a new truck that includes candy. When we got there, we quickly discovered that this was a HUGE event. It took forever to find parking, and we felt like we were crashing someone’s party. Eventually, though, we found our destination.

The Sugar Tree trailer

This is one of the rare trucks where you actually get to walk inside. What’s more, the inside of the truck is decorated, complete with checkered floor. I’m a sucker for checkered floor. Get it, sucker? oh boy…

Shelves of candy, and checkered floor!

Another photo of the inside, including Kyle checking out the goods

It took some deliberating, but I eventually decided on a small bin of organic blueberry cotton candy, a red velvet cake pop, and a packet of fun dip (an old favorite from my childhood).

Organic blueberry cotton candy from Sugar Tree

The cotton candy had just the right amount of flavor without being too sugary sweet. It definitely tasted healthier than the kind you get at the carnival.

Red velvet cake pop from Sugar Tree

The cake pop was incredible. I don’t know how else to describe it, just utterly delicious.

Inside the cake pop

This morning, I woke up and had a mediocre half-breakfast of stale cereal. I quickly realized I need to do some grocery shopping and would need to go to a food truck for lunch before then. When I checked roaming hunger, I saw a food truck I hadn’t heard of before in Mountain View, another one that seems to be a brick and mortar gone mobile, SF Soupmobile.

The SF Soupmobile truck

They had a lot of vegetarian options, and all of them sounded delicious after my poor excuse for a breakfast. I decided to try a couple at once and went for a small bowl of the split pea soup and a half hummus wrap. After I ordered my food it was ready almost immediately. The soup seemed too hot to eat right away, so I decided to just high-tail it home. Luckily, I live close enough for the soup to still be warm when I got there.

Hummus wrap from SF Soupmobile

The hummus wrap was the perfect blend of flavors. I though the kalamata olives were an especially good touch.

I consider myself a bit of a split pea soup snob because I grew up going to Andersen’s on family vacations, and I think nothing measures up as a result. This split pea made the cut though. They also included a bit of a sourdough roll for dipping purposes, but I didn’t get a photo of it. Most importantly, after I finished the soup I let my cat lick the bowl.

I think he enjoyed it.

I’m not even sure he focused on breathing while eating the soup.

SF Soupmobile: KITTY APPROVED!