Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

Pumpkin Treasures October 25, 2011

I have come to Veggie Truckin’ to write about two topics tonight: my food truck experience at Treasure Island Music Festival and my love for pumpkin flavored food sold at food trucks.

The weekend before last was the Treasure Island Music Festival. I ended up going on a whim with my boyfriend to the Saturday show, and this unfortunately meant missing my usual Moveable Feast tradition on Saturdays. On the plus side, there were food trucks at the festival, and most of them were San Francisco based trucks I had never even heard of! My boyfriend and I shared food from two different trucks. Our first stop was Fogcutter, a truck that, according to my research, was previously called both Brunch Box and Bandit Truck.

The Fogcutter truck

Despite the many name changes, Fogcutter’s food met my standards. I can’t find the item I had on their menu, but it was a sandwich with cheese and broccoli inside, and it was unlike anything I had tasted before. Sadly, the photo I took didn’t come out great in the sunny Treasure Island lighting.

Sandwich from Fogcutter

Meanwhile, my boyfriend grabbed his lunch at Eat Curbside.

The Eat Curbside truck

He opted for their grilled cheese sandwich with brie and caramelized onions. I had a bite, and it was tasty as well. However, the best part by far was the fries that came with it. Please excuse another less-than-stellar photo thanks to the sunlight. (Side note: I have ordered a new iPhone 4S, so hopefully my photos will also be getting an upgrade soon!)

Grilled cheese with fries from Eat Curbside

And now…. my love for pumpkin.

Like many people, I look forward to fall for a couple of reasons. One is the sound of leaves crunching under my feet when I walk. The second is pumpkin flavored food. I can’t get enough of it. If pumpkin stuff was sold year round, I would eat it year round. I just had some pumpkin cream cheese while drinking pumpkin ale. I’m obsessed. This obsession overlaps well with my food truck obsession because many trucks choose to add special seasonal pumpkin flavored food to their menus. And then I rejoice.

The first pumpkin flavored treat I had from a truck happened at the final San Mateo Moveable Feast earlier this month. Pacific Puffs was serving a special pumpkin puff that was filled with pumpkin flavored cream. The gentleman who sold it to me warned me that the cream would explode all over me when I bit into it, but I was still surprised when that’s exactly what it did. The flavor more than made up for the mess though.

Pumpkin puff from Pacific Puffs

Another special pumpkin menu item that I’ve had more than once now is the That’s Sweet! Dessert Truck‘s pumpkin spice cupcake.

Pumpkin spice cupcake from That's Sweet!

There’s something about the mixture of pumpkin and cream cheese that can’t be beat. It is also worth noting that the gentleman who runs That’s Sweet! recently told me that they discovered a problem with their ovens, and now that it’s fixed their cupcakes (which I loved before) are better than ever.

The final pumpkin experience I had was at the debut of Feast at the Flea, a new event where food trucks meet at the San Jose flea market parking lot.

Feast at the Flea, October 21st

After enjoying a dinner from O Mi Ninja, I headed over to Treatbot for an old favorite from last year. I had been waiting for the return of their pumpkin flavored ice cream, and this was the first event I went to where it was served (although they had been serving it all week). I chose to get my pumpkin ice cream in a waffle bowl with their apple pie ice cream. It was like Thanksgiving dessert a month early.

Pumpkin and apple pie ice cream from Treatbot

Although these three pumpkin flavored treats were great, I’m on the hunt for more. Do you know of any trucks in the south bay serving special pumpkin flavored options this fall? Please let me know so I can hunt them down!

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Three Days of Food Truckin’ in a Row? I Must Be Crazy. August 21, 2011

Yup, you read the title right. From Thursday to Saturday this week I went to three days of food truck gatherings in a row. I will only write about the first two days in this entry and save my account of the San Francisco Street Food Festival for my next post.

Thursday I headed to my first Moveable Feast in Mountain View. It took place in the parking lot of a restaurant called Steak Out, because food trucks apparently aren’t allowed to park on the street in Mountain View. They were taking signatures for a petition to change this, but only Mountain View residents could sign it. (Sadly, that doesn’t include me.) Due to the size of the lot, there were only four trucks there.

Moveable Feast Mountain View, August 18th

The only one that wasn’t dessert food that had a vegetarian option was MoBowl. Luckily, I’m a fan of their umami tofu, as I mentioned in a recent post. This time I remembered to take a photo of it!

Umami tofu bowl from MoBowl

I apparently have also earned the status of being a regular at this truck because they remembered I love their cheesecake eggrolls and gave me an order for free with my meal. Thanks, MoBowl! I decided to take the eggrolls to go and get another free dessert at Treatbot – I had filled out my frequent buyer card and earned a free scoop. I decided to skip the Lactaid and get a scoop of their fantastic raspberry sorbet.

My free desserts: cheesecake eggrolls from MoBowl and raspberry sorbet from Treatbot

Friday night I headed to Newark Street Eats, this time with my sister (who was visiting for the weekend from LA) and my dad. Being with family made me completely forget to take photos at the festival, it seems, but once we got home and sat down to eat the food I snapped a few shots. First, I got a spicy tofu burrito from BBQ Kalbi. It seems as though this was another case of foil making the photos blurry.

Spicy tofu burrito from BBQ Kalbi

My sister, Dad, and I then split two desserts from That’s Sweet!. We got a mini apple pie and a red velvet whoopie pie. None of us had ever had a whoopie pie before and didn’t know what to expect. When we ordered it, the gentleman asked if the marshmallow filling was okay. I asked if it included gelatin and he said no and commented on that being a good question 🙂

Red velvet whoopie pie from That's Sweet!

Both desserts were delicious, as treats from this truck tend to be. We also split the mini apple pie three ways.

Mini apple pie from That's Sweet!

Stay tuned for my post about my third day in a row of food truckin’ at the biggest food festival I’ve attended!

 

Truckin’ in Union City and San Jose August 14, 2011

I’ve been to two truck gatherings in the last few days starting with one I hadn’t been to before, Union City Street Eats. Having grown up in the tri-city area, I’ve made a point of going to each of the weekly gatherings there, and the added bonus of including my parents (who live in Newark) in my food trucking is always fun.

On Thursday, my dad and I ventured to Union City together with dinner as our mission. When we got there, we were surprised at the size of the event (ten trucks!), including a dj playing music and tables and chairs.

Union City Street Eats, August 11th

My dad was instantly overwhelmed, never having been to a food truck before, let alone ten. I, however, set out on my mission and called my mom to read her menu options so I could grab food for the two of us while Dad figured out what he was going to do. (My only complaint about how the festival was set up was that the music was so loud I could barely hear my mom on the phone.) My mom decided on a lemongrass pork bowl from The Whole Bowl Truck.

Lemongrass pork bowl from The Whole Bowl

The bowl looked super yummy, and my mom confirmed later on that it definitely was. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen any vegetarian options on the Whole Bowl’s menu. For some reason they’re marked as vegetarian on Roaming Hunger, but I don’t know why. I wish they had a tofu option or something because their food looks good!

Next I headed over to MoBowl, a truck I’ve written about previously. I’ve tried many of the options on their menu but somehow had never had their umami tofu bowl (probably because of my slight fear of mushrooms). I’m sad to say that I failed to take a photo of my food before consuming it. What can I say? I was super excited, and it was devoured pretty quickly. Luckily I did manage to snap a photo of the truck though.

The MoBowl Truck

My final stop was That’s Sweet! Dessert Truck. My mom had requested a chocolate maple cupcake, and I went ahead and got myself one as well. Once again, I was impressed by the gentleman who works the truck remembering that he had served me before when I’ve only been there three times!

That's Sweet! Truck

Chocolate maple cupcakes from That's Sweet!

On Saturday, I made my return to Moveable Feast. It felt good to be back and hang out with people like Food Truck Nerd.

Moveable Feast, August 13th

I decided to join the longest line in the place, the one for Little Green Cyclo. It had been a good three or four months since I last had their vermicelli, and I hadn’t had it with tofu yet. It was tasty, although I apparently made the mistake of using the fish sauce that came with it not realizing it was fish sauce. Oops. I’m still learning when it comes to being a good vegetarian!

Little Green Cyclo Truck

Tofu vermicelli from Little Green Cyclo

After enjoying my meal I craved dessert, and Treatbot was serving a special strawberry and raspberry shortcake. I jumped at the opportunity, especially since it was premade and didn’t require waiting in line as a result. It was some of the best strawberry shortcake I’ve tasted.

Strawberry and raspberry shortcake from Treatbot

I know it was a special, but I still hope Treatbot serves it again!

Tonight was the season premiere of The Great Food Truck Race. I was super excited about it; this show reminds me of when I first started going to food trucks in LA last August. The first season aired just as I was discovering the food truck phenomenon, and this season seems bigger and better! Naturally, I’m already siding with the vegan truck, but I have a few other favorites as well. I can’t wait to see how they deal with the challenge that involves sausage next week, eek!

 

Lots and Lots of Eats July 16, 2011

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been to three food truck gatherings this week. That’s the nature of food trucks in this area now, and I’m totally loving it. In fact, I’m kinda bummed that I’m going to be out of town so much in the next month and won’t be able to frequent my favorite trucks. However, I’m also excited to experience food trucks in other cities (Chicago and Los Angeles, specifically) and share them with you here!

My first stop this week was Edgewood Eats.

Edgewood Eats on Monday, July 11th

One of my favorite trucks, Little Green Cyclo was there. This truck was high on my list before I became a vegetarian, but now I love it even more. It has multiple vegetarian options as opposed to most trucks which only have one or two. I had had their banh mi with chicken before I became a vegetarian and loved it, so I was excited to try it with tofu instead. It did not disappoint.

Banh mi with tamarind organic tofu from Little Green Cyclo

The sandwich was filling, so I just wanted a little something more. I hadn’t eaten at Curry Up Now in awhile and had never tried one of their deconstructed samosas before. I wasn’t sure how big it would be, but at $6 I figured it wouldn’t be too too much food. I was wrong. It was a lot of food and very filling. That is in no way a complaint; I just didn’t have enough room in my tummy to finish it!

Paneer deconstructed samosa from Curry Up Now

Although I was stuffed, I made one last stop at Kara’s Cupcakes. I love to take two of their cupcakes to go, eat one for dessert later in the night, and have the other one after lunch the next day. This time around I got the Fleur de Sel and Kara’s Carrot.

The cute box in which Kara's Cupcakes are served

Fleur de Sel and Kara's Carrot cupcakes from Kara's Cupcakes

And now on to my second festival of the week! Last night (Friday), I went to the first Fremont Street Eats in the Pacific Commons shopping center in Fremont. I convinced my mom to have her first food truck gathering experience as well and gave her recommendations for some of my favorite non-veg foods I used to enjoy before I went vegetarian.

Half of the trucks at Fremont Street Eats

My first stop was Grill Stars, a truck I had yet to visit. Being a burger truck, they only had one vegetarian option on their menu (although I’ve heard great things about their fried pickles they weren’t serving that night), sweet potato fries. Although I only had to wait for one person in front of me to order, it took an unexpectedly long time for my fries to be prepared. In fact, I went to another truck while I waited, and my food still wasn’t ready. I’m sad to say that when I finally did get my fries, I wasn’t that impressed with the flavor. They were missing the usual bite sweet potato fries have. It felt like they just barely fell short. The fries also came with a marshmallow dipping sauce, but I didn’t try it since most marshmallows contain gelatin. Considering how long I waited, I’m assuming that they make their food as it’s ordered, so maybe in the future I can order their nachos without meat on them. I’m trying not to write this truck off completely after one bad experience; after all, they’re still a rather new truck, so maybe they still need to work out the kinks.

Sweet potato fries with marshmallow dipping sauce from Grill Stars

The truck I visited while I was waiting for my food at Grill Stars was That’s Sweet! Dessert Truck. I had gotten cupcakes from them once before about a month ago at Newark Street Eats. This is why I was surprised when the gentleman manning the truck recognized me as a returning customer. Impressive! I got a red velvet and a salted caramel.

Red velvet and salted caramel cupcakes from That's Sweet!

The next two trucks I hit up, for both my mom’s and my meals were two old favorites, House of Siam on Wheels and BBQ Kalbi. I got a tofu taco from each.

Tofu tacos from House of Siam on Wheels and BBQ Kalbi

Tonight was my last Moveable Feast in San Jose for about a month 😦 I didn’t take many photos because I spent some time chatting with Food Truck Nerd and his wife. They also introduced me to Ryan, the owner of Treatbot and creator of Moveable Feast.

When I arrived I made a beeline straight to the line for Toasty Melts, a San Francisco based truck that doesn’t make it to these parts very often. I had had food from their truck once before and had been waiting to try more. I got an Irish Cheddar Bomb, which consisted of two types of cheddar cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. Being lactose intolerant, I had to double up on the lactaid, but it was totally worth it.

Irish Cheddar Bomb from Toasty Melts

I wanted some Treatbot afterward but thought I should cool it on the dairy, so I got a cup of their lemon sorbet flavor. It was perfectly refreshing and fun to snack on while chatting.

Phew! What a week. I’m gonna miss my regular truck gatherings while I’m out of town, but that will make them seem that much better when I come back, right?