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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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!