Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

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Catching Up On New Trucks December 21, 2011

I don’t have a good reason for not having written in almost three weeks. I’ve still been frequenting trucks and taking photos of the food I eat at them, but now I find myself overwhelmed with material from those experiences! I’ve again decided to write about the new trucks I’ve been to since my last post, and a new truck restaurant too!

Several weeks ago, my boyfriend stopped by a Milpitas Street Eats on his way home from work and picked up some dinner for us. He stopped at a truck where we hadn’t eaten before, Forbitten City. Their only vegetarian option was their garlic noodles.

Garlic noodles from Forbitten City

They could have used some vegetables and/or tofu, but the noodles were good overall. Like many trucks, I just wish they had more vegetarian options since I like what I tried. I’m sad I didn’t get a photo of the truck either since I wasn’t the one who bought the food, but hopefully I’ll see them around to snap one in the future.

Fast forward to the weekend before last. My boyfriend and I headed into San Francisco to see a couple bands play, and while there I checked my handy food truck tracking apps. (I have four of them I use because there always seems to be a truck on each one that the others miss!) Lo and behold, a cart I had never heard of was a few blocks from where we were. We walked the short distance and almost missed the tiny cart for Pie Fridays. Sadly, I only got one photo of the adorable cart, and it ended up a little on the blurry side ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The Pie Fridays cart

The lady manning the cart asked us which pie slice we wanted, and slid out little drawers in the cart to show us each of the pies. We decided on the apple pecan pie with whipped cream on the side (because I’m not always a huge fan of whipped cream), and what we experienced was homemade pie like we’d never had before.

Pecan apple pie from Pie Fridays

The ingredients were all fresh and delicious, and I even enjoyed the whipped cream since it was also clearly homemade and not out of a can. I was pleased to try another San Francisco food truck while in the city without even having food trucks as my initial plan!

During the week last week, I saw both O Mi Ninja and Food Truck Nerd post about a new truck in town, We Sushi. I became elated the second I heard about it because I’ve been waiting over a year for a sushi truck to arrive in the bay area! When I tried a sushi truck in LA during my first week of food trucking, people thought it was strange and unsanitary to eat raw fish from a truck. That truck seemed to disappear off the scene, leaving me to wonder if a sushi truck was really possible. Now that I’m a vegetarian, I could only hope that We Sushi had a vegetarian option. I hunted them down at last week’s Milpitas Street Eats to find out.

The We Sushi truck

They did have one vegetarian option, the veggie sushi burrito. I find the term “burrito” to be a little misleading though. It was more of just a really long sushi roll than a burrito. I didn’t mind because I love sushi, but someone who goes to the truck craving a burrito and expecting some kind of cross between Mexican and Japanese food might be disappointed.

Veggie sushi burrito from We Sushi

The “burrito” was yummy and definitely filled the void in my belly for sushi from a food truck. My only complaint is the price. It was $9.50, the same price as another sushi burrito the truck serves that has fish in it. I understand the need to up prices when rare fish is involved, but most sushi places I’ve been to don’t charge as much for the rolls that don’t have fish in them. If I’m going to spend $9.50 on an item from a food truck, I better be full afterward. This was not the case. I will likely eat at We Sushi again (especially if they add some more veg options to their menu… an avocado roll perhaps?), but if there’s another truck in the area with cheaper options that I know will fill me up, I will go with that one instead.

The final new food truck I’d like to write about isn’t really a food truck at all. One of our local food trucks I’ve written about before, Tikka Bytes, has opened a restaurant in Milpitas featuring the same food you can find at their truck and much, much more! Their soft launch for friends and family was on Friday night, and my boyfriend and I attended with the Food Truck Nerd family.

Tikka Bytes Indian Cafe

We were some of the first people there, and I was able to snap a photo of the interior of the restaurant before the crowd arrived.

Inside the Tikka Bytes Indian Cafe

We mulled over the menu for awhile, thrown for a loop by all the choices we don’t usually find at trucks. Finally we settled on sampling a variety of the small dishes. I’m not very well-versed when it comes to Indian food names, or even the ingredients inside Indian food. I will say, however, that everything we ate was absolutely delicious, and we will definitely be back.

Tikki Cholle

Pani Puri

Mushroom 65

Kyle obviously ate more of this one than I did, but for something that was mainly mushrooms, I enjoyed it. There was enough other flavor to drown out the mushroom.

Paneer grilled sandwich

The sandwich was like an Indian grilled cheese. It was very spicy, as was most of the food. I ended up drinking three glasses of water while there! I love spicy food but don’t handle it as well as I’d like to. Maybe going to Tikka Bytes more often will help me build up a tolerance ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’d like to stop by their new restaurant, it’s located at 138 South Main Street in Milpitas.

 

Scoops and Edgewood Eats November 6, 2011

I’m sad to say I haven’t been to many new trucks lately. Not as many new ones seem to be popping up now that the summer has ended and the cold weather is rolling in. I did get a chance to recently try a new truck that’s been on the scene for about a month now, Scoops. Unfortunately, when I tried their truck it was at a nighttime event, and I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the truck. I did snag a photo of the ice cream I got at the truck though. I had the Cookies and Dough flavor, which I assumed meant a mixture of cookies and cream and cookie dough, two of my favorite kinds of ice cream. My assumption was correct, and I couldn’t be happier when I discovered that.

Cookies and dough ice cream from Scoops

On Tuesday, November first, I went to the first Edgewood Eats since the beginning of October. It felt like I hadn’t been there in forever since they had turned into a monthly event, and before that I hadn’t been to the last couple weekly ones. (I had chosen Newark Street Eats instead because they’re closer to my work.) Needless to say, it felt good to be back.

Edgewood Eats, November 1st

I managed to snag quite the photo of an innocent bystander enjoying his food ๐Ÿ™‚

I was determined to try something new despite none of the trucks being new to me, so I had a rice bowl at Tikka Bytes with tofu and tikka masala. It was much larger than I expected and very filling. I had to actually stop myself from eating the whole thing so I could have room for the other food I desired at the gathering! I was surprised by the amount of food for a mere $6.

Rice bowl from Tikka Bytes

Next I craved an old favorite, sweet potato tater tots from Little Green Cyclo (whose name I recently found out from, Food Truck Nerd, I’ve been pronouncing incorrectly). I got the black sesame sauce with them to try something different, but I didn’t feel it measured up to the mango ketchup I usually get.

Sweet potato tater tots from Little Green Cyclo

My final stop was a truck I hadn’t been to in far too long, Butterscotch on the Go. They were serving a menu item I hadn’t seen before, the chocolate pots de creme. I got two, one for my mom and one for me, and decided to “try” some of mine on the drive home. The reason I put try in quotation marks is because I ended up eating the whole thing despite how full I was. It was so good I couldn’t stop eating. The peanut butter crunch they put on top of the pudding was definitely the best part, and the next day when I shared with my mom she concurred.

Chocolate pots de creme from Butterscotch on the Go

It was the fullest I’d been in awhile, and it made me realize how much I had truly missed Edgewood Eats. Here’s hoping next month’s feels like it comes sooner!

 

A Hot San Jose Night July 11, 2011

On Thursday, July 7th Moveable Feast held an event outside of their usual Saturday in San Pedro Square time and location. Seven trucks joined the rest of the Hot San Jose Nights festivities at the county fairgrounds for the evening.

I’ve found that my food truck obsession has brought me to places and events that I never would have seen otherwise on many occasions. This was definitely the case on Thursday. Old fashioned cars lined the perimeter of the event and often drove right by while I enjoyed my meal. There were also a lot of people dressed in poodle skirts and other ’50s garb who were attending the sock hop and decided to stop by for some dinner.

The first truck I went to was Tikka Bytes. I had only been to this truck once before and had had a taco at the time. This time I got a naanwich with tofu and tikka masala. Unfortunately, when I opened it up it definitely had chicken instead of tofu in it. I felt bad having to bring it back, but they were very understanding and my replacement naanwich came out much faster. I had a hard time getting a good photo of it though:

Tofu tikka masala naanwich from Tikka Bytes

Despite not photographing well and requiring multiple napkins to enjoy it, the naanwich was full of flavor and very filling. I had been eyeing a sandwich at another truck for afterward but soon realized I was too full for anything that big. Instead, I made my way over to The Wow Truck, a truck I never thought I’d eat at again because of their lack of vegetarian options. They have started serving a vegetarian dessert option, though, called a turon. This was basically a banana fritter, and it was tasty.

Turon from the Wow Truck

My final stop was Treatbot, where I got a chocolate chip cookie with eastside horchata ice cream. It was delicious, as always.

Chocolate chip cookie with eastside horchata ice cream from Treatbot

After I finished another messy treat (the messier it is, the yummier it is, right?), I met up with Food Truck Nerd for an interview for his podcast. He managed to record me between all the old fashioned cars driving by, and it was fun chatting with a fellow food truck lover. I’ll post as soon as he posts the episode with me in it, but until then I recommend listening to his previous episodes!

Tonight I’m heading to Edgewood Eats. I didn’t go last week, so I almost feel like I’m having withdrawals. Lots of my favorite trucks will be there, so I’m looking forward to it!