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 Food Porn April 12, 2012

If you follow me on twitter then you know that this week I have had the opportunity to eat at more trucks than usual due to the fact that I’m on SPRING BREAK! In fact, I’ve been to at least one truck on every day of my Spring Break except for Sunday. (That seems to be a common day off for trucks.) I was hoping this would also mean more blogging, but it’s already Thursday, and this is my first blog of the week. Ugh. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to post another before the week is over with the few new trucks I’ve tried this week, but this post will be a classic food porn post consisting of trucks I’ve been to before.

First, the truck that was originally Small Time Cooks has gotten an upgrade including a new wrap and new name. They’re now called 333 (or Triple Dash Three).

The 333 truck and menu

I’ve tried them a couple times since the upgrade, and both times I’ve gotten their tacos. Most recently, I saw them at Milpitas Street Eats last night and ordered a paneer tikka taco. They also gave me a mushroom tofu taco on the house and came out of the truck and hand delivered it to me. Such service!

Paneer tikka and mushroom tofu tacos from 333

I’m not sure if I’ve written about Seoul on Wheels before, but I’m a big fan of their BBQ rice plate with tofu. I haven’t asked if the kimchi has shellfish in it, and sometimes I like to just remain in the dark about that kinda stuff 😉

BBQ tofu rice plate from Seoul on Wheels

And now for some new dishes from a few trucks who need no introduction because I’ve written about them before…

Orange chocolate cake from Butterscotch on the Go

Chocolate peanut butter tart from Butterscotch on the Go

Vegetarian taco from Tacos de Los Altos

Paneer sexy fries from Curry Up Now

Caprese sandwich from Eat on Monday

Mini red velvet cupcake from Fairycakes

Aloo tikki chaat from Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile

Chocolate dipped peanut butter cookie from Mini Yums

Mint chip ice cream from Twisted Chill

At a recent Willow Glen Moveable Feast I experimented with making my first mashup. I’ve tried a few mashups that friends have made before, but this was the first one I made! I started with pandan waffles from O’Mi Ninja.

Pandan waffle from O'Mi Ninja

Then I added the waffle to Mexican chocolate ice cream from Treatbot. The result was a sweet and scrumptious mashup!

The Treatbot and O'Mi Ninja mashup

Yesterday I got to see Truckin’ Sweet in person for the first time despite trying their ice cream before.

The Truckin' Sweet truck

I tried their Voodoo Crunch flavor, which includes oreo cookies and malt balls. It was delicious and much enjoyed despite the cold weather.

Voodoo crunch ice cream from Truckin' Sweet

Today I headed to Whisk on Wheels for lunch at their usual Thursday lunch spot at Lockheed Martin. When I’m not on Spring Break, my boyfriend always goes there on Thursdays and meets up with other food truck enthusiasts, and I’m always so jealous because Whisk rarely makes it down here any other time. This time Kyle wasn’t able to make it, but I was! I ordered the pesto pasta and was soon told they had run out of pasta 😦 I opted for the spinach and ricotta empanada instead, and they also gave me a free bowl of their cream of tomato soup.

Cream of tomato soup from Whisk on Wheels

I especially enjoyed the croutons that came with it. One of these days I’ll get my hands on that pesto pasta! One thing that I saw at the Whisk truck that I haven’t seen at any other truck was a bowl of mints. I thought that was a nice touch. Many restaurants have mints that are free for the taking as you exit, so why not trucks too?

Bowl of mints at the Whisk on Wheels truck

Finally, I’d like to write about a couple of occasions where Kyle came with me and brought his camera. I bet you thought his goal to take photos for my blog had been a one time thing, huh? Well, he’s remembered on a couple more occasions now 🙂 First, he brought it with us when we went to a Moveable Feast at a new location. A week ago Saturday a few trucks came out to the History Park in San Jose for a Spring Garden Festival. We were excited to see trucks at a new location and liked the line up, so we went not knowing what to expect. What we saw was a different crowd than most; instead of the usual food truck lovers, the event was mostly gardening lovers, and there were tons and tons of plants for sale! It was also raining, but that doesn’t usually stop me.

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Our first stop was Eat on Monday. Since the event had started at 9am, they were selling a few breakfast items we hadn’t tried before. We went for the egg crepe roll and absolutely loved it.

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They also gave us a free dish, that had a name I unfortunately forget. It wasn’t on the menu for the day, but it was also very yummy.

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Our next stop was the B2 coffee booth where we each got a drink to warm us up. Kyle took this opportunity to take a silly photo of me drinking my mocha.

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Afterward we walked around for a little while, and I even took the opportunity to buy something for my grandma for her 89th birthday! My family was planning on fixing up the patio of her apartment and making a garden out of it, and when I saw a hummingbird feeder at one of the booths I thought that would be a fun gift for her. She likes to watch the squirrels that run around her retirement home from her apartment, so I thought she’d like watching hummingbirds even more.

Hummingbird feeder (photo taken with my phone, not Kyle's camera)

I just love how my food truck obsession sometimes brings me to places and things I otherwise would not access!

Kyle also brought his camera along to the Moveable Feast this weekend at Garden City. We both ate at No Way Jose. Kyle got a veggie burrito.

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I got a veggie taco salad. They first made it with meat in it, and when I sent it back I could tell they made an all new one for me instead of just picking out the meat like some restaurants do because the toppings I had thrown on were missing. That’s good vegetarian customer service!

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As always, I recommend checking out Kyle’s flickr photostream for more photos. He got some good meta photos of Food Truck Nerd taking photos of his food that day.

 

When SF trucks come to SJ March 25, 2012

Two weeks ago, the Cinequest festival was wrapping up in downtown San Jose, and many food trucks were invited to participate in the closing day celebrations. I don’t know how they did it, but somehow a few trucks from San Francisco that never venture down to the south bay made the trip for this occasion, and all of the south bay food truck followers rejoiced at the new variety.

Trucks lining First Street on the last day of Cinequest, March 11th.

Our first stop was El Tonayense, a truck I had seen listed on Roaming Hunger plenty of times but have never run into while in the city.

El Tonayense truck

I wanted to have room to try all the trucks I wasn’t used to seeing, so I just ordered a vegetarian taco, and it was a great start to my meal.

Vegetarian taco from El Tonayense

Our next stop was Onigilly. I had tried this truck once before in the city, but Kyle hadn’t. We got two onigillies: a hijiki for Kyle and an ume for me.

Hijiki and and ume from Onigilly

The ume started off like other tastes I’ve tried, but once I got to the salted plum portion there was an explosion of salty goodness. Definitely unlike anything I’ve tasted before!

Next came The Southern Sandwich Co. truck, which I had only tried the potato wedges from before. This time Kyle went all out and got a hickory smoked portobello sandwich, pepper jack mac, and Carolina cole slaw.

Hickory smoked portobello sandwich and pepper jack mac from Southern Sandwich Co.

Carolina cole slaw from Southern Sandwich Co.

Not being a huge mushroom fan, I didn’t try the sandwich. I did have plenty of the two sides, though, and they were both delicious. The slaw had a spicy bite to it that I especially enjoyed.

To complete our meal, we stopped by The Ben and Jerry’s Truck, which I didn’t know existed before this event.

The Ben and Jerry's Truck

Although I’m plenty familiar with what Ben and Jerry’s has to offer, I stuck with my determined goal of hitting up every truck possible. I got a scoop of one of my favorites, Americone Dream. (Gotta love anything Stephen Colbert related!)

Americone dream from Ben and Jerry's

Overall, it was a welcomed change to the usual trucks we’re used to seeing in the south bay. Don’t get me wrong, I love the south bay trucks, but it’s always nice to try something new!

I have also had the pleasure of trying three other new trucks to the area recently. First, Fairycakes has started making appearances at Moveable Feasts.

The Fairycakes truck

The first time they showed up at Moveable Feast, their line was huge. Dan Hugo waited in it and got a bunch of cupcakes to share for his efforts. I took a photo of the box after it had emptied half-way in crappy nighttime lighting. Although the photo doesn’t do it justice, the red velvet cupcake I had from them was delicious.

Cupcakes from Fairycakes

The next new truck I tried was one Kyle picked up food from on his way home at a Milpitas Street Eats. Truckin’ Sweet serves just ice cream now, but they will soon be serving other sweets as well. Kyle grabbed their mystery flavor, which apparently was a mystery even to the people who run the truck.

There were many different layers of different ice creams, some with chunks of nuts or berries in them. Somehow they all converged to make a yummy treat. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this truck.

Finally, a new truck was serving up at yesterday’s Moveable Feast named Chutney Mary’s.

The Chutney Mary's truck

They had two vegetarian options, and we ordered both not knowing what they were. First came the bhel papri chaat, which was a sort of Indian take on nachos.

I assumed the yellow topping was cheese, given the nachos comparison. I soon realized they were little noodle crisps and felt silly for taking lactaid. The dish consisted of many different flavors that went well together and were especially complemented by the many different chutney sauces the truck had to choose from. Kyle added a couple to our plate. The second vegetarian dish was the puchkas. These little hollowed out crispy bites wer served with a filling that had to be spooned in and then an additional watery sauce that should be added just before popping the whole thing in your mouth.

Puchkas from Chutney Mary's

We tried our best to get an action shot of how the dish is prepared. The gentlemen running the truck were very helpful with explaining the process to us, and the results were tasty as well. We got so into eating them we quickly lost track of how many we had eaten to figure out if we each had an equal portion.