Veggie Truckin'

Bay Area Food Trucks from a Vegetarian Perspective

Los Gatos and Los Angeles! July 31, 2012

It’s a weird feeling: I haven’t eaten at a food truck in a week. I feel slightly like I’m going through withdrawals, so I think it’s appropriate to at least write about them. I’ve had a busy week; first, Kyle and I ventured to southern California to visit my sister, and we were only back in San Jose for a day before we left to go to Tahoe for a friend’s wedding. Whew! The good news is we managed to get some food trucks in while we were in LA.

The night before all this craziness started, however, we went to the Los Gatos Food Fest for the first time. I had been wanting to go since this event started, but it never worked well with my schedule while I was teaching, and our Fridays seemed to be filling up quickly during the summer. On the eve of our back-to-back vacations, though, the fest seemed like the perfect introduction to relaxation, especially since it was a Caribbean theme that night!

The Los Gatos Food Fest on July 20th.

As luck would have it, I also got the opportunity to try a truck I hadn’t tried before that night! Arabian Bites had been on my list of trucks that don’t have vegetarian options for awhile. I had seen them have something vegetarian on their menu once, but it unfortunately had eggplant in it. (My allergy strikes again!) This particular evening they happened to be serving a side salad that was vegetarian.

The Arabian Bites truck

I ordered the salad, and the wait seemed a bit long for something so small, especially since there was no one in line when I ordered. There were a few people waiting on orders though. Eventually, I got my food, and it totally redeemed itself by being delicious. I especially enjoyed the dressing. Garbanzo beans and feta are two of my weaknesses, so it’s no surprise that I loved it. If this is any indicator of the quality of the rest of their food, I sure hope this truck adds more vegetarian options to their menu soon.

Side salad from Arabian Bites

Most of the rest of my meal was food I’ve already posted about on here before, but I’d like to give a special shout out to We Sushi for always making me veggie rolls that they have removed from their menu, namely the avocado roll and the veggie gyoza roll. They rock!

For dessert, I still had some room in my belly, so I splurged on an ice cream sandwich from Twisted Chill since I hadn’t had one there before. I went with peach cobbler ice cream on a snickerdoodle cookie.

Peach cobbler on a snickerdoodle cookie from Twisted Chill

I’m not sure if it’s obvious in the photo since there isn’t much to scale it, but this sandwich was HUGE, way bigger than any ice cream sandwich I’ve gotten at a truck before (and I’ve gotten them at three other trucks). I needed a lot of Kyle’s help to finish it, but eventually we did, and we enjoyed every bite.

The next day we left for LA, but it wasn’t until Monday that we visited another food truck. Luckily, we made up for it by going to five of them that night! Yup, I did my first Pacman at an LA event, On the Lot in Los Feliz. This was at the same location where I went to Los Feliz a Go Go last year. This time I went with Kyle and my (very pregnant) sister.

On the Lot, July 23rd

Of the six trucks attending, I had only been to one, so I made it my goal to eat from each of the other five. My first stop was Lomo Arigato, a Japanese/Peruvian fusion truck I had been following on twitter for two years but hadn’t gotten a chance to try yet.

The Lomo Arigato truck

This truck probably has the coolest paint job I’ve seen. It’s actually a paint job, not a wrap, and the icing on the cake is their signature knife sticking out of the front of the truck.

The front of the Lomo Arigato truck

After some deliberation (because everything looked so yummy!), Kyle and I decided on the Tallarin Saltado with tofu.

Tallarin saltado from Lomo Arigato

It was a lot of food for the price, and knowing that I wanted to pull off a Pacman, I was afraid we’d have to take some home, but it was also just too tasty to stop eating. Kyle and I finished all of the noodles without a problem.

Our next stop was Deano’s Deli Sandwiches.

Deano’s Deli truck

We would have liked to try their vegetarian hoagie, but we had to stick with sides at this point in order to try all the trucks. Instead, we went for their tortellini salad and were not disappointed.

Tortellini salad from Deano’s Deli truck

The next side we grabbed was from Flatiron.

The Flatiron truck

Being a burger truck, it was a little more difficult to find something vegetarian at Flatiron. However, they were willing to make their fried cauliflower without the bacon that usually comes in it. I’m glad they were, because it was probably my favorite food I ate from a truck while in LA this time!

Fried cauliflower from Flatiron

We took a break to munch on everything we had ordered so far, and after a few bites I decided to go back in for more at Baby’s Badass Burgers while Kyle and my sister continued eating.

The Baby’s Badass Burgers truck

….that’s kinda dirty

After confirming that they were, indeed, vegetarian, I ordered the “pig’s tails”, or curly fries. I then proceeded to wait way too long for them. This seemed like a truck that was determined to put out orders in the order they were received despite the size of the orders. I saw plenty of people served their burgers with curly fries on the side before they dished up a few of them for me. It seemed a little like an unnecessarily long wait time, but I’m happy to say that the fries were delicious one I did get them. They were covered with a seasoning that made ketchup almost unnecessary too.

Pig tails from Baby’s Badass Burgers

Our final stop was for dessert at Palazzolo’s Gelato and Sorbetto truck. I was amazed by the number of flavors they carried, and that they seemingly never changed since they were all painted directly on the truck. I quickly realized this was because the gelato was pre-packaged and not fresh-scooped.

Palazzolo’s Gelato truck

All three of us each got our own flavor. I went with the Peanut butter cup, which was actually filled with tiny little peanut butter cups.

Peanut butter cup gelato from Palazzolo’s

It was still yummy despite the fact that it was pre-packaged, and the pre-packaging made it possible for nutrition facts as well.

Nutrition facts on Palazzolo’s gelato

Kyle had the bourbon caramel pecan, and my sister had the Italian pistachio. Both had plenty of nuts in them as well, although all three of us noticed that there were more near the top and bottom and just gelato in the middle. I guess that’s how the chunks settle after they’re packaged.

My sister’s pistachio gelato (and her baby bump!)

The next day, Kyle and I sought out another food truck for lunch. This time we went to Tortas 2 Die 4.

The Tortas 2 Die 4 truck (which is more of a trailer)

As we ordered our food, we discovered that each torta came with a side salad, and they had several options for which kind of side salad we wanted. It was definitely a good deal for $8 each. After we ordered and paid, I put a tip in their tip jar that looked like this:

The Tortas 2 Die 4 tip jar

The cashier then yelled to his cook, “JOSE, WE’RE GOING BACK TO MEXICO!” Too funny.

Now, I’ve never considered dying for food before and thought the name might be an exaggeration, but this was some really good food. I think I might value my life a little more than whoever titled the truck though ๐Ÿ™‚ I got the vegetarian baja torta with pasta salad on the side, and Kyle got the “valley girl” torta (which consisted of mushrooms, so I didn’t try any), and a jicama and mango side salad (which I did try and found quite yummy).

Vegetarian baja torta with pasta salad from Tortas 2 Die 4

Valley girl torta with jicama and mango salad

We were both stuffed after eating our meals, but not too long after while we were walking around Pasadena we ran into another truck! We couldn’t not try something and add another truck to our list of LA ones we’d tried. We were also very impressed with the number of vegetarian options at Baja Express. There were veggie sandwiches, burgers, and tacos, which is pretty rare for an authentic Mexican taco truck. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find this truck online anywhere. This is common for authentic taco trucks, and it didn’t help that this one had a pretty basic name.

The Baja Express truck

Since we were both still full, we just shared a veggie taco, but it was worth the lactaid I had to take to do so.

Vegetarian taco from Baja Express

That concludes the trucks I visited in LA this time around. I’m still proud of adding seven new trucks to my list, especially since we weren’t in town for very long!

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

I’m a Liar, and I’m Home August 10, 2011

I pretty much posted all over the internet that my last post about LA food trucks would be my last, and then I went ahead and ate at another food truck in LA a couple hours later. What can I say, I’m addicted. Plus it was in South Pasadena just a ten minute drive away…

I went to Dumpling Station, which I wrote about more extensively in my first post about LA trucks. It’s the only LA food truck I’ve been to more than once (four times now!), and is quite possibly my favorite LA food truck as well. They get bonus points for putting up with my sister’s dog barking and growling at them this time around. I didn’t know he would be so rude in a food truck setting, but they were totally cool about it! I got their vegetable dumplings (which I had had before) and their Nutella banana wontons (which I hadn’t).

Nutella banana wontons from Dumpling Station

Sunday I drove back to the bay area, and Monday evening I returned to Edgewood Eats. It felt good to be home, and at a local food truck gathering again.

Edgewood Eats on August 8th

My first stop was Eat on Monday, a truck that doesn’t usually have vegetarian options. This time, though, they were serving fried mozzarella, and I knew I had to try it.

Eat on Monday

Fried mozzarella from Eat on Monday

I loved the dressing and tomatoes on top. It was the perfect return to bay area food trucking. Next I went to The Armadillo Willy’s BBQ truck. I was never a huge BBQ fan even when I ate meat, but they were serving a veggie salad that I hadn’t tried before. After eating something fried, I felt like trying something more healthy.

The Armadillo Willy's menu

Very veggie salad from Armadillo Willy's

As a new vegetarian, I find myself trying to expand my tastes and eat more veggies I didn’t used to eat since I’m already limiting my diet. I have started eating tomatoes and cucumbers when I didn’t before, and I’m working toward eating mushrooms as well. A lot of vegetarian dishes use portobello mushrooms as the “meat” of the dish, so I’ve been wanting to like them. This salad had huge portobello mushroom pieces on top, and unfortunately, I knew after the first bite it just wasn’t gonna happen. I ate the rest of the salad around them, but I’m still mad at my tastebuds for not adapting to mushrooms yet!

My final stop for the night (that salad was filling!) was Twisted Chill. I was happy to see they had lowered their price from $5 to $4. They still only had one size though. I loaded my cup up with the pomegranate raspberry flavor I loved so much from last time, and I added a little kiwi strawberry too. I only put one topping on it, bits of heath. Yum.

Frozen yogurt from Twisted Chill

While I enjoyed my foray into trucks from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles, it still feels good to be home and eating from local trucks again.

 

My Last Bay Area Trucks for Awhile July 21, 2011

Filed under: food trucks — Laura @ 1:38 pm
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Monday I went to my last food truck festival in the bay area for over a week. I think I’m already going through withdrawals. Today I leave for Chicago where I hope to have more food truck adventures. For now, though, let’s relive my last Edgewood Eats for about a month.

Edgewood Eats on Monday, July 18th

I started my evening at Iz It. I had eaten tacos at their truck a few times before, but this time I got something different. I can’t remember its full name unfortunately, but I know it was tofu katsu something-rather. (I’m totally losing my journalistic cred with this, aren’t I?) It was basically fried tofu wrapped in white rice and seaweed. It reminded me of sushi, and boy oh boy do I love sushi. Edit: Thanks to the commenter who let me know it’s called tofu katsu musubi or doan-fu.

Tofu katsu musubi from Iz It

My next stop was a truck I hadn’t been to before, Twisted Chill. They’re a relatively new truck that serves frozen yogurt. The best part is that the yogurt is all dairy free! This makes my little lactose intolerant heart sore. I wanted to hit them up second so I could fill my $5 cup up and get my money’s worth, then gauge if I wanted more food afterward. I got a mixture of vanilla, chocolate, and pomegranate raspberry yogurt. As soon as I tasted the latter I wished I had gotten more of it. So tart and tasty! I also topped it with lots: oreos, cookie crisp cereal, caramel, and sprinkles. I’m definitely glad I got the Twisted Chill experience, but I wish they had more than one size for people who just want a snack after other trucks.

Frozen yogurt from Twisted Chill

I still had a little more room in my belly, so I headed over to BBQ Kalbi for their spicy tofu taco that I love so much. I added a couple jalepenos to kick up the spice factor a bit.

Spicy tofu taco from BBQ Kalbi

Afterward, I was mostly full, but I sat around to wait for a friend to show up. While I waited the thought of getting an order of cheesecake eggrolls from MoBowl for later crept into my mind and wouldn’t leave. I eventually got some, and ate them on the drive home… so much for later. I’ve had these things multiple times and couldn’t recommend them enough.

Cheesecake eggrolls from MoBowl

Yum. Hopefully visiting four trucks in one trip will tide me over until my next truck experience in Chicago!