In the nearly 5 months that I was living and working in London, I missed the thrice-weekly food trucks that sell lunch on Front Street in San Francisco. I had assumed that my first visit would be to an old favourite, but it was to a brand new truck – The Borsch Mobile. The truck describes itself as offering Russian – Ukrainian comfort food. This is not a cuisine with which I have much experience, but that is one of the joys of San Francisco food trucks, you get to experiment with food from a wide range of cultures.
Borsch or Borscht is a soup commonly served in the Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. It has a striking red colour from beetroot, one of its main ingredients. It can include meat, fish, or be made as a vegetarian dish. The name comes from a Yiddish word (באָרשט).
It was a typical summer’s day in San Francisco, in other words overcast and cool; so hearty food sounded ideal. I decided to order the beef tongue sandwich. It was served with tomatoes, onions that had been soaked in balsamic vinegar, and arugula (rocket for our British readers). The meat was tender and the assorted vegetables provided an excellent texture and flavour contrast. Delicious, thick sliced pickles were served as a side.
One of my colleagues from the UK office was in town. He originated in the Ukraine and was delighted to see this truck. He ordered a side of salo fingers on bread. Salo is hard fat from the back of a pig. It was seasoned with garlic and served on rye bread. We were also given a small dark-chocolate covered wafer, which my colleague recognized as another piece of home tradition.
The food from the Borsch Mobile truck was tasty and would seem to be authentic. I look forward to trying other dishes on cold San Francisco summer days.