To my English ears the phrase “Food Truck” brought images of unidentified grease-covered meat being served to people so full of beer that their culinary judgement had long since vanished.
(California Girl Comments: Similarly, in Los Angeles we used to call them roach coaches as they weren’t known for their cleanliness, only that they somehow appeared on work sites and public areas throughout the city like cockroaches. Some of these restaurants on wheels even embraced that name and used to have the horn play “La Cucaracha”as a call to all of those wanting a quick meal.)
Imagine my trepidation on being invited to “The Food Trucks” for lunch on my first day at my new job in Downtown San Francisco. My fear of inedible food was overridden by my British deference and with a heavy heart, I went with my team. It turns out that in San Francisco these trucks are as close to the kebab trucks as Napa Cab is to Thunderbird wine.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a company called Off the Grid arranges three or four trucks to park on Front Street between Broadway and Vallejo Street. Each day brings different food trucks and they are on two or three-week rotations, so there is great variety of choice. I had gone to the food trucks two or three times a week for several months before I went back to a truck and this was because I wanted to try Sanguchón’s excellent Loma Saltado for a second time and not because I had tried every truck.
The quality varies from fairly good to outstanding. I have definitely found favourites; the aforementioned Sanguchón is the best of the three Peruvian places, Kokio Republic serves Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) which are the best wings I have tasted, and Mustard and Mayo serves near perfect American sandwiches. I shall blog in detail on these places in the coming weeks.
The drawback to having these trucks that I know are excellent is that it discourages me from trying new options. This dilemma is accentuated by Off the Grid’s app and website that allow me to see what will be on offer in the week to come; so, for instance, I start to look forward to the amazing soy and garlic glazed wings for days in advance. Writing this on a Thursday evening, I know that tomorrow Ebbett’s will be one of the trucks on offer and that means chocolate dipped espresso shortbread; how can I eat elsewhere?
California Girl Comments: This does pose a slight change to the way we eat in our home. As The Brit eats all of these fabulous gourmet meals each work day, I am less inclined to make him a large dinner when he comes home. We have now settled into a routine of much smaller meals in the evening. However, I do get irked hearing about all the great food these different places each day when I can’t eat there too. Chocolate dipped espresso shortbread? Are you kidding me?