Anyone who lives in the United States at the moment is most likely aware of the food truck craze that is sweeping the nation. Having just come from Europe where food carts and stalls are normal only for certain food groups (i.e. sandwiches and pastries), I was extremely excited (and maybe a little scared) to get in on the action.
Over the summer I read an article in Sunset Magazine comparing Seattle and Portland. Among other things, they spent some time discussing food trucks and Portland was the clear winner. Portland is one of the food truck capitols of the country with a reported 80 or more trucks in the downtown area alone. The article intrigued my taste buds and it was time for me to try some tasty street food.
I didn’t make it to Portland for the street food, I did however, get to appreciate some of the best food trucks in San Francisco while I was in town. My good friend, Spencer, is somewhat of a connossieur when it comes to eating tasty treats sold out of the side of a cart (read Spencer’s food truck articles here and here). And we knew that San Francisco’s weekly Off the Grid event would be the perfect meeting place.
Lorenzo and I stood just outside the door as we watched the parking lot of Fort Mason swarm with hungry locals on this particularly cold Friday night in August. We looked inside in an attempt to scope out what we would go for first, but little did we know that Spencer had this whole thing down to a science. When he discovered that we were open to anything, Spencer steered us in the direction of some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life. The Taco Guys not only pump out some of the tastiest street tacos I’ve had to date, but they actually manage to be beyond friendly behind the counter while their truck is being bombarded by hungry customers from all sides.
In an attempt to save room and sample as many different foods as possible we each ordered one of their fish tacos and decided to try out their spice-ade as a nice companion to the meal. These guys do not disappoint. The flavors of the batter-fried fish were perfectly complimented with the simple ingredients and the spicy lemonade was just the kick I needed. If you are in San Francisco, ever, you must give these tacos a try.
Next we decided we’d try something different, and Spencer led us to Happy Dumplings for some tasty cabbage & pork and vegetarian dumplings which we devoured instantly in an attempt to get to The Créme Brulée Cart. I’m very sad to report that we did not make it. As we arrived the man behind the cart was packing up to go home. I’ll have to dream about what that perfect little dessert might have tasted like. But to satisfy your foodie cravings here is a photo from one of Spencer’s previous visits to The Creme Brulee Cart. Strawberry and Nutella, I would’ve died for that.
I would have loved to have another chance at Off the Grid, to sample some of the other fabulous offerings. Just look through the list of vendors on their website makes me nostalgic for one of those freshly fried tacos or a chance to try one of the other popular options. But until I make it back to San Fran, and let’s be honest that’s a long and spendy trip now, I’ll have to live vicariously through Spencer and you, if you make it there.
What’s your favorite food truck and where is it?
© All photos are property of Spencer Spellman and The Traveling Philosopher.