Last December, street-food promoter Matt Cohen told SFoodie readers that 2010 had been a great year for mobile food in the Bay Area, and he vowed to keep it interesting in 2011. Next Friday marks the first delivery on that promise, when Off the Grid returns to Fort Mason Center, only bigger, and with some astonishing new additions
Cohen offered SFoodie some previews of the expanded Friday-night food pod, which runs Friday nights from 5-10 p.m. (an hour longer than last year), starting Mar. 18. Organizers include Cohen, kitchen incubator La Cocina, and Fort Mason Center. Square footage is expanding by 50 percent, the number of vendors bumping up by 30 percent, from 22 to a total of 30. That includes a mix of vendors in trucks and tents, scheduled for weekly and semi-regular appearances.
First among the changes has to do with liquid offerings. This year, sister taverns Magnolia Pub and the Alembic will our craft brews, wine, and cocktails at Fort Mason Center. "We wanted to bring the alcohol more in line with Off the Grid's artisanal spirit," Cohen tells SFoodie. And because OtG Fort Mason is organized around dishes with Latino and Asian flavors, look for the equivalent in the Friday cocktail program.
As for new tent vendors given the nod to set up weekly: Namu; Saucy Dumplings; Happy Dumplings; Azalina's Malaysian; Pica Pica, doing arepas; La Cocina client Tamales los Mayas; El Huarache Loco; Zombe Curry, a new Malaysian roti canai and curry seller; Peter's Kettle Corn; and satay vendor Sataysfied.
Vendors invited back from last year include Hapa SF, Little Green Cyclo, the Taco Guys (graduating from biweekly to weekly appearances), Chaac Mool, Chairman Bao, Senor Sisig, Onigilly, Kung Fu Tacos, and Seoul on Wheels.
Other occasional vendors will cycle in and out, too. We'll let you know when Off the Grid announces Fort Mason Center guest stars. Like we said: interesting.