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Monday, January 10, 2011

Napa's Food Truck Friday Has Destination Potential

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 6:01 PM

click to enlarge Despite food shortages, Friday's food truck gathering in the Oxbow parking lot was a hoot. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Despite food shortages, Friday's food truck gathering in the Oxbow parking lot was a hoot.

Napa is no slouch when it comes to dining, so we were excited to explore the food truck scene at Friday's once-a-month Napa Valley food truck rally.

click to enlarge Turkey chili from Mark's Hit the Spot. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Turkey chili from Mark's Hit the Spot.

Staged in a dirt lot right next to Oxbow Public Market (it's used for construction during the day), which houses the semipermanent Dim Sum Charlie's Airstream trailer most evenings and weekends, Friday night's event was picturesque and festive. The young crowd, fire pit, live music, BYOB ― it felt more like a backyard party than a food pod. The trucks circled a heater-lined picnic area (a second picnic area was situated above, where bands played throughout the night). With 10 food vendors in attendance there were plenty of choices, and seating for all.

It was a good thing the atmosphere was entertaining, since ― arriving midway through the 5 p.m.-midnight event ― we found trucks that were either out of food or had shut down completely (like Cochon Volant, our principal raison d'être for heading to Napa). Some only had a dish or two left, but we managed to cobble together a respectable survey of the night's offerings.

Spencer on the Go had the best bite of the night with the escargot lollipops, delicate puff pastry surrounding herbaceous snail nuggets. Mark's she Spot was out of sliders, but the turkey chili was a welcome warm-up with delicate spicing. We finished the evening out with dumplings from Dim Sum Charlie, with its eyebrow-raising "We love you long time!" slogan. They were just okay and pricey, though they did make us feel like Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, grabbing a bite before hunting down replicants.

We'll see how Napa's monthly food truck show progresses. Despite Friday's shortages, the event had a fun vibe and some good food, with potential to become a premier night market destination, especially in the warm summer months.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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