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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Cajun Truck Hits Mission Bay

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge JESSE HIRSCH
  • Jesse Hirsch

There's a jazzy splash of color among the sleek glass and chrome of Mission Bay these days, as the new food truck McGees Creole Cajun rolls out on weekdays from 8 am to 2 pm.

Owner Betty McGee is the real deal, a Louisiana-to-Bayview transplant with a stockpile of recipes from her family kitchen. Right now she's keeping the menu simple, with four varieties of seafood po-boys: grilled shrimp, grilled salmon, fried oyster, and fried catfish. 

Each $8 sandwich is served on a soft sesame roll with pickles, tomato, lettuce, and tartar sauce and a side of fries. You can also skip the bun and get each item in a basket for $9. And for the time being, McGee is throwing in a home-baked beignet with all lunches.

click to enlarge JESSE HIRSCH
  • Jesse Hirsch
Mission Bay can be a tough location for mobile food hopefuls. Construction of high-rise condos and UCSF satellite buildings is moving at a breakneck pace, yet development is largely aspirational. The newish food truck Mama Cass had a tough go of it in Mission Bay; owner Cass Thatcher said her truck may not have been able to survive were it not for Off the Grid events.

McGee said she picked her current location, near 1201 4th Street, because the permits there are easier than in other neighborhoods (no nearby restaurants, or retail of any kind). But so far it has been tough. McGee's hasn't established a strong social media presence in the city, the kind that draws crowds out to off-brand locations like Kitchenette.

When I visited, a Cadillac commercial was shooting nearby and the McGee's truck was swarmed by slick-talking L.A. crew members. A swarm of stroller pushers arrived shortly after, from who knows where. But apparently this small rush was the exception, rather than the rule.

McGee, who is on hiatus from her job as director of the Bayview/Hunter's Point Health and Environmental Resource Center (HERC), has been cooking since she was a nine-year-old in the ultra-tiny town of Mansura, La. Despite sluggish sales, she's loving her new venture, and is proud to be one of the few African-American owned food trucks in San Francisco.

Lunch is soon to expand into gumbo territory, and for breakfast you can get fresh beignets and a cup of chicory coffee. Hours can be a little sporadic; to make sure McGee's is on the street before heading over, call 415-377-4648.

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Jesse Hirsch


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