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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Hoofing Burgers at Fins on the Hoof

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Fins on the Hoof

The Cuisine: Cal-Med comfort food

Specialty Items: Lamb burger

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 16 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

Some trucks fall under the radar for different reasons. Some are sleepers with menus that may not read as well as the food is prepared, while others simply confound with names that are hard to remember. Such is the case with Fins on the Hoof, a food truck that we called something else almost every time it came up in conversation. Hoof and Fin. Fin Hook. Fish Hoof. But don't spend too much time worrying about the name and you'll find some damn fine cooking.

See Also: Food Truck Bite of the Week: Fiveten Deep in Burgers

Food Truck Bite of the Week: The Classic at Belly Burger

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Bowling for Lunch at Bao & Bowl

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Bowling for Lunch at Bao & Bowl

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Bao & Bowl Food Truck

The Cuisine: California-Chinese style dim-sum and rice bowls

Specialty Items: The rice bowls

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 22 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

Some foods were designed to travel: the falafel, the taco, the sandwich, and the bao are just a few of the one-handed wonders that have fueled the growth of civilizations. It's little surprise these items are staples in food truck cuisine. Just a few months out of the gate, Bao & Bowl is bringing its own renditions of dim sum staples like the bao, siu mai, and lotus leaf steam sticky rice, but also a selection of rice bowls served in Chinese take out containers.

See also: Food Truck Bite of the Week: Bao to the Chairman

San Francisco's Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurants

Dim Sum in Chinatown Ain't What It Used to Be

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: The Ball Tip Sandwich at Kinder's

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Kinder's Truck

The Cuisine: BBQ meats on deli style sandwiches

Specialty Items: BBQ sauces, ball tip steak

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total seven minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

One thing I've tried hard to do is avoid writing about the food trucks that are part of a much bigger chain of restaurants, since it feels contrarian to the kind of street cuisine I'm seeking out. For example, I might enjoy the breakfast sandwiches from the Melt restaurants, but you probably won't see their truck showing up in this column.

Of course, the second you make a personal rule you'll find a reason to break it. Kinder's, the meat market and deli that started in San Pablo in 1946 that now counts 16 brick-and-mortar locations around the Bay Area and beyond, are all far enough away from San Francisco that unless you regularly trekked out to the deep East Bay, you might not know about them. Combine that with a truck that makes regular appearances in the city and the popularity of the sandwiches, and I knew there was no way I could ignore it.

See also: BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich at Mayo & Mustard

Porchetta Sandwich at Roli Roti

Flatbread Sandwiches at Vesta

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Rum Pork Tacos at Tango & Stache

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM

A drink and a bite all in one. With an egg on top. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • A drink and a bite all in one. With an egg on top.
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Tango & Stache

The Cuisine: Cocktail-influenced Mexican comfort food

Specialty Items: Anything with the duck or bacon fat masa

Worth the Wait in Line? At 9 p.m., a total 5 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

Some weeks are so demanding that at the end of it, you don't just want to drink a cocktail, you want to eat it too. In a taco.

Thanks to Tango & Stache, you can. Serving up a rotating menu of tacos like the Rum Milk Punch Pork Taco ($4, bacon fat tortilla, milk punch-braised pork, toasted coco nib, bacon gremolata) on the menu for the next few weeks, Joshua Wilder Oakley of Tango & Stache gets his inspiration from shaken and stirred.

See also: Carne Asada Tacos at El Tonayense

Food Truck Bite of the Week: BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich at Mayo & Mustard

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich at Mayo & Mustard

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Mayo & Mustard

The Cuisine: Hot deli-style sandwiches

Specialty Items: Anything on the Dutch crunch bread

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

When I first started this weekly exploration of food truck cuisine, I knew there would come a day when I would have to face my culinary demons, those few items I really don't enjoy eating. Even with determined Jeffrey Steingarten-esqe attempts to simply like them, yellow mustard, ketchup, and American-style cucumber pickles remain my bane. Yes, yes, I know, and no really, I don't like them.

With my dislike for those condiments -- clearly the work of some repressed sandwich trauma -- I dodged the Mayo & Mustard truck simply based on the name. The sheer number of trucks allowed me the luxury to simply eat around this one, like a picky diner shifting food about on a plate.

See also: San Francisco's 10 Best Sandwiches

Porchetta Sandwich at Roli Roti

Flatbread Sandwiches at Vesta

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Headbanging to Fryin' Maiden at Brass Knuckle

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Brass Knuckle

The Cuisine: Rock n' Roll themed sandwiches and snacks

Specialty Items: Anything from the fryer

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 20 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

The heavy metal lifestyle has never been about restraint, or contrite about the visceral sounds and behavior. Brass Knuckle, the heavy metal tribute food truck unapologetically lives the same way: sex, drugs, and deep fried foods.

The truck is the domain of Shellie Kitchen (possibly not her real name) who earned her chops in culinary school and working on line in fine dining restaurants after quitting her corporate day job. The mother of three sees the truck as a way to be in the kitchen and still spend time with her family. Kitchen's love of heavy metal music inspired the cuisine and names of the dishes. Look for items like Prawn n Roses ($5, crispy prawns, cilantro crema, pico de gallo, slaw) or the Gwar ($4) garlic fries that conjure up images of the front row being sprayed with ketchup. Thankfully, you don't. But that would be rad.

See Also: Brass Knuckle: New Truck Debuts at Off the Grid

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Getting Good Juju at Voodoo Van

Cosmic American Voodoo Van: The Truck of Rock

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Carne Asada Tacos at El Tonayense

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Left to right: carne asada, carnitas tacos - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Left to right: carne asada, carnitas tacos
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: El Tonayense

The Cuisine: Jalisco style Mexican food

Specialty Items: The tacos

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 4 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

It's easy to get lost in the novelty and thrill of the chase of the latest food cart, but the old guard of taco trucks hold up their own, dishing out some of the cheapest and fastest food around. One of the oldest empires around (since 1993) is the Santana family owned El Tonayense trucks. Named after the town in Jalisco where the family is from, Tonaya (someone from there would be called a Tonayense), the trucks are scattered along Harrison at 14th, 17th, and 19th dishing out a great selection of taqueria standards.

See Also: El Tonayense's Tripitas Tacos

El Tonayense Trucks: Too Big a Fleet?

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Porchetta Sandwich at Roli Roti

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Porchetta Sandwich at Roli Roti

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Roli Roti

The Cuisine: Rotisserie cooked meats

Specialty Items: Porchetta sandwich

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 15 minutes from the end of the line, at that point just to the fenced off picnic area at Gott's, to food in hand.

I had hesitated doing a write up on the porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti for some time, mostly because saying it's good is like saying puppies are cute or soda has bubbles. The sandwich, made since 2006, is responsible for those snaking lines at the Ferry Building stretching past Gott's outdoor seating, has ascended past the subjective analysis and into objective. If you like pork, the Porchetta Sandwich ($9.50, rotisserie cooked porchetta, caramelized onions, cress) is delicious. Fact.

See Also: Dish Duel: The Great Porchetta Smackdown

Porchetta Sandwich at Carmel Pizza Co.

San Francisco's 10 Best Sandwiches

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Fryway to Heaven at Architect's Kitchen

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: The Architect's Kitchen

The Cuisine: Freshly fried chicken in rice bowls or sandwiches

Specialty Items: Fried chicken, donuts

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

Spying the Architect's Kitchen truck (also know as ArKi) the first time, I half expected the specialty to be tall towers of food, the architectural presentation of dishes that dominated the 80's and early 90's that made eating a dish a little like playing Jenga. Instead, I found a truck with fearless and deft hand at the fryer, slinging some classics of Americana: fried chicken and donuts, and yes you can get them served together.

See Also:

- ArKi's Fried Chicken and Doughnuts and The Secret Menu

- Top 10 Best Places for Fried Chicken in San Francisco

- Food Truck Bite of the Week: The Classic at Belly Burger

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: The Classic at Belly Burger

Posted By on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM

LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Belly Burgers

The Cuisine: Melting-pot American cuisine

Specialty Items: Pork belly burgers

Worth the Wait in Line? Good god, yes

Ok, so I am cheating a little here. While Belly Burger isn't a truck, it is a vendor at Off the Grid Fort Mason, where I got a chance to sample them during the special Holiday market. The sandwich concept seems excessive even by food truck standards: take a slab of pork belly, grind it, make patties, then fry them up on a griddle. What comes out is something not quite a burger, yet somehow embodying the platonic ideals of a great hamburger: crisp, just fatty enough, meaty, and dressed with condiments that multiply the flavor of the meat. Belly Burger broke the mold and now you should expect that the occasional mobile kitchen not on wheels will appear in this column from time to time.

See Also:

- Belly Burgers: Tom Pizzica Graduates to Pop-Ups

- Five Things I Learned Eating at Food Trucks

- Food Truck Bite of the Week: Flatbread Sandwiches at Vesta

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