I just got back from a riotous week on the road, traveling down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego. I ate at about 30 food carts and was amazed at what I found:
SF Delicious has some amazing treats including a foie gras taco, cooked to order with caramelized pineapple and vanilla. Adobo Hobo tops his adobo braised pulled pork tacos with crunched up home made pork cracklings. The crème brulée man takes chocolate crème brulée, torches a mantle of sugar, tops it with mini marshmallows, torches it again to brown them, and then adds mini graham cracker crumbles . . . insane. Incredible burgers, yam fries, and onion petals courtesy of the Burger Bus in Santa Barbara shouldn’t be missed. If you are in San Diego, you need to chow down on Tabe BBQ’s fries topped with three meats, spicy pork, braised beef, and teriyaki chicken. In Los Angeles the Dim Sum Truck, World Fare, and Koge BBQ were all side-by-side one day offering me a superb pig out.
But the best part? Tracking all these bastards down and waiting in line.
In Los Angeles, I went to Venice and was floored by Lidia’s Pupuseria. These little Salvadoran stuffed masa cakes were easily the best I have had outside of Central America. Filled with black beans, cheese, pork, and chilies, they were placed on a bed of spiced cabbage and splashed with home-style salsa, I could have eaten five of them. I also sampled incredible dosas from the Dosa Truck and triple crème cheese. And black truffle burgers from Baby’s Badass Burgers made the Venice stop one of the best. Ask for Nicole. She is the burger princess that dreams are made of . . . seriously.
Anyone going out West soon should vector in with some of the local carts via Twitter. Throw out a query on Twitter/FB/Chowhound and let the games begin.
It seems to me that LA and Minneapolis have more in common than you would think. In San Fran, local cooks set up a card table and a portable stove and make four-star plates worthy of some of that city’s best restaurants. Trucks are present, but not as prevalent. Guys such as the rème brulée dude and the Magic Curry Kart are simply small sidecar kitchens built onto old bikes. Really!
What’s new closer to home? Carole Garrigos and Keri Sprau have been busy selling artisan sweet and savory pop tart-style pastries called Posh Tarts. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Flavors include caramelized onion with Maytag blue cheese, s'mores, or organic peanut butter and jelly.
Recent Facebook posts under the ROADKILL nom du cuisine have boasted of new flavors since its product debuted this past June. Yukon Gold/ white cheddar/ bacon, fig jam/ manchego/ prosciutto, blueberry/ lemon . . . Wowza. Check them out at New Hope farmers’ market at 42nd and XYLON on Sundays. The duo plans to be on the road next summer with a food-truck, making lunches and delicious fare throughout the metro area. Right now they are doing baskets and offering mini sizes, as well as standard Posh Tarts.
What are your faves out there these days? I want to know what I need to eat on the street when I am home.
State Fair options will be dissected here next week. I am psyched for another great year of riding rides, playing bingo with my friends, having our annual office party, and (similar my last go-round) going nine days in a row. I can’t wait for my first Gizmo.