Monthly Archives: October 2011

Food Truck Shangri-La

At the very same time most of you were lining up on the cold, windy streets of Edmonton at Sharon and Mack‘s latest  What the Truck event, , Robyn and I were doing the very same in the fine city of San Francisco at the grand daddy of all food truck events, Off the Grid. 

Off the Grid organizes many food truck events in the Bay Area, with the party at Fort Mason on Friday nights being the largest. On an average Friday evening there could be up to 30 trucks serving the hungry mob of food truck enthusiasts. For our visit, there were 26 vendors.

Fans of Food Network shows such as Eat St., and The Great Food Truck Race may recognize a few of the big name trucks…

while some others were unheard of to us such as The Creme Brule Cart, and my hands down favourite 3-Sum Eats.

With so many vendors, and each having half a dozen or more options, you can imagine how overwhelming it is to decide where to start, but we settled on a Korean taco from Seoul on Wheels. Loaded with bbq pork, romaine lettuce, sour cream, gochujang chili sauce, and sweet daikon, it was a decent way to ease into the feast. A little bit of spice, and a nice crunch from the romaine whet our appetites for what was to come.

Korean pork taco from Seoul on Wheels

Next up, I made Robyn get in the daunting lineup at Chairman Bao Bun Truck for a Pork Belly w/pickled daikon sandwich. It looked really good, but was just ok, with no really memorable qualities to it. In fact, it was the sandwich equivalent of discovering that your new girlfriend’s “assets” are all just a great push up bra. The pork was bland, and the bun was just way too much bread. But I did enjoy the large slices of daikon.

Chairman Bao’s Pork Belly w/daikon

It certainly pales in comparison to the pork belly sandwich from Edmonton’s own Drift food truck.

After a bit of grumbling about how we wasted so many calories and so much stomach real estate with such a large disappointment, we decided we had better put some more thought into our next selection. After some intense negotiation (read: arguing) we decided on a Notorious PIG from Brass Knuckle. Let me tell you kids, this is where things started to get good. I mean seriously good.

The PIG is essentially a cuban sandwich- roasted pork, ham, swiss, pickle, and herbs. But instead of bread, these crazy bunch of knuckleheads are cramming all that edible fun between a halved rosemary waffle!

Brass Knuckle’s Notorious PIG


Yeah, that’s right, you heard me. And it’s pretty darn good. Juicy pork, salty ham, crunchy pickles… how can you go wrong?

Much happier with our latest selection, we meandered around looking for our next victim. That’s when we came across this…

All seven things on the 3-Sum Eats board sounded fantastic to me, so knowing we had to save room to sample a couple desserts we huddled and came out with a unanimous decision- the Tsingo Braised Brisket Sandwich, w/ truffled edamame hummus, black garlic aioli, funyuns, and watercress.

Robyn calls this my “David Hasselhoff moment”

Wow. Packed with super tender brisket, and absolutely dripping with juices, this thing looked like a sloppy, messy, disaster waiting to happen! And it was fantastic! The truffled edamame hummus and black garlic aioli, mixed with the brisket juices made a rich, flavourful sauce that I would have gladly consumed as a drink. Eating this sandwich was as satisfying as punching a mime.

you know you want to do it!

We were also unable to resist 3-Sum’s Mac and Cheese Spring Rolls. Could you? Creamy, cheesy mac and cheese rolled inside a crispy won ton wrapper, with fondue dipping sauce for some extra cheesiness? C’mon, that should be illegal right? Well thankfully it’s not.

Is there anything that isn’t better deep fried?

Of course no meal would be complete (at least in Robyn’s mind) without a sweet treat (or 2) at the end.

To that end, we didn’t have to go far. 3-sum Eats also had a red velvet whoopee pie with a cream cheese buttercream, and we also got a Nutella with Strawberry Creme Brule from The Creme Brule Cart.


Nutella and Strawberry- they were made for each other

The following is Robyn’s description for your viewing pleasure.

The whoopie was as big as my head and almost as soft.  Separately, the cake was too sweet and the icing was not-sweet-enough and too buttery, but when eaten together (which, I guess, is how its meant to be, my food OCD be damned!) it was perfect and was gone much too soon.

Maybe it wasn’t so big, after all…

The nutella/strawberry crème brulee was cold (but so was the wind), but still had the perfect crust for me to crack.  Under that satisfying burnt sugar crunch was creamy, chocolatey goodness with small chunks of strawberry.  Look Ma, I’m eating fruit!

Do I know how to keep a woman happy or what?

So there you have it, your guide to becoming obese in San Francisco! Use it wisely.