Food Trucks For Days

   As literally as that modern idiom could be used. And as incomplete as that last sentence was. San Francisco is one of the best cities to be in as a foodie. It’s full of French boulangeries and pâtisseries, so in that sense it’s also the best place to transition oneself to a return to American life & cuisine from France. Vive la baguette. And vive le food truck, because there are easily 50 food trucks in San Francisco, and 50 more in the surrounding Bay Area. There are so many ways to get your food truck fix here, but one I learned about my first day here is called Off the Grid. Seriously check it out because it is super cool. They’ve created more than 30 locations in the Bay Area where 5-40 food trucks/tents will set up shop for either lunch or dinner and you can have your choice of yummy nummies. Food trucks/carts from crêpers to crème brûléers to gyrators to SPECULOOS COTTON CANDYMEN all get together to serve us, with the frequent local band playing live music on the side. Off the Grid gets it. The coolest party to date. So without further ado, let me introduce you to some noms, and how also, not all options are good options here in food-truck land.

 Here’s the crowd for the Sunday afternoon “Picnic at the Presidio”. Blankets, folding chairs and even those shade-maker tents. It was surprisingly steamy that day.
Here is “Fins on the Hoof”, the food truck I selected for my lunch of poutine. I was first introduced to poutine in its birthplace of Québec, right in Québec city during a high school trip. Our tour guide accurately described it to us as “French fries covered with gravy and topped with squeaky cheese”. Probably like you, I thought this sounded absolutely nasty. But I also thought I would never know for sure, so I decided to try the big signature dish of Québec. I’m glad I did because it’s awesome!! Simple and squeaky. So when I saw the traditional québecois poutine at this truck I was sold.
I will definitely be coming back for the lamb burger and salmon/egg salad sandwich though!
This truck had a long line of tickets and a longer line of people – both waiting to order and waiting for their food.
So this poutine…I’m not sure if it’s my developed palate or the particular overload of salt, but I did not love the poutine like I thought I would, and I was very sad. It doesn’t look like the gravy is plentiful, but that’s because it’s busy pooling up (down?) at the bottom of the aluminum container. Not all the fries were hot, and the cheese wasn’t all that squeaky. BTW the squeaky cheese refers to cheese curds! With all that plus the superbly over-salted gravy, I was not impressed by the poutine 😦 Goodbye $9. Did I mention food trucks are expensive?
SO to make up for my disappointing poutine experience, I got myself some more francophoney food at the Crème Brûlée Cart. They do in fact have a store which I stumbled across in the Mission District recently – but I think they make most of their money from their OtG gigs and their middle-of-the-street tents in the Mission and elsewhere.
Check out these flavors. The Crème Brûlée Cart goes all out with the toppings: cookie crumble, caramel, S’MORES. I went all out too, with “The Godfather”: chocolate crème brûlée, “midnight cookie crumble” on top, all covered in caramel sauce. Danggg!

It may have been better with hot fudge sauce, or a component of warmth. It was all kinda gooey and cold, but that’s to be expected.
I have a lot of work to do if I want to get around this food truck scene. Updates to come.

Ithaca Dining Installment #3: ZaZa’s Cucina

We’re gonna pretend that I’ve posted something within the last month and smoothly transition into cardiac arresting Italian food. Rebecca and I took Jonathan out for his birthday to ZaZa’s Cucina, home to “authentic Italian cuisine”. Even though the outside of the place looks like a literal hole in the wall, once you step inside, you best hope you’re not wearing jeans. JK you could probably wear jeans, but it would not be strange to put on the fancy clothes. Jonathan had the pumpkin ravioli with caramelized onions, hazelnuts, and goat cheese.I think it was okay, if I remember correctly. 
Rebecca had theBologna-style lasagna. I think that bologna refers to the sauce, notthe sandwich meat. Tasted like lasagna. 

Then there was the gnocchi(apparently pronounced nyaw-key). That’s basically chunks of spongy potato. In this case, they were swimming in gorgonzola/brie/fontina/mascarpone/Parmigiano Reggiano cheese sauce.

Probably too decadent, especially as I had trouble getting through half, as some will be happy to hear. It tasted nice, but was very rich and sat like a rock in my stomach. I was most entertained by the texture of the new potato form in between my teeth. 

For dessert we shared a crème brûlée.My first one, too! Almost ironic. After all the time and anticipation of having it, I guess I was expecting more than it really was, though it didn’t taste bad. Glad I didn’t have my own, either. From the sounds of it, I still need some quality time (or meat) with true Italian cuisine. I can’t say this was the best night for my lipoprotein intake, but I most likely had oatmeal for breakfast. And I sure as heck won’t be trying those out again any time soon.