Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Street Eatz & La Texanita (Santa Rosa)
More than a taco truck, less than a restaurant, the Street Eatz mobile kitchen is leading Sonoma County’s food truck brigade with globally-inspired dishes (agedashi, tacos, pulled pork, curry, chile rellenos and the unbeatable Carne Asada fries). Biz partners Jillian Dorman and Alma Mendez (of La Texanita) collaborated on the popular truck, which has been a mainstay at local events throughout the spring and summer. Street Eatz is also a frequent participant in some of San Francisco’s bustling street-food events, including Off the Grid. The truck makes lunchtime stops throughout the week (Tesconi Circle, Aviation Blvd., Revolution Moto) and has recently been granted permits for Friday and Saturday nights (6pm to late) at Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square. You can find their complete schedule at street-eatz.com or follow them on Twitter or Facebook at StreetEatz.
The Street Eatz sister truck from La Texanita has begun rolling out as well, including most of the items you’ll find at Alma’s much-loved restaurant (Guy Fieri is a huge fan): Tacos, burritos and flautas with homemade tortillas and tasty meats like tongue and cabeza. The truck’s been parking at the corner of 116 and Lynch Road in Sebastopol for lunch and dinner and sharing the Friday and Saturday night spot with Street-Eatz.
Fork Catering (Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Occidental)
Fork, run by caterer Sarah Piccolo out of Sebastopol, embraces the local farm-to-table vibe, serving up Stornetta beef burgers on whole wheat buns; a quinoa garbanzo bean burger, green chili mac and cheese, and salads bursting with veggies plucked from local patches.The converted Mother’s cookie truck has been outfitted with a impressive kitchen and espresso set-up. You can find Sarah and her truck at a variety of public and private events (she’s often at bicycle-related events), including stints at the Occidental Farmer’s market and Dutton-Goldfield winery, though she prefers to stay within 90 miles of her home turf in Sebastopol. Find the most recent locations on her Facebook page: Fork Catering.
Chicago Style Hot Dogs
Wieners are the original street food, so its no wonder that a growing contingency of mobile doggeries are on the roll. Jeff Tyler is the guy you’ve seen tucked away on Je Ju Way (near Russian River brewery) on weekdays and most recently doing a brisk late-nite biz in Courthouse Square. He also hangs out on Wednesdays at Paradise Ridge winery, where from time to time he makes his special Pinot Dog — with wine-soaked mushroom onions and garlic. Using only Chicago-style Vienna dogs on poppy seed buns, Tyler says his dogs are tops. Facebook: Chicago Style Hot Dogs; Twitter: Dogsfromchicago.
Taste of a Gyro (Sonoma)
Chef Sondra Bernstein of the Girl and The Fig in Sonoma gives the heads up on Dominic Sammarco’s mobile gyro trolley near the Sonoma town square. He does traditional lamb as well as chicken gyros, but the secret’s in the sauce. In addition to tzatziki (a yogurt cucumber sauce), he douses his $6 hand’wiches with a selection sauces that go from mild to wild: ranch feta, jalapeno feta, habanero feta or the mouth-searing super fire hot red sauce (jalapenos, sirrano, habenero and body-numbing ghost peppers). “It’s all about creating your own taste,” he said. You’ll find business and construction folks rubbing elbows with a few adventurous high schoolers from 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday at the Sonoma Skate Shop (1001 Sonoma Ave., Sonoma) or Tuesday evenings at Sonoma’s farmer’s market.
Napa has an especially vibrant food scene that’s spawned several trucks in just a few weeks. They’re already planning several “group” events, one of which happened on Friday near the Oxbow Market, so its worth signing up for mailing lists to keep abreast of pop-up dinners and collaborative get-togethers.
Dim Sum Charlie’s (Napa)
Working out of a converted Airstream trailer, this mobile dum sum-ery is all the buzz in Napa. The lengthy list of steamed and baked goodies includes pork sui mai dumplings, shrimp and pea sprout dumplings, mushroom and water chestnut dumplings, honey baked pork buns, lobster shrimp and sea bass dumplings and sticky ricked stuffed with pork sausage. The temporary-space near the Oxbow Market (pretty much a construction zone), has several picnic tables with canvas awnings, so it’s worth sticking around and having a tower of steamers delivered tableside. The crew includes Andrew Siegel (the founder) and Chef Clayton Lewis, who have plans for Bay Area domination with more Dim Sum Charlie’s trucks in the works. Do yourself a favor and start off with the “Ten Dolla Make You Holla” which includes a little taste of several dumplings and buns. When the dumpling cravings will drive you back for more (and trust me, you’ll get them), you can find the Napa truck open from 6pm to 1am Wednesday and Thursday, and until 2am on Friday. Saturday noon to 2am and Sunday noon to 10pm. So who’s eating dumplings at 2am in Napa? Industry folks (chefs, cooks and bartenders) are some of their most loyal customers. More details at dimsumcharlies.com.
Crossroad Chicken (Napa)
Follow your nose to the smell of a wood-fired oven on wheels. Kevin Simonson is another trained chef who’s finding a new kind of calling behind the wheel of a Snap-On truck turned mobile cucina. The unique vehicle, which he found on Craigslist, has a built in wood-fired oven that he’s using to toast up top-notch sandwiches using air-chilled chickens, local produce, fresh mozzarella and his own pulled pork. A special favorite: Rancho Gordo bean chili. Most days you can find Kevin from 11am to 2pm at 1050 Soscol Ferry Road (not far from the Napa Airport), but if you want to order ahead, find out other locations or just see what’s on the menu, email email@example.com.
Mark’s the Spot (Napa)
Mark Raymond is the real deal. With cooking credentials throughout the North Bay, he’s the king of mobile sliders “prepared slow, served fast.” His lunch menu is a revolving lineup of three-bite sandwiches served on brioche buns: Buttermilk fried chicken with pepper aoili and slaw; baby Nieman ranch burgers; bacon, basil and brie with red onion jam or Long Meadow Ranch beef hot dogs with chili. Other goodies on his overhauled Chinese food truck include Salmon Creek organic duck wings with spicy plum sauce or french toast cubes sprinkled with chili salt and drizzled with maple syrup. The slider sampler of three sliders for $10 is the best deal. Just three weeks old, Mark’s still looking to find a regular spot, but he’s easily findable (from 11am to 2pm) by calling or texting 226.Spot, MarksSpotTruck on Twitter or MarksThe SpotTruck on Facebook.
Phat Salads and Wraps (Napa)
“Have you been to Gia’s?” is the question everyone asks when the issue of Napa’s emerging food truck scene comes up. The owner of Phat Salads and Wraps, Gia Sempronio’s built up a loyal lunchtime following since arriving on the Napa scene several years ago. The breakfast and lunch menus are simple wraps filled with grilled chicken or steak, lettuce and a variety of add-ons including. Her most popular: The New Yorker with steak, avocado, crispy fried onions and gorgonzola vinaigrette. Gia is typically parked on California Blvd. near the Healthquest Fitness Center. For more details, call 363-9658 or visit phatsalads.com.