Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Off the Grid
Last Friday night I was glad to join the street food revolution, at Off the Grid. Off the Grid takes place Friday nights from 5 pm until 9 pm in the Fort Mason Center parking lot, right near the entrance by the little guardhouse. It's a great mix of carts, people, food and drink. Families, couples and groups can be found mingling, eating, chatting and discovering deliciously affordable bites of food.
There was plenty of room to walk around, chairs and a few tables and there was even some live music. There was no overcrowding, significant waits or lines (Chairman Bao had a line but it moved quickly). The most difficult decision may be what to try because with about 10 vendors, there is no way to try it all. They ranged from traditional taco trucks like El Tonayense to the new fangled Creme Brulee cart.
I started with potato beef curry puffs from Malaysian Lacy Crepes. They were freshly fried to a crisp on the outside with a tender and mid curry on the inside. Like most things, the portion was good for sharing. I want to try their chai banana fritters next.
I was very impressed with Chairman Bao. I tried both a duck confit and mango bun and the pork belly bun, steamed, $2.75 each. Both were juicy and fresh but I think the crunchy daikon pickle in the pork version made it my favorite. They also have a baked version. Next time!
Lee had a cup of chai, which came in various flavors such as rose and vanilla almond. It seemed a bit pricey to me at $4 a cup. Most of the dishes were in the $2 to $6 range. He also approved of the lemon mochi and succulent adobo chicken.
The spiciest bites came from Curry Up Now. The Indian street food truck. The Kathi roll made from roti stuffed with pickled onion, chutney and chicken was hot stuff! In the future I'd love to see Chinese dumplings or some kind of noodle dish along the lines of the Noodle Fest in Chinatown. But the variety thus far is terrific and I will be back!
More on Off the Grid:
A Little Yum post
SF Weekly slide show