San Francisco: Off the Grid (Fort Mason)

My old middle school friend (let's call her T) came in to visit from Stockton on Friday.  She informed me in no uncertain terms that we were going to go to Off the Grid and in the same email granted me permission to invite some others along.  I managed to entice my roomie from college and another Berkeley friend (let's call her B, short for Awkward B) into coming with us.

Off the Grid is basically an assembly of food trucks.  They have events every day of the week except Sundays at different locations and times.  The biggest gathering is on Friday from 5-10pm at the Fort Mason Center, which is the one we went to.

I read on their website that there would be 30 food trucks and stands there, but I didn't realize how massive the whole thing would be until I actually arrived:

Holy moly.  Look at all those people!  And this picture only shows the food stand side.

I am not afraid to admit that I was feeling quite a bit overwhelmed.  I think my friends felt the same way because our first thought was to just pick a stand with the shortest line, order some food, and then develop a more coherent plan of attack while we wait.

The stand we picked happened to be the one we were standing right next to, Namu:

Namu offers the typical Korean fusion fare.

We bypassed the Korean tacos and got some gamja fries, which was topped with kimichi relish, gochujang, kewpie mayo, teriyaki, chopped short ribs, and green onions:

And also an okonomiyaki with egg:

Okonomiyaki is basically a Japanese pancake.  In this case, it was made with kimchi and market veggies and garnished with bonito flakes, okonomiyaki sauce, and kewpie mayo.

The fries were super good, but the okonomiyaki was just passable, though it certainly looked impressive and attracted a lot of admiring (and longing) glances.

Our genius plan of attack ended up just being something along the lines of divide and conquer.  T and I got into the most intimidating line, while my other two friends went off to see what else they could find.

Apparently, Curry Up Now is the one truck you can't miss:

Judging by the line, everyone else got the memo too.

By the time we reached the counter, some items were already crossed off the menu.  Luckily, the chicken tikka masala burrito was still available:

I only remember one thing about that burrito: it was SPICY.  I think it was a good kind of pain, but I honestly can't remember.  I doubt I would be able to finish one by myself without a glass of milk to help me through it.  (Keep in mind that I'm weaksauce when it comes to spicy stuff.  My friends seemed to do okay...with the exception of B.)

While we were waiting for our burrito, my ex-roomie and B managed to hit up two stands.  T and I caught up with them at the Kung Fu Tacos truck:

Asian tacos seem to be the new fad because they were EVERYWHERE.  I think I counted at least 3 places that offered some form of Asian taco or another.

Since they ran out of duck tacos (announced by a sad paper plate taped to the window), we went with 3 Asian Asada tacos and 1 Mu Shu Veggies:

I had to use flash to show how pretty the colors were.  As for taste, I'm still biased by the Asian tacos that my roommate in Chicago can whip together.  These were certainly good, but it just made me miss Asian taco nights at UofC.

My ex-roomie and B were able to score some creme brulee from the Creme Brulee Cart stand before we re-joined them:

They got vanilla bean and some kind of chocolate (edit: my ex-roomie informs me that it's chocolate with Grand Marnier...huh...tasted like plain chocolate to me):

I really enjoyed the vanilla, however, the chocolate was rather underwhelming.  The texture of both were fantastic though.  Smooth and creamy and...a perfect way to balance out the spiciness of the tikka malasa burrito.  I've heard a lot about the Creme Brulee Cart.  From what I heard, it usually offers some pretty exotic flavors.  Maybe we got there too late, but I'm disappointed that we didn't get to try some more exciting flavors.

As we were leaving the site, Peter's Kettle Corn was one of the only stands still open:

They were offering free samples, so I nabbed a handful of horchata kettle corn:

Horchata kettle corn.  How brilliant is that?  Unfortunately, it just tasted a lot like cinnamon, which I guess isn't all that surprising, but I was hoping for something, I dunno, less ordinary.

The prices may be a little higher than I would like for the portion sizes, but I guess people are really there for the experience.  And for the convenience.  Tracking down food trucks takes a lot of effort, so for lazy folks such as myself, Off the Grid is the ultimate solution.  It may take a few visits before you can make it through all the food trucks and stands though.  Definitely plan on making multiple trips.

Off the Grid has 6 food trucks out by my workplace on Wednesdays during lunch.  Mehehee...

Off the Grid
Fort Mason Center


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