Archive for August, 2009

SF Food Carts, twitter, and street food

Last week I was sitting in the public space atrium at Mission & 2nd st in San Francisco huddled over my laptop trying to get some work done, and who should roll in but Carte415. Thanks to some in-the-know co-workers and twitter, I’ve been following this summer’s explosion of foodie-friendly food carts rolling around San Francisco but up until that moment, I hadn’t actually seen one.

When I first started hearing about these carts, it was really all about word-of-twitter for finding these folks – there were few online resources and you had to just know. Personally that kind of thing drives me nuts – mostly because I wasn’t in-the-know. While there’s something exciting about knowing these little out-of-the-way places, it feels a little like a high school clique. On top of that, I have a friend who has been wanting to do what I consider a fairly original independent food thing for a while – he started an LLC, rented some kitchen space, but didn’t really get beyond the stages of trying recipes. He lost steam because he couldn’t figure out a good market for his food.

..and he wasn’t even aware of the whole food cart scene! So in the interest of promoting openness and transparency in the foodie scene, I present my list of favorite food carts, most of which I haven’t visited because I don’t live in the mission.

  • cremebruleecart – one of the originals, he gets the top of my list because Heather and I tried and failed to find him once on a friday night (our timing was off) and Heather’s favorite dessert is Creme Brulee. Mostly around Dolores Park, but goes to lots of special events
  • carte415 – Looks like fancy organic sandwiches and salads. My cheapo go-to for sandwiches is the Toaster Oven – their sandwiches are actually pretty good but I feel a little guilty going there because it’s a chain – so any chance of getting reasonably cheap organic sandwiches has got me excited. Going there today.
  • chowdermobile – Seems like this guy has been trying to get into SF forever. Not sure what the holdup is but I really, really want some good clam chowder… he seems to go up and down the penninsula.
  • littleskillett – ok, this isn’t a cart, and is only this low on the list because I have been there, a few times even. They make some pretty amazing fried chicken but the best thing I had was this crazy pile of pulled-pork and other fixins on top of grits. Plus, they have Blue Bottle coffee to prevent post-chicken food coma. The reason they fit into this list is because they serve out of a counter in an alley and you eat on the loading dock. So it’s still street food because you’re sitting on the street, quite literally.

That’s all I have for now, there are a few more I’m curious about like kitchenettesf, chezspencergo, and SexySoupCart, but they’ll have to wait until I’ve exhausted the above list.

(If you’re looking for more, you can look at the folks I’m following on twitter.)

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