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.