Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moveable Feast Garden City

In case you haven't already noticed (or are agoraphobic and never leave your house) food trucks are all the rage these days. The love child of economic downturn and foodie culture up turn these are not your grampa's roach coaches of old. Sleek tech savvy trucks with custom wrapped paint jobs and gourmet ingredients everyone is following their favorite truck. Ever growing, this community has had to find new and creative ways to get their brands and products into a steady market place. Enter the entrepreneurs of Moveable Feast. With 3 San Jose locations the organizers of Movable Feast gather an average 7 trucks with various cuisines into 1 location on a regular day and time frame each week to sell their wares to eager customers.
Monday Dinner, 5p to 9p
MF Southside at 525 Blossom Hill Rd (at Blossom Ave) in San Jose.
Friday Dinner, 5p to 9p
MF Willow Glen at 2310 Canoas Garden Ave (at Curtner Ave) in San Jose.
Saturday Lunch, 11a to 2:30p
MF Garden City
at 350 Saratoga Ave (at Stevens Creek Blvd) in San Jose.

I had been eager to check out the Garden City Location which is just blocks from my apartment for sometime now. It seemed inevitable that I would either forget (only to be reminded on my way elsewhere mid day) or I would remember on a rainy Saturday that they weren't set up. The stars finally aligned this last Saturday and while pondering my post for this week I realized I had nothing to do till 2 pm and $20 to burn! The weather was perfect and so off I went.
I arrived at about 12 pm. A moderate crowd had begun to gather but it was still early enough that I only found myself waiting in one some what substantial line. There were 7 trucks present-
Arabian Bites , KojaKitchen , Louisiana Territory , Dough , The Chairman , Treatbot , & CurryUpNow

After a quick walk around my first inclination was to get in one of the longer lines. It's an interesting psychology that goes into choosing your food truck. Long line assumes a high demand product. While no line.... makes you question the goods. This was definitely affecting Arabian Bites & Louisiana Territory who throughout the day, though people made purchases, never seemed to garner a line. After looking over their menu's my first inclination as to why wasn't lack of quality or uniqueness, but price point. Arabian nights was serving large plates of great looking food- for $8- $10 a pop. Were you getting your money's worth? Absolutely. BUT people come to these events with the intention of trying lots of things. In my experience keep your portions moderate and your price point around $5 and you will have a lot more luck.

I chose to start with the KoJa Kitchen truck and ordered their Korean Beef. In my opinion the most impressive truck on the lot that day. Their paint wrap on the truck was beautiful, their windows accessible, and most impressive they had two flat screens built in to the side where you ordered- one with the full menu displayed, the other with a slide show of well shot pictures of their food. While this would maybe be considered an excessive business cost by other truck owners but I see the value in being able to easily change your menu offerings and the professional look. Now on to their food! Served between two rice patties I went with their Korean Beef offering (knowing I would be having pork at another truck later). Holy moly! This meat was so flavorful and tender! I loved how portable the sticky rice patties made this dish, I chose to eat it with a fork and because of the way it was presented I could do that easily standing without a plate. The greens were nice and fresh and the sauce sweet and spicy. This was an incredibly impressive start to my day. I loved everything about this dish from presentation to function to flavor. Since I wanted to fit in as much as I could I actually ate a lot of it while standing in my next like at The Chairman truck.

The Chairman truck does Chinese buns- your choice steamed or baked in 4 varieties: Spicy Chicken, Pork Belly, Coca-Cola Braised Pork, or Crispy Miso Cured Tofu. Price point here is perfect. Average $3.25 or $3.75 for steamed buns and $6 or $6.75 for baked (the pork were the more expensive). As I overheard people ordering the popular choice was to get one of each and steamed seemed overwhelmingly more popular. I can't say i have ever had a baked bun but I know I loved steamed ones. Since I was trying to keep to my $20 I went with 1 steamed Pork Belly bun with Pickled Daikon.
Yummy! The bun was sweet tender and a little chewy (as it should be) the pork was sooo tender and juicy with nice little crispy bits on the edges and the crisp cool crunch of the pickled daikon just sent the whole thing over the top.It was the perfect size for a hearty snack and with everything else I was eating I was glad it wasn't too big but big enough that I really got to enjoy it. This is one of the better known Bay area food trucks so if you see them out and about make sure to stop by!

I was starting to get full but I wanted to hit one more savory spot before I headed for dessert.
Curry Up now didn't have much of a line but I had heard about them previously so I decided I would check them out. Their menu offered a variety selections: a "deconstructed Samosa" , Burritos with fillings like tikki massala, kathi rolls, & their "sexy fries" (waffle cut fries slathered in curry). Thinking it would be an appetizer size I went with their deconstructed samosa with my choice of Paneer (an Indian cheese that is firm and nonmelty one of the main Indian proteins). Turns out it was a very full little container and very filling! Since I had already eaten at two other places I had a few bites to enjoy the flavors then saved the rest for my mom. All the sauces were delicious and it was definitely spicy! I liked the way the paneer stood up under the burden of all the other elements. The base of crispy fried pastry that would normally surround the whole thing on the other hand mostly got soggy and wasn't really distinguishable under the other elements. In terms of their truck while the wrap was pretty the actual service front was pretty plain and the windows felt extra high.

After all that spice- I was ready for some Ice cream for dessert!
Pumping out fun music and serving up yummy Ice cream Treatbot totally hit the spot. Their servings are generous and flavors delish. I wussed out and just got the waffle bowl but next time I plan to try one of their cookie sandwiches! They serve out of a much smaller airstream (which is really all they need since they aren't actually cooking more just assembling).

This is a great event for groups of friends or families. The more people you have the more foods you can try! Just circle up some of the buckets provided for tables and chairs and get to eating!!

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