Reinventing The Meal
Restaurants with wheels, on a roll in San Diego
By Brandon Matzek / Photos by Kristina Yamamoto
Can’t stand the heat? Get out of the kitchen – just make sure to look both ways before chasing down any of these 25 trucks. Find their schedule and times on Twitter, then buckle up for a yummy ride.
One of two Cohn Restaurant Group food trucks, Chop Soo-ey serves pig with an attitude. The friendly onboard crew loves to have fun while cooking up Asian-inspired BBQ treats, including their popular Samurai Wrap made with lo mein noodles, stir-fried vegetables and succulent pulled pork.
A newer addition to the local food truck scene, Crepes Bonaparte moves breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert crepes. Its Orange County cousin competed in Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” and was featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat St. Be sure to try The PCH: creamy peanut butter, sliced banana and Nutella. Magnifique!
Delicioso Food Truck
From salads to burritos, Delicioso offers an affordable array of Southwest bites packed with big, bold flavor. Try the Loaded Nachos, piled high with nacho cheese, carne asada, chipotle sauce, mozzarella, avocado and sour cream.
Another (like Crepes Bonaparte) former competitor on the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” Devilicious is known for its sinfully scrumptious menu items. The All Crab Crab Cake features a seared patty packed with an ungodly amount of tender crabmeat bound by a spicy sauce made of mayo and sriracha.
If the 2012 Summer Olympic Games have left you craving a taste of the UK, then visit San Diego’s own British-influenced food truck, God Save the Cuisine. The Fish and Chips Taco, a local favorite, features beer-battered fish, coleslaw and tartar sauce served with golden chips dressed in malt vinegar and salt.
Known for substantial portions, an eclectic menu and a sense of humor, The Gooch serves up some seriously tasty grub. Try the Red Neck Tacos, where a warm cornbread griddle cake replaces a typical tortilla. The cake is filled with pulled pork, bacon, coleslaw and diced jalapeno.
Made with locally sourced, organic ingredients, the Mother Trucker Vegan Burger is a Green Truck favorite. Nestled on a toasty vegan bun sits a sizzling, gluten-free veggie patty topped with tomato, sprouts and a creamy beet sauce. The veggie oil used to make these burgers powers the Green Truck the following day.
GreenGo Grilled Cheese Gastro Truck
Taking on an American classic, GreenGo is griddling up a number of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Starving? Try the monstrous GreenGo 2 the Toilet. Carnivore style comes with five cheeses, a grass-fed beef patty, bacon, sausage, goat cheese, roasted peppers, arugula, smoked jalapenos and three signature spreads.
Inspired by the Grease Trucks at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Groggy’s is known for fat sandwiches packed with all sorts of fried goodies. Served on an 8” roll, the Fat Ron Burgundy is a cheese steak with mozzarella sticks, fries, lettuce and tomato slathered in a spicy Groggy Sauce.
Hoangie’s Banh Mi on Wheels
Vietnamese on the go, Hoangie’s specializes in Banh Mi. Tucked inside a split French baguette is a bright blend of pickled radish, carrots, cilantro, jalapenos, cucumbers, spicy aioli and French butter. Enjoy this sandwich vegetarian or with a selection of beef, chicken, pork or tuna.
Joes on the Nose
Serving more than 45 different drinks, Joes on the Nose pours it on with caffeinated beverages on the go. Finished with coconut whipped cream, the Tropical Mocha is made with macadamia nuts, coconut, organic chocolate and espresso. Or skip the buzz with a road selection of non-caffeinated drinks.
Just the Tip
Innuendo aside, Just the Tip is San Diego’s source for orgasmic tri tip sandwiches made with meat that’s marinated before being grilled to mouth-watering perfection. Beginners can ease in with the Traditional Tri Tip Sandwich.
Mangia Mangia Mobile
Featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat St., the Mangia Mangia Mobile is San Diego’s mobile authority on traditional Italian food. The Chicken Parmigana Sandwich is high on the must-try list and features crispy panko fried chicken topped with homemade marinara sauce and melty mozzarella served in a crusty Italian roll.
Ingredients from local farmers, growers and artisans make their way onto MIHO Gastrotruck. The hot menu item at the moment is the Classic Burger made with grass-fed beef, heirloom tomato, Spring Hill cheddar, butter lettuce, red onion, house-made pickles and Thousand Island dressing.
Ms. Patty Melt
One of two Cohn Restaurant Group food trucks, Ms. Patty Melt griddles seriously delicious sandwiches and dogs. Made with fresh lobster, pepper jack cheese, and bacon bits, the Lobster Grilled Cheese is a runaway favorite.
New York on Rye
Known for pastrami, New York on Rye has a killer Grilled Reuben Sandwich. Between two slices of rye bread sits house-cured pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. Substituting in corned beef or turkey instead of the pastrami is ok, just don’t ask for mayo with – New York on Rye sees that as a faux pas.
O.B. Seafood Truck
Offering ocean-to-street dining, O.B. Seafood prepares freshly caught local fish, which is purchased whole and butchered on the truck. Try the fish tacos topped with a roasted habanero papaya salsa.
Savor tender pierogi stuffed with ground pork then topped with grilled onions, chives and garlic sauce. This home-cooked classic is guaranteed “better than your grandma’s pierogi.” Not in the mood for delicious dumplings? Try the Polish sausage – the recipe is more than 300 years old.
(Eat at) Recess
This mobile playground is giving the San Diego business crowd a much needed midday break. Escape the day-to-day with a Red Light/Green Light Sandie, a sandwich packed with grilled vegetarian turkey, caramelized onions, Havarti and a choice of toppings.
Slow Cal BBQ
Cooked low and slow, the all-natural meats served at the Slow Cal BBQ Food Truck are of the Southern variety…Southern California, that is. Try the Slow Cal Oinker, a pulled pork sandwich topped with crispy Cali slaw and house-made BBQ sauce.
Recently featured on Travel Channel’s “Flip Trip,” Super Q is known for hickory smoked meats and house made BBQ sauce. Try the Super Q Pork Melt. Served on grilled sourdough bread, the pork melt is brimming with BBQ pulled pork, sautéed onions, three-cheese mac-n-cheese and melted cheddar.
Selling treats sourced from local businesses, the Sweet Treats Truck’s sizeable selection includes cookies, cakes, brownies, chocolate-covered bacon, cupcakes and more. The S’mores Stuffed Cookies always sell out.
Take a bite of Tabe BBQ’s Spicy Pork OMG Burrito. Oh, my! This Asian-fusion monster is packed with five-spice fries, Korean pork, melted jack cheese, spicy aioli and roja salsa.
Open since March, TheInSlider specializes in sliders (aka mini-burgers), offering patrons a wide range of flavors and homemade toppings that complement Kobe beef atop freshly baked buns.
Specializing in fresh, affordable fare, Urban Eats uses local ingredients to create scrumptious selections like the Squash Tacos, a seasonal favorite made with cheese-stuffed squash blossoms, baby zucchini and lime crema.
Where and when to find gatherings of food trucks
What the Truck?
at Mira Mesa High School
8460 Mira Mesa Blvd., Mira Mesa
Pacific Meet Up
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
5800 block of Pacific Center Blvd., Sorrento Valley
La Mesa Meet Up
at Best Buy
8401 Fletcher Pkwy., La Mesa
Tasty Truck Tuesdays
at Smitty’s Auto
3441 Adams Ave., Normal Heights
Happy Hump Day Food Truck Gathering
at The Lost Abbey
155 Mata Way, San Marcos
at Eastlake Design District
871 Showroom Pl., Chula Vista
Food Truck Thursdays
at Innovations Academy
6154 Mission Gorge Rd., Scripps Ranch
Mission Valley Gathering
at Mission Valley Resort
875 Hotel Circle S., Mission Valley
Food Truck Thursdays
6999 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Clairemont
Friday Foodie Fest
1060 South Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas
Food Truck Friday on Park
4353 Park Blvd., University Heights
La Mesa Food Fest
7871 University Ave., La Mesa
Barnard Food Truck Meet Up
2930 Barnard St., Sports Arena