Off the Grid: Civic Center

Here’s a protip: don’t go to eat at a food truck when it’s raining.  It’s tough to stand and balance an umbrella, trays of food and drinks all at once.

It was a few days before Christmas.  I braved the drizzle to meet Erin for some fusion tacos, etc.  The vendor list that day included Seoul on Wheels, Liba Falafel, Japacurry, Senor Sigsig and CupKates.  Erin and I wanted to try something from every truck, and we started at Seoul on Wheels.

I’d had their Korean tacos previously, and like the last time I ate them I was unimpressed.  I love tacos and I love Korean barbecue, but there’s something about the combination that just doesn’t work for me.  Also, the chicken was awfully dry.  The potstickers though were something else.  They were not doughy and soft like you might think of potstickers, but more like a deep fried gyoza.  The wrapping was flakey and greaseless and the pork filling was mellow and a bit sweet.  They were perfect dipped in some chile oil sauce.

Next we tried a bite from Liba Falafel.

Liba was the most crowded truck, and the least user friendly.  There was a very enticing looking spread of condiments, but there was no counter space available to rest drinks or plates on while helping yourself to those condiments.  Quite a bummer.

Luckily, the sweet potato fries were delicious as served.  They were sprinkled with chile powder and a touch of salt, and served with a wedge of flavor brightening lime.  Cooked to the edge of crunchy and no further, there was nary a soggy fry in our little bag.  We ate them along with tall cans of cold coconut juice floating with little niblets of pulp.

Next was CupKates

Erin had the salted caramel.  She liked it, but said the frosting was a little hard.  I had the special of the day, the chocolate peppermint.  I took it back to the office and ate it there.  My frosting was light and not at all sticky, and had a subtle sweet peppermint flavor.  The cake itself was as cake should be, moist with an airy crumb.  It was perhaps the most successful commercially made cupcake I’ve had, excepting a vegan cupcake I ate at Herbivore in Berkeley nearly 4 years ago that I just can’t forget.  Man, that was a good cupcake.  I’ll call CupKates second best though.

We were running short on time and tummy space, so we made Senor Sigsig our last stop.

It was there that I ate my favorite morsel of the afternoon, the sigsig taco.  The green salsa on top worried me at first glance, but it was more tangy than spicy.  A squirt of some creamy sauce was just right with a sprinkle of cold lettuce shreds and sweet charry nuggets of pork.  Unlike the Korean taco, the tortilla that served as the platform of this taco was warm and flexible.  I found myself wishing that we’d come to Senor Sigsig’s first and I’d ordered ten sigsig tacos.  I suppose that gorge-fest will have to wait for another Off the Grid visit.  Hopefully it will be on a sunny day.

Off the Grid Civic Center

Civic Center Plaza