One of the more interesting dining experiences on my trip to the United States was the StrEAT Food Park in San Francisco. The renaissance of street food trucks – no longer the “roach coaches” of my youth – has swept many major cities and San Francisco has been no exception to this foodie trend. In June 2012, a permanent street food truck park opened in the city’s edgier South of Market district.
The park is located just beneath a freeway overpass across the street from the Costco warehouse store. Each day, up to ten different vendors park, following a rotating schedule. The range of options is overwhelming: from Spanish-Filipino fusion to Japanese sushi, gourmet Vietnamese sliders to Korean tacos, Italian word-fired pizzas to Indian curry. The website and twitter feed lists which vendors will be present and the park is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
The facility includes plenty of tables and chairs, restrooms and sanitary stations, and a 100-seat covered seating pavilion for those days when the weather is inclement. The crowd is varied but local high tech and bio tech firms are well-represented. Free bicycle parking is provided, encouraging environmentally friendly transportation.
Spoiled for choices, I finally settled on Roli Roti, a truck specializing in rotisserie chicken and porchetta, crispy roast pork. Open more than a decade, Roli Roti claims to be the country’s first mobile rotisserie and their focus is on sustainably raised meats and organic produce. While the chicken looked and smelled amazing, I opted for the porchetta and arugula sandwich.
The sandwich offers a generous – hearty, even – serving of juicy pork with very crispy skin, an onion relish with a tanginess that cut through the richness of the pork, and huge mound of baby arugula that looked like it has climbed out of the field a few minutes earlier, it was so fresh.
The sandwich was served on a wonderful roll that sopped up all the juices. Sure, it was too big to eat like a real sandwich, and I had to take it apart and eat with a knife and fork. But it was a pretty tasty lunch, all for about $12 including a side of potatoes.
The roast fingerling potatoes sit underneath the rotisserie, where they are bathed in the drippings from the chicken and the porchetta. Sprinkled with rosemary sea salt, they are addictive.
No doubt, the StrEAT Food Park will be a destination to which I will return again and again on future visits. After all, there are so many different types of food to try and so little time. Many thanks to SF-based Xangan Jason for introducing me to this gem.
That sandwich makes me think of an unfortunately short-lived Vietnamese coffee shop and deli that was here a while ago. The owner offered meaty, vegetable-y sandwiches like that, on good crusty bread (and really good Thai iced tea/coffee).
wow! going there in June. A sure stop for me.
Clever name for a food truck park. They are certainly all the rage right now. Even here, in little ole Round Rock, TX, we have one. I haven’t been there yet,but it has 10 or 12 trucks. The barbeque is supposed to be good. There’s something similar to a food truck park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but it’s inside a big building. I guess it’s more of a mini food court. Since it’s inside, it can be open year ’round.
Very neat way to take the street vendor concept- rotating so all get a chance and creates variety! Looked very tasty!!
My sister and I sent a week eating at different places on The StrEat Food Park run about 3 and 1/2 years ago. Wonderful place and the diversity of food and cultures there at the time was wonderful.Thanks for bringing back a wonderful memory for me, <:)Great photo of you and Tawn.
I believe that a lot of Food trucks are on Twitter so that their fans can find what new location they are at that moment.So many fusion foods. Here in Los Angeles it is a Korean/Mexican food fusion truck:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kogi_Korean_BBQThey now have five trucks roaming around in Los Angeles.Looks like maybe they might overturn Proposition 8…..good luck on seeing more doors opening.
Now there is a place to which I would run. Again and again. Beautiful couple by the way.
seems like food in our small town is more quanity and not quality.we have a lot of ,”all you can eat diners” with home cooking and my husband gets me laughing cause he says,”it’s like pigs at the troauf(spelling) traught?
What a fabulous idea. Your sandwich looks primo!
My kind of place. Casual atmosphere. Variety.
Sorry, I somehow forgot to respond to comments on this entry!@Texasjillcarmel – From my experience, most of American food culture is about quantity, not quality. Perhaps one reason why Americans as a whole are struggling with weight issues.@Fatcat723 – Oh, definitely not a couple! Jason’s just a friend.@PPhilip – Yes, Twitter is a common way to convey location and menu information.@Grannys_Place – Another street food truck fan, I see!@murisopsis – @Urban_Peril – Yes, I like that it makes the genre of street food accessible. Don’t have to hunt down the food; let it come to you.@ZSA_MD – Oh, so many places to try!@n_e_i_l – A shame that place didn’t make it. The sandwiches sound wonderful.@whyzat – Yes, the folks in Iowa probably need an indoor alternative. Otherwise, the trucks have to go into hibernation! Ha ha…
that’s so awesome. if only they were there when i used to live in sf. i would really love to try that porchetta sandwich. YUM.