My stepfather, who was in the Bay Area for a conference, came to Berkeley to have dinner with me. We were wondering why there were so many people walking towards the CVS Pharmacy (corner of Shattuck & Rose) when we realized that it was the Bay Area food truck gathering, Off the Grid! As we are both food-lovers, we knew that we had to give this a try.
There were about 10 trucks or so, and the lines were ridiculously long at most of them. I forgot to take note of all the trucks that were there, but there were a few taco trucks, a sandwich truck or two, a couple of dessert trucks, and some that I categorize as ‘gourmet food on wheels.’ The lines at most of the trucks were ridiculously long.
Top: The line for Streatery. Bottom: People sitting in the median/ lawn chairs, enjoying the food.
It took us a while to decide what we wanted to try. Finally, we chose Streatery, which served ‘peasant food’, and Liba Fafalel. At Streatery, I was deciding between the pulled pork sandwich or the braised oxtail over grits. My stepdad said, ‘How many times are you going to find a food truck serving oxtail?’ He was right, so oxtail & grits it was. Everyone also seemed to be ordering these root kettle chips, so we also ordered one of those.
Braised oxtail & grits, $9. House-made root kettle chips, $2
The braised oxtail was delicious. As in, melts-in-your-mouth-it’s-so-tender delicious. Very flavorful without being overwhelming. I also loved the carrots and daikon on the side, cooked just enough to be soft, not mushy. The grits were creamy – a bit too creamy for my liking, actually. All the sauce from the oxtail, combined with the cream and butter made the grits too heavy. I liked the crunchy, thinly cut kettle chips a lot, although to be honest, they weren’t all that special. Perhaps because they didn’t go to well with the oxtail dish?
Moving on to the falafel truck. My stepdad already loves falafel, but his eyes really lit up when we saw the self-serve toppings bar. Roasted eggplant, red cabbage, cucumber salad, pickled onions, feta cheese, tomato ginger chutney, hummus, yogurt raita, rosemary peanuts (a MUST-try).. all house-made, all delicious.
Regular falafel (in pita bread), $8
Falafels + toppings
We may have overdone it slightly with the toppings. Nonetheless, it was an awesome falafel sandwich. I would line up for this again any day.
Finally, I stopped by Cupkates to get my dessert fix. Unfortunately for you, my dear readers, I gobbled down my delicious S’mores cupcake before I remembered to take a photo :P
Anyway, Off the Grid was a lot of fun. I am really glad that I came across it, and I am even happier to discover that they will be at Berkeley every Wednesday evening! The big food truck gathering (probably three times the size of this) is in Fort Mason on Friday nights – I’d really love to go sometime. (Let me know if you are interested!)