The last time I ate off a catering truck, I wore panty hose, permed my hair, and spent my days selling aluminum for Joint Strike Fighters. Every morning around 11 o’clock, a stainless truck rolled into the parking lot at my family’s business, “La Cucaracha” blasting from the speakers. We’d gather beneath the flip-up window like a pack of Pavlov’s dogs, to order luke warm instant coffee, greasy breakfast burritos, and shrink-wrapped, mass-produced apple danishes so old the apple filling had separated from the puff pastry. And you know what’s funny? It didn’t occur to me until just now, writing this post, that “La Cucaracha” means cockroach in Spanish. Who in their right mind would eat off a truck that played that as its theme song? Had any of us come down with food poisoning, the guy who owned that truck would have had a solid defense had we tried to sue. I can see him standing in front of the judge: “Your honor, I tried to warn them.”
All I can say is, times have changed. Last night, my girls and I headed over to “Off the Grid,” a weekly assemblage of gourmet food trucks in Golden Gate Park. Talk about choices. We had our pick of Indian, Korean, Japanese/Korean fusion, Mexican, Thai, or Chinese food . . . plus cupcakes for dessert. Oh, and did I mention the live music?
Luckily, I ate a late lunch; otherwise, I’m afraid I’d have made a pig of myself. Everything looked delicious. After surveying my choices, I settled on a Korean bbq short-rib sandwich with lightly seasoned romaine lettuce, sesame seeds, and some kind of Japanese dressing–all on a gluten-free bun, which, I was delighted to discover, was actually fried sticky-rice. Chloe tried the pot stickers from Chairman Bao, then doubled back for the deconstructed steamed pork bun. After sampling my sandwich, Hyacinth and her friend, Eva, went for the Korean bbq short-ribs, then hit me up for cupcake money. It was a nice change of pace; a nice change of scenery. And the timing couldn’t have been better since I’d completely forgotten to cook dinner.