Rain or shine, Fort Mason’s Off the Grid is back for the spring-summer season. The food truck extravaganza, with multiple locations all across the Bay, still holds an intimate and magical feel at its mainstay spot at Fort Mason.
And like dessert, there’s always room for just a bit more. 2016 comes with some new additions and upgrades, including nine new vendors, an option to book private party spaces in the middle of all that foodie chaos, a musical stage and some help from a San Francisco-based queue cutting app, QCutter (which allows you to pre-order some dishes without standing in line for the truck of your choice).
While trying everything at Fort Mason’s Off the Grid sounds like a brilliant idea, it’s overly ambitious! (And no, that wasn’t a dare.) We’re here to help you out, did the excruciating leg (and belly) work and selected six absolute winners – some are newcomers to Off the Grid, others are proud regulars.
Known as the Grilled Cheez Guy, Michael Davidson is now brilliantly preparing grilled PB&Js. This is not your average school lunch, however – the delicious PB&K is a combo of Acme Pain de Mie, Kelly’s Jelly Habenero Pepper Jelly and peanut butter, and the Black Elvis is a dangerously good mix of peanut butter, bacon, bananas and honey. Come for the silly wigs and Davidson’s smiley face, stay for the best PB&J you’ll have in years.
As the San Franciso summer isn’t exactly a sunny, beachy affair, Southern comfort food sounds like a great idea all year long. This Fort Mason first-timer excels in this niche, serving spicy, thick gumbo, on-point shrimp Po’Boys and an instant guilty-pleasure classic – french fries topped with crab meat, garlic and cilantro.
The festival’s Creme Brulee cart is excellent as always this season, but these guys (Fort Mason newcomers with solid NorCal cred) run some steep competition in the dessert category with their creamy, cold, rich ice creams – named ‘custards’ for the abundance of egg yolks at the expense of cream. Be on the look out for the “Fort Mason Specials” which include a scoop of vanilla custard swimming in Four Barrel coffee, topped with torched marshmallow, and the “Napa Sundae”, with olive oil and a hint of sea salt. One word: addictive.
Be on the look out for the “Fort Mason Specials” which include a scoop of vanilla custard swimming in Four Barrel coffee, topped with torched marshmallow, and the “Napa Sundae”, with olive oil and a hint of sea salt. One word: addictive.
Craving something lighter than a bacon-stuffed avocado (that’s available too, courtesy of the neighboring Bacon Mania)? Then head to the Lobsta Truck, a tried and trusted haven of all things seafood. The $14 lobster roll is bigger than you’d expect, and the clam chowder is top notch.
El Sur SF
This one is for neurotic foodies who don’t like balancing a plate of hot, oozing food on their lap. El Sur‘s empanadas, baked on the spot, provide the ideal hand-held bites, with perfectly accommodating crust and delicious fillings such as prosciutto and green onion or beef, olives and hard-boiled eggs. Trust us, get two.
Rasoi After applying unsuccessfully for two years, this small family business finally made it, and thankfully so. The specialty, Garlic Naan, is a must – the ladies, wearing ‘Namaste, Y’all!’ t-shirts, don’t hold back on the garlic or the flavorful sauce. Other standouts include Zesty Paneer and big, bold Bollywood Biriyani.