Living in Las Vegas means there are tons of amazing food options. You name it, we’ve got it. Five-star restaurants. Michelin rated. Celeb chefs with numerous outlets across town. But, what we don’t have a lot of is food trucks.
Yes, there are some. Las Vegas has, what you could say, a burgeoning street food scene. But, step outside of Las Vegas and into another city, and holy. cow. The street food options are overwhelming.
Abby, Kristin and I had planned on having a low-cost San Francisco/Napa weekend. Before Abby and I even stepped foot on the amazing Virgin flight, we had discussed, at length, our dining options for the weekend.
We were for sure hitting: Oxbow Market in Napa. And, Off the Grid in San Francisco.
I’ve never really been into the street food scene, mostly because I work in the back of a restaurant and I eat, sleep and breathe restaurant food. But, this … this street food orgy, sounded pretty fantastic.
It started with a conversation between us and the awesome blogger, Spencer Spellman, a recent newbie to San Fran. His goal? To eat his way through the food trucks at Off the Grid.
Naturally, we decided to join him on this adventure.
The day of our flight, also the day of Off the Grid, Abby and I were messaging each other back and forth. Apparently, the weather in San Francisco was not what we were used to in Las Vegas.
Low 60s. Drizzle. Which, in Las Vegas/desert life translates into “holy shit, it’s f#$%ing cold.”
“What do we wear? What does 60 degree weather even feel like?” We asked each other.
“It’s soooo cold.” We lamented.
So, when we finally arrived to town, the clouds were thick and the threat of rain hung in the air.
Abby pulled her winter coat tighter, and I, clad only in jeans, Chucks and a cardigan, wondered what the hell I was thinking when I packed.
Quick enough, Kristin was at the BART station to pick us up and drive us over to our hotel, the historic and palatial Fairmont Hotel.
We quickly re-grouped. I grabbed a sweater. Then, we headed down to grab a tiki cocktail with some PR ladies from the hotel. And then, it was getting late. And we were hungry.
The three of us headed over to the marina and Fort Mason, where we were greeted with the ultimate street food festival.
Yes, we had heard about it. But, what we encountered was immense.
An entire huge parking lot was converted into a food festival. Trucks. Tents. Smells. Plates. In all about 30 trucks were parked there offering just about everything under the sun.
Off the Grid, founded by Matt Cohen, is a rotating street food market. Monday through Saturday, it stops in various locations across the city, with anywhere from a few to a little more than 10 food trucks. But, Friday night is the Grand Daddy of all Off the Grid’s. It’s when people flock to the street food scene. The love the city feels for the event is apparent.
Entry is free, and then it’s a free-for-all. Want tacos? No problem. How about a new drink concoction (I tried hibiscus cinnamon tea)? OK. Gourmet rotisserie? Cajun? Korean? Artisan burgers? Check. Check. Check. Then, there’s the desserts. Creme brulee. Cupcakes. Cakes.
You want it, Off the Grid has it.
Plus, there’s a beer and wine tent and live music.
Our group ended up being six total, and we took turns going to trucks and getting food for everyone to taste.
Somehow, between the mix of plates and wine, I tried duck.
I have sworn up and down I would never eat the cute lil’ guys. Every night at work, I see them hanging, featherless, ready for consumption. And, I have just never been able to convince myself to try the game.
We were eating tacos, and they saved one for me. I rolled the meat around in my tongue.
“This … tastes … not like chicken,” I said.
Abby and Spencer looked at what I was holding. The not-chicken-colored-meat glared back at us.
“It’s my duck!” Abby exclaimed.
I washed it down with some red wine, then we headed over to the infamous creme brulee stand where Nutella strawberry and french vanilla with honey was being offered.
Of course, I had to sample both little bowls of yum.
And, then it was 10 p.m. and the stalls were closing.
We wrapped up our night with some drinks at a local Japanese restaurant, then Abby and I headed back to the Fairmont.
Stomachs full. Ready for our Napa leg of our whirlwind NoCal weekend.