Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oakland's First Food Truck "Pod" is Launched.

Today's fine weather found me headed to the mysterious East Bay to check out the debut of Oakland's first legally sanctioned on-street gathering of food trucks, the Clay Pod.  Under legislation passed late last year, three food trucks will be stationed on Clay Street between 14th Street and 15th Street in downtown Oakland every Tuesday from 11:30 to 2:00.  The Clay Pod is the brainchild and personal project of Gail Lillian, proprietor of the Liba Falafel truck (the East Bay Express has some of the backstory). Two of the trucks, Lillian's Liba Falafel and William Pilz's HapaSF are scheduled to be there weekly, while a new-to-me truck, Go Streatery, will alternate with another old friend food truck, Julia Yoon's Seoul on Wheels. (I'm counting on either HapaSF or Seoul on Wheels to come up with a dish called "Clay Pod Rice," ya hear?)  As the East Bay Express noted, a legitimized Bites Off Broadway launches Friday, and more "pods" appear to be in the pipeline.

Business was brisk today, and judging by the number of surprised and delighted looks, will get even better as word gets out.  For my part, I decided to get something from Go Streatery, it being new to me. Go Streatery serves glorified comfort food, which, with no small measure of hipster irony, it calls "Glorious Peasant Food."  I went for the pan-fried dumplings (the only dish with pork in it) and a side of house-made root kettle chips. The dumplings seemed more sauteed than fried (limp rather than crunchy) and were on the bland side. To the dish's credit, they rested on a generous portion of salad consisting of sprightly chopped greens and Cara Cara orange slices.  The root chips (made from blue potatoes, sweet potatoes and yam were the real winners -- thin, crispy and not overly salty.  At $2.00 they're a no-brainer add-on to your main course.

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