Monday, April 29, 2013
I'm not really planning a literal "Food Truck of the Month" feature. There may not be another Food Truck of the Month for another six months in this blog; then again there could conceivably be be two FTOMS in one month. The simple fact is that once in a while a food truck comes along that stands out so prominently that it deserves an honorific of sorts, so why NOT "Food Truck of the Month?" El Calamar Peruvian Cuisine, which started appearing frequently at the SoMa StrEat Food Park a month ago, is just such a truck.
El Calamar serves traditional Peruvian classics; there's no fusion or crossover foods on the menu. Yes, there's the familiar lomo saltado and papa a la Huancaina; but you'll also find less familiar platos, like carapulca, a stew of chicken, pork and dried potatoes in a peanut sauce, and jalea, a mixed grill of sorts featuring (mostly) fried calamari, grilled fish, shrimp and yuka. Calamar means calamari, of course, and you can also get a standalone order of fried calamari or, also in the fishy deparment, grilled tilapia. The current menu also includes papa rellena, and a Peruvian tamal. The refreshing Peruvian purple corn beverage chicha morada is also offered, and alfajor cookies for dessert.
Another thing: if you are a chili head, ask for the hot sauce if it's not included. You won't be disappointed. If you're not a chili head, approach that little tub of green stuff with caution. It's not guac!
And oh yes, if you are listening, El Calamar, let me whisper something in your ear:
Friday, April 19, 2013
|Peruvian Leche de Tigre Cebiche from the Sanguchon Truck|
tunnsbrödsrulle) and his Nordic Truck. The nicely-breaded and perfectly-cooked cod came with French fries of just the right size (to my taste) though not quite as browned as I like; the latter didn't stop me from eating them all (which for me is a rare occurrence). The F&C was accompanied by a watercress remoulade (by way of a tartar sauce) and some fresh pickles.
As if the above weren't enough fish for a two week period, I also enjoyed a salt cod (among others, they're small) Sonora-style burrito from the Burr-eatery truck at SoMa StrEat Food Park, and some excellent takoyaki from a popup that only seems to appear on Post Street during Cherry Blossom Festival.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
And the winner is.......ceviche!. There are two food groups that call my name, but LOUDLY, namely ceviche and lamb. I managed to work both into my grazing over the past few days (lamb more than once), but the fishy one always trumps the barnyard-y one, and it was Shrimp & Love that held the winning card. I ran across this vendor at Mission Mercado, which I visited for the first time today (what have I been doing all these Thursdays???). Mission Mercado is a neighborhood "farmer's" market for the Mission with many familiar produce and value-added vendors, but has more of a community "street market" feel than other neighborhood farmer's markets are able to achieve. Shrimp & Love is the brother-sister team of Orlando and Monica Trigueros, who have developed a whole range of ceviches from traditional to fanciful (think passion fruit). Their ceviches are prepared off-site and sold in chilled, sealed packages (probably a DOH stricture) but come with a spoon, napkin and a packet of restaurant-style tortilla chips, ready for wolfing down at one of the convenient nearby tables. I chose the "Shrimp-aquachile" ceviche, a Mexican style. As the name implies, it comes with a very soupy sauce, packed with fiery green chiles, slivered onions and plenty of shrimp (I think I counted seven). Needless to say, I immediately hunkered down and devoured the plastic bucketful of jalapeno heaven. I'll definitely be back for more, and to try the other ceviche varieties on offer.
Shrimp & Love, Mission Mercado, 22nd and Bartlett Streets, San Francisco
Aria Korean American Snack Bar, 932 Larkin Street, San Francisco
La Falafel, 428-11th Street, San Francisco
Sticks BBQ, 2138 Irving Street, San Francisco