Saturday, October 15, 2011

If You're Not Hungry, Don't Tuk With the Phat Thai Truck

My culinary stars were lined up with noodle planets today, and I set out on a mission: swing by McCoppin Hub and check out the debut of the Phat Thai truck and sample something noodly, then head over to UN Plaza where TomKatSF had tweeted he would be doing noodles at an event. A couple of servings of food truck noodles in an afternoon -- should be easy, right?  Well, Phat Thai had other ideas.

I found the Phat Thai truck in full flower at McCoppin Hub, parked on the bike lane side.  Although it's a brand new operation, the warm, soft colors of the truck's wrap gave it a familiar feel, the feel of having been around for a while. So did its marketing presence; it had a teasing slogan, "Wanna Tuk With Us?"  and point-of-sale merchandise (tee shirts and Tuk-tuk logo decals).  But what about the food? Was it ready for prime time? I had, in fact sampled some of Phat Thai's food a few weeks earlier when it was taste-tested by Off the Grid staff and came away with a favorable impression based on a few nibbles. What I was not prepared for was the portion size.

Phat Thai's regular menu (painted on the truck) includes Pad Thai, Phat Wings, Phat Satay Skewers, Som Tum Salad and Tom Kha Gai.  A sandwich board menu also offered sliders, a nod to the Food Truck 2.0 world. Since I was on a noodle tear, I ordered the Pad Thai with chicken ($7.00)  It was also available with a vegetable topping for the same price, or with prawns for $2 more.

After a brief wait, my boxed order came and I was almost taken aback by its heft.  It was one of the biggest servings of food I have ever received from a food truck, certainly the most food I've had put in my hands for as little as $7.00 at an Off the Grid event, and it would easily serve as dinner.  I haven't been around Thai food enough to know what constitutes a good Pad Thai (and my friends who do give me conflicting information anyway) but I found it tasty and satisfying.  The noodles (once I found them under a mountain of diced chicken) were not overly sticky, the one thing I have sometimes disliked in Pad Thai I have been served. There was a generous amount of egg and tofu as well, and the bean sprouts were fresh and crispy.  I ate every bite; noodles from the TomKatSF truck will have to wait.

Check our the Phat Thai truck.  Just be advised that ordering the Pad Thai is not grazing.

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