wine.com

You know the old saying “that all good things must eventually come to an end” ~ so we’re sad to say that today is our last day beautiful San Francisco but, it couldn’t have ended on a sweeter note, literally.

Over the past three days we’ve eaten some amazing food all lovingly prepared and served by some equally amazing people. Watch our video coverage at Off the Grid SF, at the end of this review.

One thing we want to point out that you may not be aware of is these business owners made the decision to start food trucks, because they have found it to be one of the best ways to express their passion for food and share it with world with the least amount of restriction.

These dedicated men and women work tirelessly to provide you with the best product possible. Do they always succeed? Not always – things happen, sometimes a cook doesn’t show up, a location that was promised falls through last minute, they run out of ingredients, ovens go out. I even heard a story of an oven door falling off during a busy service on one truck.

It’s not uncommon for a food truck owner and his/her crew to work an eighteen hour day (often times- six days a week) so it would suffice to say that this is truly a labor of love ~ and we felt that love continually throughout our week here.

So the next time you dine at a food truck and you enjoyed the meal, let the them know how you felt. And if something didn’t work for you, don’t feel uncomfortable sharing that, as well. Otherwise, how can we improve if we don’t know what’s not working?

Finally if you visit any of the trucks we’ve recommended on the blog, please let the truck owner know that Stitches ‘n Dishes sent you. And stop missing what you could be eating….

San Francisco Food Truck Tour – Finale

The ArKi Kitchen: Designing Something Homemade, That Feels Like Home

Arki Truck - Building Homemade Southern Cooking

If you have a hankering for authentic southern cooking, then you’ll definitely want to do whatever you can to find The Architect’s Kitchen. Created by Tim Setiawan a former architect decided to trade blueprints for fried chicken and launch a food truck specializing in serving some of the best in the city.

After eyeing the menu, it took mere moments before I spotted the Chicken & Donuts -$8.50! A creative spin on a chicken and waffles Tim serves his chicken with two freshly cooked donuts. The consistency of the donut is a cross between a beignet and a biscuit. Light and airy, not dense or heavy at all. Each donut is cooked fresh to order as is the chicken.

Once the donuts are removed from the fryer they’re placed in a portable serving container where they’re drizzled with warm honey and served along side two pieces of freshly fried chicken.

I’m not typically a fan of dark meat chicken preferring the breast and wings, so when I received a leg and thigh I have to admit I was a little disappointed. But not for long. Once I grab that leg and took my first bite any trepidation about the selection was laid to rest.

Panko Bread Crumb Crusted Fried Chicken and Honey Glazed Donuts

Being from the south I know how fried chicken should be prepared, and the Arki truck hit it out of the park. The chicken was quite moist on the inside with a Panko Japanese bread crumb crunchy crust on the outside that was full of flavor extended straight through to the meat. Not once was I disappointed. Although I must admit there was a moment when I experienced brief concern as the warm honey merged with the fried chicken; this being the primary reason why I’ve always avoided chicken and waffles.

But believe it or not the honey actually enhances the flavor of the chicken. Of course the combination of the donut and the chicken together is nothing short of heavenly. It’s like a having both your entree and your dessert all rolled into one.

At the end of the day, we give this meal Stitches highest rating of 5 plates!

Next Up: 3-Sum Eats Truck

Mac n’ Cheese Spring Rolls served with a fondue sauce – the best of both worlds literally rolled into one. Created by San Francisco chef Ryan Scott whose philosophy is focused on offering food that’s fresh, fast and centered around unique ingredients. This was quite evident in this dish. Scott prepares the spring rolls by taking freshly made macaroni and cheese then cooling it so there easy to form.

Next, the creamy pasta is shaped into tubes the size of a egg roll, then wrapped in a Wonton wrapper and deep fried until golden brown.

Now imagine breaking one of those crusty rolls in half and finding filled with hot mac n’ cheese. I know, it’s almost too much to comprehend but wait… I’m not done.

3-Sum Eats serves the rolls with a side of warm cheese fondue sauce!

Ryan’s fondue sauce is made with assorted cheeses melted until they reach a rich, creamy consistency. I love the unique spin on a traditional American classic with a slightly creative Asian twist.

The Perfect Snack After A Wild Night!

Cheese fondues are traditionally served with small pieces of either torn or cubed bread or vegetables, but you certainly can’t go wrong, pairing it with a fried mac and cheese roll.

If you fancy yourself a true lover of cheese, this dish will have you doing cart wheels.

In my opinion this is the perfect snack food to counter act a night of debauchery and soak up some of the previous nights alcohol consumption. Of course these rolls are the perfect finger food for any occasion.

Don’t Forget Dessert: Homemade Twinkies

Before I describe these Twinkies, let me be perfectly clear when I say that these are not the convenience store variety that’s been batter dipped and deep fried.

A Classic Snack Cake - Totally Redone

No, these Twinkies are actually a home made sponge cake that has a nice lemon accent to it, then baked to resemble it’s pre-packaged counterpart.

Once cooled the center of the cake is removed and replaced with fresh vanilla butter cream. The cake is moist and slightly tart from the lemon, then sweet butter cream – light and airy.

Trust me, after you try these Twinkies, you’ll never look at the store-bought variety again, if at all.

Next up: Pull up Curbside for a one of the best dawg’s you’ll ever eat.

Of course, we’re talking about a hot dog, but not just any hot dog, but an all beef dog that’s served with braised cabbage that’s been sauteed with Applewood smoked bacon then placed a split baguette that’s been spread Guiness Grain Mustard.

The hot dog was cooked perfectly. Moist and juicy on the inside with a perfect snap on the outside. Combine that with the sweet cabbage and hearty smoky bacon that pairs beautiful with the robust mustard and what you have is a pure flavor explosion.

I loved that they served the sandwich with cottage fries, a classic side dish usually served for breakfast. Eat Curbside takes beautiful russet potatoes then gently fries them griddle top like you’d find at any good diner but with plenty of onions, parsley, salt and pepper. In a word – Awesome!

Curbside Dawg Served with Home Fries

If you remember from day two we had the Ahi Tuna Slider from Eat Curbside which was a delight in and of itself. If you missed that review you can read it by clicking on the link above.

On our final day we were lucky to stumble upon them again so we couldn’t resist going back for a second time. We definitely did the right thing.

Next Up: Phat Thai – Phat Tai Wings

phattaiwings

Phat Tai Wings at Phat Thai

 

I ordered the Thai Wings at the Phat Thai truck. Being a Thai food connoisseur, and having been to Thailand a few times, I can say I’ve had my fair share of Thai wings in my lifetime. Typically, they have a spicy kick and are very tender and juicy. They’re deep fried in rice flour, then smothered with a spicy, tangy, sticky sauce.

There are a couple of variations between citrus and herb-based wings, and I enjoy the flavor of both. By the time we arrived at the event, I was starving and looking forward to the first chance I’d get to review a truck.

Staff at Phat Thai Truck

Staff at Phat Thai Truck

Rodney chose the ArKi Truck, so I opted for Thai. The Phat Thai truck has a great reputation, so it seemed it would be a slam dunk. The staff at the Phat Thai truck are very friendly and courteous – overall, excellent service. A friendly greeter stood by outside the truck to welcome customers for lunch. He directed me to the menu, and handed my order to me when it was ready.

Unfortunately, the wings didn’t quite stack up to the service. The sauce was a little on the bland side, lacking sweetness, tangyness or spiciness. Judging by how quickly I was served and the temperature of the chicken (it wasn’t hot), I’m assuming it had been previously prepared, as the chicken was a bit tough and dry.

I considered returning the order; I have no doubt that they would have quickly replaced it. We were video taping the reviews for our premier SND TV episode, and there were other trucks to review, so I decided to make the best of it and move on to the next truck.

Overall, I can’t say that I was impressed with the food. It was… “OK,” but Phat Thai’s excellent reputation and great service are redeeming qualities. So, for the time-being, we’re withholding a rating for Phat Thai, and will award a rating after giving it another try. I’ll be sure to return to this truck when we visit San Francisco again, then we’ll award a final rating.

If you’ve tried Phat Thai, we’d love to hear your comments.

 

Overview Of Our Trip

San Francisco is one of the best food cities in the United States if not the world.

Many of the food truck operators here are classically trained, have earned degrees in the culinary arts and are former restaurant chefs who have worked at five-star restaurants and hotels during their careers.

At the end of day we believe that they’re doing something wonderful, not to mention balls out courageous and you can’t help but appreciate that. I know we do!

Finally we want to give a heartfelt “thank you” to Matt Cohen, owner and creator of Off The Grid SF who took time to sit down with us and share how his company is supporting the burgeoning San Francisco food truck movement.

Please stay tuned, because that interview with Matt will coming later this week.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the tireless efforts of all of the San Francisco Food Truck operators that we reviewed and those we unfortunately missed. Their dedication, creativity and hard work is an inspiration to us all.

Thank you — we’ll be back!

Below you’ll find a listing of all of the trucks we sampled and our ratings!

Day 1

Rating Food Truck Follow on Twitter
3 ½ Plates Fins on the Hoof (@finsonthehoof)
4 Plates Kasa Indian Truck (@kasaindian)
4 Plates Bacon Bacon SF (@baconbaconsf)
 

Day 2

Rating Food Truck Follow on Twitter
4 Plates Eat Curbside (@eatcurbside)
3 ½ Plates Liba’s Falafel Truck (@LIBAfalafel)
4 Plates Chairman Bao Bun Truck (@chairmantruck)
4 Plates Creme Brulee Cart (@cremebruleecart)
 

Day 3

Rating Food Truck Follow on Twitter
5 Plates Arki Truck (@arkitruck)
4 Plates Eat Curbside (@eatcurbside)
5 Plates 3Sum Eats (@3sumeats)
No Rating Phat Thai (@PhatThaiSF)

 

Did you like to today’s review? Would you like to receive up to the minute updates on new reviews, contests, special interviews and more?

If so why not subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter “The Dish” not only to you get the “inside scoop” on the latest on the mobile dining scene, but to get first notice of special offerings and programs available exclusively to subscribers.

Enter Our New Contest To Win An iPod Touch! Click Image to Find Out How

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Starbucks
About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

  • Jeffrey Goldade

    Great Coverage! Now to follow them all on Twitter! The homemade twinkies looked delicious ( a great alternative to the gross hostess ones). Also, I really enjoyed reading about the Thai wings…… The whole article made my mouth water. The series was great! I know you can go on the road and flourish. You did great.

    So I would hat to say that Phat Thai, Bacon Bacon SF, and 3 Sum Eats are at the top of my “to try,” list. Great Coverage! :-)

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com chris

    Thanks Jeffrey! I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles. This extended trip in SF was a blast. So many great vendors, incredible food, and of course all of that SF scenery! I definitely want to go back to give Phat Thai another try… Everyone’s entitled to a bad day, and I think they’ve got what it takes to rank with the others we reviewed. I call it a fluke. As they say, great things come in three’s, and 3Sum Eats definitely tops my list. I’m sure everything on their menu tops the charts, but I’ll definitely return for the macaroni! Bacon – it just speaks for itself. Enough said!

    Thanks again for the comment!

  • Pingback: Mobile Food Pioneer Reviews 11 SF Food Trucks « Street Food Locator

  • Nellie
  • Jeannine

    So So jealous Chris! I am only 30 miles away from the City but never get there for the good eats! I have been watching the food truck shows on The Food Network and must say “roach coaches” no longer exist! The quality of food is incredible and the fusion of ethnic foods is amazing. The possibilities of what comes out of the trucks now are endless!

    Thanks for keeping me up to date on the food trends and letting me see it unfold through the eyes of Stitches ‘n Dishes!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com chris

      That’s how I feel about Rodney’s adventures in LA! But SF definitely has some of the absolute best food truck options out there. Being that close to the city, you’ve GOT to get over there. Maybe we’ll have to try to find some time to meet there and do some good old fashioned food reviewin’.

  • Pingback: The best thing I ever ate: Eat Curbside, San Francisco | EatSt.

  • Pingback: 3SUM Eats: Not Your Ordinary American Bistro | Stitches 'n Dishes