Special Delivery: Food Trucks A New Craze

Ashley Matuszak

The term “fast food” has just gotten more street cred. The term “fast food” has just gotten more street cred.

Food trucks are the latest craze in food culture. What were once known as “roach coaches” now carry fresh, fast, gourmet food at low prices. With popular shows on television, such as Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” food trucks have been springing up on every corner in major cities, like San Francisco and San Jose. Often open until early in the morning, food trucks are a great source of food after all the other restaurants are closed, and their menus may surprise you.

The offerings of the Bay Area’s food trucks range from the simple to the unusual. MoGo BBQ’s truck can often be seen scooting around Oakland, Berkeley and Palo Alto. MoGo’s offers a Mexican-American twist on Korean barbeque, serving Korean meats and vegetables inside of tacos, burritos and quesadillas. The most expensive thing on the menu is $7, so you are guaranteed a tasty, interesting treat that is also easy on your wallet. The star of MoGo is their delicious Kalbi, or short ribs, which you can get in a $2 taco, quesadilla or sliders. There are a few vegetarian options as well, such as their tofu and kimchi (pickled cabbage) quesadillas.

Another popular food truck that hangs around the San Jose area is Mo-Bowl, which offers an American twist on Chinese fast food. Their five-spice pulled pork bowl has rice, vegetables and slow marinated pulled pork with a spicy yet sweet flavor. Pay an extra 75 cents and get a fried egg on top, all for about eight bucks.

“I love the five spice pulled pork bowl with egg because it’s so hearty. The meat is very well seasoned, but not overwhelming at all. The egg makes all the difference, and who doesn’t love all that gooey yolk getting everywhere?” said Jonathan Arguello, a common Mo-Bowl visitor.

Mo-Bowl also has an interesting dessert offering, cheesecake egg rolls. Cheesecake is deep-fried in an egg roll and served with a cracked pepper-pineapple coulee. It’s sweet, savory and the pepper adds an unexpected, enjoyable kick.

If you’re cravin’ Cajun, head to downtown San Jose to find the Louisiana Territory truck. Louisiana Territory has traditional Cajun food, including shrimp po’ boys, shrimp and sausage creole with rice, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, and of course, red beans and rice. Their po’ boys are delicious, and rather than having your baguette sliced, the inside is hollowed out and the filling is poured in, for a drip-free sandwich. The blackened chicken po’ boy ($5) has juicy, spicy chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes and a silky, rich sauce that brings all the ingredients together perfectly. Ending your meal with the $3 bread pudding seems only appropriate after indulging in this monstrous, delicious sandwich.

Food trucks offer a communal experience that an ordinary restaurant could not provide. People of all ages and backgrounds come to stand around and eat with each other. There are no reservations, special tables or premiere seating. You eat with your hands or plastic utensils, using your sleeve as a napkin and leaving extra money in your pocket. This is an expanding empire that is worth supporting.