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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Truck Stop: Checking Out New Vendors at Presidio Picnic

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Platter of BBQ from Cochon Volant - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Platter of BBQ from Cochon Volant
With the 2014 season of Off the Grid's Presidio Picnic a full month into its run and the weather finally becoming as predictable as it gets, I stopped by and explore some of the new vendors (and also a few we missed or were missing from last year).

This list is by no means a complete overview of the 12 new participants -- my courageous team of two hungry eaters and I had to wave the white flag after feasting from six of the 12 new vendors and revisiting two previous ones. Although I had to retreat not having sampled all of the newbies, I will lick my wounds (and lips) and be back with more in-depth coverage of the vendors in the coming weeks.

See also: Off the Grid's Picnic at the Presidio: Like a Day in Dolores, But Better Food, Drinks, and Grass

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Strawberry Shortcake Flies High at Wing Wings

Truck Stop: Food Truck World Tour

Cochon Volant

Hailing from Napa, this stall specializes in the kind of American barbecue fare that a sunny afternoon is all about. The BBQ Parfait ($12) was possibly the most startling delicious item we ate that day: A jar layered with chopped smoked meats and coleslaw sounds weird, but it succeeded. The sauce, meats, and slaw all melded into bites that showcased the quality meats, as did the sandwiches.

click to enlarge LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Grilled Cheese Guy

The name says it all. Crisp planks of Acme bread get grilled until the bread is golden and the mix of cheese are oozy, like in the Green Stalks & Ham ($8). Kid friendly versions (i.e., simple cheese and meat versions, $6) are also available.

click to enlarge LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Salumeria

This mobile version of the popular brick-and-mortar locations serves up sandwiches, but also picnic perfect salumi and cheese platters ($20 meat, $18 cheese). Each comes with accompaniments like honey/jam and pickles. The seasonal cold salads like the Barley Salad ($6) are the sleeper hits you should grab along with your platter.

click to enlarge Peek-a-boo! A look underneath the egg topped grits. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Peek-a-boo! A look underneath the egg topped grits.

Sugarfoot Grits

A big bowl of grits, especially like the Sugarfoot ($11), that are topped with braised greens, bacon, and eggs makes for great brunching. Cheesy and creamy, the grits alone ($4) at the very least should land on your blanket.

click to enlarge Mixed pierogi platter - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Mixed pierogi platter

Old World Food Truck

After this truck disappeared from the Off the Grid Fort Mason roster, I was glad to see chef Kenny Hockert's truck at the picnic. The sandwiches like the Chicken Schnitzel-wich ($11) are great, but I was missing the Pierogi (8 pieces for $10) the most. Crisp and filled with a choice of meat or cheese with potato, they work equally well as snack or meal.

click to enlarge As refreshing as it looks - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • As refreshing as it looks

Presidio Bar

While the bar was present last year, this time around it's a whole new, yet familiar vendor: Quality Beverage (they do the Twilight markets). The Bloody Marys ($9, $45 for a group kit) and Mimosas ($9, $40 for a group kit) are still there, but so are lighter, more warm weather drinks like a great Presidio Paloma ($9, tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, spicy salt).

click to enlarge LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Nopalito

I'm a sucker for chilaquiles, the Mexican hangover cure that mixes fried tortillas with a chile spiced sauce, and I couldn't resist going back to Nopalito for their version with beef and potato topped version ($8). The fat and crunchy tortillas stay brittle all the way to the end, and the picadillo is a nice variation that usually comes with eggs.

click to enlarge Greek style lamb salad - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Greek style lamb salad

The Whole Beast

Chef John Fink and his merry band of whole animal focused cooks is also another vendor I had to revisit. The house smoked Turkey Sandwich ($12) is always great, but no one seems to cook better lamb than Fink. On my visit, chunks from a whole cooked lamb were placed over a Greek style salad ($11) that provided a lighter foil to the rich, smoky meat.

Here's a complete list of all the new vendors:

Chotto

Cochon Volant

Fine and Rare

Grilled Cheese Guy

Peter's Kettle Corn

Salumeria

Sugarfoot Grits

Tout Sweet

Wise Sons

Old World Food Truck

Three Twins

Complete lineup for 2014

TENTS

Cholita Linda

Chotto (new)

Cochon Volant (new)

Del Popolo

El Porteno

Fine and Rare (new)

Grilled Cheese Guy (new)

Nopalito

Peter's Kettle Corn (new)

Rosamunde

Salumeria (new)

Sugarfoot Grits (new)

The Creme Brulee Cart

The Whole Beast

Tout Sweet (new)

Wing Wings Fried Chicken

Wise Sons (new)

TRUCKS

Fins on the Hoof

Go Streatery

Kasa Indian

Little Green Cyclo

Old World Food Truck (new)

Three Twins (new)

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