Off the Grid, San Francisco


Normally, when one hears the phrase “off the grid,” it’s in the context of technology-less, remote destinations or hideaways. But when you hear it on the streets of San Francisco, “Off the Grid” has a much different meaning; one of ethnic food, inevitable over-indulgence and a vibrant social scene.

Off the Grid is self-described as “your roaming mobile food extravaganza — bringing you delicious food, with free sides of music, craft and soul. Check out all your favorite gourmet food vendors in one place – creating markets like you’ve never seen before.”

I’d take it one step further. Off the Grid is any food enthusiast’s heaven.
I had the pleasure of making my first trip to Off the Grid at Fort Mason on a Friday evening a few weeks back, and the spectacle certainly lived up to my high expectations. The only issue was where to begin! My dining companion and I did what any smart foodies would – we developed a fool-proof strategy.
First things first, we took a lap around the food trucks and made mental note of the items that caught our eyes before purchasing anything. Word to the wise – if you start buying food before you take this essential lap, you will never make it all the way around. Everything looks good.

Next, we reconvened and decided that in order to optimize our dining experience, we would go halvsies on everything, enabling us to taste twice as much as if we kept each item to ourselves. The third pillar of the strategy was to double-up on our desserts by allowing ourselves to alternate savory/sweet/savory/sweet. I see you judging me. Stop judging.

From there, it was go time.

I made a beeline to Happy Dumplings, an SF must-have that I’d heard much about, and opted for an order of the Chive and Pork Pot Stickers and the Beef and Onion Pot Stickers. The pot stickers did not disappoint, as they were the perfect start to our feast.

From there, we paid a visit to The Crème Brulee Man, whose Honey Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee was perfectly caramelized and utterly decadent.

Next stop was back to savory with the Sweet Potato Tater Tots from Little Green Cyclo, which specializes in Vietnamese street food. The tots were blissful – a strange combination of Thanksgiving meets Napoleon Dynamite.

Last, but certainly not least, we indulged in a sweet treat from Cupkates, the Bay Area’s first cupcake truck. My only complaint at Cupkates was that they were out of the Salted Caramel flavor that I’d set my heart on. But the delicious Red Velvet and Double Vanilla quickly made up for that.

Bottom line – if you find yourself in SF with a few hours to spare, it’s worth finding the nearest food truck! Off the Grid is at a different location virtually every day of the week, so odds are there’s a time/day that works for you. You can view their full weekly calendar online here.

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