Saturday, April 9, 2011

Food Truck Frenzy

Food truck frenzy has hit San Jose. Last Saturday, San Jose's first food truck festival, SJ Eats, was held  downtown. It was either a huge success or a big flop depending on your perspective. Larry and I arrived at 11:30am just as it was scheduled to open. The line for Sam’s Chowdermobile was already a block long. No calamari for me that day!

Once we made our way into the crazy crowded fenced-in parking lot, we could see that there were 10 trucks offering a variety of options including seafood, Cajun, Asian, Korean and Fillipino cuisines, as well as several dessert choices. It was a very small location to contain a LOT of people. We gingerly wove our way through the masses to our friend Kevin’s truck, MoBowl. It was in the back corner, so the line wasn’t quite so long and we got our order pretty quickly.

I’ve reviewed MoBowl before and the food just keeps getting better. I’ve tried almost everything they serve, but I keep coming back to the Five-Spice Pulled Pork bowl. The pork is always melt-in-your-mouth tender with perfectly balanced seasoning. This time was no exception.The portions are large and the bowl won’t leave you hungry. You can't tell in this photo how deep the bowl is - there is a lot of pork in there!

We stood in a not-so-long line to get Kara’s cupcakes to take home to our friend recovering from surgery. It took far longer than waiting for food that needed preparation. How long does it take to hand people a cupcake?! I suspect they were moving more slowly because they were running out of cakes.

Reportedly over 10,000 people showed up for the festival; far more than anyone dreamed. People waited in line for hours to eat and others gave up and left hungry. Most of the vendors ran out of food long before the 3:30 close of the lunch shift. Many people went away disappointed. Who knew so many people would show up when some still think of food trucks as “roach coaches.”

I read they made some crowd management changes for the dinner shift and it was easier to determine which line you were standing in. They are looking for a larger location for the next event. Congratulations SJ Eats on demonstrating that the South Bay supports food trucks and best wishes for even more success on the next event.


  1. 10,000 people? That's crazy! They will be more prepared next time.... the food trucks are pretty big down here in San Diego too, what a great idea!

  2. I was thinking of going, but feared it would be mob city just like it turned out to be. Kudos to you for braving those lines. Looks like the food was worth the wait. ;)

  3. The same types of events in Boston get heavily attended and some trucks just can't keep up. I wish people would just enjoy it locally where the trucks and companines normally visit. It would make it more fun to have to hunt for them and not have to wait in line for hours!


  4. I am intrigued by the whole food truck thing too. Went to Austin and had a blast! Do you think it is a fad or are they here to stay?