Tag san francisco

Parties That Cook’s Sneak Peak at SoMa’s StrEat Food Park in San Francisco

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I’ll let you decide.

If a food truck gathering makes itself a permanent home, does it loose its appeal and its customers? Heck no.

On Tuesday, June 5th, Kelle and Rebecca (me) attended a VIP Tasting of the new SoMa StrEat Food Park (no, that’s not a typo). Tickets to Scoutmob’s First Look Party were $25, and included one menu item from six participating food trucks, live music, and the opportunity to then say, “Oh yea, I’ve been there. It’s awesome.”

At around 6:15, Kelle and I hurried over to SoMa, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the PTC office. We lucked out with a parking spot right across the street strEat! In true hipster/San Francisco/Scoutmob fashion, sticky faux mustaches were handed out to each guest during registration. And then it was off to the races.

In the beginning, we tried to be strategic while working our way through our punch cards. It was clear that some trucks had quite the following, and some lines were starting to get long. We decided to swing by Sunrise Deli for our first bite: Falafel and Hummus. With a tagline of “The Best Falafel in Town” expectations were set pretty high. Boy, did they deliver! I could easily have eaten 3 more plates of hot, fresh, tender falafel. Thank goodness Sunrise Deli has 4 other Bay Area locations – 3 in SF – I will be back! This truck gave Kelle and I just what we needed to keep going.

While still enjoying the best falafel in town, we decided to get in the long line for Slider Shack. This single truck operation now toggles between the SoMa StrEat Food Park and the sidewalk at 1st and Howard. With a “sliding scale” for pricing, Slider Shack is an ideal truck to take on with friends (4 sliders for $12!). Kelle and I were both served beautiful Kalua Pork Sliders. Slow cooked pork with Hawaiian Alaea salt, Slider Shack’s spicy Polynesian green sauce, and topped with pickled red onions. YUM. SPICY. My aversion to spicy foods was not going to stop me this time!

We were in such a state of food bliss that we didn’t notice the beast of a line forming across the park. Instead, we absent-mindedly got in line for La Pastrami, the truck right next to Slider Shack. Luckily, this line was short and sweet. It wasn’t long before we were greeted by a nice man handing us two Pastrami Tostadas of pastrami, lettuce, shredded cheese, and tasty mustard. Plain and simple: delicious. Their full menu includes many more pastrami-filled options that what you see here – the perfect summer snack for a warm day at the food truck park.

We then worked our way over to Mr. Nice aka “San Francisco’s best, organic, food truck” aka the line that spanned 50 people. The pastrami tostada was no longer enough to hold us over. The weather that had been surprisingly pleasant, and held out for most of our adventure, turned on us. But we were determined. After what seemed like 3 days in the rain (it was not raining), it was our turn to order. Kelle immediately knew she wanted the Wellshire Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog. I took a bit longer to mull over the options, and in the end, was still torn between the Chicken Apple Bourbon Sausage and bacon-wrapped paradise. After quick consultation with who we believe to be Irish born – now longtime SF local – Pete Fraser (owner), my bacon-wrapped fate was sealed. Absolutely no regrets, though I apologize for not snapping a photo before slathering my dog in ketchup.

Mid-devour, Kelle and I hustled over to Adam’s Grub Truck. Let me just say, I’m SO glad we didn’t give up on filling our punch cards. Adam himself was standing outside his truck speaking to curious park-goers. He was super friendly, helpful, and funny! We both opted for The Falkor: panko-crusted fried chicken with pepper-jack cheese, hickory smoked bacon, and a jumbo fried egg topped with grubbin’ Asian slaw on a toasted brioche bun. LOVE. Our sandwiches were cut in half, and while we honestly could not have finished a whole sandwich after the marathon dinner we had just attempted, I would gladly go back any day for any of the sandwiches on the menu. Yes, even the Ultimate Adam Bomb. Each of Adam’s sandwiches sticks with the Asian fusion theme, and Liquid Dragon fire can be added upon request – for the daring. Trust me, I will eat my way through this fantastic menu.

At this point, the sun had all but disappeared. Kelle and I were starting to shiver, and she still had to make her trek home. We decided to get our final treat to-go. Dear Garden Creamery, thank you. Kelle ordered the Chocolate sorbet, while I opted for the Strawberry Pretzel Pop dipped in White Chocolate. Never before had I tried a popsicle for grown-ups. Biting into the pop, the white chocolate shell easily gave way to smooth, creamy, sweet strawberry goodness. Kelle and I had split up before either of us actually tried our desserts, but apparently hers was so good that she had to text me about it. More. Please. Soon.

I would definitely mark this adventure as a success. My next goal is to get the entire PTC office over to this “food truck mecca” — perhaps as our next team building event? Should you find yourself hungry in San Francisco with a handful of cash, I urge you to check it out, too!

SoMa StrEat Food Park
428 11th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Take A Culinary Tour and More: Point Reyes

Want to get away? No, you don’t need to book a flight on Southwest. Simply take a trip to Point Reyes, a San Francisco coastal treasure. Read on for the low-down on a fun- and food- filled day, weekend, or even week-long getaway. Build your own itinerary with this Parties That Cook guide on where to find the best oysters, places to dine, and other fun things to do.

Oyster Heaven & Beyond

Osteria Stellina – Located in downtown Point Reyes Station, this should be your first stop to kick off your Point Reyes food adventure. All the food here is local – all-from-Marin-County local. Named in SF Chronicle’s top 100 Bay Area Restaurants, Chef-owner Christian Caiazzo’s “Point Reyes Italian” cuisine is not to be missed. Try Stellina’s speciality oyster pizza with braised leeks, lemon thyme and parsley. If oysters are not your thing, this osteria has a surprisingly well-rounded menu, and everything looks delicious!

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant – Does “osteria” sound too fancy for you? Or do you just love BBQ oysters? Drive up a bit further Highway 1, and it doesn’t get any divier than Tony’s. Still, paired with a great view, everyone agrees they have the best BBQ oysters around.  It’s only open Friday – Sunday and is cash only so plan ahead!

Want to go straight to the source? Be sure to pack a picnic and/or pick up a few things at Point Reyes Station.  Pick up some fresh bread and other baked goods at Bovine Bakery, and stop by Cowgirl Creamery to watch cheese being made. It’s always a great idea to pick up some yummy cheeses before heading out to Hog Island Oyster Company or Tomales Bay Oysters, also along Highway 1. Both provide picnic tables, barbeques, lemons, hot sauce, a glove, a shucker, and beautiful views! Staff will suggest other picnic areas nearby, so if you plan on being adventurous, bring your own shucker, glove, and oyster fixins. Tomales Bay will give you a quick demo on how to shuck if it’s your first time. You should be prepared to pay a picnic fee at Hog Island, but it’s well worth it!

If you prefer a down home family restaurant experience, head back to Point Reyes Station for live music in the evening at Station House Café.  The café even uses local organic ingredients! If you haven’t had enough, you can also get fresh oysters from Hog Island or Drakes Bay. Make a note: the specials are ever-changing! Reservations are not a bad idea, either.

If you’re lucky enough to grab a bag of oysters to-go, here’s a great oyster recipe from the Parties That Cook appetizer recipe library!

Getting Back to Nature

If you want to spend more time running around in the wild, pack up that picnic and:

HIKE along Bear Valley Trailhead.  Take this trail to get to Arch Rock for gorgeous views to go with your picnic lunch. Campers can also find a few campsites starting from Bear Valley. Check out Bay Area Hiker for detailed descriptions of the trail.

RIDE along Marshall Beach Trail or over to the Lighthouse. From Marin Magazine on Marshal Beach Trail: The fairly easy ride offers a challenge with the short uphill climb from Marshall Beach but the bulk of the trail is flat and manageable. How to get there: After entering Point Reyes National Seashore, turn right on Pierce Point towards Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay State Park will appear on the right. Turn right onto Marshall Beach Road. Drive up this road a short distance to the cattle guard and park. The ride is about seven-and-a-half miles.

WALK along Limantour Beach for a somewhat secluded experience combining beautiful views of the ocean and the forest.

Beautiful West Marin offers many locations to explore. Whether you come in search of a great oyster, a great meal, or a great trail, you have to check out Point Reyes!