I have heartburn.
Food trucks have come to Pleasanton, and last Sunday I had to try them all. I only planned to have one bite of everything, but "one bite" turned out to be a whole lot of food. Still, I'm a big fan of supporting local businesses, even if they're mobile and only come once a week. So when I heard that food trucks were finally setting up temporary shop in the Cost Plus parking lot across from Stoneridge Mall, I started drooling.
I had my first food truck experience a couple of years ago before the "meals on wheels" phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, doing research for a book (aka drinking a lot of wine), and friends suggested we try plein-air dining.
Now I'm not the adventurous type when it comes to trying new foods. When we go out to dinner, I order the same foods at the same restaurants -- rigatoni Bolognese at Pasta Primavera, ground beef taco and cheese enchilada at El Nido, tempura and teriyaki at Sushi House. I was hesitant to try trucks with names like Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, the Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry and Naked Chorizo. Turned out I liked just about everything, from the Chinese tacos to the Filipino lumpia.
But that was the end of my food truck tastings for a while, since Napa was a little too far to drop by for a meal. Now that food trucks have finally come to Pleasanton, I can please my inner glutton every weekend.
We raced over last Sunday, delighted to find the lot full of colorful trucks with creative names. Once again we promised to have just "one bite" -- that way we could taste everything. I started my journey at Cluck it Up, ordered garlic Parmesan wings and called that the appetizer.
Next stop: the Grilled Cheese Bandit, where the sandwiches are named after folk legends like Jesse James and Butch Cassidy. I had the Giuliani (a folk legend?), a grilled mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato and pesto sandwich, and called it lunch.
It was a blur after that. A Peruvian pork sandwich from Sanguchon. A burrito cone from Twister. A Coca Cola-braised pork sandwich from the Chairman. And I'd only made it halfway through the trucks. Luckily I had just enough room for dessert. I managed to down two cream puffs from the Pacific Puffs truck -- chocolate and salted caramel -- before I spotted the Frozen Kuhsterd truck and had to have the ice-creamy sundae with caramel, chocolate and salted almonds. I knew, with Kaiser Hospital right across the street, I could seek medical attention after this food orgy if needed.
If you're looking for some fun fresh eats, come on down to the parking lot in Pleasanton. Off the Grid hosts food trucks there every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll meet lots of friendly people, pay reasonable prices and taste foods from around the world -- all in one spot.
I'm thinking of setting up my own truck there and serving Vanilla Zantac, Chocolate Prilosec, Curry Maalox, Grilled Pepto and Tums-on-a-Stick. I think it will be a hit. For more information, go to http://offthegridsf.com/markets.
Reach Penny Warner at www. pennywarner.com.