What gourmet food-truck bubble? Trucks are bringing energy into overlooked public spaces and, oh yeah, slinging good food from garlicky sweet-potato fries to panko-crusted Dover sole tacos.
So who’s sending out the best of the good?
No. 8 MiHo Gastrotruck
The locally sourced ingredients they put on their griddle get transformed into slick comfort food. The menu is seasonal: So the BLAT just split (thick-cut bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, sprouts, on extra-wide grainy bread). A Duroc pork-belly-loaded banh mi on French baguettes made a return. And Juan Miron and Kevin Ho’s growing business is moving into pastries and cookies! @mihogastrotruck
No. 7 Corner Cupcakes
You’ll want to truckjack this adorable, mobile cupcakery and flee with all its Irish cream and toffees. Be satisfied with having “Cupcake Wars”-winners Tina Swanson and Amanda Schnitzius frost your choice of nude cupcake to order. (You’re not the first to match red velvet with cream cheese.) @cornercupcakes
No. 6 Mariscos Germán
Connected to restaurants in National City and Spring Valley and beloved by the skinny-jean set, Mariscos is working outside the gourmet-truck genre, technically. But it makes affordable seafood temptations like ceviche tostadas and fresh seafood-mix tacos that spread through your mouth like pools of light. Everybody gets the grilled shrimp-and-veggie Gobernador tacos, though. At 3030 Grape St., South Park; 2802 Ocean View Blvd., Logan Heights; and 3504 University Ave., Normal Heights.
No 5. SD Street Eats
A restaurant masquerading as a truck. C’mon, chef Andy Johnson’s spiffy garnishes (green onion brushes) and extravagant idea of street food (braised short rib) belong indoors. At least you better be seated when the wasabi on his seared ahi tuna and soba noodle dish speedballs through your frontal lobe. Nice. @SDStreetEats (Read more about chef Johnson here.)
No. 4 Mangia Mangia Mobile
Unpretentious Italianate. The seven-layered lasagna Bolognese is like a savory stack of meat- and cheese-stuffed crepes. “It’s poor man’s food, cucina casareccia, simple,” says the Italo-Croatian owner Marko Pavlinovic. He goes big, though, with a $20, five-course dinner Thursdays in Mission Hills. @mangiatruck
No. 3 Asian Persuasion
Jessica Tsang and her dad, Alfonso, make a Korean-style barbecue burrito that fits into every keyhole on your tongue, unlocking the sweet (rice and homemade mayo), the sour (sesame vinaigrette), the bitter (red cabbage), the salty (soy sauce and ginger-marinated skirt steak), and liberating your umami! @asianfoodtruck
No. 2 Devilicious
Like a sticky-tabled diner, Devilicious serves up great diet-busting, grease-and-carb moaners. The menu, designed by CIA-graduate chef-owner Dyann Manning, has a butter-poached lobster grilled-cheese sandwich popular with first-timers. There’s a bacon ball called the BBBLT sandwich (bacon, bacon, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg). And the burger du jour is most definitely inhalable. @Deviliciousfood
No. 1 Green Truck
Those sautéed eggplant tacos could be culinary centerfolds pretty Suzie’s Farm nightshade cubes on luxurious corn tortillas, their flavor plumped up with Roma tomatoes, feta, hummus and basil pesto. David Holtze’s veggie-oil-powered truck (an offshoot of a successful L.A. one) is feel-good earth-friendly. Even carnivores dig the Mother Trucker Vegan Burger’s sweet-and-creamy righteousness. @greentruck_sd