Thursday in the City- Extraordinary Fast Food

Solar powered taco truck serving healthy and fresh vegan dishes
This Thursday, I want to highlight two places doing some out of the box (or should I say bag) thinking when it comes to eating fast food, bringing you better food and honoring our environment at the same time. What was really interesting to me, is that both places had the mind set that this is the food that they eat and that is why they are serving it. A nice thought.

There are a lot of different food movements happening right now and it is really exciting. (Check out these cool links–>) There is street food, street cart vendors, Slow Food, Underground Farmer’s Markets, Localvores, mobile trucks, Farm to Table, a resurgence and popularity in farming, and more that I can’t even remember or know about… Why? I think it really is that sense of pride to share something wonderful that you made. People want it because they know where it came from. It is all so exciting because you never know what corner you are going to find an amazingly prepared dish, that you would never be able to splurge on ordinarily. It is an adventure to seek out a mobile truck and track them on Twitter. You become an active participant. It is also exciting because these trends or movements are making great handmade food available to everyone. Chez Spencer isn’t just for Valentine’s Day anymore…they now have a much more affordable Spencer on the Go. (I will admit, it can still be kinda pricey but comparitively to what it is, French food, it is pretty reasonable.)

A few weeks ago, we were driving around on a really nice night. Not too much was going on, just enjoying the warm weather which is unusual in SF. As we rode, we spotted what looked like a taco truck with solar panels. We just had to stop to investigate. It really was solar powered! I think it is the first one. And it gets even better… it was a raw and vegan food truck called
Sunny Vibrations! I love it!

I was lucky enough to talk to Craig, the guy who took his life savings and put it into this business. Craig explained that he took a bet with his friend that he couldn’t be a vegetarian for thirty days. After completing the bet, he felt so much healthier and energized, he decided he wanted to pursue this venture and bring affordable healthy food to more people. Restaurants have such high overhead costs that get passed on to the the customer. Using a mobile truck, nutritious food is affordable. A lot of the items at Sunny Vibrations are organic and local. Craig also wants to work with community gardens, providing food for the homeless and garden/youth advocacy groups. Perhaps all of us can look to this model to make our own adjustments to make the food we all eat a little better for everyone.

While enjoying the sun this summer in Dolores Park, stop by the truck to try the Veggie Stir Fry Taco with roasted red peppers or avocado , Fresh Organic Carrot Juice, Rasta kale Infusion w/sesame vinaigrette salad, Grilled soy cheese with tomato, Garlic fried Plantain with toasted almonds, and Raw (dehydrated) zesty crunch Kale Chips…just to name a few things off the menu.

Waiting to get lunch from a loading dock/storage unit.

We like to find new places to eat and places to go explore in the city.
Kitchenette fits both. This little operation is run out of a loading dock in an historic industrial area called the Dog Patch. (I actually love this neighborhood, but that is for another post.) Their website says it best, spontaneous organic covert nourishment:

“We are a group of chefs that have worked at some of the best kitchens in the Bay Area: Chez Panisse, Incanto, Zuni Cafe, Eccolo, Bay Wolf, Ad Hoc, Betelnut , Fog City Diner etc. Our menus will be posted on our blog site ( every day. Whatever we find that is super fresh and delicious is what we’re serving. Everything will be organic, local, street food inspired, spontaneous, affordable, handmade from scratch, and delicious (we’re eating this for lunch too!)”

Dogpatch millionaire sandwich

I am vegan. By the time we got there the veggie salad was out. Giants traffic!! Still totally worth going to check it out and treat someone special. The dogpatch millionaire, an Indian-inspired fried chicken sandwich with garam masala honey, spicy cabbage, coriander and lemon mayonnaise smelled and looked so delicious! I am drooling just typing this. I have been checking their daily menu posts and there have been tons of veggie sandwich options. So, looks like I need to try again but check for when the Giants are playing an away game! I am not sure if Kitchenette shares rent of this supply storage place, or if it their supply storage for their other restaurant. Either way, it is a genius idea to double use the space so that the money goes to ingredients and great chefs. I think this sandwich was $6.50??? Plus, being in this industrial area, many workers have an option of something really good. You could get a burger for $0.99 but what really is the cost to the environment, the people working to provide it and your health? The answer might be hard to chew on.

I love that people are finding new ways to make quality meals in new and unexpected ways. It is nice to know there are people and places making the types of food that you would want to make at home; fresh, local, wholesome and delicious, and you don’t have to pay a fortune for it. And it is fun. I am grateful to participate in such a wonderful community of food vendors.

Photos by author

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