I’ve always been curious to stop by one of those food trucks that serves up tacos and Indian food as I drive down El Camino Real every week. So I was happy to discover that a local event — Off The Grid — hosts a number of food trucks with diverse cuisine in one setting on a weekly basis in Sunnyvale.
Since food trucks have hit mainstream popularity in the last five or so years — Food Network even has a show called “The Great Food Truck Race” — I figured I might not be able to find a parking spot near the event. It turns out Off The Grid was not that busy Thursday evening, which was good for the diners because it allowed us to sample a variety of food without having to wait in long lines.
Dish of Choice
I made my way to two food trucks that evening (I had to restrain myself for the sake of my wallet and stomach): I ventured to San Mateo’s Curry Up Now, which offers Indian street food, and San Francisco-based We Sushi, which serves Japanese cuisine.
At Curry Up Now, I ordered the Kathi Roll, which was made with mughlai paratha (flatbread prepared with a pan-fried egg), sliced onions and chutney, rolled with your choice of beef, chicken, paneer (cheese) or vegan style. I went with chicken. With tax, my Kathi Roll came out to about $9.
At We Sushi, I ordered the Crispy California Roll, which was made with crab and avocado wrapped in seaweed and rice, then fried in a tempura breading and drizzled with a spicy aioli. With tax, the Crispy California Roll cost about $8.
Let me start with the Kathi Roll: My stepmom says you know a meal is good if you end up wearing it. Well, I was definitely wearing the juice from the wrap sandwich on my shirt, but I didn’t mind. The chicken was tender with a spicy marinade, and I liked how the egg was soft on the inside but crispy on the edges. The flatbread was toasted just enough without being crunchy, and the chutney brought some heat without burning your mouth. I would describe it as medium spicy. This was a sandwich that I would definitely get again.
The Crispy California Roll did not wow me as much as the Kathi Roll, but it was still tasty. The tempura breading had a nice crispiness on the outside without being heavy or greasy. The aioli reminded me of a Thousand Island dressing, but with a little more kick. The dish came with eight pieces of sushi roll, so there was enough there to walk away satisfied.
Off The Grid had a laidback vibe and was located in a lot next to a local sports equipment store. People could easily walk from truck to truck without feeling like they were bumping into each other. There were plenty of seats for people to enjoy their food and have a casual conversation with other diners. I wish there were tables because it was kind of hard to juggle all that food on your lap. Other than that, it was a great event to get outdoors and try some outside-the-box cuisine.
Off The Grid was started in 2010 and currently operates 35 weekly public markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, according to its website. It works with more than 200 food, bar and amenities vendors weekly and offers catering for groups ranging from 100 to 10,000 people. To check out its market schedules and vendors, visit offthegridsf.com.