Saturday, October 08, 2011

Gourmet Food Trucks

Nom Nom

Dont just eat. Nom!

Food trucks have been called many names, "roach coach" for one. But they serve business areas where there are no restaurants nearby. You can grab a soda or muffins, candy and chips besides a hot meal.  We used to have a food truck come to our office. It was driven by a very personable Vietnamese who allowed his hungry patrons to "eat now, pay later". I always ordered a bacon and tomato sandwich from him. After he retired, his niece took over and I bought steamed rice from her. She no longer comes to our office as she found a more lucrative location to park her truck. I now buy rice (Mexican style) from the taco truck down the street.

Lobster sandwich from the Shack Mobile

Recently I read that the famous gourmet trucks from San Francisco are now serving the Peninsula in two locations, San Carlos at the Hiller Museum parking lot and Palo Alto at Embarcadero. So I told a friend and we went to investigate. It was pouring hard when we arrived at the Hiller Museum but found that people were already in line in front of their favorite food truck. We went to the Shack Mobile which serves lobster sandwiches in toasty French bread. For $11.00, I had a fat lobster sandwich with cole slaw and chips. My friend got a pork sandwich for the same price, also from the Shack Mobile. The sky cleared long enough for us to check out the Naked Chorizo and discovered that they sell chicken adobo and lumpia. Couldn't resist buying a plateful of lumpia for $6.00 and took it to work with me. My officemates helped me demolish the little appetizers.

Lumpia

There were four gourmet trucks in San Carlos - Mayo and Mustard which serves hot deli style sandwiches, NomNom is famous for its banh mi sandwiches, Naked Chorizo and the Shack Mobile. I was hoping Mama's Empanadas would be there too but it wasn't. We did check with the truck proprietors if they'll continue to come to San Carlos and the answer is yes!  This is good news as we'd like to savor the specialties of the other trucks. The trick is to arrive early to beat the lunch crowd. The trucks are at Hiller Museum parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. There are tables and chairs on the driveway and inside the museum lobby for those who wish to eat their lunch there.

Hiller Museum is located at 601 Skyway Road in San Carlos. It's off of 101 at Holly and beside San Carlos Airport.  To find a gourmet truck near you, check this link:  http://the-mobile-gourmet.com/wordpress/

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Images by Charie

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch


It was challenging to rewrite this children's rhyme so I could allude to the glass pumpkins.  It was worth a try:

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater
Found a pumpkin but couldn't eat her
Ripe and luscious
Oh so sumptuous
But alas
Peter had to pass
The squash was made of glass!!!


Thousands of glass pumpkins were on display at Rinconada Park in Palo Alto for the 16th Annual  Great Glass Pumpkin Patch. What a delight to see the unique artistry in each of these fragile pieces neatly arranged in rows. There were baby pumpkins.


And there were see through and candy striped pumpkins.


A pumpkin teapot.  Don't you wish you had one of these?


Alas, October 2nd  is the last day of the exhibition and sale. Don't miss it! The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch is at Rinconada Park, 777 Embarcadero Avenue, Palo Alto.  Go to this link for more info: http://www.greatglasspumpkinpatch.com/

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Images by  Charie

Empire Tap Room

Outdoor Dining

Nothing beats outdoor dining when the weather cooperates. We've been having warm and sunny days lately so when our office staff had the opportunity to eat lunch together, I suggested we go to the Empire Tap Room in Palo Alto where we could sit outdoors in their beautiful patio and enjoy Indian summer temperatures.


When you enter the main door of the restaurant, you are immediately confronted by the shiny and well polished bar which extends the length of the dining room.  Then your eyes are directed to the patio where vines cover the walls, trees and white umbrellas provide ample shade and the drip drip of water from the fountain complete the relaxed ambiance. It feels like a mini getaway to sit in this patio.

Dungeness Crab Cakes

It's been awhile since I've had crab cakes. Very few places around here have my favorite crab cakes on their  menu.  How terrific that they serve them at this restaurant!  The red bell pepper sauce heightened the taste of the tender crab flakes. And the fried potatoes were surprisingly tasty. Wonder what they added to it? It was specially good.

This is a fun place to get together.  The Empire Tap Room is located at  651 Emerson Street, Palo Alto, CA. Their phone number is 650-321-3030. To view their menu, follow this link: http://www.etrpa.com/.

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Images by Charie