Food Trucks are Cruising in to San Diego's Culinary Scene

Food on the Go!

Who would have thought you could get a gourmet meal from a truck? Food trucks are everywhere, redefining the term "street food" with their unique, affordable, easily accessible and delicious cuisine. San Diego is no exception with their list of trucks that offer everything from a lobster grilled cheese to Korean style BBQ.

Food trucks have paved a new avenue in culinary cities by redefining the term “street food.” These mobile mini-restaurants are popping up in all major cities in the country, including right here in southern California. San Diego food trucks are offering handmade cuisine using local produce and unique flavors that are easily accessible, affordable and most importantly, delicious. Drive up to one today to try a hot dog with the works, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ, fusion tacos or even a lobster grilled cheese.

So, where are these trucks found? Street corners,farmers markets, outside of bars and truck-centric local events. Fifty Seven Degrees, a wine bar in Middletown, hosts Food Truck Extravaganza every third Friday, with over a dozen of the most sought-out trucks, live music and wine. Trucks also gather every Monday night across the street from the Epicentre on Mira Mesa Blvd., from 6-9. With the help of social networking and advertising, it’s easy to follow these trucks to different locations. Their Twitter and Facebook pages provide real-time feed of where they are and where they are going next.

Dharma Dogs, a hot-pink hot dog truck parked in Hillcrest, is unique due to the fact that it has a pre-set location and late-night hours. Located at 820 University Ave, they are open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday and after 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Dharma's menu includes toppings from cream cheese to Sriracha, Guinness-battered onion rings, French fries with garlic aioli and homemade donuts. Choose from their list of pre-made dogs including options like The Baja: bacon-wrapped and topped with mayo, mustard, jalapenos, grilled onions and secret sauce.  Or make your own combination from a long list of available ingredients. The price is always $3.25, no matter how many toppings you choose.

One wouldn’t think a hot dog truck would make their own donuts from scratch, but Dharma breaks the mold. Dharma’s donuts are fried fresh to order and arrive warm and topped to your liking with original, chocolate orstrawberry glaze. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their weekly Donut Happy Hour, a special that gets you a free donut with purchase.

Devilicious, a popular truck that serves American comfort food with a twist, has gained fame by competing on ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ on Food Network. Although they didn’t win the series, they won the approval of many hungry locals. Their slogan, “Food So Good It’s Bad,” is sprawled across their truck, referring especially to their most popular item: Lobster Grilled Cheese. Decadent and comforting, the butter-poached lobster is sandwiched between sourdough and mingled with gooey cheese, caramelized onions and oven-roasted tomatoes.  At $10, this is their most expensive offering. Other menu staples include the Shrimp Poboy ($8), All Crab Cake- a sandwich with fried egg ($8), Spicy Tuna Nachos ($5/$9) and their famous Truffled Parmesan Fries ($4).

When craving mouth-watering BBQ, the Super Q food truck is an obvious choice. Serving slow-cooked, hickory smoked BBQ, Super Q offers brisket, pork, or chicken.  Once you decide on your meat of choice, order it either on a melt, sandwich, slider, on a plate or even over their “BBQ Asada Fries.” Asada fries are topped with jalapenos, homemade pico de gallo, BBQ sauce, cheese and your choice of meat. For around $10, you can get a generous sandwich of your choosing with a side of homemade, creamy potato salad. Super Q Melts are a must try: BBQ brisket, chicken, or pork topped with three-cheese mac and cheese, grilled onions and Cheddar, sandwiched in Sourdough and melted to perfection.

Tabe is a unique truck that specializes in Asian fusion. Combining traditional Korean BBQ flavors with a Mexican influence, Tabe serves BBQ beef, pork, fish and chicken in burritos, tacos, sliders and rice bowls. Try the OMG Burrito ($7), an interpretation of the California burrito with Korean BBQ beef. Tabe Asada Fries are their take on Carne Asada Fries and not to be missed. Popular taco choices include the Spicy Korean Pork topped with sweet mango-bell pepper salsa and Fukujinzuke (Japanese pickled vegetables) or the Beer Battered Fish with mandarin oranges and their “secret Asian-inspired cream sauce.

MIHO Gastrotruck takes great pride in practicing their motto: Farm to Street. All of their dishes utilize fresh, seasonal and local ingredients that are made affordable and easily accessible to everyone. Menus change weekly at MIHO and are only about 4 options long, usually all below $9. Expect to find in-season produce and protein of the utmost freshness displayed in new, interesting ways. This month featured main characters like figs and pork belly. The Fig Salad ($7.95) and Fig Jam Burger ($8.45) are hits, and the Pork Belly Banh Mi (lemongrass-sesame aioli, jalapeno and cilantro; $8.45) displays Vietnamese street food at its best.

Attend a San Diego event that features these trucks for a chance to try them all, or track down the one that tickled your taste buds the most. These local food trucks will not disappoint with their accessibility, affordability, uniqueness and quality-driven cuisine. Following the bandwagon (or truck, in this case) is a good thing when it comes to these amazing mobile eateries.

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