Off the Grid: A Roaming Mobile Food Extravaganza

Off the Grid is located at Valenica and McCoppin in San Francisco on Saturdays.

This past Saturday I headed across the bridge to check out San Francisco's best in gourmet food trucks at Off the Grid. Previous research via the Off the Grid email newsletter (which you can sign up for at their site) told me that we could find the trucks at the corner of Valencia and McCoppin where they're set up every Saturday. After the always exciting quest for a city parking spot we finally made it to our destination. Much to my delight we were greeted with an array of trucks, five in total, each offering a different kind of food for extremely reasonable prices.

Off the Grid describes itself as "a roaming mobile food extravaganza that travels to different locations daily to serve delicious food, with a free side of amazing music, craft and soul" and I found their description to be right on par. Being that I had dragged my family along with me (hello forced family fun) we were able to try all of the trucks that were still open. Our options? Streetside Kitchen, Kung Fu Tacos and El Norteno.

Streetside Kitchen's Anchor Porter Stew with beef, potatoes, root vegetables, and a mini baguette.

Streetside Kitchen offers a Bistro style menu complete with sandwiches, salads and stews. My mom settled on their Anchor Porter Stew ($8.50) containing a mix of slow cooked beef, potatoes and root vegetables in an anchor steam porter stew served with a mini baguette. Being the investigative journalist that I am I copped a bite and it was delicious.

Chicken tacos from Kung Fu Tacos (left) and El Norteno.

My Dad and I were both intrigued by the Kung Fu taco truck which advertised "Asian tacos: East meets South...of the border". I ordered their chicken taco ($2) while my dad opted for their pork and beef tacos ($2 each). All three tacos contained the meat of your choice with an array of Asian sauces that added an interesting tangy flavor.

I also decided to try out El Norteno's tacos to get a more well-rounded feel for Off the Grid, and got a classic chicken taco ($1.50 each) with spicy sauce. My brother tried out El Norteno's truck too, ordering their beef tacos. All were extremely satisfying. My brother even went back for a round of seconds...and thirds...

Kung Fu Tacos' beef and pork tacos.

El Norteno's beef tacos.

Two of the other vendors, Eat Curbside and Senor Sisig's, had just closed for a shift change but I did snag the opportunity to ask them what they usually have to offer when open. Eat Curbside boasts a grill style menu with some top options being Ahi Tuna Sliders and Fried Mac & Cheese, which sounds dangerously delicious. Senor Sisig's specializes in what they call Filipino tacos and burritos which upon further investigation involve a meat of your choice, onions, lettuce and their trademark cilantro cream sauce. I may or may not have just drooled a lil' bit.

The whole experience was really casual, laid back and seemed to attract a crowd of all ages and backgrounds. Also accompanying the food was a great band, shaded seating and the perfect opportunity for people watching with the abundance of passersby on busy Valencia Street. Being right next to Market Street makes the McCoppin hub the perfect place to grab a quick (and cheap) bite, or hang out and enjoy the ambiance on a sunny day. My curiosity about those Mac & Cheese bites alone is enough to bring me back a second time... See you there!

A panoramic view of Off the Grid. All photography by the author.

Off the Grid at McCoppin Hub occurs every Saturday from 9am-9pm. Check their website and sign up for their newsletter for more information regarding other Off the Grid locations throughout the week.

Kelsey Frazier
BARE Reporter

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