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May 7, 2009 08:19 AM

Spencer on the Go truck

The Chron reports that Chez Spencer's doing a non-taco truck. First location will be Thursday-Saturday nights across from Terroir, which I presume means the Oil Changers parking lot. Sample dishes, skate braised with capers ($8) and frog's legs with curry ($9).

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  1. They have a twitter link too:

    1. The food was okay, but I had to wait over an hour to get my order. I think I would have gotten food faster at the Chez Spencer restaurant. I tried the escargot puff, potato soup, and the frogs legs with curry.

      300 7th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      4 Replies
      1. re: L C

        Can you have them call your cell phone when your order's ready? I wouldn't mind waiting an hour so long as it wasn't standing around in the parking lot.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          They are not that efficient yet. One person (he looked semi-drunk) went to the Terroir wine bar across the street, and when he came back they had already called his number (#44). They DON'T hold food orders - I guess they don't want it to get cold. They cooked him a new food order, he just had to wait a little longer.

          Also note that some of the order numbers are not sequential. I was #26, but got my food 20 minutes after #51.

        2. re: L C

          Where did you wait during that hour?

          1. re: Frosty Melon

            Waited on the parking lot with everyone else. There was a big crowd. Across the street you can go to Terroir (a wine bar) or the BrainWash Cafe & Laundromat with free WiFi (I guess they'll want u to buy something first, like coffee, etc).

          1. I'm not sure if the kitchen was slow or if many persons were ordering everything in the menu or placing large orders (probably). Several people came prepared with paper bags to carry all their food. Yeah, they didn't have bags (they do have small paper bags for the assorted cookies they sell). And everything is served in little paper trays (except for the soup that comes in a plastic container with a lid). It's a juggling act if u get more than 2 items.

            You pickup your food order on the left most side of the truck (back). But all the napkins, plastic utensils, the trash can & recycling bin are located on the right side of the truck (front). Not everyone realized this, so some had a difficult time eating.

            A menu is posted right next to the order window, so I'd ignore the blackboard at the end of the truck and just go straight to ordering so they can start cooking your food.

            CASH only.

            1 Reply
            1. re: L C

              They tweeted that the 2nd night of service was going much better and faster. Sounds like they are working out the kinks.

            2. Tried this last night. No line around 7-7:30, food came out quickly. I had sweetbreads ($10) nicely sautéed with mushrooms, bacon, and onions, delicious and a good portion for the price. The puff pastry cup underneath was soggy and uninteresting, I took two bites and threw the rest out after I'd scraped off every scrap of the sweetbreads.

              They have some cardboard boxes for larger orders. If you can snag a table across the street at Terroir that would be a really great combination.

              Also, Bloodhound a few doors down the street has 4505 chicharrones for $3 a bag.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Went Wednesday, had:
                -Frog's legs...mainly because I've only had chinese preps, I wanted to compare. Would have been better hotter; good flavor, hard to eat without making a mess or losing pieces of succulent meat
                -White prawns on puff pastry...favorite by far, puff pastry nicely puffed and browned with caramelized butter flavors (sorry yours flopped, Robert!). Delicious subtle spicing to the prawns, cooked perfectly. Wish we'd had two.
                -tomato soup--good, chunks of flavorful bread in it, along with cavolo nero? Saved most for the next day since it was in a container and we over-ordered
                -foie...what can I say, Chez Spencer knows how to make foie. Not an earth-shattering preparation, not a great value in terms of size for $12, but hard to complain about it.
                -escargot puffs: delicious. Warm, crispy, rich, cheesy...utterly different from an arancini, but in overall balance of flavors, textures, starch to filling, reminded me a lot of the experience I have eating a good arancini standing on a sidewalk. Good value at $2 ea.

                We also had 2 flavors of creme brulee from the creme brulee guy. I was not impressed. I thought flavors lacked finesse, custard lacked depth of flavor, sugar was inadequately caramelized and it was maybe some sort of organic or caster sugar that had a flavor I don't care for. I do not understand the appeal of these at $4 for a miniscule creme brulee. Props at least to the creme brulee guy...he's bringing happiness to many, and paying the rent and then some with his little business.

                At terroir, we ordered a bottle of wine (Huet from the Loire) and the cheese plate. The staff is more than a little bit dogmatic and French, which I don't mind, but many would. That results in the cheese plate having no description what-so-ever. If you speak french, you could figure out what the options were if they had the time; instead, they simply asked us if we liked blue cheese, as they had some ideas of particular cheeses that would go well with the wine. I have no qualms if someone is an expert and they correctly assume I don't know the wine and I don't know their cheese selection, leading them to make decisions for me unilaterally; I could see how others (cough, yelp) would find that insulting, overbearing, and somehow indicative of bad service. I hope they stay just the way they are, because it's a perfectly calm and civilized place to have some wine and cheese without dealing with a crowd.

                300 7th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                1. re: SteveG

                  Did the crème brûlée guy set up next to Spencer? Didn't see him when we were there.

                  We had the cheese plate at Terroir and when he brought it by he told us what they were.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The night we went, there was an SF Bicycle Coalition outdoor movie event at 7th & Mission, and the truck was there, along with most of the various food carts. We got our food and retreated to Terroir.

                    They didn't bother telling us what the cheeses were. "You like blue cheese? Yes. You like strong cheese? Yes." Wait 5 minutes..." 'ere eez ze cheese" They weren't super exotic--just good examples, perfectly ripened, easily identifiable if you know cheese. One was gruyere, probably cave aged for quite some time, one was saint agur-ish, etc.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Funny, I did the exact same thing with the puff pastry the other day when I tried this. I had the sweet breads which were as Robert described and also tried the escargot pop; which is escargot encased in batter with garlic butter inside, on a stick...very tasty. They also sold Sweet Construction cookies, which are absolutely fantastic, especially the sandwich cookie with rasberry and creme filling.