LOOKING FOR FOOD TRUCKS IN SLO/ MORRO BAY/ LOS OSOS area
LOOKING FOR FOOD TRUCKS IN SLO/ MORRO/ LOS OSOS
Having trouble getting this to work properly so if I'm duplicating a post, I apologize.
Anyway, just moved here (Los Osos/Morro Bay)from L.A. We loved the food trucks' food and vibe there. and miss it. There seem to be very few trucks in this area. Anyone have some recommendations?
I wouldn't look for any food trucks in SLO county in the near future. Outsiders trying to establish themselves in the food or beverage business have often hit a lot of resistance from SLO county and the local business owners. It took Trader Joe's almost 10 years of dogged persistence before they were allowed to open in a less-than-desirable location. The city of San Luis Obispo still refuses to allow restaurants to have a drive-up window. Worst of all, the local health department will go after little mom and pop restaurants but appears to be unwilling to respond to complaints about questionable meat at major supermarkets. Hint: buy your meat at Costco. That said, Tacos Tenexpa and Boni's (new location in Paso Robles!) are wonderful. Also, Simpatia in Guadalupe has Chicken Mole on Sundays and is worth the drive, IMHO. You may also want to try Burritophile for additional local options:
Unfortunately there aren't much in the way of food trucks here. There was a decent taco truck in Los Osos for a short time, but closed over a year ago. I'm not aware of any in Morro Bay. The best bet is al pastor at Boni's Taco's truck in Cambria, located in the BofA parking lot at Main & Burton on weekends, 11:00 until they sell out.
Brians' Tacos--RIP. *sniff*
Boni's sells from their commissary in the tin village behind Burton Street Mon-Fri, about 11 to 2 pm. They can get busy with contractors at lunch. They also have a storefront in Paso at Spring and Highway 101 in the newish commercial building right on the corner.
The French Corner Bakery at Burton anad Main in Cambria is owned by a Mexcian baking family (trained in French breads and pastries) and they have good tortas. and Tres Leches Cake by the slice!
Most of the Taco Truck action is down in Santa Maria. If you search 'Santa Maria' you'll find some of my posts for my favorites. They are mostly working men's lunch wagons out among the fields, or dinner wagons which come out in the evening on North Broadway, parking in odd lots on the main drag. Most are OK, some are good, none are really outstanding. There is no hipster following here. Most of the small independant Mexican Markets have lunch areas with great cheap food. Su Mesa and La Mia are my favorites.
San Luis Obispo does not encourage mobile trucks, though why, I couldn't tell you. It has always been a pretty conservative area, and I would imagine the brick and mortar places would come down pretty heavy against interlopers. There is one wagon (The Burrito Wagon) in SLO which makes the rounds of industrial parks in SLO, but never on a tight schdule. It's OK, not fantastic. They do a non-traditional tri tip burrito which is favored among the gringos.
Some of the best tacos to be had in SLO area are at Taco de Mexico in SLO on Santa Rosa (next to Carl's Jr) near where it crosses 101. It's in an old A&W and has the covered awning which is nice; you can park in the shade. The folks are nice, there is a wide choice of meals and the tacos are about $2.25, I think. Great Lengua, carnitas, no pastor though. Excellent hot sauce. Big burros for the Poly Boys to fill up on, but food made with care.
East side Paso out past the Golf Course, there is an old strip mall with a Senior Sancho's Americanized-bland-Mexican-food restaurant. Ignore that and head to the back row of shops; there are two very good taquerias (with Pastor) and a market with cooked carnitas and other meats and Mexican cheeses.
In your very own Los Osos, get to know the guys behind the counter at the Mexican Market (not the restaurant) behind Starbuck's, way back in the corner past Curves. They cook all the great taco filllings for takeout. They used to sell tacos and burritos, but the restaurant complained they were robbing their lunch business, so they were forced to stop. But they still sell ingredients--just as take-out by the pound only. The cooked meats are wonderful, and the tiny area also doubles as a bakery with traditional pan dulces, cakes, and flans. Go Sunday for the best bakery goods selection. Good prices on all their fresh meat counter offerings as well; mole pastes and fresh Mexican produce to boot.
Oceano has a couple of good but fairly funky taco shops, the food is very tasty, but again, they cater to working men and aren't the kind of place to take Grandma.
Welcome to the area, but don't expect it to be much like what you're used to. It'll grow on you and you will find your own treasures. (Try Lotus Thai on 9th St, just past the rental center.--amazing simple Thai and Pho.) If you like donuts, Carlocks in Los Osos makes French ("crullers") donuts from scratch on Fridays. Get there early; they always sell out.
Dennis, hope to see you posting here--we need more active posters. We get tons of requests for recs from travelers but not many in-depth reports from locals, and certainly no chowdowns. That could change...
re: toodie jane
TJ, just tried the Senor (not senior) Sancho's website and it is no longer operable. I wanted to find the address of the one east of the golf course.
For al pastor, etal, along with mole sauce, I'd add La Tapatia Market on 13th st in Grover Beach.
La Tapatia Market
504 Brown St, Napa, CA 94559
Stayed in Cambria for a little while and tried Boni's, and you're right it's pretty good! A little salty, but good flavors.
Thanks for the tip about Lotus, I haven't been there yet and I LOVE Pho! I've bought mixes and starters ( Like at A&A Asian Grocery in Atascadero)and it's too salty, so I will definitely try that out!
I've been to both the restaurant in Los Osos ( very average) and the market (Very cool!) -Nice and helpful people, too!
I don't know why there aren't more "upscale" food trucks here. Everyone I talk with about it gets excited at the prospect.
It's a different vibe, hanging out with other people who want the same new food than going to a regular work-site taco truck. It's kind of fun.
I can't seem to find work here anyway, maybe I'll just lease a food truck and see if it'll make money here! What the hell, maybe I will!
Stay well OsoDennis
I hope you do start a truck. I just returned from Portland and absolutely loved the amazing food truck scene, we could use that kind of energy here. In Los Osos, another option that is kind of food truckish in vibe is Noi's Little Thai Takeout - small, one dish cooked at a time, fresh limited menu of rice, noodle & curry dishes. Good luck!
Noi's Little Thai Takeout
1288 2nd St, Los Osos, CA 93402
I've been to Noi's 3-4 times already. The food is pretty good if you know what to get. And you're right. The vibe is similar to that of folks waiting for their food at a truck.
My main worry is that if I start a truck, I won't be able to find large concentrations of people ( even if I tweet and yelp).
sure the Thrurs Night Farmers' Market is a no brainer, but have you other ideas of REGULAR meetings/groupings of people?
I've been visiting the Central Coast for 25 years; knowing what I know- thinking about where I'd park... That's the thing that's got me waiting to get a truck.
i've worked on trucks "down South" and if there's a grouping of people that will work, it usually isn't difficult to find it...
Fabulous! you go boy! Not sure how arduous the county cities permitting process might be. We are 'famous' for making folks jump through hoops around here.
"groupings" tend to be congregated aound our outdoor activities:
*Farmer's Mkts--try the Monday Baywood scene; any of the smaller mkts would be easier to get into than SLO Thurs nite. The downtown restaurants in SLO may have a "lock" on that one. Don't forget the Sat and Sunday morning SLO mkts.
*surfng spots- Shell beach, Cayucos bluffs, San Simeon areas,
*beachcombing/walking--Pismo (proper, not the park) and Morro Bay just north of The Rock
*Pier Ave in Oceano (gateway to the sand dunes)
*winetasting events--perhaps you could work with the wineries at their open house days during the prominent festivals here and in Sant Ynez Valley.
* Live Oak Music Festival near Lake Cachuma in SB Co. COOL event every Father's Day
Open air festivals of all kinds from fund-raiser walks to garden festvials
On a recent trip to Denver, was delighted to find Food Courts of tricked-out wagons with everything from Eithiopian food to waffles to Mex-fusion to Greek. Fabulous way to add enjoyment to FM's. Our FM's definitely lack this option. Try talking to the market managers for feedback. The local SLO Food organization might be helpful in developing contacts.
SLO hounds/visitors? how about some more suggestions?
re: toodie jane
Dear Toodie Jane
Great ideas. Thank you for your thoughts. I've gotten a couple others as well. I'm contacting a few companies to see what's available Down South, because there don't seem to be any (food) trucks for sale in this area.
I'm testing my entres and so far, I've got five really good fusion-y entres that I'm very happy with and that could be put together very quickly and sold cheaply.
I'm also looking for 1 partner with restaurant experience and some seed money. Any takers?
I want a partner not an employee. That way we'll both be invested- both literally and figuratively.
I'm going forward.
depending on where you might be operating, have you checked into the permits issue yet? County Health Dep't etc, local municipalities. All the unincorporated towns/areas would be under county jurisdiction. i.e.:Los Osos, Santa Margarita, Templeton, Cambria, Cayucos, Harmony, Avila, Oceano, Nipomo,Creston, San Miguel=unincorporated areas. Maybe check with the office of your county supervisor, Bruce Gibson, for advice.