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New Oakland food truck spot - Grand Ave

They're testing out a new lunch spot for food trucks in Oakland at 150 Grand (between Harrison and Webster). There is a set line up for the next two weeks:

Monday, 12/5 Curry Up Now
Tuesday, 12/6 Rib Whip
Wednesday Pending
Thursday, 12/8 Seoul on Wheels
Friday, 12/9 Chairman (formerly Chairman Bao)

Monday, 12/12 Curry Up Now
Tuesday, 12/13 Roli Roti
Wednesday, 12/14 Hapa SF
Thursday, 12/15 Seoul on Wheels
Friday, 12/16 Chairman (formerly Chairman Bao)

Check it out. If there's enough traffic and business, it could become a regular thing.

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  1. I've tried most of those, and the only one I would (and in fact, do) go back to is Curry Up Now. Rib Whip the sauce is way too sweet. The others it's hard to make an actual meal from, and/or they aren't a good value. Curry Up Now is, to me, what a food truck should be: relatively quick, delicious food with a twist, and a reasonable value. I'm currently addicted to the "sexy fries" (cross-cut sweet potato fries) with Chicken Tikka Masala.

    1. no free parking around there.
      meter maids will feast on the cars with expiring meters.
      curry up now and the roli roti sammie interests me.

      looks like this will compete with the web21 food trucks a few blocks away.

      9 Replies
      1. re: shanghaikid

        A few blocks? Sounds like it's just two blocks from web21. I'm interested in some of these trucks like Curry Up Now and The Chairman. Just as long as the lines don't get super long that it cuts into my lunch hour.

        1. re: singleguychef

          Does anyone have the web21 food truck schedule? This is so exciting. I haven't had a chance to try any of these and now they are so close to my office. Thanks!

          1. re: calalilly

            could change anytime.
            mon: munch india
            tues: ebberts good to go & nick;s wheelly breakfast alternate
            wed: streetery
            thurs: vesta flatbreadbread & 510burger alternate
            fri: guerilla grub, fists of flou pizza, el taco bike.

              1. re: shanghaikid

                Just a note on Thursday, whenever 510 burger is there, then the That's Sweet! cupcake truck is also there. Nice sized cupcakes!

                1. re: singleguychef

                  tried that's sweet cupcake once. seems their cupcakes (3) mostly are of vanilla or chocolate varieties.
                  found cupcake to be semidry and the flavoring bland, stagnant....

                2. re: shanghaikid

                  this Fri went by 21st/Webster and saw the taco bike only. ended up going to the Chairman truck on Grand. the duck confit on steamed bao w. spicy dressing/veg was very tasty, just not quite enough food (4.50) for my semi-serious appetite from walking around in the beautiful autumn sunshine.

                  1. re: moto

                    Huh? Strange. I was there Friday and don't recall paying $4.50 for a steamed bun. I think the price was $3.75. And I got two, and she only charged me $7 because I'm thinking she didn't want to deal with the coins. So I thought $7 was a good deal for the two buns. I got the pork belly, which was great and filling, and the new spicy sesame chicken, which was not as great but still filling. In most other places these days I'm spending between $7 to $8 for lunch and even sandwiches from Specialty's is around $6 to $7.

                    1. re: singleguychef

                      Last I had Chairman (Bao) in SF it was also around $7 for two buns. Delicious, fresh, spicy and filling.

          2. FYI, I didn't see any trucks on Grand on Tuesday (12/6). (The address given is right in front of Trueburger.) Not sure if this site is actually taking off. I'll keep checking, but doesn't seem that necessary given the nearby Web21 site.

            10 Replies
            1. re: singleguychef

              Bummer. Thanks for the update. I was hoping to check out Chairman Bao on Friday.

              1. re: singleguychef

                It is still happening. The Tuesday vendor didn't get thier Alameda permit/license in time. Rest of this week and next should be on as scheduled.

                And yes, it is next to Trueburger. I think the truck will be in the parking lot each day, not on Grand.

                1. re: singleguychef

                  no doubt food trucks are wary of what happened at the oakland art murmur (12/2). all food trucks there were ticketed, cited, and must go to court cuz they didn't have a permit to operate in oakland.

                  1. re: shanghaikid

                    Anyone know around what time they are there? I'm guessing around 11-1?

                    1. re: calalilly

                      the usual time is 11:30-1:45
                      individual trucks take different times to "set up".

                      1. re: shanghaikid

                        has it been pretty busy this week? im planning to go this mon to get some curry up now, but i need it to be in and out due to time constraints.

                        1. re: majordanby

                          don't know. usually drive by late and see no lines. problem in this area is the lack of parking, metered as well.

                          1. re: shanghaikid

                            I went today around 11:45 and there were about 5 people there. This was my first time at Chairman Bao so I brought a co-worker so we could try a few things. We ordered:

                            - Pork Belly steamed bun

                            - Braised Pork steamed bun

                            - Spicy Chicken steamed bun

                            They were all good, but to be honest, not worth the hype or price ($10.75 total). The braised pork was both of our favorites. It's a fun play on the traditional Chinese pork and preserved cabbage.

                            Overall, I'm glad I tried it but don't think I would go back.

                            Now I'm looking forward to Roli Roti next week. Haven't tried it either so hope it's good!

                            I noticed quite a few people arriving as we were leaving so maybe it gets busier around noon.

                            1. re: calalilly

                              the difference in volume/quantity between the steamed and baked bao is substantial. the duck confit w. steamed bread was tapas-sized, and for 4.50 does not compare well in quantity/calories with the 3 tacos one can find at any taco truck for that coin, though it was quite tasty and not fatty at all. on the other hand, the baked bao version w. pork belly for 6.00 was as hefty as most burgers at that price and a good value for the quality.

                          2. re: majordanby

                            Walked by Curry Up Now today on the early side (11:30 a.m.) and it was totally empty. Last Friday when The Chairman truck was parked there, it wasn't a very long line. The only warning is that because it's surrounded by office buildings, several people come with orders for their co-workers. So you might see one person in front of you, but he or she might have orders for a dozen buns. Then you have to wait. I saw people walking away with boxes or bags filled with cartons to take back to the office.

                  2. Does anyone know if Roli Roti will do porchetta or be chicken only?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: limonata

                      I made it to Roli Roti today and was not disappointed. They had only the porchetta and roasted potatoes, but it was so good. It's been a long time since I've had something I felt was worth the hype so it was a pleasant surprise. The porchetta sandwich had the perfect portion of pork skin, meat, spice from the arugula, sweetness from the carmelized onions and softness from the Acme bread. It's $9.50 for the sandwich, not cheap, but I ate the entire thing and now I'm stuffed.

                      I ordered the roasted potatoes too. They were good but not as extraordinary as the porchetta.

                      The guy said they will be there every Tuesday. Great addition to the neighborhood. There was no line today but it was so good I would actually wait in line if there was one and I never do that.

                    2. Is this still happening in 2012? C'mon, a guy that works in Uptown Oakland needs to know where to go.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: TimBurg

                        The 21Web food truck pod at Webster and 21st got closed down by the city. Not sure if the Grand Avenue spot near Trueburger suffered the same fate. I know I went by last Friday to get some Chairman buns and it wasn't there. But it could be because it was the week of the holidays. Haven't checked this week.

                        1. re: singleguychef

                          I've been by the 150 Grand parking lot several times at lunchtime and have never seen a food truck there. It's probably too close to Trueburger for that to fly.

                          Dannvy, who runs Streatery at 21Web, is the one who rents that parking lot and sublets it out to the other trucks on the other days of the week. She told me that the city shut that spot down because the space is zoned for restaurant/cafe, and they categorize the trucks as fast food.

                          So she may try to get the proper permitting, but it would be an expensive process that'll probably take several months. Too bad. Never tried the other trucks at that spot, but always liked the food at Streatery and that location was convenient for me.

                          1. re: abstractpoet

                            Chairman's Twitter feed doesn't seem to list any recent Oakland stops: https://twitter.com/#!/chairmantruck

                        2. re: TimBurg

                          Yes, it's still happening in 2012. A family member works in the office building there that's coordinating. Reportedly all the trucks are pleased with their numbers so far and intending to continue, although the Wednesdays will be every other Wednesday unless another truck comes in. The lot was empty over the holidays for most of a couple weeks though.

                          There will also be limited parking available in the lot - you won't get towed if you park next to the truck just while you wait for food.

                          You can always check Roaming Hunger (though not 100% accurate) or the individual trucks pages and twitter feeds to see if they will be there before you head over.

                          Also, there is an Ike's Lair opening right in Uptown, next to Plum. Should be a nice lunch addition to the neighborhood.

                          -----
                          Plum
                          2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

                          Ike's Lair
                          2655 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 94063

                          1. re: selectiveomnivore

                            Just a few yards from Ike's and Plum will also be the Oakland outpost for Umami Burger.

                        3. Had a porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti today. I got there on the later side, and there was no one else around. First time I didn't have to wait for this sandwich. They were very generous with all the components (a bit too generous with the rosemary salt in some bites). This is a really great sandwich. I had the porchetta sandwich from Fatted Calf the other day, and while good, it just doesn't compare. Maybe I just prefer the warm, thicker pieces of pork in the Roli Roti sandwich. The folks were dubious about continuing here every Tuesday given the low traffic.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: limonata

                            Does anyone know if Roli Roti is still around on Tuesdays?

                            1. re: calalilly

                              Nope, it was empty =( I wonder if the other trucks still go on the other days or if there just wasn't enough traffic.

                              1. re: calalilly

                                Here is a link to an article in the East Bay Express saying the location was shut down by the City of Oakland.
                                http://www.eastbayexpress.com/WhatThe...

                                1. re: Bigshadetree

                                  that's a different location - that is 21st and Webster

                          2. How come it's not called 'Chairman Bao' anymore?? I sorta liked that. Was there a trademark violation?

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: arktos

                              yes. they were sued by a place in NYC that had an item on their menu called Chairman Bao that was trademarked

                              http://sf.eater.com/archives/2011/10/...

                              pretty lame (imo) since they're in different parts of the country and not competitors.

                              1. re: drewskiSF

                                lame maybe but trademarks are protected nationwide, not regionally. look at mcdonalds and other big companies. they sue at the hint of a Mc.....or ....R us.

                                1. re: shanghaikid

                                  I think that is the same thing that happened to Fat Apples - they were original called Fat Albert's

                                  1. re: Bigshadetree

                                    they lucked out. fat apples is a more marketable name, not tied to any food genre,

                                    1. re: Bigshadetree

                                      Previous post.
                                      My favorites are when La Grenouille in New York was afraid that people would confuse the one in Oakland as a branch and when Fat Albert's became an Apple. Fortunately the Beatles and Steve Jobs didn't object and Johnny Appleseed is dead.
                                      wolfe on Dec 1, 2009 12:41 PM

                              2. Is there a consolidated Twitter or Facebook for the 150 Grand spot? About 70% of the times I try to go (Wednesdays or Fridays usually, but sometimes other days too), there's no truck.

                                Some of the individual vendors are different from what's listed at the top of the thread. Vespa Flatbreads was there once (was OK, but not a great value), and I believe Streatery (one of my favorites) has gotten into the rotation in the aftermath of 21Web being shut down. I don't think Chairman comes to this spot at all anymore.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: abstractpoet

                                  that parking lot at 150 Grand was merely a parking lot at noon on valentine's day. foot traffic in that corner of Grand Ave is considerably lighter than a few blocks further west or south, so if trucks don't show up predictably and depend on random business, they might only stop there when they literally have no place better and nothing booked.

                                2. Several food trucks are now operating under the banner "Eat it Forward" and they're promoting their spots under the facebook page www.facebook.com/eatitforward and on twitter at twitter.com/eatitfwd

                                  They have several spots planned around Uptown, and looks like the first spot is 15th and Harrison. (They have plans for Broadway and 21st and 23rd, but we'll see how that goes since it was so close to the 21st and Webster pod that got closed down.)