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Food trucks recommendations for our wedding?

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dubbfoolio Feb 7, 2012 03:48 PM

We're having an outdoor wedding/reception in Tilden in July. This gave us the great idea to have a food truck come prepare awesome, fresh food in lieu of there being no kitchen.

So we did a tasting with what we thought was the perfect choice: Roli-Roti. They promised they'd save our date for a month while we mulled over our menu options. We were super excited. We ask for a contract, then low and behold we got bumped by some bigger wedding.... and now I'm super bummed out.

So I'm hoping you folks can cheer me up. Can anyone recommend other food trucks that serve delicious food that would lend themselves to the whole wedding format? Or another way to cater the event? We're open to just about anything. Thanks in advance for suggestions.

  1. chefj Feb 7, 2012 05:11 PM

    Have you checked with East Bay parks if they allow food trucks in their lots?

    14 Replies
    1. re: chefj
      d
      dubbfoolio Feb 7, 2012 07:34 PM

      Yes they definitely allow food trucks. We've reserved a group picnic area and purchased a caterer permit today.

      One possibility is all appetizers. Like chairman bao and tonayense tacos or something.

      Or some other truck capable of fancier entrees that would go good with wine? Like spencer on the go or le truc maybe? Haven't tried any of these except chairman bao. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

      1. re: dubbfoolio
        f
        foodeye Feb 8, 2012 09:35 AM

        I have not tried the truck, but I really liked Ryan Scott's food when he was at the MC-2 lunch place, and he may be able to create a special menu for you. http://3-sumeats.com/home

        Here is an array of choices: http://roaminghunger.com/sf/vendors and http://offthegridsf.com/vendors

        Once you find one that looks feasible you can ask here for more opinions.

        1. re: foodeye
          d
          dubbfoolio Feb 8, 2012 10:25 AM

          Thanks for the suggestion of 3-sum! We've checked out the off the grid vendors several times now.

          So now we've contacted:
          3-sum
          Pizza Politana
          Le Truc
          Spencer on the Go
          Chairman Mao

          Still waiting to hear back on their availability. Unfortunately, work requires we live in the 'burbs so it's difficult to check out many of these trucks which mostly operate for weekday lunches. Of this list we've only had Chairman Mao before, so opinions on the other trucks would be great. Thanks.

          1. re: dubbfoolio
            rworange Feb 8, 2012 04:52 PM

            How many people?

            There's a truck that has roast chicken from a wood-fired oven, but I think they might have limited capacity.

            For great food that might work in a park/picknic setting I was super impressed with a Napa truck (will travel). The Marks the Spot catering menu doesn't include the drop dead great duck wings but i'm sure it could be negotiated. They are located at the Napa farmers market on Saturday morning.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831834

            They have done a number of events at wineries.

            1. re: rworange
              d
              dubbfoolio Feb 9, 2012 07:46 AM

              Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into those.

              We will have ~100 or so people (probably an important detail I should have included before.)

              1. re: dubbfoolio
                rworange Feb 9, 2012 11:19 AM

                OK, one other thing that would be helpful. What is your budget? Have you considered more than one truck?

                1. re: rworange
                  d
                  dubbfoolio Feb 9, 2012 11:56 AM

                  Our budget is going to be about $2000-3000. We did consider more than one truck but came to the realization that 100 people simply won't eat enough to meet the minimum purchase requirements (typically ~$1500) of more than one truck.

            2. re: dubbfoolio
              t
              tjinsf Feb 9, 2012 12:03 PM

              spencer on the go is quite good and I know they have customized menus for other events they have brought the truck to.

              1. re: tjinsf
                d
                dubbfoolio Feb 11, 2012 09:30 AM

                I haven't heard back from Spencer on the Go, but they work Saturday nights, so they're probably not an option anyway.

              2. re: dubbfoolio
                bbulkow Feb 14, 2012 12:07 AM

                These guys are out of your usual range and very, very good. The best of all the food truck gatherings.

                http://eatonmonday.com/

                1. re: dubbfoolio
                  a
                  artemis78 Apr 1, 2012 09:48 PM

                  This is an old thread so I imagine you've long since worked this out, but just wanted to throw out that Pizza Politana did our EBRPD wedding of 100 almost two years ago and they were phenomenal---pizzas were better than at their farmers' market locations, surprisingly. Of course, we had far fewer choices two years ago, too (and had the limitation that we had to have an EBRPD caterer as well because we were in one of the buildings)...I imagine you'll do well with any of these! (And congrats!)

                  1. re: artemis78
                    d
                    dubbfoolio Apr 4, 2012 08:21 AM

                    Believe it or not we're not quite there yet. We were considering Pizza Politana, but weren't that impressed with their offering at the farmer's market, and we were concerned about a huge line from firing 100 pizzas. Sounds like they handled that life champs for your guys reception so thanks for sharing your experience! Congratulations!

                    1. re: dubbfoolio
                      a
                      artemis78 Apr 4, 2012 11:12 AM

                      Yes, we had the same misgivings based on the market pizzas but were really pleased with what they turned out at the wedding itself. (My husband was committed to the pizza idea so we were choosing between only three outfits that did pizza at the time and had Alameda County permits.) There was a bit of a wait, but nothing crazy, and because we were working with the EBRPD restrictions about using their caterers with their buildings, we had that caterer (who was also amazing!) do a spread of antipasto, salads, and other sides so no one was going hungry if there wasn't a pizza ready. They just baked continuously and shuttled them down to a pizza table at the outdoor reception. We continue to get compliments on the pizza even two years down the road, so no complaints here!

                      1. re: artemis78
                        d
                        dubbfoolio Apr 4, 2012 11:53 AM

                        Awesome! I like that they essentially created a buffet of pizzas for you guys. That sounds like the way to go. They also make salads, so perhaps we could have them put that out, or we could put out a simple spread of cheeses.

          2. v
            vulber Feb 8, 2012 10:31 AM

            i love specner on the go

            1. r
              rebeccakinney Feb 9, 2012 12:42 PM

              Have you tried contacting La Cocina? Some food trucks work out of there. I've seen a couple of them doing tastings for potential clients.
              http://www.lacocinasf.org/

              1. IPAforBreakfast Feb 9, 2012 01:18 PM

                I'm getting married in April and we've contracted with Streatery to do the catering. I've really enjoyed their food at the Berkeley Off the Grid. One of thie things that really appealed to us is that they do real food (oxtails over polenta, pork roast with cherry sauce, etc) as opposed to just sandwiches/tacos/nibbles. Not that I don't love tacos, but for our wedding we wanted something just a little bit more. The owner, DanVy, has been fantastic with communication and even met us at the wedding site recently just to make sure everything would work. She also provides bio-degradable plates and utensils that are a big step above normal food turch paper plates. Obviously the wedding hasn't happened yet, so this is all preliminary, but I have a really ygood feeling about working with her.

                1 Reply
                1. re: IPAforBreakfast
                  d
                  dubbfoolio Feb 11, 2012 09:28 AM

                  This looks really good. I'll have to check it out. Thanks, and good luck with the Wedding!

                2. l
                  L C Feb 12, 2012 11:37 PM

                  There's a new Bay Area catering company that specializes on street food vendors. http://cater2.me/ Maybe they can arrange for multiple vendors at your price point.

                  1. l
                    L C Feb 13, 2012 12:07 AM

                    For a wedding event I'd recommend food trucks operated by professional chefs, that have the experience, skill and consistency to handle a large crowd.

                    +1 on 3-Sum Eats, Le Truc, and Streatery suggestions.

                    Chef Laurent Katgely from Spencer on the Go truck, is super nice in person. But I can spend more than $30 on his French menu of small bites, and still be hungry afterward.

                    The Taco Guys http://www.thetacoguys.com/ from chefs Jason Hoffman and Justin Close, is my favorite fusion tacos truck. Usually they have 8 or 10 different delicious taco varieties.

                    Chef Todd Middleton from Fins on the Hoof http://finsonthehoof.com/ is another truck with a lot of catering experience. He could probably design a menu to fit any budget.

                    Southern Sandwich Company http://www.southernsandwich.com/ truck from brothers Brett and Nathan Niebergall, serves Southern comfort food.

                    For BBQ, I recommend Slow Hand BBQ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Slow-Ha... from Daniel Frengs. So far, his BBQ is better compared to all current local mobile BBQ vendors: Smoke BBQ SF, Good Foods Catering, Smokin’ Warehouse BBQ, and The Rib Whip.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: L C
                      MissVeg Jun 24, 2012 09:35 AM

                      I am obsessed with the fish taco (traditional flavors) and the pork taco (Asian flavors) at the Taco Guys... I can't get enough of them. I like the fusion idea for a wedding so people can basically pick their own cuisine.

                    2. r
                      randej Feb 29, 2012 02:33 PM

                      We went to a beautiful wedding at Nestldown in Los Gatos. Just after dinner & before the "real" dancing started, an ice cream truck pulls up with the bride & groom on the inside passing out ice cream! It was the absolute greatest! We loved it so much we hired them to come to our company picnic. Give them a call - Aunt LaLi, auntlali.com & Nestldown, nestldown.com.

                      1. d
                        dubbfoolio Mar 15, 2012 09:44 AM

                        Well congrats to you as well. Very cool site! I'll bookmark it, and keep my eye out for updates. So far our best lead is Le Truc, although they're going to show up minus the Truc which is kind of a bummer. Instead they'd cook from a farmers market style stand, and do family style platters at each table which we're very excited about. They reminded us that food truck service is going to be prone to long lines with people generally not eating together. We're at an unwieldy number of 100 which probably isn't enough appetite to satisfy the minimum food purchase requirements of two trucks. Just curious how many people, food trucks are you guys planning on having? We still have to do a tasting and sign the contract, but if for any reason this falls through we might just bite the bullet and overpay a little for two trucks like Chairman and a Taco truck or something.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dubbfoolio
                          l
                          LibbyP Mar 15, 2012 09:57 AM

                          Thanks :) I'm actually hoping to check out Le Truc next week. We're expecting about 120 guests, so we're looking at 1-2 trucks to keep the wait time down. Our plan is to send people up by table and potentially limit the menu to one main and one veggie option to make it as quick as possible. Another thing we're considering is having some family-style side or nibbles out for guests, so they're not just waiting around for their turn hungry.

                        2. s
                          skwid Mar 31, 2012 03:08 PM

                          We had a taco truck the evening before our wedding for a pre wedding party. We used the El Ojo de Agua guys and were very satisfied. They did limit the menu a bit but I'm sure that is negotiable. Details are at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/504380

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: skwid
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                            mjbythebay Jun 24, 2012 09:16 AM

                            Dubbfoolio, not to be a copycat but I'm thinking of Tilden park as well for a location for a party with foodtrucks for about 100 in Sept as well. Can you tell us what foodtrucks you settled on? Thanks!

                            1. re: mjbythebay
                              d
                              dubbfoolio Jun 24, 2012 11:18 AM

                              Congrats, and good choice of venue ;). Tilden has some beautiful places to get married.

                              Artemis78's suggestion of pizza Politana won out. We tried a few more pizzas and were very impressed. They use pretty much all locally sourced stuff and we really love this. Also they create a buffet, whereas other trucks were only going to serve to order, which we imagine would turn into a huge line. I'll return after the wedding to let folks know how it goes. Thanks everyone for your help and great suggestions.

                              1. re: dubbfoolio
                                m
                                mjbythebay Jun 24, 2012 11:31 AM

                                Thanks for the quick reply, dubbfoolio! Just curious, were there some that you had to rule out for Tilden's Laurel picnic spot based on logistics? (Btw, I saw the video of Laurel on youtube - that's really helpful, thanks!!) Sorry to be picking your brain on this - I know you must be really busy if your wedding is coming up!

                                1. re: mjbythebay
                                  d
                                  dubbfoolio Jun 24, 2012 11:46 AM

                                  Well some of the ebparks rules are really stupid. Food trucks allowed but not generators. Well food trucks = generators. Basically they say no to anything you ask on the phone and the rules are written very poorly. Past a point you just have to figure out what the reasoning for rules are and follow the spirit and intentions of the rules.

                                  Anyway this confused Le Truc staff a little. They weren't confident the busteraunt could make it to this location either. Something to beware of.

                                  1. re: dubbfoolio
                                    m
                                    mjbythebay Jun 24, 2012 11:55 AM

                                    Thanks, good to know! Looking forward to hearing how it turns out! Congrats!

                                    1. re: mjbythebay
                                      m
                                      mjbythebay Sep 15, 2012 07:19 AM

                                      Hi Dubbfoolio, just wondered how it turned out to have the food truck at Tilden? Congrats on the wedding!

                                      1. re: mjbythebay
                                        d
                                        dubbfoolio Oct 1, 2012 12:17 PM

                                        The wedding turned out fantastic. But I'll jump right to what everyone here cares about: The food from pizza politana didn't go off completely without a hitch but in the end was excellent and enjoyed by all. They had a staff member no-show. Supposedly got into a minor car accident. Some ingredients were missing from the pizzas we decided on. A couple members in the family that work in restaurants jumped right in to help slice and serve the pizzas which was awesome!! They made up for everything by slinging out a few special order cheese pizzas for my young, extremely picky cousins.

                                        How did your wedding go MJ? Did you guys find a good food truck. Congrats to you as well!

                                        1. re: dubbfoolio
                                          m
                                          mjbythebay Oct 2, 2012 10:34 PM

                                          Hi Dubbfoolio - glad to hear the wedding was fantastic! Yay!

                                          For our really casual wedding picnic, we ended up hiring El Tonayense - www.eltonayense.com (the one from Best Buy in SF). We worked with Benjamin and Maricela there. From a logistical standpoint, they were easy to work with (almost *too* easy - I had to request a written contract which they quickly provided - I think they are used to more relaxed people ;))

                                          We paid them $100 travel fee to come to Laurel in Tilden Park (Berkeley) on top of their 3 hour minimum - with tax and tip, it ended up being about $14/per person (including kids). We had their full menu and we had plenty of food for 70 people (50 adults) and ~10 people took burritos home at the end to meet our minimum price. We never had lines of more than 2-3 people at a time.

                                          Only thing I was a bit uncomfortable with was their large tip jar in the window. I didn't want to insult them and ask them to remove it, but of course, we were planning to tip them after. And some people were scrounging up tip money, which was just awkward, but we didn't know what to say so we let it go. (We told them they didn't have to, but some people just wanted to.

                                          )

                                          I would highly recommend a food truck if you are looking for casual catering for a party of 50-100 people or so. My only regret is we didn't get a photo of us from inside the food truck! ;) Happy to answer any specific questions about the site or this truck.

                                           
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