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SoMa StrEAT Food Park Grand Opening Tonight!

http://sf.funcheap.com/soma-streat-fo...

unfortunately, I can't go tonight, but I'll definitely want to check it out soon. anyone going tonight?

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  1. I looked at the line-up -- I'm glad it's not the same batch of over-exposed trucks.

    1. Thinking of trying it out for dinner soon - any recommendations of what to try?

      1. i wetn to the preview on tuesday night - wasn't the best run event; letting everyone in at the same time for free food from only six trucks. lots of long lines. but good food for sure. glad the sunrise deli people have a truck.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vulber

          i'm sure it needs to find its footing. i'll probably check it out next week.

        2. any reports?

          From 511.org it says to take Muni 9 toward Geneva & Rio Verde St on Market/5th. Off board S. Corner of 11st & Harrison St, walk to 428 11th St, SF.

          Hrs are:
          M-F 11-3; 5-10
          Sat-Sun 11-10

          Website:
          http://www.somastreatfoodpark.com/

          1. Went for lunch yesterday. Mixed results.

            I had a lamb shawarma from Sunrise Deli, which was lovely. Years ago, I lived in the inner sunset and stopped there frequently...forgot how flavorful their hummus is. The bright tahini flavor cuts through just perfectly. My shawarma + side of hummus was ready in about 35 seconds.

            My spouse visited the La Pastrami truck. Although they (seemingly) weren't slammed, it took a good 15 minutes to deliver her pastrami+cheese sando + fries. Pastrami with cheese? Doesn't sooud too kosher to me, but then my s.o. lived in New York for a while, so it's not my place to criticize. In any case, the final product failed on multiple fronts: cold sandwich, flavorless pastrami ( I can fully corroborate this), cold fries, and no cheese. She returned to the truck to insist on the paid-for cheese, and got a generous sprinkle of bagged grocery-store parmesan dumped on top. Yum.

            So thumbs down on La Pastrami at this moment.

            There was a truck with Hawaiian sliders that was popular and seemed to have their workflow dialed in. They were doing the briskest business of all, it appeared, and I overheard many raving comments about the burgers. Cute presentation with a surfboard out front. Unfortunately, I didn't get the name of the truck.

            Also a dessert truck doing cookies. Again, failed to get the name. They had a Strauss Creamery sign up alongside their menu board which at first glance caused me to hope they were doing boutique Its-Its, but no dice, just advertising the butter in their cookies. I had no room for dessert after my shawarma and pint of hummus anyway.

            In regards to the overall environment, it was well-thought-out, with a couple of flaws. The business model seems to be a big fenced-in parking lot with amenities, ready for daily food-truck 'tenants' who pay a slotting fee. From an outside perspective, it all makes sense, and I assume it makes sense from the vendor/tenant point of view as well.

            The amenities are ADA bathrooms and seating for ~150 people. The majority of seating is in a tented space on picnic tables. So far so good. But they put up a sound system which consists of tinny small speakers on most of the upright members of the tent area, and turned it up too loud. I get it -- without some program music, the ambient sound of traffic on 11th, Division, and the freeway overhead would be annoying. And I did like their playlist for Sunday 1 pm. But an array of crummy trebly home-stereo speakers turned up too loud is a distraction even with the best of material. The speakers are all focused inward toward the center of the tent, which was -- not surprisingly -- the least popular seating area. (Sorry for nitpicking here, I'm a sound engineer by trade.)

            The other downside was sticky stuff all over the parking lot. I kept thinking I was stepping in gum. Then I realized it was uncured tar on the pavement. Of course, it was insanely hot by city standards Sunday, and they probably just surfaced the parking lot. So I assume the tar issue will self-correct.

            All in all, it was a fine outing for a new space in its first week of operation. I got the feeling that the target market is drunk folks wandering down 11th St at 2 am on Saturday, and that's a fine niche.

            There is a twitter feed listing the vendor population for the day: https://twitter.com/#!/search/somastr...

            4 Replies
            1. re: waldito

              thanks for this. they're not open at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, or are they??

                1. re: margieco

                  Website says hrs are:
                  M-F 11-3; 5-10
                  Sat-Sun 11-10

              1. re: waldito

                I think I was there around the same time. I got a half a meatball sub from the subs on hubs(?) truck and thought it was really good. I thought the sliders were OK and while the pastrami itself was good, pastrami tostada was just OK and took a long time.
                I didn't go to sunrise because they come to my work, but i do think they're great.

                I really liked the park. it's easy to park around there, but also great for folks in the neighborhood. Saw lots of people with their dogs (we thought it was too hot for ours to make the trek there). I really appreciated the abundance of seating.
                I could see myself walking down there for dinner during the week on pleasant evenings and sitting outside. And it did come in handy for the "where should we get lunch" sunday question.

              2. They now have After Hours StrEat Market Every Friday & Sat 12AM - 4AM:
                http://somastreatfoodpark.com/event/a...

                1 Reply
                1. re: hhc

                  The latest they can stay open is 2am, because the city doesn't want new places (beer garden) serving alcohol after that time. So far only a handful of trucks stay for the After Hours schedule (2 hours), but I'm sure that more trucks will signup when they see more customers.

                2. I dropped by for lunch today. I found the place to be well run and very hip, without being crowded.

                  First big plus: SEATING. With wifi. Out of the wind. You can see the care they've put into the wind barriers. As local knows, the wind in most locations is very regular, and in that area comes down from the north-west, funnling down from along the freeway. The area had that warm sunny feeling of Zeitgeist on a sunny friday.

                  There were a lot of trucks, and a good selection. The Chairman was there, Sunrise, Little Green Cyclo, an Irish / Eritreian that I've never seen before, curry up now, something about fish, a philipino place, etc. My colleague had a Sunrise Falafel, I had a Little Green Cyclo sampler. We easily found a table, and grabbed a beer each. Lunch was thus about $13 out the door (slightly high) but the atmosphere was good. Audience was 70% tech workers, with about 10% suits from somewhere, which was a nice mix.

                  I don't understand why there can't be a phone-for-food concept. You want to hang out with your buddies, but you've selected different trucks, so you spend 1/4 of lunch standing around with your thumb ... er, hidden somewhere. You should get a text when your food is ready. How hard would it be to read your phone number (or use something fancy like NFC or a purpose-built app that displays a QR code and alerts directly into the app when done). 99% of the people had fancy phones.

                  The place was not mobbed, had a lot of trucks, and waits were reasonable and under control. The centralized beer distribution was strong, but I think they only had two taps - which doesn't make sense. Has an ATM, too. Really had the feel of a Singapore hawker center - taking the disorganized and making it organized, with the plusses and minuses thereof.

                  Will return numerous times if remotely nearby. Worth a trip.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: bbulkow

                    I would think it wouldn't be hard at all to have an "app" for that, especially since most of those trucks are equipped with iPads or something similar as "cash registers."

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I didn't see anything like an ipad at any truck. I've seen order pads (paper, pencil) and been handed a physical slip of paper. Still, other media has pointed out the general flaw, and with 8 trucks, ones with a phone-call logo would get slightly more business. Heck, wiring the place for sound and having trucks call out "16 Cyclo is ready", if they want to be old school.

                        1. re: bbulkow

                          Eire etrea (i think)?
                          It's decent. You can get eritrean food (served on injera) or irish-style curry chips (curry sauce on fries).
                          Nice flavors for both. Not the best eritrean in the city, but certainly tasty and edible. super nice people, too.

                    2. So I live one block from this, and I have to say, having had numerous chats with the owner/operator, they're definitely doing things the right way. Hopefully business keeps improving. I know that for lunch they're set, but dinner, and especially late night, they need some more business to keep the trucks rolling in. The post-2am fare didn't last long, the cops asked them to shut it down.

                      Being a 2-minute walk from it, I'm getting spoiled....

                      1. My chance to check it out was the Sunday in August after SF’s street food festival. JD and I figured that locals would have gotten their fill and would head elsewhere this night. Don’t know if that’s really why the place was nearly deserted, but it worked for us and I snagged a parking space right across the street.

                        Yes, and bravo for real bathrooms and the beer pavilion. Though the sun was still up, we still had trouble escaping the cold wind and keeping our food at temperature was a problem. We tried:

                        La Pastrami garlic fries, $6 – The operator warns you that the fries are made to order and the wait time. All good for us. Good skinny fries and I liked the aromatics and fresh greenness contributed by the chopped scallion topping over the chopped garlic and slivered pastrami. The pastrami was shaved thin, and felt like a wet cure style, tasting more of salt than smoke. Combined with the salty fries, this is seriously salt-packed and I couldn’t really eat much of it. Definitely drinking food.
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                        Smokin’ Warehouse beef brisket (meat only, sauce on the side, $9) – I’ve had a burger at the warehouse but this was my first chance to try the barbecue. The owner had told me last year that he was proudest of his brisket. I quizzed the guy in the truck making him guarantee me that the brisket would not be dry and tough and asked for the sauce on the side. He promised and indeed the brisket was quite tender and moist. But also lacking in much in the way of flavor. Even biting into the outside bark alone didn’t offer any satisfaction.
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                        Smokin’ Warehouse hot chicken wings (8 pieces/$6) – This was a special that evening. Not so great, barely warm when served and ossified and cooled off quickly. The wings were small with less than usual in the way of dried out meat on them.
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                        Golden Waffle mobile Belgian pearl sugar waffles – The best bite of the night. The real deal Belgian waffle, and I liked both the creamy caramel sauce and the fresh summery strawberry toppings. I could see stopping by here when this truck’s in residence to grab one to take home after dinner elsewhere.
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...