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Trucks have problems

bbulkow Jun 20, 2012 09:51 AM

I went down to Edgewood Eats last night and took the GF. It's between home and work, and I liked the selection of trucks. I like Eat on Monday (even though it was Tuesday), so I'd have one truck I liked.

Our first round was good. Eat on Monday provided a cute little blue cheese burger, and the hayaa roll guys made a nice spicy pork bun.

Then - disaster. GF went to the Thai on Wheels and ordered a single duck taco - she was thinking of one of those tacos, and a true mexican taco across the plaza.

The Thai taco took _over 45 minutes_ . There wasn't that much of a crowd (Little Green Cyclo had a crowd), but when she got her number, and waited for 5 minutes - doing the math - she'd be standing there for 45 minutes. No chair, sunset in her eyes, can't leave in case they call her number.

She's persistent so she waited for her food. Adding insult to injury, the taco was slathered with some kind of cream sauce that she didn't like the looks of, so she threw it away.

I had a mixed experience at the Hawaiian Grill truck, where they seemed to have lost my order. Everyone else got their musubi in under a minute, mine they finally asked me after 10 minutes of waiting. At least they were apologetic, and it was only 10 minutes.

That kind of awful experience tars all food trucks. She'll never go to any food truck event again.

Food trucks:

1) If the wait for food is over 10 minutes, you should warn before they buy.

2) if your food truck is fast (some items are premade, or you just have your act together), advertise that!

  1. s
    sugartoof Jun 20, 2012 08:01 PM

    Food Trucks in SF/Bay are becoming notoriously slow, and while the quality is above and beyond what other cities are doing in trucks, the wait times are starting to detour me and my friends from considering them options. I've found that even ordering a house made drink can take as long as a entree. A little frustrating, and that's without crowds. I can't imagine how people aren't losing their minds at the height of an Off the Grid night.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sugartoof
      a
      abstractpoet Jun 20, 2012 09:25 PM

      At the opening week of the Off the Grid Alameda (I know, I should have known better), I made a beeline for the truck with the shortest line (Fins on the Hoof). Less than five minutes on line, no problem ... but of course: a 45-minute wait for the food (a single sandwich) to actually come out. They wouldn't have even told me if I hadn't asked (after paying, unfortunately). I spent the next 45 minutes performing the public service of warning every other person who seemed like they were considering walking toward the back of that line.

      Worse yet, they didn't even give you a number. They just took your name. So there wasn't even a way to keep track of how close your food was to being ready except if you noticed who had been in front of you in line.

      Meanwhile, I'd put my wife on the CurryUpNow line, which was bizonkers (she was ON LINE for more than 45 minutes), and by the time she got to the front they'd sold out of half their menu. What we ended up ordering was delicious, but we were so put off (and thirsty, since they'd run out of the mango lassis we'd wanted) that we got no pleasure out of any of it.

      Re: the OP, I don't get how it could ever take that long when there isn't even a crowd! Those people are in the wrong business.

    2. m
      ML8000 Jun 20, 2012 10:23 AM

      Besides the order mess ups, was it crowded or long lines?

      Agree, anything over 10 minutes is a bummer. That's really what kills it for me, long lines especially if you're standing and waiting. Part of the draw of food trucks is convenience (well it use to be) since it's not set-up to sit down and relax for a few minutes.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ML8000
        bbulkow Jun 20, 2012 01:05 PM

        Edgewood Eats is low key, not crowded, a number of people bringing their own tables and chairs.

        What got me: NO LINE!

        There was only one truck with a line, that was Little Green Cyclo.

        At Taste of Siam, there was _no_ order mess up, _no_ line, *** but a 45 minute wait for food *** .

        Heyaa! roll and Food on Monday were the two winning trucks, both food wise and experience wise.

        1. re: bbulkow
          Ruth Lafler Jun 20, 2012 01:28 PM

          It's amazing to me that people will stand in line, pay good money and then wait for food they wouldn't think was a good value if they walked into a deli/grill/sandwich shop next door and bought it.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            bbulkow Jun 20, 2012 02:32 PM

            The food, when we got it, was uniformly good, and a good value. Going to a location with 10 such shops within 100 paces of each other was also good and fun. Many people enjoyed being able to take their children - there were much strollers.

            The 45 minute wait for a $3 taco was simply out of control.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              escargot3 Jun 20, 2012 04:42 PM

              i'm with you on that one, ruth.
              sometimes there are exceptions. but in general, i don't get it.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                s
                sugartoof Jun 20, 2012 08:03 PM

                The trucks are gourmet trucks though, doing some inventive things you can't often get at a deli/grill/sandwich shop, if at all.

                1. re: sugartoof
                  Ruth Lafler Jun 20, 2012 09:31 PM

                  Some of them are doing inventive things and some of them aren't. I have nothing against gourmet food trucks in theory, just underwhelmed by the reality.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    Scrapironchef Jun 23, 2012 01:03 PM

                    I'm with you on this, it seems like a good idea but so few of these trucks seem t o prepared for the reality of what they take on. If you decide to take part in an event with thousands of attendees you should be prepared to serve large numbers of people quickly. I shouldn't be forced to make my food choices on the basis of which line will allow me to eat in within a few hours. Limit your selections and figure out how to make it faster than your customers can order it.

                    To be honest, I've stopped going to food truck and "Taste of _____" events, too much standing in line to pay too much money to wait too long for too little food.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler
                  chaddict Jun 21, 2012 08:34 AM

                  Having ordered in-house catering from 2 of the more popular food trucks, I'd say "Meh..." Neither were very good AT all. Just don't get it.

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