No French Friday today, but how about falafel Friday?!
The weather in San Francisco has been glorious the past couple of days which means when it comes to lunchtime, one of the best options is a San Francisco restaurant that is outside, also known as a food truck. And with the latest craze of food truck options, you can eat something different every day!
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Like Los Angeles and New York, San Francisco has embraced the food truck trend with a passion. We are a foodie city already and this is just another method of expressing our food passions. And because we are a little bit crunchy here in the Bay Area, most of the food is healthy and fresh, far, far away from the roach coaches that people must imagine before actually trying them out.
Yesterday I had the chance to try out Liba, a falafel (and sweet potato fries) truck that ventures close to my office on Thursdays. Some of my colleagues have been trying to get me over there, but with vacation, etc. I had not had a chance. With the weather yesterday as beautiful as it was, it was imperative that I head over there and try it out.
The first thing you notice when approaching Liba’s truck is the line. This is not uncommon for food trucks and they usually move fast. And when you get to the front of the line you will be greeted by a smiling Gail (not Liba, but her owner).
She is super friendly and will guide you through the ordering process, although it is fairly easy: small, large, or in salad and then fries or no fries. She does value-packs which are appropriately named “a little love” and “a lot of love.” You can also order “just balls” which brings a giggle to the lips.
But the fun doesn’t stop there because once you receive your order you get to embellish your falafel at the bar. Liba has a bar of toppings, all made fresh, that is out of this world. I could not get a photo because I did not want to disrupt the pace at which people were moving through the line, but I grabbed the available toppings from her website:
Roasted Eggplant in Tomato Sauce
Tomato Cucumber Salad with Mint
Red Cabbage with Black Sesame Seed
Olive-Orange Relish with Thyme
Spiced Carrot Ribbons
Red Beets with Lemon and Thyme
Tomato Ginger Chutney
Dill Cardamom Pickle
Harissa Hot Sauce
I put a whole bunch of stuff on mine and it was YUMMY!
So much so that you cannot even see the falafel balls – trust me, they are in there and they are darn good! And oh yeah, those fries are awesome too. To put this in perspective, I don’t like fries much, I will eat one or two, and then I am done, usually passing them on to whoever wants them, but that little bag of golden goodness? Completely demolished!
Beyond the food, which is fresh and fantastic, I would like to point out something that others may not pick up on, but which I found important. I don’t have a lot of experience with food trucks, maybe half a dozen (I plan to increase this number), but the times I have eaten from trucks there has always been the awkward moment of “how/where do I eat this?”
It seems to me that Liba has put careful thought into every detail of her experience which includes the packaging her food is served in. They are paper wrappers, but the size and shape fit perfectly in your hand, even if you order both the falafel and the fries. There is no awkwardness in eating as you stand in the sunshine to devour your food. I really noticed and appreciated that.
Guess where I am going to be next Thursday…
Liba has been such a success that they opened a storefront in Oakland! If you cross the Bay you can find them at 380 17th St [UPDATE: Liba is now CLOSED forever].
More of my San Francisco food stories and guides:
- A San Francisco Weekend for Foodies
- Where to go for Coffee in San Francisco
- Great Mexican Restaurants in San Francisco
- 5 Places to Eat Oysters in San Francisco
- Best Burmese Food in San Francisco
- Burgers in San Francisco
- San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers
- Hawaiian in San Francisco
- Great Grilled Cheese in San Francisco
- San Francisco Bay Area Dimsum Guide
- San Francisco for Vegetarians
- Baked Bear in San Francisco – Custom-made Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Classic San Francisco Food Treats
- Eating in San Francisco’s Financial District – Around the World in 24 Hours
Highlighted Restaurants in San Francisco
- San Francisco’s Sushirrito
- Bacon Bacon San Francisco
- Fried Chicken and Waffles in San Francisco
- Let me see your Lobster Roll
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