Guest Post: New Friday Night Tradition – Off the Grid at Fort Mason

Liz Farrell is back with a review of one of the coolest things to hit the Fort Mason Center since the Sunday Farmer’s Market“Off the Grid” brings street food to the Marina and makes Fort Mason the place to be every Friday Night.  Nothing puts a smile on my face like street food I can actually eat without getting sick.  All those food trucks in one place also re-ignite my desire to own one! 🙂 It is almost impossible to cover in one post all the food that is available every Friday night from 5 to 9pm, so you will have to check it out yourself with the little munchkins.  I am still dreaming about the “cover-you-in-powdered sugar” alfajores from Sabores Del Sur/La Cocina, so we will be back, for the alfajores and more!

Liz, thanks for making Fort Mason your beat!  I am voting for your hubby, Mark for District 2 Supervisor based on how much food he ordered (there are other reasons too, but this is my best one)!


New Friday Night Tradition – Off the Grid at Fort Mason by Liz Farrell

Friday nights at our house usually mean pizza night.  This was a tradition in my house growing up and it seems to be something we have started in our own house.  After a long week, pizza is easy and it can either be delivered or we can walk a few blocks to a number of different family friendly pizzerias.  Well now thanks to “Off the Grid” at Fort Mason, Friday night isn’t just for pizza anymore. “Off the Grid” is bringing some spice to the Marina with its eclectic mix of mobile food trucks and carts from all over the City.

With live music and many of the of best food trucks, street carts and food stalls in the City, this is a great event the whole family will enjoy.  Two recommendations I would make are to arrive early and bring cash.   It starts at 5pm and by 6pm the place is packed and the lines get long.  There are some folding chairs but many people ended up taking food to go or finding a spot on the sidewalk.  Our suggestion is to grab one of the picnic tables across the parking lot.

The other recommendation is to bring cash and plenty of it. This may be gourmet fast food but the food isn’t exactly cheap.  We also suggest having a plan of attack. Our family opted to divide and conquer.  We each picked a truck or type of food we wanted to try and then met up with our “loot”.  It was a great way to approach so many different tastes by trying a little bit of a lot of different things.

The Chairman Bao truck had the longest line so I decided to see what all the hype was about.  I ordered a crispy tofu and garlic baked bun and a duck and mango steamed bun.  It was worth the wait.  It is hard to explain how these buns could be so good and worth waiting 15-20 minutes for but the flavors were wonderful.

The Kung Fu tacos and the chicken empanadas from El Porteno were a huge hit with the kids.  They were small but pack a flavorful punch with every bite. My husband tried the Tikka Masala burrito from Curry Up Now.  This thing was huge so there was plenty to share.  For dessert there were many options including cookies and crème brulee but we decided to try the much talked about chai banana fritters from Malaysian Lacy Crepes.  These were very doughy but a great way to finish off a wonderful eating experience.

Last week was only the second week for “Off the Grid” at Fort Mason and there is definitely room to improve this experience including adding tables and more chairs.  However, each week new trucks are being added and I just received word that the El Tonayense taco truck will be joining the vendors this Friday and if the Yelp reviews are correct these are the best taco trucks in the City.  The weather is supposed to be great on Friday so I am sure this will be another great event that won’t disappoint even the smallest and pickiest eaters in your family.

11 thoughts on “Guest Post: New Friday Night Tradition – Off the Grid at Fort Mason

  1. I love Markets like that, we have on Sundays the Farmer’s Market at Brentwood, and Hollywood with loads of yummy food. But that market you are talking about seems pretty awesome. Yummm.

  2. These sound great! Madison, WI has some great carts, but nothing like this. I harbor a secret fantasy of owning a swanky ice pop cart. Someday…I’m currently accumulating recipes and on the lookout for the perfect mold.

  3. Pingback: Off the Grid « YourHealthyFood.net

  4. We have “Off the Grid” in Berkeley on Wed nights. Love! The third bit of advice I would offer up, is don’t single-parent it to this event. I tried once and it was a disaster. You really need more than one adult to watch the kids, while the other waits in line(s). Thx for the great write up!

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