Burmese Food Truck Comes to SOMA
My biggest complaint about food trucks (and one that Pdho is always bemoaning) is how pricey the food is that comes out of these food mobiles. Sometimes the food is quite tasty and the price seems slightly forgivable, but it’s the mediocre food denting my lunch allowance which irritates me and Pdho even more. You would think that a food truck, with much more minimal overhead than a brick and mortar restaurant, would charge more reasonable prices for their food. However, the barrier to entry is rather low and everyone seems to be jumping on the food truck band wagon these days.
I would have expected a fancy-looking fully decked food truck like all the other ones roaming the streets, but I was quite surprised to not only see an older, plain looking former taco truck (with the former owners address still painted on the truck), but I also saw a small menu with very inexpensive prices so we decided to order everything on the white board.
The Tea Leaf Salad is probably the one dish that I have always associated with Burmese food. This one from the truck was under $6 and looked rather simple, but once all the ingredients were tossed together the salad really had quite a uniquely tasty flavor profile. In addition to the tea leaves, cabbage and tomatoes, there was an assortment of accoutrements, toasted garlic, roasted nuts and sesame seeds. Unlike most salads where I’m always wanting some sort of meat to accompany the vegetables, this salad really had all the protein and flavor I needed.
The Lemongrass Beef didn’t sound too appetizing, but since it was the only other main entree on the menu, we ended up ordering it with the vegetable samosa and salad. I’m not sure what kind of salad was on the combination platter. It wasn’t a tea leaf salad, but aside from the cabbage, I couldn’t tell what the brown crunchy stuff was, but it really was the source of a lot of flavor. The vegetable samosas, stuffed with potatoes, peas and carrots, tasted pretty solid as well. The lemongrass flavor was quite subtle, but it was the texture of the shredded beef that was my least favorite part of the dish even though it was much better when mixed with the coconut white rice. At $6.75, the combination plate was pretty reasonable for the amount of food.
The owner told us that he would be parked in the same location every day, and they would be rotating the menu through 50 different dishes. I was quite excited by this prospect, because even though the lemongrass beef didn’t knock my socks off, I was quite confident (especially after tasting the Tea Leaf salad) that some of the other 50 dishes would be solid if not delicious. Going against the grain of modern food trucks, the Burmese Gourmet retains the true meaning of what a food truck should be and serves simple, solid, inexpensive food.
PAFO Ratings for Burmese Food Truck:
Food 3½ stars
Overall rating 3½ stars