The mob has moved into Pleasanton — and it’s gone gourmet.
The Food Truck Mafia, a Bay Area food truck events company, rolls into town every Friday at lunchtime, tempting the community with tasty American and Korean BBQ, Mexican seafood, crispy fried chicken, flatbread and cupcakes.
You will find the half-dozen food trucks gathered at the southern perimeter of the parking lot at from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., every Friday through October.
Myra Villena of Pleasanton, an employee at the mall, discovered the Food Truck Mafia last Friday. She ordered a smoked corned beef sandwich, called “My Cuban Friend,” from Grill Stars, a Fremont-based food truck specializing in BBQ.
“It has good flavors,” Villena said. “It’s a nice break from the mall food.”
She likes the fact that she can just walk over during her lunch break.
“Sometimes I only have 30 minutes,” she said. “So this is great.”
San Ramon residents Randy and Joanne Durrenberger were heading toward Macy’s to do some furniture shopping Friday afternoon when they spotted the food trucks and realized they were hungry.
The Durrenbergers were impressed. These are not your ordinary food trucks.
“Having a nice-looking truck is more appealing,” Randy said. “You know it’s not just nuked-up food.”
He ordered a pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries from Cabana Dave’s.
“It’s really good,” he said, in between bites. “There’s a lot of meat in it, not a lot of fat.”
“People are always looking for something new,” Joanne said, as she gazed at the colorful trucks and considered what to order.
She decided on a veggie Snack Wrap, made with avocado, spinach, fresh-cut fries and a cucumber sauce, The Architect’s Kitchen, also known as the Arki Truck.
“It tastes really fresh,” she said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had fries in a sandwich.”
(That’s a tradition in Ireland, where Joanne is from originally.)
That’s Sweet! Dessert Truck, known for its specialty cupcakes, displays a chalkboard menu with most of its items crossed off by about 1 p.m. You need to buy your dessert early, because they usually run out.
By 1:15 p.m. on Friday, they were down to two mini pies: one apple and one peach. By 1:30, they’d sold out completely.
Pretty impressive for Livermore residents Kris Warnock and his wife Jenifer, who launched their dessert truck just this year. Warnock said they’ve found their niche, serving sweet treats on wheels to the Livermore and Pleasanton communities, where, he said, “People really love their food.”
Warnock enjoys the spontaneity and creativity that comes from owning a kitchen on wheels.
“You can create something on the spot in about five minutes, using what you have,“ he said.
That’s exactly how one of their most popular cupcakes was created. Warnock had some homemade curds and fresh lime, and turned them into a filling for some dark chocolate cupcakes.
The result? Chocolate Lime cupcakes — a huge hit.
But their bestselling cupcake by far is the Salted Caramel — dark chocolate cake filled with homemade caramel, topped with Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and drizzled with caramel sauce flaked with sea salt.
“People drive here from different cities just to get one of those,” Warnock said.
The Food Truck Mafia, which features different trucks every week, also includes Marisco's El Malecon, which specializes in Mexican seafood, and MoGo BBQ, offering Korean-style BBQ, like short rib tacos and spicy pork quesadillas.
These gourmet food trucks are only in town for a couple of months, so if you’re looking for fresh local fare at a great price, check out the mob-on-wheels at Stoneridge Shopping Center one of these Fridays.
Just make sure you order dessert first.