May 17, 2011

San Francisco's new Friday-night "must"

The crowd lines up at Bao Bun -- Photo: Jim Shubin

"Off the Grid" is a fun, fabulous and inexpensive new food adventure that will spice up your Friday nights in San Francisco. It ramped up in mid-April, and I blew by there with a couple of friends last Friday night to check it out. We loved it!

Here's the scoop. At least two dozen food trucks and tented vendors form a circle in the parking lot of Fort Mason Center. Chairs and tables are set up inside the circle, along with a sound system for the free live music. The trucks open for biz at 5 (Friday nights only), but the lines start forming early. That's because the food is deliciously ethnic, doesn't cost a fortune, and offers some unexpected suprises (e.g., the Creme Brulee Cart).

It's hard to make decisions when confronted with such bounty, so--just like everyone else--we walked around and seriously studied the menus, deciding what to spend our dollars on.

Yummy! -- Photo: Jim Shubin
BTW, there's also a tented bar on site, so you can wash down that hot curry or those sizzlin' kabobs with a nice chill brew.

Some people stay here for a couple of hours, turning the experience into an evening out--maybe strolling along the water after leaving Fort Mason. Others, like us, eat and head elsewhere. That's easy to do since you're close to lively areas like Chestnut Street, Ghirardelli Square, and Fisherman's Wharf. Public transportation is nearby, as well.

As for us, we headed over to Pier 43-1/2 and embarked on a new Red & White Fleet cruise to Treasure Island for a spot of wine tasting. But that's another story.
  • Where: Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard at Laguna Street
  • When: Friday nights, 5-9 p.m.
  • More Info: Off the Grid website.

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