Let’s be honest. When it comes to cool, grassroots food events, San Jose takes a back seat to San Francisco and the East Bay. Why that’s the case is a subject for another column, but for now let’s say it just is. But San Jose is about to get a whole lot cooler next month with SJ Eats, a food-truck rally on April 2 that will draw as many as 20 food trucks from Silicon Valley and beyond. If all goes well, the event could be the dawn of a regular food-truck market like Off the Grid in San Francisco and the Edgewood Plaza food-truck convergence in Palo Alto.
“We want to touch the wires to see if we can do weekly food-truck events,” says Ryan Sebastian, co-owner of the Treatbot dessert/karaoke truck and organizer of the event. “We’re trying to push it forward.”
SJ Eats will the largest food-truck market ever. The event will be held in the parking lot of the Fallon House at the corner of North Almaden Avenue and West St. John Street from noon to 8pm. In addition to Treatbot, look for Kara’s Cupcakes, the WOW truck and Chairman Bao.
What’s so cool about food trucks? As Sebastian explains it, part of the appeal is finding good food in an unlikely package—a roach coach. Treatbot is a case in point. Dessert and dance music out of a catering truck? Yep. “We’ve kind of turned up the absurdity quotient,” he says. Plus: “There’s something cool about a food truck that’s supposed to serve low-rent food and getting something amazing,” he says.
Taco trucks have long been fighting the good fight and serving Mexican food on wheels, but in the past few years, the cool kids have discovered food trucks. Now you’ll find Korean food, barbecue, grilled-cheese sandwiches, Vietnamese food, roast chicken and Filipino food on wheels. Because the trucks generally have no fixed address, Twitter has become the default mode of communication, letting followers know where the trucks are and adding to the urban buzz that surrounds the mobile restaurants.
Adding to the appeal of SJ Eats will be SJ Made, a pop-up market to be held the same day in the nearby (and empty) Tied House restaurant. Actually, SJ Eats grew out of SJ Made, a market that will draw as many as 60 local vendors selling locally made jewelry, clothes and crafts.
SJ Made is the brainchild of the good folks at The Usuals, a boutique on The Alameda featuring locally made apparel. The store was named best clothing shop in Metro‘s Best of Silicon Valley issue earlier this month.
Good food. Cool handmade stuff. See you there. Check out http://www.sanjosemade.com for details.