San Francisco: Top 10 Food Carts on Twitter

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The only downside of gourmet food cart explosion is that it’s sometimes hard to find your favorites. Fortunately, more and more roving carts are picking up on Twitter as a way to broadcast their whereabouts. Here’s a rundown of the ten best in San Francisco, complete with Twitter feeds and a hints on their typical turf.

Crème Brûlée Cart (Dolores Park) – Clad in crisp chef’s whites — hat and all — the Crème Brûlée Man dishes up disposable ramekins of warm love with a perfect caramelized crackling top. With almost 6,500 Twitter followers, Chef Curtis sets the bar high, serving flavors like White Russian, vanilla bean, and the newly added “smores brûlée.” ● Left Coast Smoke (Sundays at 500 Club, 500 Guerrero @17th Street; Thursdays at Knockout for Bingo Night, 3223 Mission Street @ Valencia) – Down home pulled pork barbecue sandwiches make this cart a lush’s favorite at its rotation of regular bar stints. With mountains of meat piled high on toasted soft white buns and your choice of spicy tomato-based sauce or Carolina-style mustard sauce, these bad boys sell out fast, so be ready to run when the Twitter tweets. Note that due to the intensity of the aroma from Left Coast’s smoker, neighborhood complaints have made the cart’s schedule less than regular.

Spencer on the Go! (Wednesday-Saturday evenings starting at 6pm at Folsom Street @ 7th Street) – In this offshoot of the more sedentary Chez Spencer, Chef Laurent Katgely serves up classic French dishes like ratatouille, frog legs, and grilled sweet breads, all from this converted taco truck. You’ll probably have to wait in line, but these satisfying morsels of savory French fare will warm your belly and soul on a cool San Francisco summer evening. ● Sexy Soup Cart (Around the Mission, often at Dolores Park) – Nutritionist by day, Sexy Soup lady by night (and weekend), Chef Kristin dishes out cups of healthy organic soups throughout the Mission. Fan favorites include carrot ginger coconut, purple potato and leek, and curried cauliflower. Knowing that no cup-a-soup is complete without a side of carbs, diners receive a piece of crusty French bread for dipping. ● Magic Curry Kart (Around the Mission; behind McDonalds at 24th Street and Mission, and Mariposa @ Alabama streets) – The man behind the Magic Curry Kart not only doles out warm helpings of chicken or vegetarian curry and rice, but he also keeps his over 3,000 Twitter followers up to date on his astrological well-being with his daily Twittascope. Important to know when you’re debating patronizing his neon-adorned cart on a day when his stars indicate that he “may become less confident as the day wears on.” ● Wholesome Bakery (McDonalds at 24th Street and Mission; email {encode=”wholesomebakerysf@gmail.com” title=”wholesomebakerysf@gmail.com”} for next location) – Every item on offer from this bakery on wheels is vegan, high fiber, and low on the glycemic index. Often found rolling alongside the Magic Curry Kart, Wholesome Bakery’s bounty includes oatmeal cranberry cookies, lemon coconut cupcakes, and banana blueberry donuts. Occasionally savory pocket pies are also available, including a curry lentil quinoa version, which might be a nice complement to a chicken curry from the Curry Man. ● Carte415 (101 2nd Street in the Atrium Lobby, 11:30am – 2:30pm) – San Francisco foodies are thrilled with the recent arrival of Joshua Skenes’ Carte415, which offers up organic and local lunch options from his alternatively powered cart made from recycled and reused materials. Although the location is pretty set for now (new carts may be added to his arsenal at a later date), Skenes uses Twitter to fill hungry office denizens in on daily specials such as a framani charcuterie sandwich with gruyere, spicy greens, and quince jam and an Early Girl tomato gazpacho. ● Amuse Bouche (morning at 24th Street BART Station, evening at Linda Street @ 19th Street) – Frenchman Murat keeps commuters happy with chai, coffee, and a variety of freshly baked fruity muffins. His Bavarian apple strudel is also a favorite. In the evenings his savory options include red lentil kofte and chard and feta borek. With his occasional French tweets, Francophones can practice their ouis and mercies. ● Urban Nectar (Around the Mission; 18th Street and Dolores) – When you need something to wash down all of the pulled pork and crème brûlée you stuffed in your face, this cart provides fresh-squeezed juices to wet your whistle for round two. Watermelon, strawberry, and lemonade are regulars on the roster, and according to the owner, a tithe of each purchase goes to a Bay Area charity. ● Gobba Gobba Hey (Around the Mission; 4505 Meats Stall in the Ferry Building) – The name of this cart needs some interpreting. First, it’s a reference to the Ramones song “Pinhead,” which includes the refrain, “gabba gabba hey.” Second, for those not in the know, a “gob” is two cake-like cookies with sweet cream spread in the middle, like a whoopie pie. However, this ain’t your mama’s whoopie pie. Author-cum-baker Steven Gdula’s versions including black cherry chocolate with lime butter cream frosting and orange cardamom ginger gob with saffron frosting.