The history of mid-day dining in Silicon Valley has been through some very tough years, but has recently experienced a revolution. Food trucks.
I will be on my home turf in Silicon Valley this month of August, to see how things have developed with the food trucks, and I will report back here. I also begrudgingly support the San Jose Sharks….so I will see what I can uncover on the hockey front, but it is starting to feel like the Boston Red Sox curse.
Not long ago, Silicon Valley from North San Jose through Mountain View and all the way up to Palo Alto‘s University Avenue and California Avenue restaurants, there was very little in the way of quick and easy midday eating options. Silicon Valley is a victim of industrial sprawl. It takes a car to get anywhere and public transportation is still lacking. It was a cultural wasteland of warehouses and vacant lots.. The few restaurants on the El Camino strip were normally jammed, and you could depend on being stuck there for over an hour. My favorite secret lunch option was the food stall at Shoreline Park Lake in Mountain View, tucked away behind Shoreline Amphitheatre and the current Google headquarters. The food trucks were the only other option, at that time were pretty gruesome old fashioned rigs with steamed burgers and soda pop. Many of the old Silicon Valley food trucks were operated by Vietnamese families, but served Mexican burritos. Huh? You waited to hear the truck arrive playing “La Cucaracha” on its horn.
There just were not many options. The big Silicon Valley companies had awesome cafeterias, but unless you worked there you could forget it. Google’s food service is legendary. The Sunnyvale area around Plug & Play is still a good example of limited food options. There is one Greek place down the street from Plug & Play but not much else.
But the new food trucks have been an example of entrepreneurial initiative….designed to serve a severely underserved market, they now offer excellent cusine from around the World: Mexican (of course), Indian, Chinese noodles, Japanese miso and sushi, Vietnamese (Pho and all), Indian cuisine, Middle Eastern falafels and shawarmas, Greek,, you name it.. The key to all of this is that the Silicon Valley customer base is multicultural and demands the variety.
Slideshow: Silicon Valley‘s Top 10 Most Popular Food Trucks
Used to be food trucks were a way to feed the masses at a big job site — construction zones or farm fields. But now these meals on wheels are showing up everywhere in the Bay Area, enticing foodies with tasty treats (and sometimes surprising price tags).
The focus this week takes an in-depth look at food trucks, their growing trendiness, and how that’s impacting people just starting up in the business.
Find out from Porky’s SJ how the prices of trucks and truck designs have skyrocketed.
Then find out which corporate offices bring the best trucks to their yards (LinkedIn is a big fan of CurryUp Now).
Check out the top-rated food trucks in the region, according to Yelp, in this slideshow. Click on the food truck image to the right.
So what’s your favorite food truck?