As people line up in front of a giant wood-paneled truck on a nondescript corner in Emeryville, a man drives by waving his fist out the window, screaming, “I want my Ebbett’s.” The people standing on the sidewalk turn and look quizzically at each other, then begin to laugh and nod in agreement — they want their Ebbett’s too.
Ebbett’s Good to Go is one of the newest food trucks cruising the East Bay to hawk gourmet fare. Ebbett’s chefs, Shari Washburn who lives in Berkeley, and Suzanne Schafer, who lives in Oakland, focus on specialty sandwiches made from organic and local ingredients — stenciled across the side of their truck in red cursive it reads: “Admit it … you need a sandwich.” Their most popular, the “Cuban,” is full of slow-roasted herb-infused pork, ham and Gruyere cheese that’s then garnished with chipotle mayo and jalapeno relish. Another, the “Tofu Veggie Banh Mi,” has shredded, marinated and baked Hodo Soy Beanery tofu and is topped with pickled vegetables, sprigs of cilantro and spicy sauces on an Acme torpedo roll.
On a sunny Wednesday at lunchtime, customers at Ebbett’s Good to Go are patiently waiting their turns to order. They look over the specials of the day like the “Chicken Torta” — a Petaluma Farms pulled chicken breast sandwich with cilantro pesto, avocado spread, cheddar cheese and salsa verde — and hope that there will still be pickles left by the time they reach the front of the line. “We do our best to eat through them as quickly as possible,” says customer Lisa Turtle, about the homemade jalapeno-infused pickles. Her friend, Katie Center, happily munches on her pickle wrapped in tin foil. “Their pickles are to die for,” she says.