By Jo Ann Kirby | Record Net
Stockton’s food truck scene has become so varied that when an entire fleet is on the scene, it’s an international flavor fest.
Earlier this month, Stockton Arena was the site of a Food Truck Frenzy in which under a dozen vendors served up dinner and drinks for diners who sat outside and enjoyed the Delta breeze.
For John and Meghan Burns, it was a great place to bring their two kids because everyone in the family could choose something very different.
Dad had street tacos. Mom had a falafel sandwich and plantains. Nine-year-old Ethan enjoyed a hot dog. And 11-year-old Chloe chose Chinese food.
“I am having chow fun from the Yum Mi truck,” Chloe said as she dug into a huge container of noodles. “It has a lot of meat in it and the noodles are yummy.”
The Yum Mi truck serves up egg rolls, pot stickers and authentic Asian-inspired noodle dishes, all priced from $7 and less.
Here are some other food trucks serving up quality cuisine at street food prices, as sampled by Record staff. And be sure to check out next month’s Food Truck Frenzy. It takes place Friday, Sept. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. behind the Stockton Arena at 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton.
Mamas and the Tapas
A couple of years ago, Christine Louie and her husband purchased a 1986 taco wagon and decided to give it their own look and a brand new, unique name —“Mamas and the Tapas.”
Louie, who is half Puerto Rican, wanted to bring her favorite style of cooking to the Stockton area.
“We don’t get out as much as we used to. It’s mainly events, and we need to get out more,” Louie said. “We also do some Jamaican and Cuban dishes. We have a great time.”
The menu rotates, but there are some special treats: two beef and chorizo empanadas with garlic aoli for $6, three corn tortillas filled with jerk chicken and mango salsa for $7 and pulled pork sliders with macaroni salad for $8.
“It’s a great lifestyle and we have a wonderful time,” Louie said.
The food is so good, to quote the Mamas and the Papas, that you’ll be “California Dreamin.”
— Mike Klocke
Sue Maddox opened a baking supply shop in Stockton’s Stonecreek Village open-air shopping mall on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Robinhood Drive in Stockton in 2011. A little over a year ago, she acquired a truck and takes her cupcakes out to private events, kids’ birthday parties, school carnivals, harvest festivals and food truck gatherings.
The cupcakes are sold from the truck at $2.50 each and are almost too cute to eat.
“One of our favorites is the Chocolate BB,” she said. “It is our chocolate cake cupcake, filled with buttercream, topped with buttercream and dipped into a chocolate ganache.”
She cleverly packages individual cupcakes in a clear plastic cup with a lid. The cupcake sits on the lid with an upside down cup affixed. That’s one smart cookie.
— Jo Ann Kirby
Everybody in Lebanon knows how to make a falafel, but nobody knows how to make it how Sam Hissayko does.
He is happy to rattle off the ingredients, from garbanzo beans and the fresh garlic, down to the parsley, cilantro, cumin and other seasonings. But the proportions — that’s a secret. “It’s a family recipe.”
Go Falafel food-truck and catering business has only been rolling for four months. The Lebanese native has been in Stockton with his family for more than a year. Before that, he was a chef in a fancy hotel in Dubai.
This truck’s falafel is light brown and slightly crispy on the outside. Inside, the airy nuggets are moist and packed with flavor. The falafel came in a wrap with lettuce, onion and, in a nice surprise, turnip. It also featured tzatziki, a Greek yogurt sauce.
— Zachary Johnson
Buying a burrito from the El Toro food truck isn’t something that you’d do every day. It’s not because the $6 concoction isn’t good. It’s that one burrito — with generous portions of meat, beans, sour cream, rice and veggies — is good for about three meals.
The tortilla is tasty and the ingredients are delicious. And it wasn’t overwhelmed with cilantro.
Carlos Zuniga started his food truck six months ago, and in addition to the burritos, he sells tortas ($6), tacos ($1.50), super nachos ($6) and more, — even curly fries.
The line for El Toro food at the Stockton Arena was the longest when the Food Frenzy began and customers kept coming. That’s no bull.
— Lori Gilbert
Halal New African Cuisine
Dock R. Mateen’s truck can be found most Friday nights and all day Saturday at the corner of Hammer Lane and Tam O’Shanter Drive in Stockton.
He sells halal food, which is food permissible to eat under Islamic law. Halal food includes vegetables, seafood and some meats from animals slaughtered according to Islamic requirements. The animals must be treated humanely, and before slaughtering, the butcher must offer a blessing and say the name of God.
“Basically, halal means wholesome and good,” he said.
His most popular menu item is a shrimp and fish combo. But the fish and chips is tasty, too. The fish, tilapia and catfish, was light and crispy. At just $7, it was worth the wait while it was cooked to order.