New Form of Take Out Takes Hold in SF

If you haven’t had a fresh crème brulee out of a street cart at the back of a dead-end alley yet, tonight’s your chance to make things right in your world.

In San Francisco, the only street food options used to be bacon wrapped hot dogs and ice cream.

But now, things are starting to change.  There is a new wave of food carts hitting the streets and the city.

About two moths ago, “Magic Curry Man” (as he likes to be called) put together a mobile Magic Curry Kart with dueling burners and a bunch of ingredients that people can order a chicken or vegi curry dish and have it prepared right before their eyes.

“I have been cooking curry and I got good at it,” said Magic Curry Man, who cut his curry cooking chops in Thailand.

“Around the world half of the people eat off the street and here in San Francisco there is no street food, especially for vegetarians.  This neighborhood (The Mission) must have had street food in the past.”

A few weeks after trying the cart out, his brother, Crème Brulee Guy, got in on the action by putting together an awesome recipe for the delectable desert and fashioning his own mobile cart to make it a family show.

Only a few weeks and 2,000 twitter followers later, other carts are rambling out of the woodwork and a local food cart community is coming together, with vendors and customers finding each other by chance, or via twitter updates (@magiccurrykart - @cremebruleecart).

Ground zero for the movement seems to land at the front door of Magic Curry Man’s house at the end of Linda Street off 19th Street adjacent to the Mission Pool.
The neighbors don’t seem to mind that people gather on a Thursday or Friday night at the end of the dead end street and hang out chatting and noshing going from cart to cart.

Most agree that part of the fun is the time in-between bites, where this little community has come together.

A few weeks ago I took some pictures of the scene (check out the slideshow) and I met Sean-Michael Lewis who had brought a friend to the end of the street to have some food.  He thinks part of the success is because, “These guys are really personable.  It’s fun to hang out with them while they make it, and it’s affordable.”

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the curry plates are only $5 and the crème brulees are $3/each, and you may want more than one with various flavors to choose from like Vanilla – the classic, Chocolate – which I haven’t tried yet but is supposed to be really good, Bailey’s – made with the Irish Cream liqueur, and my favorite, The Big Lebowski – a White Russian of dessert deliciousness.

Josh Keppel is home from work with a mouth full of gauze after have a wisdom tooth extracted from his skull and is hopeful he’ll be able to consume some street food tonight, God willing.

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