Girls Foodie Field Trip: The Chairman (San Francisco)
After doing a food haul at Mr. Holmes, BFF Heather and I looked for a place to have lunch. We were overjoyed when we found out that The Chairman is finally open! It only took them over a year to open their brick and mortar in the TL that I gave up on it ever opening as they promised. *insert sarcasm here* From food truck to brick and mortar! Yay!
The Chairman is one of my most favorite food trucks. (Here’s my past review of The Chairman Food Truck.) I am not a food truck lover because I like to eat comfortably, and I do not like running after pop-up restaurants and mobile eateries. Just a matter of preference. Now I can have my steamed bao fix whenever I want at The Chairman restaurant.
Priced at only $3.75 each for the steamed bao (baked sandwich version is $6.75), these babies are addicting! They are packed with flavors and they do not skimp on the meat!
Tender Pork Belly with Turmeric Pickled Daikon & Green Shiso
Crispy Miso Cured Tofu with Garlic-Tofu Mayo & Baby Choy Sum
Coca-cola braised ribs
Zesty wonton chips with Togarashi spices and seaweed $2.50
Heather and I were happy that we were able to cross off another item on our BFF foodie list.
Short and sweet lunch with BFF. Fun, filling and totally delicious. (I have this wicked plan to go back and order a dozen buns one Friday and take them home to share with the BF!)
Off the Grid at Fort Mason! As you can tell by these first few photos, it’s a food truck fiesta!
Kiks and I arrived early that Friday afternoon, so there weren’t much people yet.
Also, BACON BACON TRUCK.
Similar to our own Mercato Centrale in BGC (is that still a thing?), seating is provided, though people here are fine with not having tables. It’s all part of the experience! Plus more space to move around.
I love all the details, too!
To start, Kiks and I decided to go for some doughnuts. Because why not?
We asked what was good, and we were pointed to the doughnut I had been eyeing—the chocolate salted caramel old fashioned. Chocolate? Salted caramel? Tracy? It’s a no-brainer!
The doughnuts (at least this one in particular, anyway) weren’t your typical sickeningly sweet kind, but had the right balance of sweet and…not sweet. This one had a cinnamon-y flavor, which kind of worried Kiks a little bit because he knew I wasn’t fond of cinnamon. But I’ve learned to make exceptions, this doughnut one included.
It was getting close to dinner time (because we started getting hungry), so Kiks went to order from Jeepney Guy! Not exactly a food truck, but I don’t think Off the Grid is solely dedicated to food trucks anyway.
Lechon, because someone was feeling homesick! This, along with Señor Sisig by the entrance (seen in one of the first photos), was a big hit! Perhaps there’s a market for more Filipino food here?
After some savory lechon goodness, I needed something sweet. We found a truck that sold French food, which included some good ol’ macarons! Yummm.
By the time Kiks’s friends arrived, Fort Mason was filled with people! I’m guessing this is the post-work crowd?
I enjoy the idea that this place isn’t just for us twenty-somethings; entire families came to enjoy the good food!
Kiks couldn’t help himself and got a giant cone of cotton candy! I had totally forgotten the name of the truck we got it from, but they offer different flavors—from strawberry to piña colada—and even toppings on your cotton candy! What a fun spin on a classic sweet!
What resembles a Filipino dirty ice cream cart was actually for…beer!
Our last orders for the day come from Koja Kitchen, which served up Asian fusion or something to that effect.
Kiks had seen one of his friends eating a rice burger, asked where he got it, and went for one.
I, on the other hand, love all things sweet, and my focus immediately went to this sitting in the fridge—what they call a “mochimisu”. That’s right, it’s a tiramisu where instead of lady fingers, they use mochi! I COULD EAT THIS ALL DAY! At first I didn’t know what this was called (I just knew I had to have some), ordered, and took a bite. It was tiramisu, but something was different. It was the mochi! Mmm. Mochi.
After a while, as it was getting dark, and while the place looked spectacular with the lights on, Kiks and I felt it was time to go home.
Off the Grid was definitely something I’m glad we were able to check out. According to their website, “Off the Grid is your roaming food extravaganza”, changing locations every now and then. I kind of wish Mercato roamed Metro Manila!
It’s no secret we’re lovers of everything Japanese. Tonkatsu, or katsu for short, is a fried Japanese dish usually consisting of pork. In this video Jay, the owner of JapaCurry, shows us how to make Pork or Chicken Katsu.
Pork/Chicken Katsu 4 servings
Ingredients: ½ cup of flour 1 egg 1 cup of Japanese panko 4 boneless chicken thighs or boneless pork chops Vegetable oil Salt & pepper
Directions: 1. Tenderize the pork or thin the chicken with a knife for even cooking. 2. Season them with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Dip each cutlet into the flour, then the beaten egg, and finally dredge in panko crumbs generously and evenly. 4. Heat a pan with the oil over medium heat. Add the cutlets one at a time and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness. If the temperature is too low, it will become soggy and if the temperature is too high, it will burn. If you have a deep fryer, set it to 325 degrees. Transfer the cutlets to a cooling rack and let it rest for a couple of minutes. 5. Enjoy your pork or chicken katsu! Listen for that amazing crunch when you slice into it.
Jay likes his katsu with tonkatsu sauce (a Japanese worcestershire type sauce).
Katsu is served at JapaCurry over rice and curry. It is an easy recipe but very versatile and can be served many ways. When we made the recipe ourselves, we decided to make a chicken katsu burger with shredded cabbage, hot mustard, and tonkatsu sauce in a toasted brioche bun. Delicious!
Chicken Katsu Burger Makes 1 sandwich
Ingredients: Cabbage Hot mustard Mayo Tonkatsu sauce Brioche
Directions: 1. Shred the cabbage. Slice the brioche in half and toast both sides. 2. Spread a thin layer of mustard on one side of the bread and a thicker layer of mayo on the other side. 3. Place chicken katsu in sandwich and top with cabbage. Add tonkatsu sauce to taste. Eat right away!
Adam with his wonderful creation, “The Adam Bomb.” It’s a chef’s choice sandwich featuring whatever Adam feels like that day. This one has got spam, bacon, pulled pork, fried eggs, cheese, and a dino nugget to top off the delicious madness. Full story to come!
Romeo and Juliet. Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Bonnie and Clyde. Is any love story more perfect than of that between buttery, toasted bread and melted cheese? Brian Aflague of Melts My Heart in San Francisco certainly doesn’t think so and neither do the people lining up for the latest grilled cheese creation or tried-and-true favorites. With such playfully named sandwiches as HAMsome Gentleman and Love Birds, you can tell Brian and his team get it. That whatever magic happens when bread, butter, and cheese hit a hot grill, it’s enough to inspire devotion.
Brian’s own love of grilled cheese started in his grandfather’s kitchen. A visit to a popular grilled cheese truck in Southern California, and a little market research, convinced him his was a universal love. “It’s such an easy concept: bread, butter, and cheese,” Brian explains. “But what’s great about it is it has so much stretch, so much range and versatility. There’s so much you can do with it.”
Melts My Heart has a menu to back that up. They started out with six different takes on the classic grilled cheese and have since added a new sandwich every month. They currently boast a list of twelve with more on the horizon. For seafood lovers there are crab, and even salmon, melts. There are the crowd-pleasers like the Pizza My Melt (marinara sauce, premium pepperoni, provolone or pepper jack cheese and garlic spread on sourdough) and the Love Bird (a can’t-miss combination of turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, and swiss on Texas Toast), but if you really want something original try the I Love Bacon. With bacon, shiitake mushrooms, swiss cheese, three kinds of sauteed onion, garlic, and jalapenos, it features crunch, heat, and lots of flavor.
When asked for two words that could best describe his food truck, Brian replied, “Fun and yummy.” We think he nailed it.
Head over to Melts My Heart to check out where Brian and his amazing crew will be grilling next!
Written by Terri Phillips
Right: “Love Birds” - Turkey, Bacon, Avocado.
“Lunch Date” - Pastrami, Sauerkraut, on Rye Bread.
Right: “Pizza My Melt” - Pepperoni, Provolone, on Garlic Bread.
L to R: Mary Simkin, Wes Isip, Brian Aflague, Jesus Chaidez, Bobby Ogaz