Going Off the Grid in Concord


Gustavo Vasquez

The Off The Grid sign marks the entrance to a variety of stationed food trucks in the Willows Shopping Center in Concord. The variety of different trucks are available from 11:00 s.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tyler Elmore, Online editor

Off The Grid is off the chain.

The food truck phenomenon – which was created in 2010 – and based in San Francisco near Fort Mason, is now available in Concord, by the Willows Shopping Center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

This increasingly popular event offers a variety of different food trucks, in a vast array of cuisines such as fusion and traditional styles. The prices range from $3 to $15, which is ideal for a starving college student on a budget.

At Off the Grid, food trucks are ever revolving. It could be that your favorite truck might be there one Saturday and not on the next. But that is all the more reason to try new food and be adventurous.

The venue is clean and well kept, also offering seating and tables for the crowd to enjoy.

My personal favorite, The Chairman Truck,  serves their version of a Chinese Gua Bao bun sandwich. They will be opening a brick and mortar restaurant in the Tenderloin/Civic Center area in San Francisco in the coming months, but until then, The Chairman Truck will serve in it’s place.

The sandwich contains a simple meat, and a vegetable sauce, built up on top of either a toasted or steamed bun. This truck is also vegetarian friendly – their crispy miso cured tofu bun is killer. It has baby choy sum, which to me is a little similar to a coleslaw, and garlic tofu-mayo. The other bun that I had is the spicy chicken with toasted sesame purée, with pickled carrots cucumber and carrots to top it off.

The flavors all blend together very nicely and the kick you get from the glaze on the chicken really bring the entire thing together. I ordered both of mine steamed because in my opinion it tastes better that way, plus it is faster and half the price of the baked bun. With a line that usually zigzags throughout the venue, Chairman is definitely one truck you have to try.

Along with The Chairman truck, some of the frequent attendees at Off the Grid are Seoul on Wheels (Korean Fusion), The Melt (American cheese), and Señor Sisig (Mexican-Filipino fusion). Another popular truck is the Koja Kitchen truck which is a Japanese-Korean fusion truck that just recently opened up a brick and mortar on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. They serve Korean barbeque with Japanese seasoned vegetables and some other common ingredients within both cultures. They serve things like the chicken and pineapple burger, and Kamikaze fries, which I would assumed are named so because they send you spiraling downward in a wonderful food coma. The line can tend to be a little long, but this truck is also well worth the wait.

The feel of the event is very casual and relaxed and the customer service offered is both cordial and friendly. I visited towards the end of the event and there were a lot less people waiting for food, so I got my food relatively quickly. I recommend going after one o’clock.

Though parking may be challenging at times, especially during peak retail hours, this event is well worth the hassle.

 You can check Off the Grid’s website to see which trucks will be at the Concord location every week.