Friday, July 29, 2011

Bacon Bacon, Nom Nom Truck and Brass Knuckle Put on a Show at Upper Haight

There was a surge in crowds Thursday night at the Haight Street Off the Grid as many people flocked to witness the prime time debut of Bacon Bacon and the first Northern California appearance of Nom Nom Truck. And if those two events weren't excitement enough, Food Network Canada's own Eat St. was filming a segment on Brass Knuckle for the show's second season. Even though we arrived before six o'clock (early for us) the lines were already longer than usual, and by the time I left the wait times must have been easily over a half hour just to order, especially at the two debuts.

It's really hard to say what the highlight of the evening was because, really, all three events had something special to offer. It's always exciting when a new food truck debuts, and today there were two!

I hadn't had the chance to try L.A.'s Nom Nom Truck until tonight, but I am certainly no stranger to their story or their hype. Though friends and co-owners Jennifer Green and Misa Chien were already quite successful around their native SoCal, their real claim to fame came after being a contestant on the Food Network show "The Great Food Truck Race." They specialize in Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, and their bright green truck stands out for its cute happy monster logo. I braved the longish line to grab a Grilled Pork Banh Mi, and I was so in love that for the first time ever, I went back for a second one! I wasn't even hungry; I just had to have another. Unfortunately, by that time the line had stretched past three neighboring trucks, and I decided to wait until tomorrow's FiDi lunchtime service for my second banh mi fix.

Situated way in the back was the other debut of the night, Bacon Bacon, making their first dinner appearance. This also marked the introduction of their new dual line system designed to cut down on the wait times which have garnered some criticism during the first week of lunch service. I am not sure even the dual lines could have made an impact with their fans, as they too had crazy long lines, at least for the full service. I queued up in the quick service line to grab a Chocolate Dipped Bacon with Toffee, and I had to plow my way through of guests anxiously waiting for their order to be called. But no one seemed especially unhappy, and like at their soft launch almost three weeks ago, owner Jim Angelus was taking orders and chatting up customers. I wanted to try the Bouquet (yes, I know it's just bacon), but instead I settled for the dessert. Long wait times or not, I love these guys and can't wait to try more of their baconlicious food!

And if the two truck debuts weren't enough to draw what seemed like double crowds, the TV show Eat St. was filming a segment on Brass Knuckle. When I arrived at Off the Grid I queued up in that line to get my son a Snoop Dog and was approached by the crew to ask if they could film us eating the bacon-wrapped hot dog. Sure I am a food lover, but first and foremost I am a Mom and thought it would be cute if he made it on TV stuffing his face! They asked me a few questions as well, but the shining star of that segment was really my three year-old, who is far more interesting than me! The film crew was very welcoming, and many Brass Knuckle patrons were captured on camera for a chance at an appearance on Season 2 of the popular show.

When all was said and done, Brian, our son and I shared a Snoop Dog and Fryin' Maiden from Brass Knuckle, a Grilled Pork Banh Mi from Nom Nom Truck, a Chocolate Dipped Bacon from Bacon Bacon and a Red Velvet Cupcake from Cupkates. I would call that a successful night of eating! When we left the lines hadn't dissipated at all, so I would say it was a successful night for the vendors as well.

Were you there, too? Share your thoughts and pictures in the comments section!

Off the Grid (@sfcarts)
Nom Nom Truck (@nomnomtrucksf)
Bacon Bacon (@baconbaconsf)
Brass Knuckle (@brassknucklesf)
Eat St. (@eatsttweet)

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