Mama Cass starts offering up the inventive concoction owner Cass Pham Thacher has coined a "Vietnamese slider." Carving her niche in the street food scene, Thacher will start slinging her sliders from her minimally-adorned grey and white truck this Friday, when she will be officially launching in Mission Bay.
Mama Cass, not to be confused with the iconic Cass Elliot of the 1960's group The Mamas & the Papas, was founded by San Francisco resident Thacher after she spent several years working in both high tech and helping husband Sam open Modern Dentistry. She was inspired both by her love of Vietnamese food as well as her preference for non-Asian food cooked, "the Asian way."
Her current menu consists of three sliders. The Meatball Slider is savory and sweet pork, topped with baby spinach and finished with sriracha mayo. The Chicken Slider combines caramelized chicken with avocado and sriracha mayo, and the Beef Slider is Vietnamese marinated shaking beef with caramelized red onions and a horseradish "tiger" sauce. This targeted menu is intentional and has grown organically from Thacher's own food preferences. She has been refining these recipes from ones she makes at home for her Caucasian husband and three children.
"For me it was a natural concept," Thacher said.
"This is a nice compromise," Thacher said of the sliders. "I can get my Asian savory flavors, and he can get something he can hold in his hands."
Thacher makes all of her own sauces and marinades, and she has been experimenting with different variations to see what works best with the bun. She said that she began with a pulled pork, which she called Vietnamese comfort food, but that in the bun it didn't taste the way she wanted it to. So she then began playing with flavors that that she knew, eventually settling on the ones that worked best in the slider version.
She said she will see what works best once the truck is up and running, so don't be surprised to find an innovative special or two. "I want to make sure I am serving something I am proud of," Thacher said.
Starting this Friday, the Mama Cass truck will be parked in its permitted location at 401 Mission Bay, purposely chosen for Thacher's short commute time and, according to her, to keep things "local to where I am." She eventually plans to expand to other locations, but for now will concentrate on this up and coming area.
Mama Cass (@gomamacass)
All photos are courtesy of Mama Cass.