The street food trend is reaching a tipping point. This is a good thing - damn good thing. The more the merrier! I'm still waiting for a Thai food vendor. Sticky rice and mangos, noodle stall, Thai coffee - just like Bangkok.....I can't imagine a better cuisine to represent (I'm just handing out business ideas here people). Who's with me? Last week I stumbled on to Little Skillet [LINK], the latest venture from the folks at Farmer Browns. I say stumble because I had heard about the place and planned to visit, but never put two and two together until I was walking down Townsend for a business thing and looked down the alley to see a mob of people hanging out in an alley huddled over corn-based food boxes. After my meeting I came back. The setup is very cool - it feels out of place off of bustling Townsend street, but immediately you are transported into a soul food vacuum.
The menu is a simple extension of the Framer Brown's concept: soul food with a sustainable slant. They have chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, a bunch of po boys: pulled pork, creole shrimp, some salads and sides. The dudes in the window are hopping kicking out box after box with some attitude to boot. Bring it.
The pulled pork is great - a little greasy, a little spicy - tons of flavor. The fried chicken is good. Not the best in the city, but becomes transcendent paired with a good waffle (belgian style), some syrup and a little side of their sausage gravy. Ok, we're talking coronary, but acceptable for an infrequent treat, right? So why have I had it twice in a week?
What's more important here, and bound to be the subject of future posts, is that the street food era is upon us, in full force. Almost to the point where it's becoming prosaic. And I'm so completely on board. I love the idea of getting quality food from a stand, cart, window or stall. I'm a busy guy. I don't often have the desire or time to sit down for a long lunch, but damned if I'm gonna eat fast food. This trend allows for me to track down some serious eats in just about every neighborhood in town to grab a quick fix or to even feed my crew on a job site. It's a wonder it hasn't caught on sooner, since every other culture in the world has rocking street food.
Little Skillet is a welcomed entrant into the genre. In fact, they are a model for the simplicity in form and execution that keeps San Francisco on the cutting edge (mimicking concepts practiced universally around the world, of course!).