For the month of October only, Off the Grid has launched a “Picnic at Presidio” food truck event on Sundays at the Presidio Main Post Lawn. In addition to a few food trucks, there’s more than 20 food vendors from San Francisco’s culinary best such Stag Dining Group, Nopalito and Humphrey Slocombe, lawn games for rent such as boccee and ladder golf, and Bloody Mary’s and mimosas to order. Since October is the warmest month in San Francisco, and I’m walking distance to the Presidio, I’ve been dying to check out the weekly picnic. This past Sunday the stars finally aligned!
While the lines of tents with treats from San Francisco’s restaurants were appealing (and a bacon mochi almost stopped me in my tracks), I stayed faithful to my food truck love and headed to check out the truck line up.
To my excitement, Del Popolo was parked in the lot. Del Popolo is a San Francisco food truck I’ve read about in 7×7 and Inside Scoop SF and have been on the hunt for because it’s no ordinary mobile cuisine. Not only is the pizza slinger a former chef of one of San Francisco’s post popular, fancy Italian restaurant and pizzaria (flour + water in the Mission), but the truck is actually a converted 20-foot, 14-ton shipping container with a wall of glass windows that allow customers to peek in and see pizzas being shoveled in and out of the 5,000-pound, traditional Italian wood-fire pizza oven. (ALL of which cost the owner, Jon Darksy, a whopping $180,000. Holy expensive food truck, Batman).
For me, that all creates a truck and food preparation that is simply just freakin cool to look at – and worth waiting in the longest food truck line I’ve waited in, to date.
Del Popolo only sells their Neapolitan-style pizzas whole (no slices) in two combos - Margherita (mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil) and Bianca (mozzarella, ricotta, basil and garlic) and one rotating, seasonal pizza combo. This time, the seasonal offering was a pancetta pizza and since I’m the biggest fan of pig EVER, I was tempted, but decided to go with the good ole traditional margherita to have a good comparison of their pizza to what I’ve already tried.
Del Popolo’s pizzas are cooked for 60 seconds in the 800-degree wood-fire pizza and then lowered onto a rack where it’s piping hot and waiting for you as soon as you make it through the exhaustingly long line.
While I’m no expert on artisan pizza, I really enjoyed this pizza. There’s something so yummy about a simple Margherita recipe. The leopard spots from the wood fire burn make the pie look neat (but not taste burnt), the crust is perfectly chewy and evenly baked, and the tomato sauce was just salty enough and not sweet (I don’t like sweet tomato sauce). I could have used a tiny bit more cheese and basil, but it’s not a criticism of how good the final product was – so far, this is my favorite truck I’ve been to during 50 Food Truck Dates. I ate every piece and washed it down with a Mexican Coke – a pretty successful food truck meal and day at Off the Grid’s Picnic at Presidio!