O Street Truck
Yay! More food trucks in Santa Barbara!
I know our food and food truck scene is totally podunk compared to Portland and Los Angeles, but that’s okay, it’s not a big town plus I know we have a zillion restrictions and guidelines that make these kind of small start-ups difficult.
O Street appears to have been in business for about two weeks now, and I got some feedback from a friend here and there that managed to get to the truck before I did. They gave a thumbs up. And I visited the truck recently on one of its Goleta days.
It was a gorgeous day in Santa Barbara (is it redundant to say that?), the truck’s brightly colored and difficult to miss. We also beat the rush.
The menu’s clearly posted outside, offering a simple range of bahn mi, Vietnamese flavored tacos, soup and salad, and drinks. The bahn mi is the most expensive item on the menu, but is still just $5.
I had a beef bahn mi first. It had a decent amount of flavorful meat, and a delightful portion of crunchy goodies like cucumber, carrot and cilantro, then was drizzled with a tangy sauce. I really liked that the baguette was slightly toasted and warm, giving it a light crispness when I first bit in. The filling in the sandwich was not as packed full like the photos on their website, but whose promo pictures are truly representative of the actual item in hand. Yeah, like nobody’s. They were fine, and need I point this out again? Just $5.
The bahn mi comes wrapped in paper and I suggest you use that paper. The juicy meat, the watery cucumber and the sauce all contribute to a drippy mess.
But that’s not as drippy as the tacos! Those don’t have any soft bread to soak up the good stuff. They are $2 for chicken taco and $2.50 for beef taco, I had one of each. They are essentially the same as the sandwich, but served on two small corn tortillas. The tortillas as spaced out slightly to hold the filling and fall apart quite quickly, so I recommend grabbing a fork from the truck to tuck in. Plus, more napkins.
There’s also little single serve pastry pizza available. I believe this is a carry-over specialty of the truck’s owner before she went into the food truck business. The crust is a flaky pastry, which can go from crisp and buttery to soft and oily quickly if you let the pizza sit around too long. There’s a red sauce and white version available, I had the white one with goat cheese and onions. $4. It’s good, but definitely more delicate. If you want the bigger bang for the buck or be full faster, the bahn mi is the way to go.
So I had one sandwich, two tacos and one pizza. It cost $13.50 and fed two. That’s a good deal.
Another thing that impressed me about O Street was its marketing. I automatically turn off of aggressive marketing that occurs before a business opens because it hypes up the business without any substance yet to back it up. And we all know that the theory of how a company first opens for business can be far different to its execution. O Street got close to borderline over-marketing with media articles before opening, but never quite crossed it. They were on twitter early talking up their launch, but it was more on a level of engagement rather than trumpeting without listening.
O Street also knows its audience. This is cheap eats, easy to grab and go, very tasty for someone with the munchies. It will be very good for a hungry crowd outside a club, but sensible enough for the daytime office types. Just grab lots of napkins so the tangy sauce doesn’t drip over your pressed shirt.