From BBQ to crepes, food trucks are a driving force

From BBQ to crepes, food trucks are a driving force

From BBQ to crepes, food trucks are a driving force
Daniel Gomez brings his gourmet wood-fired pizzas to the Thursday concerts at Todos Santos Plaza. (Richard Eber photo)

Richard Eber, Taste and TellCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (June 21, 2023) — CoCo Farms, a Concord cannabis retailer, sponsors a food truck each Friday between 3 and 7 p.m. On this day, owner/chef Jenn Jimenez from La Fritanguera is serving a plate of her delicious saffron chicken resting upon a large mound of black bean dirty rice.

CoCo Farms offers a discount coupon with each purchase for clients to enjoy a hearty meal. Such gourmet fare is a far cry from days gone by – when the basic food groups for marijuana smokers were peanut butter, potato chips and Oreos.

In the last decade, food trucks have found their way to businesses, crafts fairs, farmers markets, outdoor music concerts and assorted special events. They move around from community to community to avoid interfering with the regular trade of local restaurants.

In Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and various locales this summer, food lovers can find many of their favorite dishes – from tacos to funnel cakes. Most of the providers come from nearby restaurants and caterers. All must comply with county health regulations.

Music and Market

Visitors to Concord’s free concert series at Todos Santos Park can sample from a wide array of food trucks each Thursday evening until the end of September.

A good place to start is barbecue from The Oasis, residing at 3420 Stanwell Dr. for 20 years. Chef/owner Mike Parham serves a variety of charcoal-cooked delights, including ribs, chicken and his signature smoked turkey legs. His menu, which features Southern-style peach cobbler, rivals anything served at local eateries.

For even more outdoor cooking choices, Concord-based Chilly Willy’s BBQ offers brisket, ball tip and mac and cheese.

For more exotic dishes, Biryani Rice, based at 1044 Shary Circle in Concord, serves up gourmet Pakistani/Indian cuisine. The spicy chicken tikka masala and curry dishes are a welcome addition to the Todos Santos concert scene. I especially enjoyed the biryani rice, which compares well with what is served at nearby Naan n Curry and The Himalayan.

For more traditional Mediterranean cuisine, California Culinary Academy graduate Chef Daniel Gomez from Suisun operates Taste of Tuscany mobile pizzeria. An oven fueled by almond, oak and walnut branches enhances the unique taste of his finished product. With high-quality cheeses and meats, the results are far superior to anything I have had at local franchise places.

Gomez says his two most popular pizzas are the Margherita and meat lovers. I look forward to trying additional selections at future concerts.

Sweet treats

When it comes to fulfilling my sweet tooth cravings, a favorite comes dispatched from La Crepe A Moi Restaurant in Berkeley. They feature a Farmers Crepe, preparing the thin, 16-inch pancake onsite. It consists of a layer of Nutella covered with a large portion of fresh sliced strawberries and bananas. It’s all folded together, with fresh whipped cream served on top. This makes a meal in itself.

La Crepe A Moi also has La Parisienne (ham and cheese) and vegetarian crepes along with several concoctions not often associated with fair-style dining.

Any article about food trucks would be remiss without mentioning junk food. The churro stand always has a crowd waiting in line to purchase this Mexican delicacy. There is also Holey Donuts from Brentwood, which make this gourmet treat onsite. If all fails, addictive kettle corn will solve most munchy concerns.

It is relatively easy to find mobile dining every day of the week. One popular destination is Off the Grid food trucks in downtown Pleasant Hill from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays from now until almost Halloween. Families can enjoy music in a festive environment, with high quality-affordable selections including draft beers.

The thought of partaking in lobster rolls once again makes me grateful food trucks bring so much diversity into our lives.

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Rich Eber
Rich Eber

Rich Eber is a local journalist and long time resident of Concord.  His diverse topics covered go from politics to gourmet food.  He can be reached at