It was another weekend of food truck dining for me when I went to the Battledish: Beta Tasting event in San Mateo yesterday.

“Battledish” is a new event from the people behind Dishcrawl, a foodie night out dining at mystery restaurants in one neighborhood. Battledish, as far as I can determine, is a battle over the month of October where chefs and cooks alike compete in a day in cities around the country and win titles for five categories: Most Delicious, Most Creative, Most Authentic, Best Modern and Best Cocktail.

The San Mateo event was dubbed a “beta tasting” and instead of James Beard Award-winning chefs, the battle was among chefs from 15 Bay Area food trucks. The trucks were parked in a closed street in Bay Meadows, a planned community.

After a couple of windy days in Oakland, I was ready for some warm weather, and it was definitely summery yesterday in San Mateo, with temperatures in the mid-80s. And it was fun checking out some new food trucks, which offered up its competition dishes for $5 each.

Lots of people were buzzing about the tamales from Tina Tamales.

Lots of people were buzzing about the tamales from Tina Tamales.

These were my top three dishes:

  1. Lobster taco from We2Sushi. This really pink truck had the longest line all day, and it was probably because of its lobster taco — few chunks of lobsters in a lobster salad with avocado-lime cream with tobiko and kaiware with salted cucumber, all on a fried tortilla chip. (The BBQ albacore tacos also looked delectable.)
  2. Pork pibil tamale with achiote sauce from Tina Tamale. Tina Tamale makes the rounds in Oakland, but this was my first time trying her tamales. I should have eaten them earlier. Nice, tender cornmeal with tasty pork and a wonderful achiote sauce that screams Mexico.
  3. Dynamo Donuts Sandwich from Frozen Kuhsterd. I’ve been a fan of the Frozen Kuhsterd truck and its frozen custard since I tried it the first time last year at Eat Real in Oakland. And now they’ve taken their custard another level with sundae-type creations like this ice cream sandwich using a mini maple bacon donut from the popular Mission doughnut makers Dynamo Donuts with Frozen Kuhsterd’s Blue Bottle Coffee flavored frozen custard and drizzled with burnt caramel.

I tried a few other dishes that were also satisfying and some that weren’t. Not sure who went home with the titles, but there were a lot of worthy entries on a beautiful Indian Summer day.

The Beta Tasting took place out on a closed street of the planned community Bay Meadows in San Mateo.

The Beta Tasting took place out on a closed street of the planned community Bay Meadows in San Mateo.

Lobster tacos from We2Sushi was presented like a restaurant dish.

Lobster tacos from We2Sushi was presented like a restaurant dish.

People lining up for meatballs.

People lining up for meatballs.

I got the meatball slider with arugula salad. The meatball had a nice texture and a great tomato sauce.

I got the meatball slider with arugula salad. The meatball had a nice texture and a great tomato sauce.

This pork belly slider was served with mango salsa. I was disappointed with the slide of pork belly, which was tough with a large layer of fat. (Even the fat was rubbery.)

This pork belly slider was served with mango salsa. I was disappointed with the slice of pork belly, which was tough with a large layer of fat. (Even the fat was rubbery.)

A dish waiting for pick up

A dish waiting for pick up

This is a small order of pork adobo with mango salad from Soulese. The pork was tender (needed more vinegar) but the rice was on the dry side.

This is a small order of pork adobo with mango salad from Soulese. The pork was tender (needed more vinegar) but the rice was on the dry side.

I loved this Dynamo Donut Sandwich with Blue Bottle coffee flavored frozen custard from Frozen Kuhsterd.

I loved this Dynamo Donut Sandwich with Blue Bottle coffee flavored frozen custard from Frozen Kuhsterd.

Since Bay Meadows is still under construction, there were no trees. So these umbrellas were the saving grace against the warm San Mateo day.

Since Bay Meadows is still under construction, there were no trees. So these umbrellas were the saving grace against the warm San Mateo day.

5 Responses to Inaugural ‘Battledish: Beta Tasting’ in San Mateo’s Bay Meadows

  1. Shikha says:

    That ice cream sandwich looks ridiculous. I think they come to SOME StrEAT food park too!

  2. Tara says:

    Wow, I don’t think I have seen such a delicious selection of food in a long time. I can really go for a meatball slider appetizer, tamale for my main course and Dynamo donut for desert!

    You always find such cool events to go to. I will have to look into Battledish!

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    I’d eat any creation involving a Dynamo Donut! LOL You should have had TWO donuts and skipped the tough pork belly. 😉

    • Ben Ben says:

      If only I ate the dynamo sandwich before the pork belly, then I would have known. But it was the other way around, trying to stick with dessert after pork belly. LOL