by Alexander Quebec
On an muggy, overcast day which in NorCal means “yup, spring’s here” I made my way over to Fremont, CA to one of the first events of spring: Moveable Feast’s Noodles on Noodles Festival.
Arriving to the Town Fair Plaza, a former shopping center turned public space, the space was home to a host of food trucks, many popular and well-known but a few relatively new arrivals to the local food truck scene. It has a distinction of containing not one, but two landmarks to denote its location: The old sign from it’s shopping center days and a geodesic dome that resembles an old school jungle gym. Many cities around the country have been reinventing and reinvesting in public spaces for the locals to congregate and meet up to foster a sense of community that has been sorely lacking over the last few decades and long overdue for a swift comeback. Town Fair Plaza is just one example of such a place, bordered by shops and homes built around it (but the local housing market is a soapbox I won’t even try to step on right now).
I met my colleague Allen (IG: @riceandtravel) to take a few photos with me, as well as a few friends of mine.
The first truck my colleague and I hit up was the Momo Noodle Truck. He tried out the spicy noodles with peanuts (a no no for me, due to a peanut insensitivity sadly) and mentioned how spicy it was, even for him. It was missing some protein in it, and so he would probably order some meat in there next time. The bowl was, at the very least, enjoyable enough for him to take back home.
The Momo Truck, throughout the day, had the longest line I’ve ever seen. I actually timed it by observing this one person in the line (I was kinda sorta checking him out, tbh). He was in the line when I started tracking him at around 5 PM by 5:45, he was just getting to the front of the truck. If you’re going to try out the Momo Truck, do yourself a favor and get there as early as possible to secure your bowl.
While Allen was getting his noodles, I checked out the Banh Mi truck next door
Banhmizon. Seeing they had a pork belly option on the menu, I decided to give that a go, Oh my god, it was amazing: pork belly on pork belly on pork belly, oh, and it was the chewy but chock full of flavor kind. Granted, I was one of their first customers, so I’m not sure what the meat to other sandwich filling stuff was throughout the day, but if they were consistent with what I had, then pork belly fans need to give them a try next time.
We set up camp right across from the Hula Truck. I’ve actually had them before at Treasurefest SF a while back, and was
happy to see them back. For the noodles aspect of the festival, I ordered their Pancit Canton. As I am half Filipino, I gave this a bit of extra scrutiny, and it did not disappoint. Al dente noodles that are a bit greasy and with that rich salty-umami flavor of sauteed veggies and chicken, this was as close to getting it from your Tita who makes the bomb pancit.
Both of us also tried the Bay-Rito with Pork Belly. While the potatoes in it were a bit on the stale side towards the end of the burrito, the juicy and meaty pork belly more than made up for it. This was a guilty pleasure that should be taken with a side of your preferred heart and cholesterol medications.
FK Kustard is another staple at many local food truck events, even though they do have a physical brick and mortar in SF. The Napa Sundae and S’mores sundaes were on my list: The Napa Sundae is a gormand’s treat: Creamy frozen custard drizzled in caramel, sea salt and olive oil. For the uninitiated, this combination might seem a bit off, but the olive oil is so light, you can barely taste it, and with the sweet caramel and sea salt, the creamy/savory balance was just perfect.
There was a lot to do as well too: live music, cornhole set ups, playgrounds for the kids and so much more available. While I’m not a drinker myself, there were quite a few opportunities to try some craft brews in and around the festival itself. Everyone who paid for one got a small pint glass (kinda like ⅓ of a normal pint glass) to try a few samples of brews responsibly.
Overall, as the first festival of the spring season we’ve been to, it was a great start to the warmer weather and great food that’s about to come through in the coming months. Next time Moveable Feast rolls around with a festival, be sure to check them out.
Cover photo courtesy of Allen Lin