Taco
A taco from El Grullense Jal 5 in Santa Nella.

Place: El Grullense Jal 5

Category: Road Food, Mexican, Tacos

Website: https://www.instagram.com/elgrullensejal5/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-grullense-jal-santa-nella-2

Location: 12185 S. Hwy 33, Santa Nella, Ca 95322 

Date of visit: 2021 April 10

When I finally got about an hour and half from home on my cross-country road trip, I was getting really hungry. Santa Nella Village (at least the part by I-5) is a bunch of truck stops, gas stations, fast food places, and a Pea Soup Andersen’s. I would have gone to Andersen’s as it is on my hit list, but I was getting tired and it was almost closing time for the restaurant. Instead of a fast-food chain, I decided to check out a taco truck. It seems every gas station in this oasis off of exit 407, if not connected to a fast-food place, has a taco truck in the parking lot. I mostly randomly choose this one but the Arco gas was the cheapest in the area so that was the deciding factor. I have since been to another taco truck off this exit so there will be a post for that one. Spoiler alert: both were delicious!  

taco truck
El Grullense Jal 5 taco truck at night in Santa Nella.

I noticed this truck has a #5 on it. I am not sure if that means there are more trucks by the same owners or if this is the fifth version of this owner’s truck. An internet search finds other places (both trucks and buildings) with the same name so I think there might be a relationship but what the relationship is, is unclear to me. Regardless, El Grullense Jal is definitely not a huge multi-national corporation so good enough to make it to Ed’s Eats!

I decide to purchase one taco and one burrito. Both were amazing. Like most of these taco trucks they offer various meats and the two I had, carne asada and al pastor, were both perfectly cooked and seasoned. The toppings and condiments that came with the food were also tasty and the prices were good.

Burrito
A burrito from El Grullense Jal 5 inn Santa Nella.

One thing I liked about this taco truck is that they had some picnic tables under a tent. Since I stopped by at night the tent wasn’t important this time but during the day Santa Nella can get hot. The last time I drove through there during the day it was about 105 degrees! A lot of taco trucks have no seating so this is definitely a plus and I will be stopping at El Grullense Jal 5 again! You should too if you want tasty Mexican food and you are in the area.

Pulled pork sandwich from Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand
A delicious pulled pork sandwich from Blazin’ Bayou BBQ stand at the Marina Farmers’ Market.

Place: Blazin’ Bayou BBQ

Category: Barbeque

Website: http://www.blazinbayoubbq.com/

Yelp: N/A

Location: Mobile (My visit was at the Marina Sunday Farmers’ Market, 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA 93933)

Date of visit: 2021 March 7

On Sunday, March 7, 2021 I headed to the Marina Certified Farmers’ Market https://www.everyonesharvest.org/marina-certified-farmers-market/  that is held every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA. I didn’t go in search of a farmer or even produce (although I did pick up some vegetables) but I came in search of southern-style barbeque. The reason why I headed to the farmers’ market for barbeque was that Haley left a comment on a previous Ed’s Eats post that recommended it.

Before going on to the part about Blazin’ Bayou BBQ, a quick word on the Farmers’ Market. It was pretty small and there were only three actual farm stands. I assume they get a few more farmers in-season. The ones that were there though had a nice assortment of produce including some things you don’t find in a typical supermarket. ’I didn’t see any fresh meats for sale. There were a number of craft vendors and an assortment of food vendors including a taco truck, a sushi truck, kettle corn, and others food vendors. It probably isn’t worth the ride from a distance if you are just going there for vegetables but if you are in the area it is worth a quick stop.

Blazin’ Bayou BBQ specializes in southern-style BBQ. They had smoked pulled pork, smoked brisket,  smoked ribs, and Louisiana Hot Links on the menu. They also had a crawfish boil special (at least I think it was a boil, I didn’t the special on camera so I may be wrong but I know it was crawfish because I almost got that instead of my sandwich because I haven’t had crawfish since moving away from Alabama).

Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand
Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand at the Marina Farmer’s Market.

 

Although all of the menu items were tempting, I decided to go with the pulled pork sandwich which is probably what I get most of the time when it is available from a BBQ place. The brisket really looked good though! The pulled pork was delicious. I’d say it was in the top 10% of pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had and I’ve been to a bunch of BBQ places. It was definitely the best pulled pork I’ve had in California. It was tender and flavorful. Blazin’ Bayou BBQ put a large amount of meat on their sandwiches which is nice but the sandwiches are not inexpensive. I think it was either twelve or thirteen dollars for the sandwich. The amount of meat made it worth it, but as I said it is not a cheap sandwich. As far as service goes, the staff were friendly and made my sandwich right away so no complaints there.

Overall, I was quite pleased and I will definitely get food from them again. Besides the Sunday farmers’ market in Marina according to the website, as of this writing, Blazin’ Bayou BBQ also goes to Moss Landing near Power Plant Coffee on the weekends. However, as with all mobile food vendors, it is always good to check with them to be sure before driving there. Thanks for the recommendation Haley!

Place: La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn food truck

Category: Food Truck

Website: https://www.facebook.com/La-Papa-Baked-Potatoes-Roasted-Corn-106680274139511/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-papa-baked-potatoes-and-roasted-corn-salinas

Location: Mobile, Sand City, CA 93955

Date of visit: 2021 March 3

 

Post No Bills
Post No Bills craft beer house at night.

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 I went to Post No Bills Craft Beer House in Sand City but this is not a review of the best beer bar in the area. If you haven’t been to Post No Bills and you like beer, you should check it out. They have a nice selection of beer on tap (including almost always a quality German beer) and a good bottle selection. They also usually have a cider on tap if you are gluten free. While they do not sell hard liquor, I believe they also have wine.

Before the pandemic Post No Bills would often, but not always, have a food truck parked out front because they don’t have a kitchen. You could also bring your own food. However, with the current restrictions requiring them to sell food if they want to be open for anything besides to-go, they need to have a food truck in order to serve beer for the patio. One thing that is nice is they have a variety of food trucks and not the same one every day. I don’t think any of them have been bad, but of course it always depends what kind of mood you are in which ones are better.

On this day, they had a new-to-them food truck: La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn. I have never had food from this food truck elsewhere so I decided to give it a try: after all I am a big fan of baked potatoes. I should state for the record, this food truck was not an actual truck, but an oven on a trailer and a tent but I consider any mobile food option that is not a hot dog cart a food truck for purposes of Ed’s Eats.

Baked potato
A baked potato from La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn.

I got the standard potato which comes with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, spring onion, and pickled jalapenos. I got mine without sour cream for the simple reason that I do not like sour cream. The potato itself was perfectly done. I expected a really good potato because you can’t expect to make any money with a baked potato food truck if you can’t make a good baked potato. However it exceed expectations. It was almost creamy inside. I am not sure what their trick is but if you like baked potatoes you will enjoy it.

The toppings were tasty and they put a good amount of them on the potato. They also offer meat on top of the potatoes for an added price. I believe they had both asada (beef) and carnitas (pork). I think if you are hungry you should go with one of these. While I didn’t try either, they looked good and of course, would be more filling than the regular offering. I didn’t try the corn so I can’t comment on that but I heard the roasted corn was also very good.

Service was quick and friendly and I’d say the price was fair: maybe not a bargain but definitely reasonable for what they offered. I think next time I partake one of La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn’s offerings I’ll try one with meat on it because as I mentioned above they looked really good. As I said above, definitely check them out if like baked potatoes.

Bella Bee Food Truck
Bella Bee Food Truck

Place: Bella Bee Coffee Truck

Category: Food Truck, coffee

Website: https://www.bellabeecoffee.com/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bella-bee-coffee-seaside

Location: Mobile, Monterey, CA 93940

Date of visit: 2021 March 2

On Tuesday, March 2, 2021 I tried the Bella Bee Coffee food truck for the first time. I have been following them on Facebook since I decided to start Ed’s Eats and they often post photos of homemade baked goods that look amazing so I was looking forward to trying them but the timing didn’t work out until now.

Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf
Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf from Bella Bee Coffee.

The special the day when I went was Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf. They also had an Orange Blossom Latte drink special. As people who know me would guess, I went with a regular coffee instead of  a fancy latte but I was talking to someone waiting for their drink and they told me the special drinks are always delicious. My coffee was really good. The Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf was good as well. You can tell the person who baked it was a talented baker. It probably wasn’t my favorite choice for a baked good just based on my general taste (and nothing to do with the preparation). However I still very much enjoyed it.

I would definitely get food and coffee from Bella Bee Coffee again. I will keep on following them on Facebook and if they have a fresh baked treat that seems like something I enjoy I will hop in my car and drive to their truck. Because Bella Bee Coffee is a food truck, they change locations but typically, at least as I write this, they spend an hour or so on Cass Street in Monterey and an hour in Ryan Ranch outside of Monterey Spine and Joint but check on their website or Facebook page to find their current times and locations before going.