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Mobile Gourmets Find A Home

Food trucks are expanding in Larkspur with their return to the ferry terminal Tuesday. The trucks will serve commuters weekdays. Meanwhile, Off The Grid trucks are a hit every Sunday at Marin Country Mart.

Tired and hungry after a long day at work in San Francisco? Find salvation as you step off the boat at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. The food trucks that were so popular last year are back at the ferry terminal at Larkspur Landing, starting at 4 p.m. today.

This year, there will be up to three food trucks at the terminal Monday through Friday, year-round. On days with greater ferry ridership for major events at AT&T Park, there could be more trucks, district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

The trucks are affiliated with Mobile Gourmet, which also operates similar gatherings in the East Bay.

On the heels of the success of the Food Truck Crush at the ferry terminal last year, Marin Country Mart brought in the Off The Grid trucks. Off The Grid's international taste selections have struck a chord with Marin patrons looking for a different lunch option every Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"The concept was just to take the model we had in San Francisco and bring it out to Marin for a different demographic. We bring a wider spectrum of food trucks here," said Off The Grid's Joe Staley. "Our expectation was that people would like it and experience a wider selection of food.

"It seems like everyone's happy, especially on sunny days. We get a lot of families and their kids and we have some music."

The food trucks at the ferry terminal are clearly visible from across Sir Francis Drake, where Off The Grid sets up in Marin Country Mart's back parking lot. Staley doesn't see the Mobile Gourmet trucks as competition, though.

"I think mostly across the street it's for commuters going to and from the City," Staley said. "As long as people see the trucks, they'll think of us."

Curry Up Now! is one of the food trucks that will be doing business on both sides of the street.

"Growing up as a kid in Sonoma county all I saw was Mexican food trucks. Now, it's expanded, with so many food fusions," said Josh Yazzie after serving up lunch from the Indian-inspired kitchen in his truck.

"This spot right here (at Marin Country Mart) is pretty good for business. These trucks are busy from 11 to 3 every Sunday," Yazzie said. "People are really into this. … It's picking up every Sunday."

Curry Up Now! is part of a rotating roster of trucks at the ferry terminal and will make its first appearance of the year there on Thursday. Today's selection includes Rib Whip, 3-Sum Eats and An the Go. Those with a sweet tooth will find Suzie Q's Lunchbox and Sift Cupcakes on Wednesday.

"The whole premise of bringing in the food trucks originally was to offer added value to our customers," Currie said. "We also wanted to slow them down. It's been an issue for many years where people are running from the ferry and dodging traffic in the parking lot. We hope they'll slow down, enjoy some food and listen to the music. That seemed to work last year."

Another aim of the expanded food truck offering is to promote ferry ridership to potential customers who may not be familiar with the ferry service to Giants baseball and Cal football games at AT&T Park, district officials said.

Currie said the pilot program had succeeded in those goals, as the trucks were instantly popular and customer feedback was positive.

— Bay City News Service and Patch staff contributed to this report.


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