The start of spring means a shift toward warmer weather and flowers blooming, and while we’re not quite done with storms yet, the rain should clear up on Friday, just in time for another springtime tradition: the launch of Off the Grid’s 13th season at Fort Mason. There will be, of course, a mix of new and returning food trucks for the Friday night series, along with cocktail and wine bars, live music, and DJs, plus a new reason to be excited about eating and drinking at the weekly event. This year, Off the Grid is re-introducing pop-ups into the fold — for the first time since 2019 — with a standout Pop Up Project section meant to highlight 12 pop-ups from around the Bay Area at each event, including Edith’s Pie, Junk Mail Musubi, Bolita, Rocky Island Oyster Co., and Fish & Bonez, among others.
It’s been a rough couple of years for the food truck-centric event, which saw the 2020 season canceled due to COVID followed by 2021, when Off the Grid took the year off — but 2022 saw the group come roaring back with a number of events throughout the city. “Coming back this year, we wanted to really put a lot of oomph behind it, and intention,” Lex Scala, president of Off the Grid, says. “And that’s where the Pop Up Project came from.”
Scala and her team found a number of pop-ups throughout the Bay Area for the new section, and she’s excited they’ve made more connections with food makers outside San Francisco to bring them to Fort Mason. Junk Mail Musubi will bring its over-the-top Spam musubis topped with ingredients like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos; Edith’s Pie, which is in the midst of finishing its permanent location in Oakland, will serve a selection of sweet and savory pies; Eko Kitchen will showcase chef Simileoluwa Adebajo’s Nigerian cuisine; Street Stix will serve Asian street food like lumpia and shrimp balls; meanwhile, Fish & Bonez will serve their tacos and Cali Mex dishes.
Scala was also excited to point out the new addition of oysters to Off the Grid with the arrival of Richmond’s Rocky Island Oyster Co., who will also have caviar on hand in case any groups feel like splurging on an indulgent add-on. Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Bar will also be on hand with some refreshments, including a canned Chardonnay that will be exclusive to Off the Grid — “I can’t wait to pair those two together,” Scala says.
The pop-up initiative is just another way for Off the Grid to bring a variety of different cuisines and chefs together and showcase their food to a new crowd. After 13 seasons of Off the Grid, Scala has been proud to watch chefs build their food truck businesses over the years, whether that be by expanding their fleet or moving into permanent restaurants across the Bay Area. Now it’s time to include a new class of pop-ups for attendees to enjoy. “At the end of the day,” Scala says, “our mission is about finding the best of the best, creating exceptional events, and being able to be part of these creators’ journey and watching them grow.”
Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center (2 Marina Boulevard) will debut on Friday, March 24, from 5 to 10 p.m. The season will continue every Friday until June 23.
Update: March 24th, 2022, 8:05 a.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that La Cocina is not part of the Pop Up Project and that 12 pop-ups will be featured at each market.