MIHO Gastrotruck serves local, handcrafted street food right here in San Diego. See what all the excitement is about:
The food truck phenom in SoCal is revving up its engines to serve at a curbside near you. Forget about our acceptance for mediocrity, or the “roach coach” of yesterday. Now, ethnic flavors flow from handmade food and all-natural drinks in mobile restaurants that rival what's set in stone.
L-R: Kevin Ho and Juan Miron, co-owners of MIHO Gastrotruck (MIHO is an acronym combining MIron and Ho)
are two entrepreneurs who expanded into the food truck industry with experience in Slow Food cuisine.
(Photo courtesy MIHO)
Two years ago, MIHO Gastrotruck began its gourmet food truck service with an eco-twist, serving sustainably-sourced and local foods with a passion for sharing the joy of real flavors. At that time, MIHO was joined by only one other green truck in San Diego. Today, more than 50 gourmet food trucks can be found along San Diego’s curbs, at tavern happy hours, and at foodie events. Several can boast a committed “farm-to-street” ethic.
Interior of MIHO Gastrotruck (Photo courtesy MIHO)
The MIHO Experience
I first checked online to see where MIHO's location du jour would be. They rotate among several hot spots and it's always a good idea to check first. This could become your favorite food on wheels, you know.
“We like to think of it as the MIHO experience,” says Juan Miron of MIHO Gastrotruck. “Which means you’ll get locally-sourced and handmade food. We want you to feel like you get away from the normal routine, get outdoors, and eat real food. And we want to make it affordable.”
My timing in arriving at the gastrotruck was perfect: the first arrival of MIHO experience-seekers were enjoying lunch along the walkway that overlooks The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. This is what it's about: the views, fresh air, a break from the office...
Just another cool location (Photo courtesy MIHO)
Insider's Tip: Try a different drink each time you go. The all-natural fruit drinks, carbonated blends, and Mexican-bottled Coca Cola are perfect accompaniments to MIHO's cuisine (a carbonated drink with cardamom and grapefruit, for example, I had never before tasted).
It was helpful to have time in the small line at the window to scan the menu: Tofu Banh Mi? Bloody Mary grass-fed beef burger? In a commercial district lacking nearby deli or café options, lunch breaks can be tedious. An employee who ate at the gastrotruck said it was great to have options for healthy food without getting back in the car. Juan Miron met an employee from an office park who told him that he decided not to call in sick because it was "MIHO Day". Vegetarians and vegans are well served: the Veggie Burger is tempting with a lentil and farro patty, butternut squash and pear puree, glazed leeks, shaved beet, havarti, and frisee on a whole wheat bun.
This is not fast food, though it’s delivered through a window. MIHO sources its ingredients from local farms and sustainable purveyors. The Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwich features savory and delicate pork belly from Eden Farms.
The first crunch into the Pork Belly Banh Mi delivers a fusion of organic cilantro, jalapenos, and pickled carrot and daikon.
Sesame aioli on baguette brings the flavors to a crescendo, and swipe of the napkin.
MIHO menus change with the seasons, influenced by San Diego’s climate.
In this fair-weather region, we have the highest number of organic farms in the nation. (Photo courtesy MIHO)
MIHO recently won an entrepreneurial award from California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity. “MIHO was started by Kevin Ho and me as a creative outlet from when we were doing underground beer pairing dinners [at a former Slow Food restaurant],” Miron said. “It was an opportunity for us to be entrepreneurial and bring our take on food to the streets. Gastrotrucks allow chefs to strike out on their own.”
A quote on the truck: "At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind," Michael Pollan
Connect with MIHO Gastrotruck on Twitter @mihogastrotruck and online at mihogastrotruck.com. MIHO operates two food trucks at nine lunchtime locations, two happy hours at pubs, and catered events.