This week, let’s visit the Borsch Mobile (beef tongue sandwich lovers, take note!), and you’ll want to mark your calendar for CUESA’s 25th Birthday Bash, plus a dumpling party at Dumpling Time, summer BBQs at the Four Seasons, and there’s a new North Beach farmers’ market on Saturdays.
There’s Much More Than Borsch on the Borsch Mobile
Rotating locations, schedule
There are all kinds of creative food trucks out there, but one that is definitely sporting a unique concept is the Borsch Mobile, a food truck that serves Russian, pan-Soviet, and Ukrainian dishes that are so homey and delicious, and made with a deft hand. Actually, make that plural, deft hands: Kirill Deninzon and Igor Teplitsky are behind dishes like a namesake vegetarian borsch (loaded with flavor and spices), and you’ll want to order a side of their salo with it, which is like Ukrainian lardo, a thin slice of salted pork fatback (they use Iberico pig) on rye with a little swipe of mustard. It’s the perfect dinner on a foggy SF summer night.
Their beef stroganoff, with tender pieces of beef, is unlike the heavy versions you may have stuck in your memory, and the base of kasha (buckwheat) adds a pleasing note of earthy sweetness. You’ll also find tender chicken blinchiki (blintzes with delicate ground chicken inside), creamy Siberian pelmeni, and their popular beef tongue sandwich, which comes thinly sliced and served with balsamic-reduced onions, Campari tomatoes, arugula, and a garlic and sriracha aioli they make, all on a torta roll. (You can see they’re not bound by tradition and are having fun making dishes that have traditional roots, but also offer their own local spin too.) Everything has a nice note of freshness, hominess, and I’m looking forward to trying their hearty solyanka soup next. You’ll also get pickles and a light slaw on the side with many dishes.
Fortunately, you can find the Borsch Mobile all over the Bay Area, from San Carlos to Serramonte to Off the Grid locations in SF—check the weekly changing schedule. Partner Anna Flider runs a tight ship, and keeps all their social accounts (Facebook, Instagram) updated with the truck appearances, so you can plan ahead. You also can’t miss it: a Russian artist known for his pin-ups, Valerii Barykin, designed the truck’s vintage artwork, which has Soviet propaganda and advertising woven into its eye-catching look. Smačnoho! (Ukrainian for “bon appétit!”)