At a food truck event a few weeks ago, I ran into Viktoria, the owner of the Little Red Riding Truck, and ended up having an impromptu interview. She serves traditional German street food using recipes that originate directly from her family’s kitchen in Kesbern, Germany. Viktoria comes from a family of foodies, where she grew up working in the family restaurant and hotel business. The hotel and restaurant are now in their 3rd generation of management, with her mother and brother both acting as chefs and her father as the bar manager.
After spending a year doing an internship in San Francisco, Viktoria fell in love with the city and decided she was going to come back and make San Francisco her home away from home. Within a year, she returned with a plan for opening a German restaurant. As most people do, Viktoria realized rather quickly that San Francisco isn’t a very cheap city in which to start up a restaurant. She decided that starting a food truck would be a much more affordable way to launch her dream.
Now, a year and a half later, on any given day of the week the Little Red Riding Truck can be found either parked at a food truck event or catering a private party. Viktoria is even pondering starting up either a 2nd truck or a brick-and-mortar location, in order to complete her vision of also serving both German and local craft beers.
She is extremely passionate about sharing pieces of German culture that many in the U.S. normally wouldn’t get a chance to experience. One tradition in particular she’d like to share is the upcoming German holiday, “St. Nicolaus Day.” It is a holiday primarily geared towards children, during which a boot is placed outside the front door on the eve of December 5th, and St. Nicolaus comes the following morning to fill the boot with sweets and presents.
The holiday isn’t typically celebrated in the traditional sense in the states; nonetheless the German-American International School (GAIS), located in Menlo Park, celebrates St. Nicolaus Day with a massive annual event for the community. This year, The Little Red Riding Truck was invited to participate in the celebration. A few vendors will be selling crafts and baked goods, but the Little Red Riding Truck will be the only vendor serving a traditional German holiday meal to over 200 people!
Of course, the next topic of discussion was all about THE FOOD! Viktoria often consults with her family back in Germany when it comes to planning a special menu. For this event the main item will be a traditional beef roast paired with red cabbage and spätzle; a perfect holiday winter dish. Other items offered will be her famous currywurst and fries, bratwurst, and frankfurters with buns for the kids.
I am all about experiencing other food and traditions from other countries, and am looking forward to attending this special German holiday celebration.
This year’s Winterfest at the German-American International School will be held on Saturday, 12/6 from 2:00pm – 5:30pm, at 275 Elliott Drive in Menlo Park.
-Bay Area Contributor, Brian Chan