I had been driving past the Wild Oaks signs in front of the Vets’ Memorial in Eureka for several weeks when I finally got a chance to stop and see what they had. It was pouring rain but the two fellows at the grill were cheery and efficient.
This is not your ordinary food truck. They don’t sell sandwiches, just meat- in big chunks. Like all food trucks they have a website which explains the situation. No sides, no fixin’s, just meat. Well prepared meat, but in large quantities. You can get pastrami and brisket by the pound, but a lot of the other meats require a three to five pound purchase. I had hoped to try their brisket but Rob, the friendly honcho, said they were about half on hour away from finishing . I would have waited if it weren’t raining- the company was pleasant enough- but in the end I went home with about two pounds of pork belly which had been rouladed with peaches and other interesting flavors and then smoked and grilled. It was creative and well-executed, and I look forward to tasting their other wares. Next time I’m having company for dinner, I’m going to call ahead to pin down a time for getting brisket and let Rob and his staff do the prep. Their prices may seem a little spendy but you’re getting hours of real smoke. Serve with a twice-cooked potato and fruit salad from Murphy’s and you’ve got a no-fuss meal.
Wild Oaks has a few challenges. Their website is a mess. Their ever-changing locations and lack of sides or sandwiches may not be a sustainable model but for now they’re kicking butt. The aroma from the grill will convince you. I asked Rob which location did the most business. It’s McKinleyville, with all those two-income commuters.
So check them out and tell them I sent you. I note with interest that two of their three Yelp reviews to date were negative and focused more on the appearance of the staff rather than the quality of the food. The day I was there, we all looked like hell. It was raining!