San Francisco – Everyday Insider (TM) – Trip 31

If you have been watching the Great Food Truck Race on the FoodNetwork in the United States or online at then you will be aware that the French cuisine Food Truck business named Spencer On The Go, is owned by San Franciscans and we are heading into the part of town where they are usually parked!

As we head to the South-of-Market (SoMa) district, one which has been revitalized, over the last 3 decades, you will find this fantastic chance to eat authentic French cuisine, at much more reasonable prices, than in a bricks and mortar restaurant.

The chef is Laurent Katgely. Their team came in third in the Race, and deserved to be in the final two. The other team which beat them, by only $37, was SO ordinary with nothing to teach! I hope the Vietnamese Nom-Nom truck will win; they are a savvy team.

It’s such a shame that it was not a face-off between pure French and Vietnamese (which has lots of French influences).

On the Race, Laurent had the hardest time finding authentic ingredients, and yet he made amazing, tasty, professional well-regarded food. Nom-Nom had the second hardest time finding their ethnic ingredients, while Grill It All – the other finalist, had NO problem finding ingredients or unadventurous customers.

In San Francisco, at Spencer on the Go, you’ll be eating at the four-wheeled French takeaway, in a parking lot, but it’s fabulous food and at night the patrons of Terroir wine bar across the street, in SOMA, come pouring out for Laurent’s meals!

Laurnet Katgely may not be a typical San Francisco chef, as he was born in the French Alps. He began cooking at just 14 years old and attended culinary school in France. Upon moving to America in 1992, Katgely worked at New York’s Lepinasse and then he moved out West to take the Executive Chef post at Pastis in L.A.

In the Bay Area, Katgely has worked at several highly respected restaurants and now, with his wife at his side, they decided to open his own French restaurant, Chez Spencer, in 2002.

More recently, as I’ve said, Katgely is the force behind “Spencer on the Go,” San Francisco’s only mobile French bistro. Katgely aims to keep all prices less than $12 and he rotates the menu often, including:
___ escargot puffs
___ grilled sweetbreads
___ mushroom vol au vents (puff pastry canapes)
___ boeuf bourguignon with truffles
___ curried frogs’ legs
___ Provençal ratatouille stew in a cup (vegetarian)
___ snail pops on a stick
___ skate braised with capers
___ frog’s legs with curry

— go into the Terroir wine bar and order a glass to top off your meal.

Laurent is going for gold with this highly-experienced menu, so you won’t find anything predictable, and the meals which I saw him make in that little kitchen were amazing! They were well-received by people in all parts of the country, during the Race, many of whom had never had such authentic French meals, if any at all. He was uncompromising in his detail and quality, and to be beaten by $37 by a group of burger-hacks is a deep blow. The prize money on-the-line is $50,000.

But, when visiting San Francisco, you can either go to the lavender color Food Truck or his regular sit-down restaurant nearby, Chez Spencer.


Next time, we’re off to see a few things in the SoMa neighborhood.


Spencer on the Go (415-864-2191)
Spencer on the Go
near Terroir Natural Wine Merchant & Bar, 1116 Folsom Street, between 7th and 8th Streets.

Chez Spencer – 82 14th St., San Francisco

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©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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