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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Doc? Are you Doc? Am I Doc? Where does that name come from?

I, Zak, am not Doc, nor is Rob (though if any one of us were to be…) Look at the size of his forearms! Clearly. Doc is an amalgam. We took the name from the pseudonymous protagonist of the classic Steinbeck novel Cannery Row (click here to find out why). In appearance, Doc is a mashup of several classic American roadside muffler men, only with his arms crossed and a spatula instead of a muffler. In between where I’m from in New Jersey and the shore, there is a sandwich shop called Mr. Bill’s, out front of which stands Mr. Bill himself. I guess I always have him in mind somewhere when I think of roadside sandwiches.

Why does your burger cost $8?

In your burger—the burger you think about daily, not that $20 white tablecloth number you had that one night –you’re not looking for a challenge. You’re seeking that irreplaceable nostalgia that comes from grilled onions, ground beef, and melty American cheese. But the world has also changed Frodo, and so have your tastes. These days you’re also looking for a burger that agrees with your morals, that’s young and fresh, and that has a pillowy bun. The Doc’s Classic is all these things, without feeling like a forced fusion. Butter lettuce, challah buns, homemade ketchup, and hand-packed patties made of premium beef cost quite a bit (not to mention San Francisco’s 9% sales tax) and we sell them dearly so that you can eat one every day, and it won’t break your bank.

Where do you get your meat? What is the purpose of the iron?

Doc’s beef is ground fresh by Golden Gate Meats in San Francisco, and it is vibrant red when we handpack it into patties. There are no gimmicks with this burger. It doesn’t have the chewy, compacted texture of a patty put through the industrial packer. We smash them with the iron right before you eat it. Maximum char, with minimum dryness and chew.

Do you sell hot dogs?

Only sometimes. Actually, not really. Although there’s a dog in our window and our name is called Doc’s, we are primarily a hamburger company. 

Where does the truck live?

In California all mobile food facilities (food trucks) are required to rent space in a county health department approved commissary kitchen. Ours lives in the parking lot of a share commercial space in Emeryville, and we go back there after every shift to clean, refuel, and restock.

Do you cater?

Yes, often! In fact, though you may see the truck on the street in your neighborhood, Doc’s maintains a strenuous workweek catering private events. We do weddings, corporate lunches, hackathons, drive-in movies, bar mitzvahs, cute indie markets, community barbecues, beer festivals, holiday parties, roller derbies, weird footraces where people throw paint on eachother… you name it! And we’d love to work with you! For more information, check out our catering page, send us an email, or give us a ring. We’d love to hear about your event.

Is this your only truck?

Yes, though we dream of a second. We purchased “Old Ironsides” through a variety of funding sources, including a crowdsourced Kickstarter campaign and a generous loan from the Oakland Business Development Center. We hope to purchase a second from profits from the first, and this will take some time.

What the hell is in your ketchup?

It’s good enough to make you forget about the squeezable, sugary past isn’t it? That’s because we make each batch of our Original Recipe Red Bell Pepper Ketchup from a small mountain of vegetables, and slow cook them to release the sugars naturally. We also grind a bowlful of spices just before including them. And it’s apple cider vinegar that gives it that tartness. Beyond that, we’re not saying. You can buy a bottle from the truck, or here! (forthcoming)

What about the potlatch?

Lots of smokey New Mexico chili powder, coriander, salt, other assorted spices, and in the words of Kris, “You know that rare blue flower from the beginning of Batman Begins? Lots and lots of that.”

Is this your first small business?

Sure is, and we’re learning by the day.

What’s up with the green beans?

Welp, originally we were looking for an alternative to French fries for those who care about things like “health”–one that simulated the dippable delight of the spuds–and the beans were what we came up with. Shortly we discovered that the beans have more going for them than a trim waistline, and are actually quite delicious. Now we eat as many of them as our customers. They are sauteed in a cast iron with butter and olive oil, and dusted with potlatch. A Double Whammy is a combo plate of fries and beans.

Who are the hotties in the truck?

Pretty good looking huh? Dates are available with most Doc’s employees, and in fact our business line doubles as a dating hotline, as does the contact form to your left. Inquiries will be returned within two business days.

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