Vancouver Food Cart Fest 2013 – I feel like I’ve been punk’d

Well you guys, I haven’t had a really good rant in a while and I was starting to think I was losing my edge. Never fear, Food Cart Fest to the rescue!!  The plan was to head down to False Creek with Hayley and meet up with some local foodies (@mhchipmunk, @yvrbcbro and @foodgays). I got to the Athletes Village just after 12 and parked under Legacy Liquor Store. The parking ticket machine there never works and it seems like no one cares so free parking! Off to a good start.

You can sort of see Food Cart Fest in the distance.
You can sort of see Food Cart Fest in the distance.

I wandered over to the big empty parking lot where the festival is being held this year and saw a really long lineup of people along the walking/bike path. That couldn’t be just to get in could it? Yep, it was. There was roughly (and I’m under exaggerating) 400 people lined up to enter Food Cart Fest and this isn’t even the first weekend. I decided to see WHY the lineup was so long and discovered that it was because you have to pay an ADMISSION FEE to even get in??!! Last year The event was held in the parking lot at The Waldorf on Hastings all summer and there was no admission fee. Were there lineups at the trucks? Yes there were but that is totally acceptable. Yes the admission fee is only $2 but that makes the line so slow that someone with a young child >>>ME<<< has to stand in the heat for 30-45 minutes? This is the part where I lose all the non parents… Talk to you later. But it’s not just the parents, it’s EVERYONE!

This year you have to line up to pay to get in, to line up to pay to eat. Stupid. Vancouver’s food truck newbies envision a city that looks like Portland with food trucks parked on every corner and dedicated parking lots filled with amazing food and brimming with atmosphere. That happened organically for Portland, it wasn’t forced like they’re trying to do here. Why would I pay to have the privilege to eat at a food truck when I can eat at a food truck any other day of the week and just pay for the food? I love Vancouver’s food trucks. I love the people that run them, the people that own them, the food they produce and the choices they offer to the people of this city. This city is Vancouver, it is not Portland, it will never be Portland. Stop trying to make it Portland! Portland has become what it is without producing “events” like this contrived joke.

Calling your event family friendly because you have a bouncy castle is almost as ridiculous as the lineup to get in. If I put a bouncy castle in a strip club would that make it family friendly? No, No it would not. No parent I know would wait in today’s heat with their kid. I saw parents in line… I don’t know what would make them want to wait that long with a child.

So, I didn’t get to hook up with my foodie pals, I didn’t get to eat any yummy food and now I’m at home wondering if I should’ve just stayed here and watched the NHL draft, it sounds like it was pretty entertaining.

Scott.

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Pig on the Street – Food Truck Friday!!!

Every Friday, if I’m downtown, I try to have lunch at a food truck. This week I tried Pig on the Street which is probably the smallest food truck in Vancouver. It’s actually not a truck, it’s a Volkswagen camper van and it’s super cool. They make flatbread sandwiches, soups and delicious sounding (I didn’t have one) Bacon, Bourbon and Caramel Brownie Bites. Almost everything on the menu is “Pork-centric” with the exception of the vegetarian sandwich called the No Piggy. When you place your order you’re handed a small wooden pig with a pork related name on it, it works like taking a number but it’s way more fun.

I had The Porker which comes loaded with locally sourced double smoked bacon, sausage stuffing with apple and sage, goat Gouda, caramelized onion mayo and greens. $10 tax included is a pretty good deal for this epic lunch. I was FULL and very happy as I settled into my pork coma. The bacon is incredible and the smell wafting down the street from the little Volkswagen is intoxicating. The sausage stuffing is amazing, the goat Gouda is a unique but perfect choice and the mayo and greens finish things off nicely. Pig on the Street is the cure if you’re “achin’ for bacon”.

The Porker
You should make Food Truck Friday a part of your routine. It’s easy, fun, delicious and affordable. Download the free Street Food App for you smartphone HERE and get started!!

Twitter – @Pigonthestreet

Facebook – www.facebook.com/PigOnTheStreetVancouver

Web – www.pigonthestreet.com

 

Scott.

Street Meet Truck!

Have you ever had a bad meal at one of the many food trucks dotted around the streets of Vancouver? Looking back on the past couple of years I can honestly say that I’ve only had one sub par meal, and it wasn’t really “bad” it just could’ve been better. One of the newest trucks to hit the streets is the Street Meet Truck, this is one of the coolest looking trucks in town. It has a sweet chrome flying pig hood ornament, crazy graphics and sweet underside lighting but you’ll have to find them somewhere at night to check that out. Their truck is also a slightly different model than the ones used by other food truckers, it has a more “big rig” look to it, quite impressive.

Seeing as I decided to visit on the first really nice day of the year the line up was predictably long but the crew in the truck were upbeat and very friendly, pushing out food like a well oiled machine. The menu is described as Mediterranean food and it definitely is, with a decidedly Italian influence. Chef Alessandro Vianello and Chef Mike Carter say their goal is to bring addictive fine foods at an affordable price to the streets of Vancouver, let’s see how they did.

First up I had the Crispy Fried Risotto Balls with slow braised pork, green onions and truffle aioli. These are some tasty balls people. The crunch on the outside is just right and the rich warm goodness inside is very rich and full of flavour. Served on a bed of greens the left over aioli also makes a nice little salad to accompany the risotto balls. Very nice.

Next I had the Grilled Spicy Italian Sausage with stewed red peppers and Taleggio cheese served on a toasted baguette. The sausage is made from high quality local pork and it tastes great, just a little heat and not too salty. The casing has a nice snap to it as well. The baguette poses a challenge to those looking to stay clean, it takes some biting power to get through the toasted crust and you may end up with stewed red peppers on your shirt. The bun is great though, very fresh and airy inside. The Cheese is very soft and gooey and adds a nice creamy balance to the acid of the peppers and the heat of the sausage. There are also some scratch made potato chips with this dish that are really good.

So there it is, another great meal from one of Vancouver’s ever growing family of food trucks. To find out where the Street Meet Truck is at Follow them on Twitter @StreetMeetTruck, Check out their website at StreetMeetTruck.ca or use the uber awesome Street Food App on your iPhone (an Android version would be nice…nudge nudge)

Scott.

Kaboom Box with VANEATS.ca!! #KaboomInABox!!

The VANEATS.ca crew have done it again, a dining pass for a food truck? That’s my kind of package!! The Kaboom Box is located at the corner of Robson and Granville (beside Sears) and offers local and sustainable food including Oceanwise seafood and organic veggies whenever possible. This package is called Kaboom In A Box, search for #KaboomInABox on Twitter, and offers your choice of a fried oyster po’ boy or the hot salmon smoked “Salmwich”. It comes with an amazing poutine and a beverage all for $8.50? Yup, that’s a sweet deal!

I chose the Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich. It’s made with locally sourced sustainable oysters that are panko breaded and deep fried. They’re nestled lovingly in a great whole wheat bun with some signature slaw and house made tartar sauce. Grab some napkins, this guy’s as messy at it is tasty. The oysters are full of oceany (yes that’s a word…) goodness and the flavour of actual oyster is still front and centre with the sauce, slaw and bun playing their backup roles perfectly.

The “BC Poutine’ is a nice departure from heavy animal based gravy poutines. The gravy is made with local mushrooms and the crispy fries and real cheese curds make up quite the threesome of flavour in your mouth. The green onions are a nice touch too, adding a little freshness and bite to the dish. I opted for water to drink as I did’t want any sugary drink messing with these great flavours.

Make sure you say Hi to Andy, Brian and Matt, the Kaboom Box crew! They’re doing some great things out of that tiny food truck!

The #KaboomInABox pass goes on sale May 2nd at 7am and you can get it at VANEATS.ca!! I would also like to give a special shoutout to Kev and Billzzzz from VANEATS.ca for their support and for filling me with delicious food on a regular basis, you guys ROCK!

Scott.

The Sausage Shack – Portland

Portland, a street food lovers mecca. What could make it even better? Bacon, specifically deep fried street food wrapped in bacon. Healthy, no. Delicious, yes. The Sausage Shack just so happens to be winners of Portland’s Illustrious 2011 Bacon Cup, the first annual. So what does one have at this bacon lovers utopia, bacon wrapped chicken wings, the Big Bacon Burger? Nope, it had to be the bacon wrapped corn dog.

This is the smartest thing anyone has ever done, anywhere. Wrap things in bacon and deep fry them. I don’t care who you are, if you’re a health nut or a marathon runner or whatever you will not be able to resist this food. The corn dog is just a regular corn dog but when it’s wrapped in bacon…wow. This is the only thing I had at The Sausage Shack due to a fairy intensive day of food trucking but I think I made the right choice. Check out the rest of the pics!

Scott.