Archive for Food Truck Adventure!

Vancouver Food Cart Festival

Ooooh… I am late to this party, but I’m glad I made it.

All summer long, every Sunday, about 20 local Vancouver Food Carts gather just west of the Olympic Village in an abandoned parking lot to pump out delicious goodies. You can wander and snack to your heart’s content, while live DJs spin tunes.

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I finally got there this past weekend, and I’m sad, because there’s only one week left. So, if you haven’t been yet, go and check it out. It’s a mere $2 to get in, or free if you are a Vancity Member. Once inside… oh, what culinary delights await you!

There were lots of my favourites, like The Juice Truck, Soho Road, and Le Tigre. But there were also lots that I hadn’t tried before. The joy of a festival like this, is that you may very well discover some new thing that will quickly become your favourite thing…

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This was the first thing I ate, and it was my favourite. This is Chicken Karaage from Mogo. Boneless, crunchy on the outside, perfectly deep-fried, juicy and tender on the inside. Especially loved the sweet thai chili sauce as a condiment.

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Deep fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese balls from REEL Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I’m not upset I had these. I mean, how often in your life can you say you ate deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese? And they were good… just not amazing. I felt like they lacked something. Seasoning, maybe… I wanted the crust to be crunchier. Panko, maybe?

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In this city, Vij can do no wrong. From Vij’s to Rangoli, to his new food truck, Vij’s Railway Express, he is the undisputed master of Indian Cuisine in Vancouver. This is the butter chicken schnitzel–it comes with rice and salty flatbread that was delicious. Spicy, creamy, yum. He also has on offering a lamb kebab, and jackfruit for the vegheads.

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A new discovery for me? The Pie Hole. First of all, how is that not the greatest name for a business, like, ever?? Jenell is making some pretty pies here… fruit pies, chocolate pies, savoury pies… even a vegan, raw, gluten-free version. Mmm… pie…

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Another happy new discovery? Pella’s Gourmet. Last year, Samantha and Derek Langill (who are the most adorbs couple, btw) decided they’d make Cilantro Chutney, an old family recipe, for all their friends for Christmas presents. The chutney was popular, and out of that demand grew a business. They’ll be stocked in Whole Foods starting next month. I’d use the chutney as a dip for vegetable fritters, or smear it on a grilled cheese.

The only problem with the Food Cart Fest, is that I don’t have a big enough stomach! I’m hoping to hit it again this Sunday, for the final round…

For all the information and a list of all the food trucks, visit foodcartfest.com.

UPDATE: The 2014 Food Cart Fest kicks off June 22.

Soho Road Naan Kebab

Finally, Vancouver has become a food cart city. Why not? We have an amazing food scene here, but up until last year, the City wasn’t granting licenses to any food cart that wasn’t serving hot dogs or ice cream. Now, the food cart scene here in Vangroovy is a going concern, with everything from tacos to juice to bar-b-que to Asian to Indian.

I met Sarb Mund, who runs the Soho Road Nann Kebab cart, last fall while I was doing the publicity for Vancouver Celebrates Diwali. One bite of his food, and I was hooked. Even Chef Dale McKay agrees with me!

I’m starting up a new segment here at CbL: food vlogs (or “flogging” if you like :-)). I thought it would be really fun to grab one of my food-savvy gal pals and do a tour of a bunch of the different food trucks in Van, armed with my trusty video camera. I asked Sarb if he could by my first (!) and he said yes.

I gotta tell you, I think the success of Soho Road rests on the shoulders of its owner. Go there any day and you’ll see what I mean. Sarb is personable, friendly, and he really loves what he does. He has a background as an accountant, and that has factored heavily into the success of his business, because he gets the business, although he confesses he never really fit in as an accountant.

The truck is tricked out with a tandoor, a cylindrical oven that cooks at a very high temperature. For the meat, this insures that it gets a good sear on the outside, making it juicy inside. For the naan, it means beautiful, soft, pillowy warm goodness. All his chicken is marinated for at least 24 hours, and everything is made fresh to order.

So, without further ado, Pam & Bex’s Big Food Truck Adventure #1: Soho Road Naan Kebab!

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