In Toronto, the existence of food trucks are limited to the standard hot dog stands, french fries, and the occasional Chinese food. Several years ago, the city attempted to introduce more variety into Toronto’s food trucks but to keep this story short, let’s just say it didn’t work out.
The thing is, Toronto is really really behind in the food truck scene. Other cities like Washington, Los Angeles, even Honolulu have food trucks with eats that are drool worthy and all I keep thinking is “why can’t we have that?”
I’m not the only one who thinks that.
There’s a food truck movement happening here in this city of people who want more street food that reflects the city itself – different cultures, flavours, palates – and all they need is a mayoral office to support this movement and help facilitate (not impede) the opening of food trucks and the entrepreneurs behind them. Toronto people want variety in their street food. They want it to be creative, delicious, gourmet yet affordable, and they want it from a food truck.
And how do I know this?
Vince and I went to The Next Food Truck Event, in the pouring rain, to sample the menus of several food enthusiastic vendors. These vendors didn’t actually own a food truck yet, so technically there weren’t any food trucks there. BUT, they were testing out their menus to see if people dig their food creations. The event was held at the Steam Whistle Brewery which I had never been to. I loved the space!
We thought no one would show up due to the weather. We were very wrong. The event was sold out. People even showed up to try to see if they could pay at the door. No such luck (thank goodness we bought our tickets online in advance!).
The place was packed with people who were lining up for a chance to sample the menus.
We didn’t get a chance to try this menu, but the Peking Duck Quesadilla would’ve been our pick!
The Ninja Piggies menu. Vince and I tried the Ninja Belly – we both ordered one (he didn’t want to share).
The black sesame cornbread was really interesting, and the savory pork belly with the fresh flavours of the napa slaw all worked well together. The only thing was that the fat leaked through the plate (but Vince will tell you that too much fat is never a problem).
We then realized we needed to split the plates otherwise we were going to get too full too quickly!
We probably should’ve been more adventurous and tried Comida del Pueblo’s banh mi with the water buffalo, but how could we (really, I) resist jalapeno cornbread grilled cheese? We didn’t regret our choice…this dish was a home run! I even went back to tell them how much we loved it.
We then ventured into the only “three course” option at the event at Uptown 21 from Waterloo, Ontario. After eating all this food, we were almost done for the evening. But something about the name Fidel Gastro peaked my interest and I had to see what it was all about. They were the most vocal out of all the vendors – yelling “Ole!” any chance they got. And they almost sold out of everything by the time we got there.
There was no choice but to get the “La Senorita” – we didn’t mind though. It was a delicious sloppy joe style sandwich and that stuffed jalapeno in the middle caught Vince by surprise.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret…Vince got the bug. He wants to open up his own food truck, too…and then a resto But that’s all I’ll say for now.
So while we wait for the bafoon in the mayor’s office to get a clue and start promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, we’ll enjoy all these food truck eats type events, and try to find out when and where the above vendors are ‘popping up’ around town, and promote the food trucks that go beyond the usual and happened to score a permit to operate in this city. Because it’s coming people…the food trucks are coming.
We can’t wait.