Next Stop: Summer means gourmet food trucks
Gourmet food trucks, roadside fusion cuisine and travelling comfort food: in the short time since their resurgence, food trucks have earned their place among brick-and-mortar fine dining institutions thanks to creative street eats made from scratch with local, in-season ingredients. After LA, New York and San Francisco, Canada’s very own roadside gourmet food trucks are livening up the contemporary food scene from coast to coast.
Vij’s Railway Express
Award-winning chef Vikram Vij’s mobile restaurant — stationed weekdays at 1075 West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver — invites street-scouring foodies on a day trip through the Indian countryside. Staples of the food truck decked like a railcar include a mild Lucknow lamb kebab, and a vegan and gluten-free rice puff and chickpea salad. The Oceanwise-certified seared cod in a mango sour-cream curry with citrus zest confit and the butter chicken schnitzel, however, lend singularity to Vij’s gourmet ensemble offering.
As its moniker suggests, this Calgary food truck slings all manner of perogies. Owners Deb Lawton and Jim Nikiforuk have turned the Central and Eastern European delicacy on its head with brio. Case in point: perogies à la Brie & Basil, Huevos Rancheros and Tex-Mex. Purists will approve of the more traditional variation of the dumpling, topped with caramelized onions, double smoked bacon, sour cream and fresh chives and dill, with a side of kielbasa (Ukrainian garlic sausage).
Pulled pork poutine, three-cheese (cheddar, brie and mozzarella) grilled cheese sandwich, arancini: Jobie’s Mobile Kitchen, with a view of the Bathurst waterfront, serves up quintessential comfort food from here and abroad. Chef Joel Aubie’s menu also features a notable BBQ pulled pork sandwich with cabbage, carrot and apple slaw, alongside the mobile house’s popular eponymous burger — a beef-and-pork patty topped with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and grainy mustard mayo.
From Nuit Blanche to the Canadian National Exhibition to their signature block parties, here is a food truck on a mission to feed Toronto’s hungry revellers with fare on par with the vibrant festivities. Fête or no fête, chef Adrian Niman’s sleek mobile eatery travels throughout the GTA to provide passersby with global, unabashedly rich cuisine — think Cap’n Crunch fish tacos, an Asian-American twist on the Mexican staple — and mac ‘n’ cheese, complete with lemon zest panko, smoked tomato ketchup and fresh chives. The ultimate indulgence? The Nutella bomb: homemade banana bread filled with the famous hazelnut chocolate spread and topped with bourbon caramel sauce and whipped cream.