Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy Vancouver Food Truck Friday

Recently there was a CTV TV news story about how the Occupy Vancouver movement is hurting the food carts around the Vancouver Art Gallery site. Food carts like The Re-Up BBQ, that have been there for a couple of years, are saying that their sales have dropped 50-60% since the movement took over the site. 

A local food blogger "Mary in Van City" reached out through the interweb with a great idea:

"I hereby declare Friday November 18 Support the Food Carts Day. Between 11-3 pm, stop by for lunch, a snack, or take dinner home from one of the many Food Carts in the VAG area. Even if they clear out Occupy Vancouver before then, It will take a long time for these small businesses to recover. Let’s spread the word and put our money where our mouths are! Let’s #supportYVRfoodcarts this Friday!! Spread the word!!!"

My co-workers and eagerly I headed downtown with some dollar bills and big appetites to support the cause!

Randy grabbed lunch from the boys at the Re-Up Cart. A delicious pulled-pork sandwich and a glass of  sweet tea. I've had this sandwich before and it is just good street eats. The meat is soft and moist but not too drippy. The sauce is killer on this sandwich- it's smoky and rich with a slight kick with just a little sweetness. The pork has a well developed slow smoked smokiness to it. Fresh-cut coleslaw adds some crunch, acidity, and light-ness to balance out this meaty sandwich. The bun was airy light with a crusty dry exterior and it wasn’t hard or that chewy, but nice and pillowy soft. 

He also had a glass of sweet tea- probably not the most fitting beverage for such a cold day but pretty delicious. It’s better than iced tea and has a more floral aroma and rounder flavour with less citrus. It’s very mild, light, refreshing.

My other co-workers and I were torn on whether to visit Mom's Grilled Cheese (one of the newest truck rolling through Vancouver). The truck is adorable and definitely got my attention with its cute kitchsy retro logo, the crowd, the energy of the truck staff, and the delicious looking sandwiches and drool-worthy menu ( can order a scoop of chilli in your grilled cheese sammy).

We decided to head to Granville St to hit Kaboom Box for some seafood offerings instead.

Kaboom Box is a food cart that serves a menu focused on sustainable seafood and local ingredients. The three of us ordered sandwiches and two poutines to share. Sandwiches work out to be $8 each with taxes and the Poutine is $6 with taxes included. It was a short wait for our food, no more than five minutes.

David ordered the Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po-Boy "Locally and sustainably harvested oysters, panko breaded and fried, served with house-made tartar sauce and signature slaw" The chef recommended that David take a few napkins to eat this with calling it "a messy one."

He enjoyed the sandwich but it didn't quite meet his expectations. He liked the breading and the crunch on the oysters but he felt like the aioli-creamy tarter sauce was too lemon-y and over-powering, so much so that it masked the flavour of the oysters.

Amber and I both ordered the Hot Smoked Salmon Sandwich "Hot smoked on the cart, our salmon is local, wild caught, Oceanwise Certified, and some of the best fish available in Vancouver. The salmon is smoked fresh and served on a toasted whole wheat bun with a touch of spicy mayo and our house-made maple mustard slaw."

Although a bit small, this was a pretty good-looking (lots of colour and texture) and tasty sandwich. The salmon inside the sandwich seemed a bit small at first glance., but it was meaty and so full of flavour that I don't think the portion needed to be bigger. The fish is moist and meaty in texture and nice and salty, savoury, and smoky in flavour. The slaw tasted pretty basic but did add some lightness and brightness and crunchy texture. I really liked the multi-grain ciabatta bun which was sturdy with just the right chew level and although I liked the spicy mayo, there was too much on the sandwich and it's flavour packed such a punch that it didn't really let the fish shine. This might be the one time in my life where I would recommend that the chef ease up on the use of condiments.

The four of us shared two orders of their BC Poutine "Crispy fries topped with a local mushroom gravy and cheese curds." The fries were pretty standard but well seasoned with a really good crispiness, and the cheese curds tasted just like basic white cheddar. The star of this dish for me was the mushroom gravy. It was good and creamy and full of rich flavour and I enjoyed the mushroom bits mixed in (I wish there were more). This was a pretty poor dish to eat in cold got cold really quickly and poutine is not meant to be eaten cold.....the textures just all turned kind of goopy and gluey.
Overall, this cart had good food that could be spectacular food with just a few tweaks and I'm definitely curious to try some of their other menu items. This would be a great cart to take an out-of-town feels very "Vancouver."

Is adding Ketchup to poutine is a Montreal thing?
It was a fun and tasty office lunch outing. If you can, bundle up, and brave the cold weather for some good grub and support Vancouver street eats!

Re-Up BBQ Foodcart on Urbanspoon

The Kaboom Box on Urbanspoon

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck on Urbanspoon


MaryinVancity said...

Fantastic post! Great to see you guys supporting the food carts :)

Missy McIntosh said...

Thanks Mary! What a great idea to coordinate some support for YVR food trucks!