Friday, February 10, 2012

Behind the scenes of Westender Food Truck Tour/ Interview

A friend of mine works at The Westender, a fantastic local newspaper with a great FOOD section. 
When her editor mentioned that she wanted to learn more about the Vancouver food truck scene, she gave her my contact info and told her that she should get in touch with me since I'm a food truck enthusiast. I was really excited when I got the email from Martha and we set up a time to get together and explore the world of Vancouver food trucks.
We lucked out and got a gorgeous sunny day!

I have so many favourite food trucks that I wanted to introduce her to- but with a limited time, we were only able to hit a half lap around the Vancouver Art Gallery. We had a great time walking and poking around some of the trucks and carts in the area and chatting about all of the things that make food trucks fantastic. 
Here's a link to the article in the WE!

We started in front of the Mangal Kiss Mideast BBQ cart. They serve one type of food item: the shishlik. This is a local meat kabob (chosse between Fraser Valley rib eye and Rossdown Farms Chicken) on Iranian flatbread called Taftoon.  You can then add your toppings like hummus, tahini, purple cabbage, beets, pickled turnips, pickles, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, spiced Moroccan carrots, radish and tabbouleh.  
They also offer 3 different types of sauces-baharat (mild spiced BBQ sauce), amba (spicy & savory mango) and zhug (Middle-Eastern hot sauce). I LOVE all of these sauces. With friendly owners grilling the meat in front of you and assembling your shislik just the way you like it, at $7 it's a filling, fresh affordable lunch option.
Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

We then strolled east towards La Brasserie Street cart on Georgia and Granville which serves up one of the most gorgeous sandwiches in the downtown core. They serve one item: Beer brined rotisserie chicken in gravy, on a buttermilk bun, topped with crispy onions  for $6.25. The chicken is moist and plentiful. The gravy is creamy with a fantastic, peppery taste to it. The fried onions gave this sandwich a satisfying crunch and a textural POW. I recommend adding the dijon mustard sauce to give the sandwich a bit of dimension and it adds some lighter flavour to this extremely rich sandwich.

La Brasserie Street (West Georgia & Granville) on Urbanspoon

Mom's Grilled Cheese is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Cindy Hamilton and her lively crew serve up classic comfort food. From taking orders, chatting up regulars, telling stories- they are having fun serving you and want you to have an equally fun grilled cheese experience.  Grilled cheese sandwiches are close to my heart- and here, you can either customize your own grilled cheese (choose your bread, choose your cheese, choose any fillings or toppings) or you can sample their pimped out grilled cheese creations (The two "Mom's Specialties" are The Jackson 3, triple cheese, triple decker grilled cheese- three pieces of sourdough surrounded by melted, Brie, Boursin and Gruyere and Mom's Meatloaf Sandwich which features a slice of meatloaf, topped with marinara sauce and surrounded with melted mozza and parmesan.) They even have options of gluten-free bread and vegan cheese!!! 

But they aren't grilled cheese snobs either- Cindyshowed us that she keeps a few slices of processed cheese slices for customers who like their sandwich "old-school."

For sides, they serve up roasted tomato soup and chili. I tried a shot of the tomato soup for $1. It was absolutely delicious with deep, full-bodied flavour (like real tomato!) and the drizzle of basil mascarpone adds a nice herb-y creaminess. Martha got a shot of the chili and was blown away by how much it tasted like her mom's chili (her gold standard!) All sandwiches are served in an adorable red/white plaid cone with a scoop of locally produced "Hard bites" potato chips and a dill pickle wedge. 

My cheddar on whole wheat with tomato slices was pretty awesome. The bread was buttery, crispy, crunchy golden-brown and the cheese was melted to ooey gooey perfection. It's a well balanced meal that was surprisingly not too heavy or greasy. They've got grilled cheese down to a science!

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck on Urbanspoon

If you never tried any of the great food trucks here in Vancouver.....what are you waiting for?! 

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