Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Street Eats and Beats- Edible Canada's Festival Under the Bridge

I'm always on the lookout for fun food events and when a few friends sent me info about Street Eats and Beats, I pretty much bought my ticket right away. Food trucks, DJs, lots of beer and wine. Nothing bad about this mix. This event was put on by the awesome Edible Canada and was held in the covered and open parking lot adjacent just south of their Granville island restaurant.
Single tickets were $30 and included 2 drinks and 6 food truck samples. They also offered a vegetarian option for $20 with 2 drinks and 3 food truck samples.

When you entered, friendly staff gave you a passport for the food trucks and bartenders to punch. Guests at this event certainly weren't limited to the items on their passport- there was beer and wine available for purchase and most of the food trucks were selling full-sized versions of their samples and offering other menu items for sale.

We arrived early-ish in the evening just before 7pm. The line ups were all fairly small at that point, so we took a leisurely approach to obtaining and eating our samples and enjoying a few bevvies. But around 9pm, the fenced in area was bumping with hundreds of guests and line-ups grew quite long. It got a bit crazy with the long line-ups (for food, not for beer) but the party vibe also kicked up with awesome music performed by a DJ, a saxophone player and a drum player.

Le Tigre
Offered up samples of their Finger Licken Popcorn Chicken-le tigre marinated fried chicken with spicy mayo and Warm Brussel Sprout and cauliflower salad - capers, cracked chillies,lemon juice, parmesan cheese. The brussels sprouts and cauliflower were crispy and tossed with lemon, chilis, capers, basil and cilantro. Each bite was full of fresh herb flavour and a sour kick from the lemon. The chicken was cooked crispy outside and juicy on the inside. I found this a bit greasy, so it was nice to combine with the acidity of the brussel sprout/cauliflower salad. 

For the sous chef and other vegetarian/vegans, they subbed their Beet Fries for the chicken. Since he was only getting 3 samples for his vegetarian package, he went ahead and purchased an order of the Beet Fries. These are really tasty, simple, coated in a light starch and fried until crispy and sprinkled with seasoning. The coating is nice and light. I really liked the contrast of the crunchy exterior and smooth inside full of bright beet flavour. 
Le Tigre Cuisine Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Was dishing out Southern Buttermilk Biscuit with Sante Fe Red Gravy on Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce. I've only ever had the Pulled Pork Sandwich from this truck (and I really liked it) and I don't think this is on their regular truck menu or at their New West Market location. It was a great option for a cold February night and a great contrast to all of the greasy, fried options. The buttery, warm, biscuit had a wonderful texture and was topped with a dollop of the pulled pork red gravy which tasted more like a southwest tomato chili stew. It was nice, fresh comfort food.

Re-Up BBQ Foodcart on Urbanspoon

Fresh Local Wild
Serving up delicious, but a bit small, servings of their Seafood Chowder Poutine- with clams, mussels, salmon, cod, and double smoked bacon. I've been to this truck before and DIG it. Great, fun, staff and amazing high quality food. This was chock full of big chunks of seafood, big on flavour, big on texture. Way better than your typical poutine with cheese curds and gravy. And their fries are awesomely crispy and quite flavourful. Unfortunately, for a slow eater like myself, this dish got cold really quickly and definitely lost its appeal the colder it got. But even cold, it was still good- just not AS good.

Fresh Local Wild on Urbanspoon

Grilled Cheese by the moonlight

Mom's Grilled Cheese
Guests were given a choice (always nice to have options!) of Mozzarella Basil on Olive and Rosemary bread or Bacon Cheddar on French. Vegans, Vegetarians and Gluten Free guests were also taken care of at this truck with Gluten Free bread and Daiya cheese substitutions. I've experienced Mom's Grilled Cheese before at their regular Vancouver Art Gallery spot and think it's pretty much the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had. Plus, the staff manage to be friendly, happy, charming, and efficient; doling out sandwiches at a fast pace to drooling customers. I also love the presentation (checked retro paper cones) and the attention to detail with a dill pickle wedge, a few crispy potato chips in each cone. I also have to give a shout out to their impressive condiment station with an awesome variety of hot sauces.

Visitors to the Mogu truck got a massive nugget of their Sweet and Spicy Chicken Karaage. It was very crispy and crunchy on the outside and really really juicy and meaty on the inside. Great flavour and I loved their house made sweet chili sauce.

Mogu Japanese Street Eats on Urbanspoon

Varinicey Pakoras
This was our last food truck to sample and to do so we had to wait over 30 minutes in a chaotic, disorganized line that backed up all the way to the port-a-potties. There was definitely a sense that this cart was either understaffed or ill-prepard for the big crowd. It might have been good for an event organizer to set in and intervene to bring some order to this crazy line. Some of our friends actually gave up because they didn't want to deal with the line. Once I FINALLY got my pakora, I did really like it. They were big! They were lightly battered and not too oily. They tasted lighter and fresher than they look. I also enjoyed the side of spicy mango pickle dip.

Varinicey Pakoras Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

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