Food Truck Eats!

Posted on July 2, 2011


One of the things I miss about my country is the availability and variety of street food.  To be able to grab a quick, freshly cooked low-maintenance kind of meal is a gift when you have to eat on the run.  It seems that the City of Toronto has strict regulations of what can be sold out on the streets and the choices in Toronto is quite limited.  It would be of no surprise how excited I got when I came across tweets from @spotlightcity and @elgastronomo.  Food trucks converged at the center of the Distillery District and gourmet food were sold no more than $5.  Good eats at affordable prices?  Too good to pass up.

My friend and I agreed to meet noonish and I was so glad that I came early.  My intent was to go around sampling and snacking and snapping pictures along the way.  What I came to was very long queues at the main participants of the event.  Three lines were significantly long, @elgastronomo ‘s  El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Gorilla Cheese and Bonfire Catering.  I am most intrigued about the promise of a gourmet meal from @elgastronomo’s truck that I came up with a plan.  Get a quick snack on one of the booths in front of Balzac’s and eat it while waiting for Valerie in line.  By the time I get to the front, my tummy is not aching and I burn all the calories from the standing and the heat of waiting in line under the sun.  I lined up at @pancancook of Supi Cucu’s before the line started getting long.  Of the choicea she had spread on the table, I went for the Panamanian tamales.  Good blend of meat filling inside a soft and light corn masa. That hot sauce she gave me gives a zing without burning.  Just my kind of snack to while me over waiting to get my fill of another round of food.  There was a moment when guilt started to set in but with all the patience I am showing lining up, I guess tasting gourmet food is my reward.

My friend Valerie arrives and she is just in awe with how many people turned up for the event.  She has such a good timing as I am just about to have my turn of sampling @elgastronomo ‘s food.  Giving the menu a quick look, we both ordered the Buddha Belly, Korean chicken wings and Cucumber Lemonade.  I tried to make it less painful for my friend, snapping pictures really quickly and we dive in.  Love the steamed bun, tangy and spicy sauce on the pork belly.  The chicken wings are so crispy and well seasoned, I can prolly eat a whole mound of those.  I was glad I got the Cucumber Lemonade too as it really refreshes amidst the heat of standing under the heat of the sun.

You would think after all that food we would have stopped but we didn’t.  We lined up some more and my friend went for a Mekong Sub.  I didn’t get to see who the vendor was but I was impressed with their assembly line of three chefs building those subs so fast to keep up with the ever-lengthening line behind us.  As I was snapping away, I debated over and over in my head that I cannot take a whole sub because if I do, I wouldn’t have room for the lobster slider that I see people walk around with.  So I opted to pass it up.  But, boy, did it ever look so good.  Maybe that wasn’t such a wise decision, after all.

We moved to the long line awaiting to be served lobster sliders.  I left Valerie eating her Mekong sub to check out if we were on the right line.  I see that we were and I seriously begin to doubt that we would have a chance to taste this good eats.  It has been over two hours of the event and with the massive turn-out of people, it is very possible that food would run out.  We still tried our luck and while waiting, we indulged in homemade raspberry lemon ice pops from Augie’s Gourmet Ice Pops and later Joshana Maharaj’s  cardamom-strawberry creamy kulfi.   Both desserts made the wait bearable, cooling me down as the sun beats on my back.  I was not lucky when it came to the lobster sliders though.  I feel for the person telling the crowd that they sold out everything.  It seems that he was not sure if he would face more than disgruntled moans and whining.  Such a brave soul.

But I don’t fret because I know this is only part one in a series of three Food Truck Eats.  Next time I will come extra early and target the food I like.  See you all on August 20th for another round of Food Truck Eats!