It seemed like a lot of Toronto's foodies (and non-foodies) were out in full force this past Saturday at the Distillery District in support of Toronto's first ever Food Truck Event. Clearly the turnout, over 3000 present, proved that the city of Toronto was ready and wanting a food truck scene of our own.
This food truck event was the brainchild of Suresh Doss, who, after having followed the U.S. food truck scene for the last few years, decided that enough was enough and it was time to bring the food truck fun to Toronto. After rounding up some great vendors and chefs, and weeks of planning on his part, the event turned out to be a huge success.
Although this inaugural event only featured a handful of trucks, including Hamilton's The Cupcake Diner and Gorilla Cheese, and Niagara's El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Toronto chefs and beyond (i.e. Chef Geoff Hopgood, Marben, Augie's Gourmet Ice Pops, and many more) also came out to show Toronto their take on street food.
I got to the Distillery at 11:15 and found the place already hopping with people and lines starting to grow. After doing a quick walk-through to see who was where and what each vendor was offering, my friend and I quickly got in the El Gastronomo line—one of the longest ones there. Ten minutes later, we had moved up a foot. Oh, it was going to be a long wait...
I quickly popped into the line for Chef Rossy Earle's Panamanian food and ordered up a tamale—corn masa layered with braised and pulled chicken, pork, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, olives, capers, spices and steamed in banana leaf. The stuffing was absolutely delicious and flavourful, and definitely allowed us to keep our patience while we waited in line by getting some food into our stomachs.
Luckily, Bonnie and Ray helped a hungry girl out. Being at the front of the line, they ordered up some buddha belly, guissepe taco and Kim Jong Illin' chicken wings for me as well. That allowed me quickly move out of line and grab some grub at Cava, who were serving up some gorgeous dishes. I ended up ordering all three of their offerings—Kingfish ceviche, shrimp tamale, and a vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberry sauce and churro—absolutely fabulous! They were definitely the best dishes I had that day.
Long line ups and sold out food were the stories of the day. I heard the Gorilla Cheese lineup was up to an hour wait, and a number of vendors were already sold out of certain items by 1:30. But this only goes to show how much Torontonians want good street food have an eclectic variety of street food available to them, not just your french fries trucks and hot dog stands. While I only managed just a handful of plates at Food Truck Eats, it was enough to tease my palate and I am excited to see the direction food trucks north of the border are going and what it can be.
A huge kudos to Suresh for putting on an incredible event and enlightening Toronto foodies and food enthusiasts. It was an eye-opening experience, and I can't wait to see what this event will do to help move the food truck movement forward here in Toronto.
If you missed Food Truck Eats, don't worry because there are two more events planned in the coming months. Come out to the Distillery District on August 20th for part 2, where we'll be seeing even more trucks out. Food Truck Eats Part 3 will be held in October.