First, let me start off by saying that I went into the Food Truck Eats event with the bar set low. Mass food creations, line-ups, mediocre food....I expected the worst and was wishing for the best, especially after some of the reports that came out of the first event.
Boy, was I wrong to set the bar so low.
If you decided to not go, shame on you for a few reasons. First, it supported two great causes - donations were being taken for Toronto Harvest, and it showed that our citizens want freedom of food choices and that City Hall shouldn't be dictating what we can and can't eat. Second, the food was excellent. Third, it had an incredibly fun atmosphere and we had to drag ourselves away after 2 hours (grocery shopping at the Brickworks).
Thought I would give a quick rundown on some of the highlights.
It was awesome to see La Carnita in action. I always work on Thursdays, so this was my first chance to sample their food. Let me start by saying that Andrew, the man behind La Carnita, is the salt of the earth. Incredibly nice guy and for that reason alone, I hope his food ventures have lots of success. It also helps that his tacos are kick ass! The chorizo taco with peach "salsa" was excellent. Amazing combination of flavours. The Voltron fish taco made me jump the shark - I don't eat fish or seafood (strange childhood fear) but it was so beautifully prepared with a perfectly cooked layer of batter around the fish, that I thought I would give it a try. If I was a fish lover, I guarantee you that I'd be doing flips for the taco. Since it was, more or less, one of my first fish eatings, its a compliment alone that i went back for a second bite. My wife describes the flavours better than I do, and she said it was amazing.
Rossy Earle was selling her unbelievable hot sauce. Again, another amazing Toronto food personality with great South American foods. Her hot sauce is the perfect combination of not-over-the-top spicy and a roasted/smokey flavour. I bought a bottle to take home and put on EVERYTHING! (sorry, Frank's Hot Sauce. You don't have anything going compared to Rossy).
I tried only one of Aphrodite Cooks' dumplings. People were going nuts over them. They were very fresh and tasty.
Po'Boys (read: Beast) had their maple bacon doughnuts and I couldn't resist. They were excellent.
Some disappointments: the line-up to Gorilla Cheese was ridiculous from 10:30 onward. I didn't have the patience to try it. But when I say "ridiculous", it was probably a 15 minute wait. El Gastronomo gets second prize for the longest line-up. We lucked into only waiting for 10 minutes and, unfortunately, their green curry taco was disappointing. I almost feel like they forgot to put green curry sauce on ours. Flavourwise, it was very bland. Some places also had large portions. Instead of charging $5 for, as an example, a lobster wasabi roll/sandwich that weighed about a pound, charge $3 for something half the size.
But the biggest disappointment? We were STUFFED after 1 hour. We didn't get a chance to try the other trucks, including the Hawaiian barbequed skewers, which apparently were quite good.
I went in having my doubts and I left wishing I had more time and stomach space to try each and every stand. The crowds were VERY manageable and the food exceeded my expectations. I can't wait for the 3rd event!