March 16, 2012

Food trucks in the big city

In the past few months I've explored some neat Toronto food spots, but there are still many on my list to try. I have had a lot of help scoping out the local food scene from some great blogs and websites (such as BlogTo's "Best of" section, Toronto Life Magazine, Where Jess AteFood Junkie Chronicles and the Hip and Urban Girl's Guide among the many, many blogs I read) and of course word-of-mouth and recommendations.

The other day at work someone mentioned there was a cupcake truck parked down the street for the day. In an office of mostly women, I was expecting some mass hysteria at the mention of mobile cupcakes. I obviously bolted out of my seat to check it out. I haven't lived in a city where gourmet food trucks have been a recurring thing (mostly just those generic souvlaki or fry trucks), so I was excited to finally get my first taste of gourmet truck cuisine.

The Cupcake Diner and The Toasted Tangerine parked at Queen and Jarvis for the day, and stop somewhat regularly now to feed the hungry office workers. The Food Cabbie and Thundering Thelma are also parked on a regular basis, so luckily for me the area is a food truck hot spot.

Although I didn't try them, my co-workers had some of The Toasted Tangerine's offerings, including mini bbq chicken sliders, a turkey sandwich with crispy onions and peach mustard and toasted ravioli with a butternut squash dipping sauce. This was not like any truck food I had ever seen. I already packed a lunch, so I opted for some dessert instead.

I decided to try the red velvet --always a classic--and the Skor flavoured cupcakes (not all for myself obviously...)

The red velvet was extremely moist and I actually enjoyed the "cake" part about as much as the icing. Most of the time I devour the icing and don't pay much attention to the cake, but the cake was fluffy and the icing was light and sweet as well. It wasn't crusty or hard like with some cupcakes. The Skor was basically a chocolate cupcake with skor bits on top, so the flavouring wasn't there as much, but I still enjoyed it.

When the truck came back the following week I was determined to only get one cupcake, but I saw they had even more selection with whoopie pies and cookies. I asked how big the whoopies pies were, as the price was $3, and I was amazed to see massive pies the size of my hand.

I got a banana peanut butter cupcake as well, but was completely enamoured with the whoopie pie. I had to cut it into quarters to eat it, but like the cupcakes, the "cake" was incredibly fluffy and went beautifully with the smooth icing. The banana cupcake had a delicious banana bread cake that didn't even taste like a cupcake, but like a fresh piece of banana bread. I have been reminded by a certain someone that next time the truck comes I have to stock up on whoopie pies...

If you're also in the area I highly recommend another foodie hot spot, although not in truck form, Mystic Muffin at Richmond and Jarvis.

When you see this sign, run, don't walk, in for the best lunch ever. The "Better Life Combo" is chalk full of green goodness with a few types of salads, lentils, rice, hummus, falafel, potatoes and pita. If you're a first time customer you will also receive a piece of their legendary apple cake, but you should just get it for dessert anyway.

I couldn't eat this all in one sitting, so I enjoyed it over two separate meals and man, did I enjoy it.

I hope food trucks become as popular here as they are in other places. I love seeing creative food options, especially in mobile form. Apparently the Food Cabbie has run into some legal issues involving parking, so I hope the city steps up and sees the potential of a thriving food truck scene in Toronto.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see that Toronto is starting to get on the food truck bandwagon - now that I'm not living near the city I will miss the opportunity to try them out. Once again my timing is off = lol


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