Thanks again to Suresh Doss a.k.a @Spotlightcity, he was able to negotiate a mini food truck event at the heart of downtown on the corner of Yonge and Gould. The vacant lot was a good starting place to gauge the general public's receptiveness to the Food Truck concept. Previous events in town was held at the 'Distllery District' with great success. However I still believe that this is still very much a niche event to those in the know and spread through social media. In the downtown core would be the best way to gauge the viability to the masses. The time frame of the event was between 11am to 2pm to capitalize the lunch crowd one would assume. This might be a hard sell for many since it was a blustery day outside compounded with the recently opened 'Urban Eatery' at the Eaton Centre.
When I got there I didn't think about all that serious business. No! I was thinking to myself I might finally score some plates from Gorilla Cheese and El Gastronomo Vagabundo! Every food truck they have been to there would be 1 hour (yes, you read that correctly) line ups. This is not a roller coaster at Wonderland in mid-summer! It's cold and windy november day and I'm here just a bit after they opened so my chances have to be pretty good. There was already a large crowd of people amassing to the side of the Gorilla Cheese truck. Not wanting to tempt fate to be denied yet again I immediately lined up to capture the one that has always eluded me - The LumberJack.
Many people dismiss Gorilla Cheese as something they can just go home and make. How many people really go home and actually do it? They have some really creative items on the menu and I finally got one in my hand. This one is comprised of bacon, aged Canadian cheddar, granny smith apples, and maple syrup on white bread. From experience this item is always the first to be crossed off the menu. Aromas of melted butter, gooey cheese and smokey bacon settled my stomach and warmed more than just my hands. Grilled cheese sandwiches has magical properties like all comfort food no matter where you are. I don't think I would love this as much in the scorching summer heat. It's not a grilled cheese unless it has been properly flattened under a sandwich press. Don't let the apples and the maple syrup confuse you as it is still a savory dish that managed to not be overly salty from the cheese and butter. This was so great and I finished it while the cheese was runny. That crowd that I mention are the ones that had already had their and probably contemplating if they want a second or a third. Ordering Cheeky Monkey would be too soon to have a dessert from them so I go on to my next dish and hopefully still have room to come back.
Fish tacos was something I always see on TV that I craved but was always out of reach. Upon hearing that some enterprising folks had brought it across the border to here made me ecstatic! Enthusiasm soon turned to despair as hordes of people show up to events where La Carnita and El Gastronimo were selling out. Now I can have my time with El Gasto's tempura cod tacos. I'll just start off by saying that it was the best thing I had that day! La Carnita's Voltron fish tacos , some say, are even better so I can't wait to try those as well.
Looking at these again I can't think of many things that I can eat all day! The tempura was so crisp, light and airy and the cod was wonderfully moist. In my mouth it hits all the right flavor notes when the trifecta of sweet spicyness of the Bajan mango hot sauce, tangy red cabbage / green apple slaw and sour cream is elevated by the splash of lime juice. Nothing else needs to be said but Mmmmm... OM NOM NOM!!!
Many of these had caught my while I was lining up for my food but these bad boys had to take a back seat since I still have the rest of the day ahead of me. These toasted raviolis came from the 'Toasted Tangerine' truck. Inside the ravioli were stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese with a herb marinara sauce.
Only an hour had passed when I lasted checked and the Cupcake Diner had already sold out of their red velvet cupcakes. I wanted a dessert to save for later so I opted to get a cookie and head out. At first glance I thought it was mistaken in getting an oatmeal raisin one. Upon closer inspection the cookie was dense and stuffed with ingredients. There were large chunks of chocolate and nuts strewn about it midst with a sprinkles of salt crystals. Yes! This is perfect for the afternoon snack!
It was about noon when I was leaving and sure enough large lines have started to form at both Gorilla and El Gastro. Stomach is happy and the world is good. Next stop and next post is the 'Gourmet Food and Wine Expo'. Here are some other shots from the gathering.