The city is buzzing about 12 just-announced food carts
By Taraneh | Inside Vancouver
The list is out. The city is buzzing about 12 just-announced food carts that will hit the streets May 1, bringing Vancouver’s total number of food carts up to 103. I’ve combed through the latest onslaught of food cart coverage to bring you a a mash-up of the juiciest news about the newbies.
Achin’ for bacon? An electric pink truck Pig on the Street will hock bacon sarnies. You can also expect a burger bus, bizarre perogies and Soprano-worthy meatball subs.
Of the 12 new food trucks, 5 are existing food truck owners. Find the full list + plus profiles of the new vendors after the jump.
How Vancouver’s 12 new food carts were chosen
As Inside Vancouver blogged last month, the winners were chosen from a pool of 59 applicants. 25 of these innovative truckers were invited to share their concept/eats during a taste-off in February, before a panel of judges made up of foodies, media, city council members and the public. 12 won licenses for 2012. And so the list was made.
Vancouver’s 12 new food carts + locations
1. Pig On The Street: Bringing home the bacon with British sandwiches that have piggie components. (700 Howe Street)
2. Guanaco Truck: Tamales and pupusas and fried cassava, oh my! Salvadoran cuisine hits the street of Vancouver. (Georgia and Seymour)
3. Soho Road Naan Kebab: The Tiffin Truck: A zero-waste food cart serving meat and veg curries with fresh baked naan in trendy, tiffin containers. (Smithe and Howe)
4. Slingers: Made from scratch Italian North American cuisine like meatball subs with homemade pesto. (West Hastings and Thurlow)
5. Perodie Perogy: 8 bizarre renditions of the perogy including Mexican and curried. (700 Homer Street)
6. Ze Bite: It’s unlikely Julia Child would have fit in a food truck without a custom raised roof, but luckily we have Simon Vine serving up French fare including Boeuf Bourguignon. (W. Cordova and Burrard)
7. Kaboom Box: An existing fave adds a seafood po’ boy mobile. (Georgia and Thurlow)
8. Feastro: The Rolling Bistro: Another tried and tested food cart extends into sustaiable, organic meat sandwiches. (Canada Place Way and Thurlow)
9. Le Tigre: Chinese dim sum with a twist. Expect BBQ beef in a puff pastry, bao and sticky rice. (Alberni and Bute)
10. Rimfoodbaht: Authentic Thai. Example: shrimp wraps with ginger sauce. (Hamilton & Robson)
11. Mogu: Japanese-inspired street food. The sample dish served at the taste testing event was a Pork Miso Katsu Sandwich with an Asian hot mustard coleslaw inside. (Howe and Dunsmuir)
12. The Burger Bus: Organic all-beef burgers, with gluten-free options. (Davie and Seymour)
Source: The Vancouver Sun‘s tasting photo set.
Check out this handy Openfile map of the new food cart locations.
In depth on 3 new food carts
Inspired by a hangover in a camper van, owner Mark Cothey decided to turn his vehicle into a conspicuous, pink food truck that serves bacon sandwiches and more. The way he saw it, there were no bacon food trucks and bacon is an undying food trend.
Sandwiches include Piggy Blues: bacon, creamy blue cheese and caramelized onion mayo. There’s also the formidable Porker: bacon, sausage and bacon stuffing with green apple, goat gouda, carmelized onion may and greens. The menu isn’t limited to sandwiches, however. Cothey has a roster of savories and desserts all incorporating local bacon.
Owned by Veronika Manzano and her husband Jose, this Salvadoran food cart serves up the national dish pupusas, stuffed with cheese, beans and pork. They also do a mean chicken tamale and serve fresh tropical juices, including tamarind, to wash it all down.
Ingredients are locally sourced, when possible, but naturally Jose and his family team of chefs (including mum and sister) have to import banana leaves and yuca frita directly from El Salvador.
This set of Indian food carts by Sarb Mund, a former accountant, makes a memorable, vibrant green minced cilantro chicken, but Soho will become best-known for its reusable tiffins from the new Tiffin Truck. These five-compartment tins can hold rice, a meat dish, a veg dish, salad, yogurt, dessert and naan all for $10.
Watch GlobalTV interviews with new cart owners here.
Challenges faced by new food carts
The food truckin’ industry is a highly competitive space with tight margins. Although only one food cart, Coma (Korean tacos) closed in the last year, cart owners like Sarb Mund are concerned about commercial kitchen rental rates and street meter fees. Mund chose a sidewalk cart over a street cart in order to reduce costs.
Mund (who now owns 3 food trucks) hopes to benefit from economies of scale, as does Kaboom Box owner Andrew Fielding, who also won a second food cart license. According to the Globe and Mail coverage, holding more special events like Dine Out Vancouver would boost revenues for these young, ambitious entrepreneurs.
More essential facts about Vancouver’s 103 food carts
Inside Vancouver’s coverage of the approved proposal to bring food carts to Vancouver parks this summer.