22 August 2011

My Birthday Weekend - Food Truck Eats

Well, this past weekend was my birthday. That's right I turned 29...again! This year was probably the best birthday's I have had in a long time. It was eventful and fun! I love my family for making it so special! :)

Saturday was the Food Truck Eats in the Distillery District, Downtown Toronto. It was so much fun. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was to busy drooling over all the food and stuffing my face. Food Truck Eats is a movement in Ontario to allow more food trucks and street food stalls to roam our streets. Right now, you can only find "street meat" vendors, at almost every corner of the Downtown core. Don't get me wrong, they really hit the spot at 3AM after you've been kicked out of a club, definitely not gourmet no matter how you dress it up. Which is why I think this event is so great!! Hopefully, Toronto and some other cities realize Food Truck are great!

We arrived about 10 mins. before 11AM (Hours were 11AM-3PM).We met up with a friend I hadn't seen in years, who loves food as much as I do! I love meeting up with old friends, especially at events like this.  Although, we got there a tad early, some had been there since 10AM. If you got there at 10AM and donated $10 to Second Harvest, you would get a wrist band for early access to the event. Next time, that is what were going to do, then we can skip the crazy lines. There was a HUGE line at Gorilla Cheese and a significant line at El Gastronomo Vagabundo before 11AM. Well, since they had the largest lines, we HAD to try their food.

At Grorilla Cheese, we had the Sarducci - Tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar with fresh basil, onion and lots of mozzarella cheese on two slices of multi-grain bread. Yes, bottom line this truck served grilled cheese. OMG!! It was THE BEST grilled cheese I have ever eaten. My husband does NOT like fresh tomatoes at all, and I had to fight him for my grilled cheese back!! Of course, it was so good, we inhaled it before we could take a picture. :(

Next we headed over to El Gastronomo Vagabundo. This was another OMG! food truck. Here we ordered the Bangkok Dangerous Taco, Chili Corn Fritter and a Thai Iced Tea.

Bangkok Dangerous Taco - Coconut red curry
braised beef short ribs, topped with coriander
and shallots on a soft taco - was amazing!
The beef was melt in your mouth, the curry was
flavourful but not too spicy. 

The Chili Corn Fritter - Corn fritter topped with
Thai Basil, shredded cucumber, and
a spicy nuoc mam sauce -
was perfectly balanced with the spicy, vinegary and sweet. 
My husband took Kat to get a poutine at Smoke's Poutinerie. There was no line so early in the day, but if there was a poutine place like this near my house, I would be there EVERY DAY!! There were many trips to Smoke's throughout the day. For the first trip, Kat ordered the Traditional - Fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. My husband was a little more daring, he ordered the Pulled Pork - Fries topped with cheese curds and Chipotle Pulled Pork. Both were so good, but I especially enjoyed the Chipotle Pulled Pork. On the second trip, we ordered the Bacon - Fries topped with cheese curds, double smoked bacon and gravy and another Pulled Pork. :) Yes, we REALLY like the Pulled Pork!!

Bacon Poutine and Pulled Pork Poutine
Then we made a stop at Caplansky's food truck. We ordered the Smoked Meat and BBQ Brisket Sliders. My whole family enjoyed the smoked meat slider, but the BBQ brisket was nothing spectacular, the kids wouldn't eat it. :(

BBQ Beef Brisket and Smoked Meat Sliders
One really neat thing at the Food Truck Eats was the free water refills by Water-on-Wheels. They were awesome, and so friendly. Most people walking by was surprised water was free. I knew they were going to be there, so I packed a couple of refillable drinking bottles. Yes, I am a mommy of 3, sometimes I remember to do some research before heading out the door. :)

My husband went to Ontario Spring Water Sake Company. I guess I forgot to inform him of the first brewery in Eastern North America to make Japanese Rice Wine - Sake. (There's one in BC.) So he went in to have a look and came out with some Lemon Ice Cream, tasted more like sorbet. The ice cream was make with Sake. It was light and very refreshing, so great for a day like Saturday.

Next I took a gander into A Taste of Quebec. I love cheese and this is a great find. They serve only cheese from Quebec, however there were lots of other products like dried meat and pate. There was also a gorgeous gallery you can rent for special occasions. If I had a way of taking all the cheese home without it melting I would have, but I didn't think the cheese would survive the GO bus ride home. :(

The last food vendor I ate at was La Carnita. My friend told me about this place. So cool! Basically, you don't know where they will be "popping" up unless you follow them on twitter @La_Carnita. Really, you are buying a piece of art, then you get an awesome taco. Yes, that's right! Art and Taco, both AWESOME! I tried their Fish Taco - Deep fried cod with Voltron sauce, red cabbage, lime cream and cilantro. OMG! I cannot tell you how good it was. I bought two and yes, I inhale both of them myself! :)

Fish Tacos with Voltron Sauce topped with red cabbage, lime cream and cilantro
While in line for my artwork, Logan and I went past Marben. We had a Blueberry Lemon-aid. I love lemon-aid. When I was a kid, my dad would squeeze lemons all day, so my siblings and I could have a jug of fresh lemon-aid. Oh, what I would give to have my dad's lemon-aid again. Anyway, Logan was the cutest! He really wanted the lemon-aid. He asked for some money and went up to the stand, threw the guy his money and took a glass of lemon-aid. Logan didn't even wait for his change. 

And the last stop on our food truck adventure was Twirlee's Ice Cream Truck. This place is not your typical dirty ice cream truck that plays, who plays that horrible song down your street. Although, I do enjoy a chocolate dipped twist cone once in a while. Twirlee's ice cream was out of this world. I couldn't believe how good soft serve could be. Logan had the Birthday Cake - Vanilla ice cream with chunks of vanilla cake and a blue frosting drizzle. Alyssa had a traditional Vanilla/Chocolate Twist. Kat had the Cookies n' Cream. My husband had the Cherry Cheesecake, I think. I can't remember what it was called but it was soo...good. I really can't wait for the next Food Truck Eats, I think it will be in October! :)

After eating all that food, we opted to stroll to Union Station. Good thing, it gave my husband and I some time to digest, and let the kids burn off some of their energy.  I think we played at every single park on our walk. It was great being silly with my kids, but sometime I'm not sure who's a bigger kid, my husband or my actual kids?!



We also visited the St. Lawrence Market to pick up some amazing Kozlik's Mustard. Our favourites are the Cranberry Mustard, tastes amazing on a turkey sandwich or with Thanksgiving Turkey as a dip, and Horseradish Mustard, great on just about anything, but make sure you don't use too much, it is very spicy. We also picked up a jar of their Hot Horseradish and Double C, which is their grainy Dijon.

The trip home was pretty good. The kids slept on the bus, but so did my husband. I'm glad we took the GO Bus, it was so much more convenient. Plus there's the excitement of riding the "big green" bus.

For dinner, we ordered some pizza and chicken wings from a new place, goes with today's theme of trying new foods. :) There is a place very close to my house, Kat has gone with her friends from school and she says the food is pretty good. Pizza and wings took a little longer because they were really busy, we figured it was a good sign. We ordered two pizzas: one veggie and one with chicken, broccoli, mushrooms and extra cheese. We also ordered 18 honey garlic chicken wings. The chicken pizza was a little under cooked for my husband, I thought it was good. The veggie pizza was really good. Both had lots of toppings and the veggie pizza toppings all looked amazingly fresh, most other places use canned mushrooms and tomatoes. Yuck!! The chicken wings were soo...good! I love to order them sweet and dip them in some hot sauce, sweet and spicy! :) It is definitely our new favourite pizza place.


Saturday was such an awesome day, I almost didn't want it to end, but Sunday was my birthday! Yay!!

Happy Eating!!

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