I have never been quick to adopt fads. I am never in style. I like things once they are not popular (or before they are popular). But you would think when it comes to food I would be on top of things, right? Well the food truck craze has been going for a couple of years now, and last week was my first visit to an official food truck event.
I was at work, walked passed a window, and saw a little truck town set up in the park next door. I did a double take and put my hands and face to the window to confirm it was true. See it's not that I eschewed food trucks, it's just every event where they have taken place has been swamped with people. But this event was still early on so the lines were small. Nobody in my office seemed to be excited, so I ran to get my wallet, my camera and soon I was at the United Way event at City Hall.
Actually, before running out I checked torontofoodtrucks.ca to see what the deal was and who was there. There were 3 trucks: Caplansky's, Gourmet Gringos and Hogtown Smoke. At the event, I scanned their menu for chicken wings. No deal. So it came down either Deli & Smoked Meat, BBQ, or contemporary tacos.
It all sounded good, it all looked good. But I have had Caplansky's deli on my radar for a long time, and a smoked meat sandwich sounded good.
The menu consisted of:
- Smoked Meat Sandwich $8
- Brisket Sliders 1for $5 2 for $9
- Smoked Meat Gravy "Train" Poutine
- Big Turkey Special $8
- Grilled Salami & Cheese $8
- Fries $5 (add gravy $2)
- Grilled Cheese $6
- Maple Beef-Bacon Donuts: 3 for $3, 6 for $5, 12 for $9
I went for the Deli Combo though: "Sandwich 'n pop with your choice of fries, soup or salad" for $11. Oh and I got some of the donut hole's to share with the group.
First off, my beverage was a Black Cherry Cott cola. My favourite beverage is Cherry Coke, which I like because it has a marichino cherry flavour. Other cherry beverages like Cott are black cherry, which tastes like real cherries. There is nothing wrong with that - this was a tasty beverage. And it`s caffeine free too.
The fries were awesome. Fresh cut, fried right. Crispy but potato soft inside. Since I was eating in my dinning hall I added my own malt vinegar and ketchup. So good.
Kosher dill pickle. Tart, crunchy, dilly. Perfect addition. Someone at the food truck left theirs at the condiment table, and I was very tempted to take it for myself . . . but that would be a little gross. How could someone do that though?
The smoked meat sandwich. It may not look like much, but it was much. The bread is a light rye from local bakery Silversteens (I love walking past this place and smelling the yeasty aroma of baking bread).
Caplansky's truck had several types of mustard to put on. On one half I put their spicy hot mustard (which had a nice kick, pictured above). On the other half I put honey mustard, not because I thought that was a good flavour combo for this sandwich, but because I like honey mustard.
When I ordered this, I confused it with Montreal Smoked Meat, so while it was good, I felt it was a let down for a smoked meat sandwich. But upon reviewing my pictures, it is simply smoked meat, not Montreal style. What's the difference? Well Montreal smoked meat flavour is a bit different, and much more moist. This was a bit dry, but had a nice subtle meat flavour.
I've seen sandwiches pilled higher, but this was the perfect lunch portion. I love smoked meat, and this definitely made me want to go to the actual restaurant to eat a meal.
. . . and for dessert, maple bacon-beef donuts. I had no idea how these were going to taste. And even though there were a bunch of people at our table, most were vegetarian on this day. But Kelci and Sarah were keen to try. Kelci loved them . . . Sarah, not so much.
So to be clear, its a donut, with bacon inside, deep fried, with syrup poured over top, and sprinkled with icing sugar. I don't know where the beef comes in though . . .
I liked it. It made me think back to a scout camp I used to go to where they would make mash-potato donuts (they would make it from left over mashed potatoes, and we would almost collectively refuse to eat the mash potatoes so they would make the donuts). The taste is very savoury, slightly salty inside contrasted with the sweet maple syrup and sugar. Drool. Drool I say.
Overall, this was a great lunch. I wish food trucks would stop by more often!