Last week we headed out to Ottawa Street North for the Sew Hungry event. Sew Hungry is considered the largest Food Truck festival in Canada with over twenty food trucks coming out. I expected a lot of crowds and insane line ups for food but surprisingly, the crowds were manageable and lineups were almost non existent. I don't know whether it was because there wasn't a lot of advertising or Hamiltonians just aren't into food trucks but I definitely expected a larger turn out. The trucks were also spread out pretty well down Ottawa street so it helped the flow of traffic.
I love these food truck festivals because it's such a challenge to keep up with all the food trucks and where they're at, at all times. It just makes it so easy when they all come together and you get to sample a little bit off each truck. It's also great for the community because until last week, I had no idea Ottawa Street was filled with so many quaint little antique shops and independently owned coffee shops and restaurants. Back in my day, Ottawa Street was a bunch of run down fabric stores and shady individuals twitching for a hit. Things have definitely changed for the better!
Our first stop was fresh lemonade from Hula Girl Espresso Boutique. As we were walking down Ottawa street we kept seeing these beautiful drinks in everyones hand, once we passed this truck we knew we had to get in on it! Here you have the rosemary + watermelon and the guava + ginger lemonade. Both were absolutely delicious and fresh and perfect for a day worshipping the sun. The presentation was also very whimsical and sweet. I really wish I would have discovered these guys earlier on in the year. I believe they started off as an espresso boutique and then launched an espresso truck. Follow them on twitter to find out more information @HulaGirlEB.
Ever since we had the kettle corn at the Invermere Farmer's market I have been craving for some sweet & salty kettle corn. I was suuuper stoked to see there was a kettle corn food truck. I know, a truck that sells just popcorn? That's so ridiculous! But I'm so glad it was there cause I finally got to settle my cravings. To be honest it wasn't as amazing as Invermere's and there were a few burnt kernels as well and the sweet and salty flavour wasn't as fully distributed through out the kernels as I would have preferred, but it was still pretty bomb diggity and it was the best I've ever had on this side of Canada! Check them out on twitter @ShrinersCreek!
We also stumbled upon a local gem call Cannon Coffee Co. This was one of the local restaurants participating in Sew Hungry. Instead of a food truck they had a white tent set up in front of the shop. In all honesty, I wasn't really going to pay attention to anything outside of the food trucks themselves but the waffle bacon sign made me halt and inquire for details! The two girls working the stand were friendly and bubbly but didn't really provide much information when I enquired about the Coffee Shop behind them. I don't know if it was nerves or if they were just new, nonetheless, they made the waffle fresh in front of me and were incredibly friendly. The best part about this was the drizzling of real maple syrup on the bottom of this bowl. At first, I mistook the syrup as a pool of grease and was completely turned off but I quickly realized I was wrong. There was no aunt jemima here and you can definitely taste the difference! The waffles were light and fluffy and the bacon was nice and sexy - just the way I like it! I'll definitely be coming back to this joint sometime in the future. For more information, check them out on Facebook. They must still live in the 90s cause there was no twitter account to be found!
We also tried this really bazaar but surprisingly good concoction from Poco Loco. Poco Loco was another Ottawa Street restaurant that I had no idea existed and am looking forward to coming back for a full meal. What they did was cut open a snack sized bag of Fritos, poured in home made chilli, added onions, cheese, hot sauce and served with a smile and a fork. They called it a Fritos Pie, my friends in the Kitchen would call it Dirty. As. Hell! Don't get me wrong, "dirty" is a term of endearment used towards a foodie concoction of something so outrageously ridiculous and unbelievable gluttony but delicious - like a bacon lasagna, where you substitute the lasagna sheets for sheets of bacon - that's dirty good! (you can read about it here) Poco Loco's dirty goodness came from a bag of Fritos! There wasn't too much about them online but I did manage to find a twitter account here
The more popular trucks also showed up to the party such as Buster Sea Cove, Gorilla Cheese and Blue Donkey Streatery. Since we indulged in Buster Sea Cove while we were at the CNE we decided to choose two trucks we've never had before. I've read about Gorilla Cheese all summer and I was looking forward to finally getting my hands on one of their sandwiches! The line up for Gorilla Cheese was the longest I've seen all day and I was not looking forward to it. When we showed up there were two sandwiches already sold out, and another sold out while we were in line. By the time we got to the window only the OG, the Sarducci, and the Binder were available. We decided to go with the Binder and the Sarducci. Also while one of us was in line I ran over to the Blue Donkey truck and ordered the Fried Calamari Pita which was fried calamari with greek salad wrapped in pita with tzatziki and french fries inside the pita.
I love calamari and I was really looking forward to digging into the pita, but the line up at Gorilla Cheese was soo long, by the time we got a chance to sit down and dig into it... it was soggy. But it was still pretty delicious! The calamari was tender and the tzatziki sauce was phenominal. The sandwiches at Gorilla Cheese were nice, hot and gooey. The Binder from GC had cheddar, mozzarella, and hot pepper brick on white, the Sarcucci was my favourite with mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions, fresh basil, and balsamic glaze on multigrain. Both sandwiches from Gorilla Cheese were excellent in flavour and it was served piping hot with fresh ingredients but for $8/$9 I expected a lot more. Sometimes I can't rationalize how food trucks can charge the prices they do, especially for just a grilled cheese sandwich! Granted they were executed very well with wholesome ingredients, but it's still just melted cheese in between two slices of bread! For that price other trucks would at least offer a side of chips or coleslaw. The GC truck is locally owned and operated so regardless of the price, at least you know you're supporting local business. Check out Blue Donkey here, and Gorilla Cheese here. Have a great weekend and I'll see ya'll on Monday!