May 22, 2013

Food Truck Eats

This past weekend my sister and I, along with the Sok Sisters headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake for  Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates. A combination of twenty Canadian & US Food trucks and twenty wines from Peller Estates favourite vintages all in one beautiful location- what a great way to spend the long weekend if I do say so myself!  Tickets were $15 each, which included a complimentary wine glass and one drink ticket.        Before I get into what we ate and drank, let me just start off by saying the team at Peller Estates put on a fantastic event! I've been to my fair share of food truck shows and they are always such a hot mess! The line ups are insane, there's no where to eat and the vendors sell out forty minutes into the event. 

Not this time! There was ample amount of space to sit down and eat. In fact, I brought a picnic blanket and the girls and I sat down and lounged in the sun all day. There were also umbrellas provided for some shade and hay stacks scattered around if you needed an extra seat. They also had plenty of staff so although there was a huge crowd... and I mean HUGE, the lineup to get in was quick and the lineup for wine - although a little daunting at first, were no more than 5-8 minutes! 

A majority of the food trucks also did a fantastic job of keeping up with the crowds and there was still plenty of variety to go around. There was also a diverse group of attendees, from toddlers to seniors - it was a happy day for everyone! This is definitely my go-to summer event from now on. I was blown away by the organization of the event and the property. I never felt congested and for the first time at a food event I felt I had the space and time to relax, sit down and enjoy a good meal at a ridiculously leisure pace. 
Our game plan was to hit up the trucks individually and meet back in the middle to share our findings. My sister came back with salmon civiche, pork tostadas, & fish tacos from  El Gastr├▓nomo Vagabundo. They are one of the few food trucks I've never had before. It might have something to do with them NEVER LEAVING ST. CATHERINES!  Am I upset? No, not at all. :-) I can honestly say, they were definitely worth the wait! Especially that salmon civiche, I can still taste it in my mouth as I'm writing this. Now I'm hungry. 
I decided to hit up Tide & Vine and came back with watermelon gazpacho with shrimp & squid, PEI oysters, and grilled scallops. The scallops were a hot mess and a waste of money. The pineapple had completely spoiled the scallops and turned it into mush. But the oysters were sweet and incredibly fresh and I could have had a bucket full of that gazpacho! I love watermelon and it was the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day! 


Chandarith came back with two slices of pizza from Bonfire Catering. These guys carry around their own wood fired oven to events - how bad ass is that right?  Both pizzas were super thin and crispy. You could taste the fresh toppings. We went with the classic arugula and proscuitto and the other slice had house made chorizo on it. I can't remember what else was on it... I pretty much stopped reading after I saw "house made chorizo" I was sold! 

Before we went out for our second round of trucks, we decided to fill up on a bit of wine. We used our free drink tickets to get a glass of Muscat, Riesling and Riesling Icewine. Drink tickets were $5 for 5oz, which I thought was very reasonable. Nothing beats  a nice glass of wine and a lazy day in the sun. 

Round two consisted of pork schnitzel sandwich from Dobro Jesti, Lobster Roll and Shrimp Tacos from Buster Sea Cove, Smoked Trout Chowder from The Big Chief and Apple Crumble from the Itty Bitty Pie Company
We were actually in line for a glass of wine and I was creeping this lady on a hay stack chowing down on this monster of a sandwich. Me, being ├╝ber nosey, walked right up to her and asked "Excuse me, where did you get that?" She pointed me over to Dobro Jesti. 

We all thought this would have made a fantastic lunch sandwich, simple flavours but very substantial and hardy. The shnitzel was crispy and fresh and the lashings of mayo helped add moisture to the bread. 
I tend to have this love/hate relationship with Buster Sea Cove. There is always a long line for them and everything is always so damn expensive. But regardless, we always get in line and always end up walking away with one or two items off the menu. The lobster roll is great, nice chunks of lobster and the roll is always soft and buttery. The shrimp tacos were also pretty great - it had to be when it was all shrimp and nothing else! They definitely give you a good portion of seafood. 

As much as I knock Buster, I always appreciate the sides they offer with their sandwiches. You always get a pickle and chips, which makes you "feel" like you're getting a better bang for your buck! 
Because we were waiting for everyone to get back to the group the Smoked Trout Chowder was pretty cold by the time we got to it. It was still really tasty and flavourful but I can only imagine how bomb diggity it would have been piping hot! I would definitely go back for more and to sample their Bison sliders - which were sold out by the time I got there. The chowder also came with a house made scone/biscuit but I didn't think it really needed it. 
We were quickly nearing the end of our day so we sent Chandary out to pick up dessert. We all settled for the pies from Itty Bitty Pie Company. Unfortunately they were all sold out while she was waiting in line so we settled for the apple crumble. I guess it was suppose to be served in a cup but as they were running low - they decided to serve it as you see below. 

We were all pretty disappointed when we laid our eyes on dessert. A twenty minute wait for two table spoons of apple crumple and a dollop of ice-cream? This was the first and only disappointment of the entire afternoon. Three dollars for two tablespoons? Not worth it! What a waste of time and money! The apple crumple itself had a lot of flavour but it was a little too try for my taste. Or maybe I was still bitter over the wait, cost, and portion of said apple crumble to truly enjoy it. 
The last "truck" I was really looking forward to hitting up was Rudy's Paletas. These were latin inspired ice pops. They had some fantastic flavours such as raspberry basil, mango chili, orange ginger and grapefruit fennel. They sold out of raspberry basil while we were in line so we got two mango and chili and one orange ginger. These were incredibly refreshing and the flavour combinations were fantastic! Rudy is actually a Hamilton local so look out for her around town - trust me - you won't regret it! These will definitely be a summer time favourite amongst the girls and I.

We all had a great time and are looking forward to next years event! The tickets were affordable and the wine and food were all set at reasonable prices. It really was a well orchestrated event and  hopefully they can squeeze in another event like this before the end of the summer! Oh! PS, there was also a super rad live band playing their renditions of old school R&B songs, I'm talking "No Diggity"  by Blackstreet, old school!
Peller Estates
290 John Street
Niagara on the Lake
Peller Estates on Urbanspoon

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