Last week we had the pleasure of visiting our first food trucks in Brantford at the second event of the food truck season, a community outreach event organized by Evangel Church. Food trucks can be hit or miss for vegetarians, so we went with few expectations. But boy, will we go back. The food was great, the company was lively and the space and setting for kids was priceless.
We spoke to Ron, the event’s coordinator, who told us there are roughly 25-30 trucks in rotation on their food list. The trucks arrive in Brantford (a stone’s throw from Paris) from a variety of places, some near, some far – from Hamilton, Toronto, Simcoe and Guelph. The organizers put care into each Thursday’s lineup. They’ve so far managed to tap into a wide network of food trucks which helps them keep the variety of food fresh and interesting, with special efforts not to double up on the type of cuisine offered by the trucks. Each event books five trucks, four savoury and one sweet, a solid number that keeps the lines short and manageable.
As far as business for the trucks – they love it. With the series now in its second year, food trucks are calling the church and asking for spots in the rotation. The location is very near the highway with high visibility. And the businesses are happy to give a small financial cut to the church, who are in turn happy to draw people to their building and contribute colour to the community.
Our experience of the trucks was pretty hedonistic (we’ll do almost anything not to have to cook or do dishes these days). We enjoyed a healthy serving of kimchi spring rolls from the Mexican-fusion food truck El Luchador (not on the menu, but tell them you’re vegetarian and they’ll do it!), some indulgent fish tacos for Cass, an outstanding double black bean burger from Breakfast Blues & BBQs, and a whipped cream and pink sprinkle-topped strawberry shortcake cheesecake from The Little Cheesecake Co., which obviously delighted our pink-obsessed daughter.
Moo was incredibly patient as we ordered our food, and as we sat down amongst shared tables meeting wonderful new people – some members of the church including the church’s Pastor Craig, and others not – she delighted in playing with coloured wooden blocks and chasing the older kids on a healthy patch of green in front of the building. It was heartwarming and nostalgic to watch her make fast friends with other kids. While there we also heard promising tales of different lawn toys and games put out for each event, which keeps it interesting for the little ones. A reason in and of itself to come back each Thursday.
So if you’re up for it, go visit them tomorrow! This Thursday’s lineup (May 19, 2016) features:
- Urban Express, a Hamilton food truck with a “passion for steaks”
- Dobro Jesti, featuring “handmade European food” (schnitzel, sauerkraut and the like)
- True North BBQ, from “baby back ribs, to dirty bird tacos, and mac & cheese balls to smoked baked potatoes” and more
- Salted Pig, ham, chicken, peameal and pretzel bun sandwiches
- Café Du Monde, mouthwatering sweet and savory crépes
We’ll likely not be there this Thursday unless dinnertime gets hairy, since we’re laying low ’til our new baby arrives. But tell us what you had so we can live vicariously through you. We look forward to hearing all about it!