Truck food, street food, meals on wheels…call it what you want, mobile cuisine has hit Edmonton in a big way. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy.
The newest trucks on the block are Drift Mobile Eatery and Molly’s Eats. This brings the total of mobile eateries in Edmonton to almost a dozen.
I stopped by Victoria Park on holiday Monday, August 1st to sample the wares from both trucks. It was a beautiful sunny day and I wasn’t the only foodie there. Just like truckers of the good ol’ CB days (think Smokie and the Bandit), we all have our Twitter “handles”. There was Baconhound, ThePolishViking, Battista (wait, that’s his real name), one of the TresCarnales (Daniel), and me, Wanderwoman10. Rumour had it, other Twitter food folk had already come and gone before me, and that meant one thing: there was good food nearby.
First up: the lean, mean, teal machine: Drift.
The first thing I notice (well, other than the colour), is the sign posted on the ‘pickup and order’ window. The sign is a list of their suppliers. These guys get extra points for supporting local producers like Greens Eggs and Ham, Irvings Farm Fresh, Nature’s Green Acres and Dreamin’ Green Farm. The sandwiches (see menu below) are packed, and I mean, packed with flavour. You can’t go wrong with local, fresh ingredients.
My must haves were the jerk chicken sandwich, and the pork belly, and yes, I did have a favourite between those two: the pork belly is king. Blessed, blessed pork belly: juicy, tender, roasted just right, and topped with a chili mayo that is the stuff of dreams.
This is not to say the jerk was any slouch. No sirree. Tender chicken, grilled perfectly, topped with sweet pineapple to offset just the right amount of spice. That was one tasty jerk. In fact, that’s the kind of jerk I look forward to having in my life on a regular basis.
nice jerk, bad picture
Well done, Nevin and Kara…well done. Your flavour combinations were absolutely bang-on, and the toasty warm, chewy ciabatta bun is the perfect choice of bread for your savoury sandwiches.
In the nexxxxxt parking spot, weighing in at a respectable 2,000 lbs: Molly’s Eats.
Now, Molly is a little more understated in her choice of truck colours, but we all know a girl can never go wrong with basic black. There is, however, nothing understated about the food. This is international street food with a whole lot of shazam!
The “Molly” in Molly’s Eats is owner Susan Chin’s mom. Molly was a cook at the Ramada Inn in Edmonton for 30 years. Thirty years. The woman deserves an award…or at the very least, her name on a hot new food truck.
There was more to choose from than I anticipated, and with my bag of goods from Drift next door, I had to make a wise selection.
Thankfully, Molly’s Eats offers a taster’s dream in the form of sliders. Three for $10, a steal of a deal. The three sliders that day were the Lomito Pork, The Texas Brisket and Bacon, and the Carolina BBQ pulled pork. Meat City. Awesome.
Now, I don’t know what’s going on with these new young, whippersnappers who are starting up food ventures in Edmonton, but I tell ya, they sure do know what they’re doing. Home-made food, fresh ingredients, attention to flavour detail…2011 could go down as the “Summer of Food Love” in Edmonton’s history books.
The one sandwich from Molly’s Eats that I’d go back for was definitely that Texas-style barbecued brisket. It had just the right amount of heat to make you stand up and take notice, but still let the rest of the ingredients shine. It was sweet, spicy, crunchy and juicy. The pork sandwiches had their own merits for sure. Susan tells me the Lomito sandwich to Chileans is what hot dogs are to New Yorkers: iconic street food. I can believe it…there was a lot going on in that sandwich, and the Carolina-style barbecue had just the right vinegary kick in it to make me wonder if Susan has a real Carolinian hidden in that truck with her. But that brisket is where it’s at folks. Hands down.
Who knew food served out of a truck could be so good!
My CBC Edmonton AM Restaurant Review of Molly’s Eats and Drift can be heard here.