of Canada’s latest food movement can be traced to an alleyway in downtown Calgary — the one behind
Charcut Roast House, to be more accurate. It was a quick-witted
idea: A highly respected restaurant (we adored the spit-roast rib sandwich and Parmesan fries, but who
wouldn’t) selling five-buck burgers through the kitchen door. Within weeks, thrifty gourmands were lining up
in the middle of winter for a meaty morsel. It became so popular that before long, Charcut had its own wandering burger van, its location
posted on a dedicated Facebook page. And while we wouldn’t suggest that Charcut is wholly responsible for the current glut of
epicurean food trucks, it certainly gained the most attention. “Street food reflects the place, peopleand
products that make each city culture unique and exciting,” says Charcut’s John
“The new food truck scene has great potential to create memorable experiences for Calgary’s visitors,” adds Randy Williams, Tourism Calgary president and CEO. “Urban explorers are always looking for new adventures and unique culinary products to try.
”Street food, in Canada at least, has long been derided: Hot dogs and gyros (unlike in the Far East where it is often the best food). On the streets of Calgary today, you can eat top-notch gluten-free french fries served by “some of Calgary’s friendliest dolls” at Fries & Dolls, artisan gelato made daily at Fiasco Gelato and posh perogies at Perogy Boyz. Find out where they are on Facebook and Twitter. Food trucks are now so popular that Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi formed a committee to approve and ensure quality in the food.
A similar scheme has been instigated in Vancouver. But not wanting to get into a “Which was the first city in Canada to promote gourmet food trucks?” argument, we’ll merely state that it is also thriving in Vancouver, with predictions of almost a hundred licences within the next four years. As ever, it’s quality that shines through. The most popular carts include Roaming Dragon with its short ribs and steamed pork buns, The Re-Up BBQ and its delectable pulled-pork sandwich, Tacofino Cantina and the hugely popular Japa Dog (the Kobe beef “hot dog” is a recent debut). •