In the past week there has been two major food truck gatherings or so-called Food Truck Frenzy events in Calgary. The first one was at the Shaw Campus in the Northeast last Friday and the other, on Halloween Monday at Olympic Plaza downtown. I had the opportunity to attend both.
Last Friday, I went with my friend to the Shaw Campus Food Truck Frenzy event so that she could try the famous Alley Burger for the first time. Since my post on the Alley Burger back in August, I’ve had the Alley Burger a couple more times now and I found the last two Alley Burgers (including the one that I had last Friday) to be more stellar than the very first one I tried back in August. There were definitely more cheese curds and the curds were perfectly melted unlike the first one I tried. I guess they’ve gotten into the groove and now that there’s less of a frenzy over these burgers, they actually are preparing it with more love and attention.
In addition to having the Alley Burger for lunch, I decided to take the opportunity to try one of the other food trucks that I’ve not tried yet. I decided to try some perogies from the Perogy Boyz Food Truck. On that day, there was a choice of 3 types of perogies – Traditional (potato, cottage cheese), Duck (ground duck, saskatoon berry, chive ponzu), and Mexicali (ground beef, chili aioli, tomato ‘tartar’, green onion, cheddar cheese). I decided to get an order of the Duck Perogies ($7 for an order of 6 perogies).
I wasn’t sure what to expect and to my surprise, these Duck Perogies actually reminded me of potstickers. They were tasty and I liked the spices and flavours in the chive ponzu dipping sauce. However, I thought they were a bit skimpy on the duck filling. I was surprised the perogies actually looked a little flat rather than being plump. While tasty, they are a little expensive as I would probably need to eat 2 orders in order to get full. As an appetizer in a fine dining restaurant, these might have been fine but as street food, I found them to be quite pricey for what I actually got. I’m glad I got to try them anyways.
On Halloween Monday at the Olympic Plaza Food Truck Frenzy event, I heard that the Street Burger Food Truck was going to be no more. It’s been sold and the new owners are going to turn it into the Mighty Skillet Food Truck, which will be serving up brunch fare. I was a little surprised by the news since the Street Burger Food Truck had just launched at the beginning October. Since that was the last day for the Street Burger Food Truck, I thought I’d take the opportunity to try it out as I’d never tried a “Street Burger” before. Being Halloween, they were featuring the Zombie Burger ($5), which is a variation on the “Street Burger”.
The Zombie Burger consisted of 2 AAA Alberta Beef Patties, garlic sauce & fresh basil, a slice of bocconcini, and Italian vegetable spread. I was told the difference between this and the original Italian-style “Street Burger” was that tomato sauce was used instead of the Italian vegetable spread. Compared to the Alley Burger, for me this Zombie Burger was a bit of a miss. The bocconcini was bland and when melted between the beef patties surprisingly had a texture similar to cooked egg white instead of being creamy. If I had not seen the menu, I would have guessed that the mystery “white stuff” between the patties was cooked egg white. I didn’t actually think that the bocconcini enhanced the burger. The two thin patties were a bit on the dry side and were not very flavourful. The Italian vegetable spread was flavourful but made the ciabatta bun a bit soggy. On a positive note, I did like the basil leaves, which gave the burger a fresh taste. On paper, the burger seemed promising as all the components sounded delicious but somehow it failed to deliver in the execution. With the change in ownership, I hope the new Mighty Skillet owners will serve up some tasty items on their new menu.
At the Olympic Plaza Food Truck Frenzy event, the Fiasco Gelato Truck launched the “Souped Up” version of their truck. For the chilly winter months, they have partnered with Nourish Soupworks and will be selling bowls of gourmet soup. I decided to get some soup to go with my burger. On that day, there were four soups featured – Split Pea & Ham (green peas, onion, & ham), Chipotle Coffee Chili (roasted peppers, espresso, beef & spice), White Velvet (cauliflower, bacon & truffle), and Thai Carrot(coconut milk, carrots & spice). I decided to get a small bowl of the White Velvet ($5 for small/12 oz; $7 for regular/16 oz).
The White Velvet soup was delicious. I could really taste the bacon flavour in the soup. Because the cauliflower was puréed, I found the soup to be a little on the grainy side. I would have preferred the soup to be a little smoother. It was, otherwise, a tasty soup overall and I wouldn’t mind having it again.
For the gelato-lovers out there, one thing to note is that the Fiasco “Souped Up” Truck still has gelato for sale during the winter months. You can get pint-sized take home containers for $8 each.
I’m really happy to see the number of food trucks slowly growing here in Calgary. Out of all the trucks I’ve tried so far to date, my favourite food items have been the Alley Burger from the Alley Burger Food Truck and the Beef Pho with Satay from The Noodle Bus. For dessert, my favourites have been the Wild Blueberry, the PB&J, and the Peanut Butter Crunch gelato from the Fiasco Gelato Truck.