Pleasing palettes at strEAT food truck festival
The Columbia strEAT food truck festival is a blocks long smorgasbord.
And with 50 food trucks from around Metro Vancouver expected along the curbs of Columbia Street from 6th to Elliot next Saturday, there's bound to be tastes to please every palette.
This year's event, which runs from 4 - 10 p.m., is almost four times bigger than last year's gourmand gathering, when the crowds eager to sample mobile munchies were so great many of the 15 trucks ran out of food.
And while some downtown diners endured an hour-long lineup only to be denied their desired dinner when they finally reached the counter, the buzz created by the first strEat festival reverberated around the foodie and food truck communities, said Maddie McKitrick, the program and events coordinator for the Downtown Business Improvement Association.
Other food truck assemblies around Metro Vancouver tend to happen in parking lots or fields. They're usually daytime events.
"It's cool that we actually shut down a street," said McKitrick. "We just want it to be a really fun street festival."
To ensure that happens, the BIA is bringing in triple the amount of tables and chairs from last year's event. It's also creating a pop-up picnic park where visitors can bring their blankets and enjoy their meal on a rolled-out section of synthetic sod.
There will also be lots of music to create a festive ambiance. Four buskers, including three solo artists and one band will be stationed at different locations, and there will also be a radio station DJ spinning tunes.
But really, said McKitrick, the event is all about the food. And this year's festival will include almost every expression of cart cuisine imaginable, from Belgian waffles to Filippino fusion to Ukrainian perogies. There's BBQ for committed carnivores, seafood for particular pescatarians and pakoras for famished vegans.
To wash it down there will also be three beer gardens.
And if festival-goers are so enamoured with some of the dishes they sample they want to try cooking them at home, the Royal City Farmers Market will have a number of its regular vendors set up near the pop-up picnic park.
It all adds up to a recipe for the biggest and best food truck festival around, said McKitrick.
"The biggest thing we learned from last year it that it was way more successful than we could have every imagined," she said.
For more info about the food truck festival, including a lineup of all the trucks expected, go to www.downtownnewwest.ca