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What are you enjoying at Vancouver street food carts?

Now that summer is finally here (?!), I was hoping to get some feedback from y'all about street food. Don't find myself downtown at lunch time all that often but want to be prepared when I am :-). I had a dig around on the web and here are the places I've come up with that intrigue me -- locations and times may be off:

Kaboom Box 777 Granville near Georgia could be Granville at Robson for poutine

Reup BBQ beef brisket $9 at temp location Howe and Robson 12-3 M-Sat -- I like their pulled pork well enough

Bun Me Baguette Robson and Hornby T-Sun 11:30-6 crispy tofu! lemongrass chicken $4.25

Cartel Taco Burrard Street and W. Georgia or maybe west side of 500 Dunsmuir at Hamilton Mon. - Fri., 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Korean

Fresh Local Wild Burrard and Hastings Local, sustainable, seasonal comfort food

Bada Bing halal Philly cheese steak Robson and Thurlow (or maybe Bute), veg gravy poutine

La Brasserie Street West Georgia and Granville from Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.mchicken sandwich (778) 989-4883

Feastro 200 Thurlow at Cordova near torch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.) veg taco worth $7? (604) 868-9339

Arturo's 2 Go W Cordova St & Howe St

Finest at Sea: seafood, southeast corner of Robson and Hornby streets

Gourmet Syndicate: Asian fusion, east side of 900 Burrard St.

Kiss Kiss Banh Banh: Vietnamese subs, northwest corner of Howe and Robson streets

Tacofino Cantina Inc: tacos, burritos, 1800 Morton Sts or Robson St & Howe St (778) 870-6436

Coma Food Truck Strathcona 1250 Station St (604) 842-3676 Korean fusion

PS just found this Van street food app which I gather is getting more and more reliable. Also like that it has links to the social media upon which these carts post so trogs like me can check online. http://streetfoodapp.com/

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  1. I like La Brasserie and Fresh Local Wild. I'm not a huge fan (but only after one or two samplings, so ymmv) of Cartel, Gourmet Syndicate, Bada Bing, the banh mi places, Tacofino. I would like to check out Finest at Sea, Feastro, Kaboom Box.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Working in the downtown core has its advantages, so I've tried a few of these. My take (and I'll leave Re Up and the Roaming Dragon out of it, as I have a personal bias):

      Kaboom Box - opt for one of the sandwiches over the poutine. They have a smoker on board, so try the smoked salmon. The oyster sandwich is good as well.

      Banh Me Baguette - it is what it is, but you'll get a better banh mi elsewhere.

      Fresh Local Wild - good, but inconsistent on execution. If there's a line-up (and there probably will be one), opt for Kaboom Box instead.

      Brasserie - really quite good. I'm amazed it's not more lined up.

      Arturo's - skip it.

      There's also Nu's truck beside the Bay, though I haven't been. Fresh Local Wild also has their hotdog offshoot, Sausage a Trois, which also features a smoker on board - it's not bad, but when Eli was downtown serving D's sausages, that was truly the best hotdog in the vicinity.

      1. re: clutterer

        Tried Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ for the first time today, parked on Georgia at Burrard in front of the church. They started up last week.

        Had a chicken shislik wrapped in Iranian flatbread - your other choice is beef. They also have grilled corn on the cob avail, and a limonana (described as an Israeli lemonade with mint and sugar cane).

          1. re: flowbee

            I liked it, perhaps out of novelty. It's an interesting sample of flavours. Not completely dissimilar to the various falafel joints around the area in terms of flavour profiles, but not exactly the same, either. One of the two working was formerly at Peckinpah's. Corn no longer avail, as it wasn't selling.

    2. I had some of the rice balls at the Roaming Dragon cart/truck at the Kitsilano Market a few weeks ago. Quite yummy as a little snack and I like the fact that everything is either $3 or $6 (would be nice if that included tax though as the change is a bit annoying).

      1. I'm really enjoying Feastro, Tacofino and Coma (when it's downtown, which is rare...like today!). Feastro and Tacofino are similar but menu and execution are different enough that I enjoy both.

        1. The street food app is very good much better than the Eat Street app.

          I agree with Clutterer skip the poutine at Kaboom box (I didn't like the gravy) and go for either oyster or salmon sandwich. I like the smoke salmon there.

          The La Brasserie sandwich is great
          Didn't like the Beef Brisket at Re-up 2, felt the slaw overwhelmed the beef
          I was disappointed that the fish was deep fried at Tacofino; I was hoping it would be grilled.

          La Brasserie
          1091 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E1M5, CA

          5 Replies
          1. re: moyenchow

            But an authentic fish taco is always deep fried.

            1. re: tdeane

              Au contraire, most of the little Mexican places we've found serve them a la plancha (grilled). The battered and deep fried are often referred to as Baja style. Whole fish are often on menus, but don't recall ever seeing that used for tacos, would undoubtedly be great though.

              1. re: PolarBear

                The fish taco filling I repine for in Baja was always what I call griddled -- cooked on a flat top. They had a v. thin crispy coating that did sorta seem deep fried but wasn't. I've yet to find them prepared this way outside BCS.

                Doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed the df fish versions I've tried further north, but they are different, and also lack the mysterious white sauce :-).

                Almost tried Tacofino yesterday at Khatsalano Day but the lineup was too long both turns up the street.

                1. re: grayelf

                  Finally got to try Tacofino's Baja-style fish taco (twice, actually) and really enjoyed it, despite their use of a flour tortilla. Also really liked the takoyaki from Osa. Haven't found anything else that I'd return for at the small number of carts I've made it to. Nadir: waited 10 minutes for a taco at a cart, took one bite and binned it.

            2. re: moyenchow

              Tacofino has both grilled and fried tacos...

            3. I did a browse around last week and found the Vancouver Street Food app to be really useful - pinpointed the spots I headed for.
              - Bun Me Baguette - Lemongrass chicken was pretty good, but missing something - not sure if it was the lack of pate or being thin on fish sauce. Okay but not spectacular.
              - Agreed that the rice balls at Roaming Dragon were tasty - but pretty heavy.
              - Previously tried Reup's pulled pork, which was quite good.
              Not on your list: Ursu Korean BBQ Tacos, at Georgia and Richards - tried the chicken, which I found to be very good, but I admit to being thin on anything to compare it to.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tony Fox

                First of all RANT - street food should be 5-6 bucks tops.

                OK, here's my take so far:

                Re-Up, real hit and miss. Sometimes they nail it, although I want the cole slaw on the side with the pulled pork. Sometimes they don't, the last time there was a level of heat not suiting a pulled pork sandwhich. Tried the other truck once with "smoked brisket". Tough,overdone, no real smoke flavour. Hopefully they'll get better but brisket needs to be smoked at lowish heat for 8-12 hours or more. Don't see it happening from them.

                Bun Me Baguette. The bun doesn't work, far to chewy. I want my bread to be light with a crunchy crust. I honestly don't even remember the filling. Viet Sub 2 blocks away does a much better job.

                La Brasserie, my sandwich was a bit bland, but I did enjoy it. Messy though, as was the Oyster Po Boy at Kaboom box. The Po Boy was really good. Big oysters, done well, lots of flavour. Bring a bib or eat it back at the office.

                Cartel Taco, winner with me. Mexican/Korean fusion served by Australians. What more do you want?

                La Brasserie
                1091 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E1M5, CA

              2. Great (and speedy) feedback so far, thanks all -- love to hear more from you and others as data comes in.

                I did get a chance to try the chicken sandwich at La Brasserie Street today and felt, like tinfoilhat, that it was too bland. Looking forward to having at some of the other suggestions here.

                1 Reply
                1. re: grayelf

                  The one time I had the chicken sandwich it was verging on too salty. I liked it. The vagaries of food carts.

                2. Ahhhh, street food. This has to be one of my favorite sub-genres of eating.

                  The sandwiches at Re-Up are my favorites. Their pulled pork is the closest to what I make myself. Saucy and seasoned properly.

                  I've had good experiences at Fresh Local Wild, Tacofino and Arturo's. Coma is pretty good too.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: peter.v

                    Not so much street food as park food but Meat and Bread will be making an appearance at the Trout Lake Farmer's Market this weekend.
                    Kinda flew under my radar but I'm up for a good Porchetta sandwich amongst the trees this Saturday .

                    1. re: eatrustic

                      Nice tip! I might have to drag my usually late-rising self out of bed early for that. Plus get some shopping in at the market.

                  2. btw what ever happened to the trio of food trucks that were across the street from Bridgeport stn

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: vandan

                      Yes it's a cab stand now and those trucks are Long Gone.

                      1. re: Sam Salmon

                        did they move somewhere else or or they non-existant now ??

                        1. re: vandan

                          also anyone have any idea what the actual number of carts out on the street at this point is ??

                          1. re: vandan

                            According to the Street Food iPhone app - 38 (it does include Hotdog vendors such as Japadog, Eli's etc)

                            1. re: fmed

                              thanks and why can't they make that app for Blackberrys

                        2. re: Sam Salmon

                          Further to the Richmond Street Food trucks-they are still there in the same place-three parked quite close to each other and one partially tarped.

                          A cabbie parked nearby said he never saw anyone around them so I guess there was just no business to speak of and the whole idea is on hold.

                      2. hopefully this question is not too dumb..

                        are kaboom box and fresh local wild owned/run by the same people?
                        I've only ever seen the kaboom box in my travels and noticed the oyster po boy, or is
                        it the menus are somewhat similar?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: PeterHolbrook

                          i believe they were co-owners of FLW, and then one owner left to open Kaboom Box

                          1. re: vandan

                            Kaboom Box was formerly Fresh Local Wild, run by Josh Wolfe and Andy Fielding. The two went their separate ways, and Andy Fielding renamed the red cart to Kaboom Box but kept the menu (Granville and Robson). Josh Wolfe reopened Fresh Local Wild at a different location (Burrard and Hastings) with a new food truck and a new menu.

                        2. I just saw a photo on a food blog of a churro from a street cart in Mexico and it made me drool. I used to particularly enjoy the filled ones. Does anyone know of street cart churros in Vancouver?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: grayelf

                            A churro cart is a great idea...it would be easy too if they were set up like in Disneyland...probably no where near as good as the ones you had in Mexico...but they were still pretty delicious:).

                          2. I echo the sentiment that almost all of the street food in Vancouver is priced a bit too high for street food. It kind of misses the point of street food culture. But that is an aside.

                            In terms of quality, my favourites to date are Mangal Kiss (photo of Beef shishlik below), Slingers (photo of veal parmigiana below), Coma (photo of Korean style spicy pork burrito below), Bada Bing (photo of cheesesteak below), and Osa Tako Hero (photo of takoyaki below).

                            I really enjoyed Chinese Skewer King as well, but they were closed down by the health board because they had raw meat. Too bad. They were delicious with their cumin chili lamb skewers!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: YVRChow

                              Thanks for the tip (and delicious-looking picture) of the veal parm sando at Slingers which appears to be very handy for me as it often lurks around Granville and 10th/11th. On my list!

                              1. re: grayelf

                                I hope you enjoy it. They fresh fried the veal cutlet for the sandwich. It was lightly breaded and fried perfectly. The veal was still quite tender inside with the coating being nice and crispy. It was covered with a spicy marinara sauce that had strong bold flavours, as well as some melted mozzarella cheese. There were also sauteed onions, mushrooms, and what I believe was spicy eggplant. All of this was served on a soft bun that soaked up the sauces nicely and tied everything together.

                                Sadly, I'm guessing that the flavour profile at this truck likely won't appeal to about 95% of people in Vancouver as it borrows heavily from the New York style Italian food that comforts people used to it, and is viewed as overly heavy and non-delicate for those who are not. But I do hope they succeed as it was a lovely comforting lunch treat.

                                1. re: YVRChow

                                  It sounds great! Do you remember if there were red or green peppers?

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    As I recall there were no bell peppers on it. But my memory may be faulty.

                              2. re: YVRChow

                                Can anyone confirm that Osa is gone? Haven't seen it for a while and I heard a sad rumour... plus their website no funciona.

                              3. I tried Re-Up twice. The first time I really liked it, the second time for some reason not so much. Not sure if it was me or them.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: J_Bone

                                  Glad to hear re no bells, but I won't hold you to it :-).

                                  I had the same experience with the original Re-Up truck. Haven't tried the beef.

                                2. I am a huge fan of Re-up - super tasty and good value. They totally nailed the 'street cart' thing unlike a number of other carts.

                                  Here is my quick review of some others:

                                  Kaboom box - awesome smoked salmon sandwich.
                                  Roaming Dragon - its ok, just ok
                                  Tacofino - love their tacos, super tasty and pretty consistent
                                  Mama's Grilled Cheese - tastes like grilled cheese, good value, good options. Love that you can add a small cup of tomato soup for dipping.
                                  The Juice Truck - awesome juices, great ingredients, good value all around.
                                  La Brasserie - pretty decent. One of them has a house smoked chorizo sandwich that is off the hook.

                                  Happy Eating

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: koshfoodie

                                    Thank you for finally referencing Mama's grilled cheese in this thread. Good people and good food.. Last time i was there it was freezing cold and they were handing out free shots of soup while you wait.

                                    I had the meatloaf grilled cheese and it was excellent!

                                    My only complaint is i got it to go and the sandwich made the chips kinda soggy. really didn’t matter though as the grilled cheese was excellent and filling!

                                  2. City of Vancouver is looking for your street food ideas for 2012 in a new forum:

                                    Here's an excerpt:

                                    "For 2012, we will be holding, ‘Curb Your Appetite: A Street Food Taste Test’ as part of our street food selection process. Three lucky people participating in this Ideas forum will be randomly chosen to sit on the judging panel and weigh in on which street food makes the cut."

                                    1. if we were to try only ONE downtown Vcvr food truck in January 2012 --
                                      1. which one?
                                      2. are they open on SAT/SUN downtown?

                                      has anyone signed up for the city of Vanc food forum mentioned above?

                                      4 Replies
                                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                                          OK I revoke my recommendation.

                                          Yesterday they weren't to be found @ the Burrard/Dunsmuir location and today I checked both that place and Robson Square-nada.

                                          So it looks like they're on vacation somewhere-given their WCVI origins I'd suggest looking to Puerto Escondido or more likely Zipolite.

                                          Downtown was dead all over today though even my beloved Osa Tako Hero was nowhere to be found.

                                          1. re: Sam Salmon

                                            To be fair, Tacofino is pretty good about updating its location on Facebook and twitter when they're open. They say here they'll be closed till sometime in early January : http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php...

                                            1. re: Sam Salmon

                                              sam - i appreciate the time you have taken - i checked the internet (i don't tweet - nor facebook) but here is what comes up on the taco truck website --- must be surfing down south!

                                              TacoFino - Vancouver
                                              The orange tacofino truck is closed for the season. The blue tacofino truck can be found mon- Fri from 11-3 at burrard and dunsmuir! We will be closed from december 24 until sometime in early January. Stay tuned! Find us on twitter for more frequent news:)

                                              what is the food that is on the sidewalk in front of the VAG (old courthouse) ... on the south side of Georgia in the 1000 block. I see people lined up but have not checked it.

                                              i will keep checking this thread and see what people are street-eating. (and recommending)

                                              ps - this is not exactly street eats but close to it ... someone i know likes the consistent (and predictable?) take out japanese from the place on the street level, north side of the building in the NW corner of Georgia and Thurlow -on the Dunsmuir side of the plaza/tower. Might be handy in this winter food truck hibernation period.

                                        2. One to add to the mix is the fairly newish Soho Road. They have a tandoori oven in their cart! They start you off with a complimentary cup of hot chai (nice on a winter day).

                                          I saw the long skewers of chicken come out of the oven and get hung to rest a bit before serving. Then they rolled out some naan and slapped it into the oven to make the fresh naan for the wrap.

                                          The naan came out nicely charred, but I think it could have benefited from a hotter oven as the inside was a bit less cooked than I prefer. I'm guessing this is because it was early in the day and the oven wasn't fully heated yet. They placed several pieces of the chicken on the naan, and covered it with fresh diced veggies (cucumbers, onions, tomatoes) and a squirt of tamarind. The chicken was a bit dry and could have used some more fat - I likely would try the butter chicken version next time to get some extra moisture into the wrap. The veggies could have used a bit of seasoning to tie them into the overall wrap as they were a bit of stark contrast. I imagine they also could have benefited from sitting together diced for a longer period so the juices would blend more. Shame on me for being their first customer of the day!

                                          Overall the flavours were good, with a few hiccups, and I likely will return later in the day once they have things fully up and running assuming that once they get going the flavours come together a bit better.

                                          1. Can't believe I sound like a tourist from Port Albern but the price of street food in Vancouver is too high for me. I find I'm always heading for a sit down instead.
                                            Places downtown look packed so it's not likely the prices will drop. On South Granville the carts don't seem that busy but still too pricey and the offerings haven't grabbed me yet.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: marko65

                                              Yeah, saw a 7.5 grilled cheese today...that's the base, want extras? more $$. I had a reasonably priced halibut hot dog outside of the granville sky train that I enjoyed.

                                            2. checked out Mangal Kiss the other day. They do a middle eastern-y wrap thing. Chicken or Beef with lots of good veggies and sauces.
                                              Really good! Will be back for sure.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: waylman

                                                They rock. I feel so healthy eating their stuff. They'll also do double meat for I think $2-3 more. Great quality!

                                              2. I haven't noticed this posted anywhere: Vikram Vij has a food truck operating on Georgia between Thurlow and Burrard: http://vijsrailwayexpress.com/

                                                1. Rimfoodbaht, the Thai food truck, has been open for mere days in front of the CBC building, and so far, so good. It's comforting to see someone work the wok on board.

                                                  15 Replies
                                                  1. re: clutterer

                                                    Drat, we came to the incorrect conclusion today that it wasn't yet open based on a quick review of their blog! Could you give us a bit more detail on what you've tried, clutterer?

                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                      Four days in and I've tried the green curry with chicken, the Thai basil/eggplant/ground pork, the Nam Ngew, and the Miang Kham. Not for those wanting to eat and walk.

                                                      1. re: clutterer

                                                        So excited to see Rimfoodbhat at Khatsalano Days yesterday. Maybe they were not prepared for the crowds (though when we went there wasn't much of a lineup, we were first to order with four small groups waiting for their food). We waited nearly half an hour for the red duck curry ($8.75 plus tax = $9.80), the green curry with tofu subbed for chicken () and the eggplant with ground pork ($6.50 + tax = 7.28). It was all wildly underseasoned, even for my DCs who are not salt fiends like I am. The two curries were fairly one note sweet though not as sickly as most Thai places in town. The ground pork just tasted like it had been wet fried, mildly porky with no other flavouring or texture save the odd large chunk of garlic. The eggplant was uniformly undercooked in the two dishes in which it appeared. And there was red bell pepper, sigh. Plus they accidentally gave us brown rice in the pork dish which really killed it. We just took it because we figured it would be another 10 minutes to get a replacement. For $24 this was not good value or good food. And we couldn't doctor it because they had a condiment table with glass containers that some yahoo had tipped over and smashed. So sad. The two good things were the whole coconut (I think that was $4 plus tax) and the coconut ice cream. Even the Thai iced tea was weak. And my final grump is that they don't include the HST in the list prices so when they tell you the total it comes as a surprise. I may schlep down to the CBC one day to give them another chance. Or I may not.

                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                          They can barely keep up with the small crowd they get at the CBC building, so I'm not surprised that they failed you at a full-blown festival. But yes, they do tend on the sweeter side. I'd give them another chance.

                                                          1. re: clutterer

                                                            They are a tad inconsistent...and it does take a while to get your food. When they get "slammed" (i.e. more than 4 people waiting), they tend to rush and take shortcuts. The undercooked eggplant is one example of that. However - they do cook the eggplant fresh to order unlike at a food court where it is all pre cooked the night before and merely ladled onto your plate.

                                                            Re: under seasoning: they do have a condiments table to boost up the salt and heat level.

                                                            It is relatively close to work and at $6.50 it is a decent enough deal so I keep returning.

                                                            1. re: fmed

                                                              I did appreciate made to order even with all its attendant perils. Really want them to do well!! And to be fair, at least I did feel full -- two fish tacos from Tacofino are $9 and don't fill me up. But they are tasty. I want both value and taste! Can Guanaco, my next target, deliver??

                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                Guanaco is good but pricey. A largish pupusa with cortisol and yucca fries is $8.50.

                                                                1. re: fmed

                                                                  Damned you iPhone autocorrect. I meant "curtido" which is Salvadoran coleslaw - not "cortisol" which is a steroid.

                                                                  1. re: fmed

                                                                    Well, cortisol does sound kinda Spanish -- "short sun" or something. Thanks for the correction, as I was kinda wondering.

                                                                    Can you get the pupusas on their own or is it always a combo? Not a fan of yucca fries. Or combos, if it comes to that. I like a la carte! Or should that be a la (food) cart?

                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                      I don't think you can get the pupusas on their own. It is more that they are served with a side of yucca fries and curtido than a 'combo,' negating for a moment how filling yucca fries can be.

                                                                      The 3rd person at Rimfoodbaht hasn't quite picked up the slack yet but that didn't stop them from serving me a good duck curry today.

                                                                      1. re: clutterer

                                                                        Guanaco is running a combo deal: http://vaneats.ca/guanacombo/ that is a sampler of everything and appears to be a great deal at $9.

                                                                        I liked their pupusa enough at the 'Dorf Sunday carts event to consider purchasing one of these. Kinda intrigued by the pasteles...

                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                          That's good news, as I think they could use all the business they can get.

                                                              2. re: fmed

                                                                I see Rimfoodbaht has hired a third person to aid in prep; hopefully that will help things.

                                                                1. re: clutterer

                                                                  There were indeed three people there on Saturday.

                                                                  1. re: clutterer

                                                                    There were still working out the workflow with addition of the third person. I noticed that she was standing off to the side and just watching.

                                                      2. The Shishliks at Mangal Kiss are my favorite by far, but, after hearing Vij's has opened a truck as well, that might soon change!

                                                        1. I went to Arturo's Mexico To Go just the other day! I ended up having the Burrito Salad Bowl. It was good, but I feel like some of the other items would taste better. Do you guys have any suggestions as to the most delicious item at Arturo's?

                                                          16 Replies
                                                          1. re: soniapd

                                                            Pig on the Street is enjoyable, but rich as hell. I find I have to omit at least 1 rich item (cheese, stuffing, mayo) from the sandwich or else it is too much.

                                                            Still really delicious though. The flatbread is so great, I appreciate that it's handmade. Lots of fresh, tasty veggies, and who can deny the power of Gelderman Farms bacon?

                                                            Has anyone else eaten there?

                                                            1. re: StarryFork

                                                              Glad you like their flatbread, SF. Maybe we hit them on a bad day but we found it very meh. The bacon is pretty awesome, though.

                                                              I finally had a chance to look through all 12 of the new trucks for this year. I'm going to target the following:

                                                              Ze Bite Cordova and Burrard for the boeuf bourgignon

                                                              Guanaco Seymour and Georgia for things Salvadoran

                                                              Rimfoodbhat Hamilton and Robson for their whole Thai menu

                                                              Mogu Howe and Dunsmuir for the pork miso katsu which comes in a bun from Granville Island, possibly my beloved potato bun from La Baguette per a photo

                                                              Le Tigre Alberni and Bute for the bbq pork in puff pastry

                                                              Would love to hear from anyone who has tried these and hasn't posted here or on another thread.

                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                Le Tigre is currently only doing the Richmond Night Market; their Facebook page mentions a hopeful July for relocating downtown.

                                                                1. re: clutterer

                                                                  Good to know, many thanks. That is one of my frustrations with
                                                                  the carts/trucks both here and in Portland -- finding them open!

                                                                    1. re: fmed

                                                                      LOL, and I do check it but it's still listing Osa as being open. So I guess what I wish is that more carts would have phones like Tacofino. I notice many do in Pdx which is great.

                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                        Hmm. You may need to update it? I don't see Osa listed in my version.

                                                                        1. re: fmed

                                                                          Was there a street cart festival @ Robson Square today?

                                                                          Drove by on Howe St noticed all kinds of carts but since I was driving.....

                                                                  1. re: clutterer

                                                                    Looking forward to a Le Tigre cart. Sampled them at RNM a few weeks ago. Liked that they had mochi skewers and the kick-ass rice was the standout. Also, the guys behind the counter are pretty endearing in their hello kitty glasses ;)

                                                                    1. re: twinkienic

                                                                      Mmm mochi skewers. How was the rice kickass??

                                                                      A local blogger says Le Tigre will be featured on Eat St on Friday, September 7 during lunch service 11:30am-2:00pm on Alberni & Thurlow

                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                        Yup their facebook page says filming is from 11am. Too bad I'm working though I imagine it would be mayhem.

                                                                        I prefer Zakkushi's mochi skewers but it's nice to have options.

                                                                        The rice was cooked in sake and dashi broth and dressed with fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, basil) with a perfectly cooked egg (similar to the onsen-style eggs at ramen places). Simple, but nice flavours and textures.

                                                                        1. re: twinkienic

                                                                          I found a pic of the egg dish online, yum: http://www.letigrecuisine.ca/latest-a... In fact, yum to the whole picture gallery/menu. Tempted to brave the onslaught on Friday but cooler heads will likely prevail and I'll go when they've been in the truck for a bit.

                                                                          1. re: grayelf


                                                                            Waldorf continuing its Sunday cart event till the end of the month. My new fave food cart dish at Street Meat should be there: the risotto balls. They recently rejigged them, using their own fennel sausage. Very nice indeed. And I suspect their line goes faster than most, what with the fully equipped industrial kitchen they've got going on in their truck. Their own chips (which came with the okay pork belly bites) are pretty great too, really crunchy all the way through and seasoned well.

                                                                            Also tried the Mogu chicken karaage this week. Made a la minute, it is too hot too eat at first and a bit awkward because of the size of the chicken pieces (thigh meat). Tasty and moist though. I'd prolly pass on the sweet sauce and just eat it with the batter next time. Still keen to try their katsu pork sando but no space this visit.

                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                              I've also been going to Mogu for the past few days. The gentleman on the fry station used to work at Suika. Agree on the chicken karaage, though the time it takes to walk up to the Vancouver Art Gallery for a place to sit is about the perfect amount of time for it to cool down. The katsu sandwich is a salty behemoth, definitely something you need a seat and plenty of napkins for.

                                                                            2. re: grayelf

                                                                              Oh my gosh, Le Tigre is now located dangerously close to my office building.

                                                                              Had to try the chicken karaage, which I offset with a very healthy homemade salad of shredded cabbage and carrot so as to feel slightly more virtuous.

                                                                              It's a steal at $6 - a very sizeable portion. This is the kind of "side" that constitutes a main lunch dish, so long as you don't have a huge appetite. It was in fact a bit too much food for me, I was offering pieces around to my office mates. Great marinade on the chicken, light crispy batter, nice fresh basil on top, yummy mayo dipping sauce.

                                                                              Looking forward to trying their fried cauliflower and brussels sprout dish (also $6) - maybe I'll pair that with some quinoa later this week.

                                                                              Also, apparently they are no longer doing the $9 combo deal, which makes sense, it was way too good of a deal. They must have been losing money on it.

                                                                              1. re: StarryFork

                                                                                Tried the rice dish at Le Tigre today, which was satisfying, though the egg was not as runny as the picture would lead one to assume: probably between 63F and 65F, if anyone nerded out on that Lucky Peach chart like I did. Anyone know if that is how Le Tigre typically cooks it?

                                                                                The rest of the menu today listed only the Shao Bings, beet fries and brussel sprout salad (including the $9 combo deal). Interestingly, a person who I assume is a regular ordered the karaage as an off menu item, so apparently they will do it even if it isn't listed that particular day.

                                                              2. Just had a killer joojeh (chicken) wrap at Cazba. They are at Robson & Granville. They also have ground beef and steak...it's a Persian run truck. They have an excellent resto in North Van also. Chicken wrap was $6. Steak $7. A steal! Will be back soon!

                                                                15 Replies
                                                                1. re: waylman

                                                                  Agreed. Great chicken kebab. FWIW their North Van restaurant is my family's favourite new Persian restuarant . Really good value and super friendly. Always busy.

                                                                  1. re: waylman

                                                                    That sounds great and so easy to get to. Those are the kinds of prices I'm looking for in street food too. The restaurant is on my list now too.

                                                                    1. re: waylman

                                                                      Decided to do a chicken wrap rumble today with a co-worker. We shared a chicken wrap from Cazba Express and one from our incumbent Mangal Kiss.

                                                                      The Cazba $6 Chicken Wrap comes in a whole wheat pita, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, rice, onions and chicken. We omitted the hot sauce.

                                                                      Mangal Kiss $7 Chicken Wrap comes in Iranian Flat bread, Hummus, Tahini, Purple Cabbage, Radishes, Cucumbers, Pickled Turnips, Spicy Carrots, Tabbouleh and Chicken with BBQ Sauce.

                                                                      The chicken in Cazba Wrap was tender, very flavourful & bountiful. The chicken flavour dominated the wrap with only the onion flavour punching thru occasionally.

                                                                      The Mangal Kiss wrap with all it's fixing had lots of different flavours happening but I thought it overwhelmed the chicken. The chicken was tender but not as seasoned as well as Cazba's.

                                                                      The bread at Mangal Kiss was better than Cazba.

                                                                      Now if the Cazba chicken was in the bread and fixings at Mangal Kiss, we would have the ultimate chicken wrap.

                                                                      I would still go to Mangal Kiss since it's wrap has more flavours, the bread is better and I feel healthier eating all those veggies.

                                                                      Althought my coworker and I noticed both carts do beef wraps too, maybe another head to head comparison is in order. The beef may stand up better in the Mangal Kiss wrap.

                                                                      1. re: moyenchow

                                                                        Nice writeup! Thanks for the warning about the whole wheat pita at Cazbah -- that's off the list for me.

                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                          If I'm not mistaken you have a choice of white or whole wheat. The Cazbah skewers are good. Big, meaty, tender and flavourful. (They definitely have white at the restaurant in NV.)

                                                                          edit: here is a pic from their Facebook page of a joojeh wrap from their truck: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...
                                                                          It definitely looks like white pita.

                                                                        2. re: moyenchow

                                                                          The best bread for wrapping is made by Soho Road. They make naan fresh to order (or at least they have whenever I've eaten there.) The ultimate wrap for me is the combination is that naan with the joojeh at Cazbah.

                                                                          1. re: fmed

                                                                            I wasn't offered a choice of whole wheat or white at Cazba.

                                                                            Fmed, I guess you are all about the chicken then, in which case yes Cazba would be better.

                                                                            Thanks for the heads up about Soho Road, but how's the filling? Is it just Meat and no veggies?

                                                                            1. re: moyenchow

                                                                              The filling at SoHo is just OK. It does have the usual chopped tomatoes, lettuce, etc. The first wrap I tried there was very good. The wraps I have had in subsequent visits were not nearly as meaty, charred or as well marinated.

                                                                              1. re: fmed

                                                                                I dunno about the Soho. Got the $6 1/2 Tandori Chicken wrap to compare.

                                                                                First off it's really small, 4.5 inches. Nowhere close to the size of the other wraps in the same price category.

                                                                                The naan was not freshly made, maybe because I only did a half but it was good (soft with just a slight chew). The chicken was tender but overly salty for my taste. The veggie were kinda of sad.

                                                                                So I guess my ultimate chicken wrap would be Naan from Soho, Chicken from Cazba and Veggie + Sauce from Mangal kiss.

                                                                                1. re: moyenchow

                                                                                  Agree with the serving size at Soho. My first one there was huge - with a good amount of meat in a freshly made naan. It has gotten smaller over time.

                                                                          2. re: moyenchow

                                                                            I was thinking the same thing about this: while I liked Cazba's skewers, I liked the overall package at Mangal Kiss a bit more due to the wrap and filling (note that I tried Cazba in its first week, so it may just have been an off day). But yes: the beef (and lamb, when they have it) at Mangal Kiss stands up a bit better than their chicken.

                                                                            1. re: clutterer

                                                                              I seriously feel no guilt eating Mangal Kiss wraps :) love those veggies. The meat is more of an element, rather than the star here. I usually get the beef. I like the lamb one too but it's got a different set of veggies/sauces than the beef or chicken ones, so I slightly prefer the beef over the lamb.

                                                                              1. re: flowbee

                                                                                That the veggies are the star of the dish, rather than the meat, is actually my favourite aspect of Mangal Kiss. When I ordered my first one, I couldn't believe the delicious variety of veggies and sauces.

                                                                            2. re: moyenchow

                                                                              Mangal kiss does a killller lamb kebab super flavourful with a harissa aioli and fresh mint if they have that featured go get one!

                                                                              1. re: yuyu

                                                                                They just closed for the season last week. They might reopen in April or May.

                                                                          3. Enjoying a beef bourguignon from Ze Bite today.
                                                                            Sadly, the portion is not very big at $11. Too bad because it's tasty!

                                                                            1. Having an amazing venison chili from Fresh Local Wild today.
                                                                              Also noticed short rib risotto on the menu!

                                                                              1. Finally got a chance to try Le Tigre today at the Vancouver Farmer's Market. Not sure if they will be there every week, but I sure hope so, because the food was fantastic and just the thing to help you warm up a bit after shopping in the cold rain for an hour. I had the infamous beet fries (cubed beets deep-fried in a five spice mix, served with a spicy mayo dip and chopped basil) and the BBQ pulled pork steamed bun which was served folded over the filling like a soft taco. The steamed bun was light and pillowy, the pork was generous and meaty, and went very well with the cilantro and pickled cabbage that were also stuffed into the bun. The beet fries were awesome. I already like beets but this took them to a whole new level. Piping hot, sweet and spicy, with a very thin crispy coating from the spices. A filling lunch for $10. Next time, I'll take photos.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                  Thanks for the report, gm. I didn't know Le Tigre was at the FM, shoulda scooted over there for lunch mid-Culture-Crawl -- will deffo check to see if they are repeating next weekend. That gua bao sounds great, but I'm really jonesing to try the beet fries.

                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                    Replying to myself because I just read about Yolks on Breakfast in Vancouver. Must. Go. Soon.

                                                                                    Anyone tried this truck that is open Wed-Sun in the am during the winter months?

                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                      It's a little pricier but I like what they offer. I find I enjoy it more as a sit down fork & knife entree than a breakfast sandwich. The egg is perfectly poached so as a sandwich you have leaking/squirting issues.

                                                                                      The hash browns they offer are delicious and smell wonderful since they use truffle oil.

                                                                                      Lately I've noticed a small pool of oil in my take out box. I'm not sure if it's coming from the bacon in the sandwich or the hash browns. I have not tried the heftier specials but I'm really curious about the chicken & waffles special.

                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                        Yolks was not salutary. Wait was more than three times the 7 min promised, food was just okay and when we discovered they'd left the bacon off, they made us show them the dish to prove it wasn't there. Lame.

                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                          UGH that is super lame. I think the quality of their staff can vary a bit, I actually had extremely good service with them when their wafflemaker broke down at the food cart festival downtown a few weeks ago. Though I did have to wait (10 minutes for the waffles, and then another 10 minutes for my replacement eggs), they comped my breakfast completely, and I got fried chicken to try while I was waiting.

                                                                                          In their defense, there must have been a huge number of people at the Winter Market on such a sunny day. However, it's inexcusable that they made you prove that your bacon was missing. That's just terrible service.

                                                                                          1. re: StarryFork

                                                                                            This was a couple of weekends ago, actually, not sunny and while there were a few people ahead of us waiting there was no line when we arrived. If the food had been better (or cheaper), I might consider giving them another try.

                                                                                  2. Head's up: For the month of February it's going to be a foodtruckapoolza at the Saturday Farmer's market as they decide on who will make the cut for this summer's markets with double the usual selection.


                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: eatrustic

                                                                                      Double brill with knobs on! Thanks for the heads up, eatrustic. I've been wanting to try Ze Bite and Yolks for ages.

                                                                                      Le Tigre was wonderful as per usual today at 10th and Granville. Had a groupon thingy for $20. We got enough food for three people for $21. They told us they were doing a special tomorrow at the winter market involving parsnips (!) so yet another reason to swing by tomorrow.

                                                                                    2. Had THE worst fried chicken sandwich from Feastro today. A shame because I had their fried chicken plate in mid-2012 and it was excellent.

                                                                                      Today's offering... could barely have been worse. I am really regretting that I finished it because it is now causing digestive turmoil. Greasy greasy fried batter, big pockets of uncooked batter inside, poorly trimmed piece of chicken with lots of gristle and weird fatty bits. Be warned.

                                                                                      1. Good article on the Vancouver Food Cart world by Francis Bula in Vancouver Magazine: http://www.vanmag.com/News_and_Featur...

                                                                                        She's focussed on the business model rather than the food. Here's a little (not surprising) insight:

                                                                                        "It's the desk-shackled office workers who make the carts profitable. The trucks scatter on the weekends to where they can find crowds: farmers markets, night markets in North Van and Richmond, the New West food truck gatherings that started this summer and-looking like a colourful refugee camp-the Vancouver festival that operates behind a chainlink fence on a swath of vacant industrial land next to the Olympic Village.This Sunday, about 20 trucks are in operation, along with a random selection of vendors (records, soap, vintage Ts)."

                                                                                        1. As the days get longer the plans for summer food truck fests are rolling out:

                                                                                          "Vancouver’s food truck vendors are hoping to drum up business by starting a new weekly art, music and food event this summer at Sunset Beach."