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Where are the Calgary Food trucks?

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If you are looking for the Calgary food trucks the best way to find them is via Twitter or Facebook:

TWITTER
Each truck has a twitter account that provides ionformation on location and menu.
The Twitter accounts are:
@yycfoodtrucks (this is a consolidated twitter account for all YYC food trucks)
@alleyburger
@perogyboyz
@jojosbbq
@fiascogelato
@chefmariomobile
@loscompadresmx
@fries_n_dolls

FACEBOOK
Add any of the food trucks as a "friend" via Facebook

Finally visit www.YYCFoodTrucks.com and locate the trucks or learn more!

More information is available here:
http://www.buzzbishop.com/blog/2011/0...

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  1. Anyone try out the new trucks and any thoughts?

    I headed down at 11:15, but encountered hundreds of people in line ups, so instead opted for Amin Donair (Amin really should start up a truck since he's closing down Dec 31 this year)

    Fellow employees that braved the lines at the food truck launch on August 11 waited 2+ hours!

    -----
    Amin Donair
    121 7 Ave SW, Calgary, AB , CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: MartinT

      Will be sad to see Amin go. Love the donairs, and on a good day the samosas are probably the best I've ever had.

      1. re: MartinT

        some reviews on the trucks in this thread..
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780107

      2. Some of the trucks were setup last night behind Ox and Angela on 17th (space formerly occupied by Bungalow): Fries & Dolls, Perogy Boys, Fiasco, Alley Burger.

        It's still pretty slow. I had 6 people ahead of me in line at Fries & Dolls, and it took about 15 minutes to take my order, and then another 5 minutes before I got my food. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. The fries were nice, though; I had Maryanne & Ginger (sweet potato fries with sweet spice).

        The Perogy boys sold out of the the classic cheese perogies while I was in line at F & D, so I decided on the carrot dessert perogies. With 1 person ahead of me in line, the wait was again 20 minutes: 5 minutes before they took my order, and 15 to get the food.

        I have to say that if these vendors were at the folk festival they would be quickly overwhelmed with unhappy customers. I particularly don't know why the fries took so long - are there enough customers that we have to wait, but not enough that they can make larger batches of fries?

        15 Replies
        1. re: 23skidoo

          An empty stomach breeds impatience.

          1. re: Scary Bill

            A 20 minute wait for street food is pretty inexcusable.

            Given the long waits, and what appears to be a brewing issue as to where the trucks can go; the food truck movement in Calgary may be dead before it ever gets off the ground.

            1. re: tex_in_yyc

              ah! Here's hoping it won't - YYZ does a poor job at food trucks, I'm rooting for Calgary to pave the way

              1. re: ekim256

                YVR does a great job with carts in much of downtown. The backlash in Calgary is a bunch of nonsense on the part of restaurant owners, with spurrious arguments about lost business. If I want to spend $8 for lunch, I certainly won't be going to a restaurant anyway. The trucks attract the brown bag crowd. When I want a beer, to sit down, watch sports, etc., I'll go to a restaurant. So to me, the trucks are incremental business for the most part. As well, the usual situation isn't a convoy like last week, but scattered trucks. Also, don't you think that all other retailers want the carts/trucks in their area to bring in new traffic?

                And one more thing: I went downtown last week and when I (and my friends) saw the lineups, where do you think we went to eat-A RESTAURANT!!! So, in this case the trucks created incremental business for the restaurant industry.

                What happened to Alberta as the great bastion of capitalism?????

                1. re: Scary Bill

                  Couldn't agree more, Scary.

                  1. re: Scary Bill

                    Well said. Totally agree.

                    1. re: Scary Bill

                      There are a lot of take out "restaurants" that sell $8 lunches, but which also pay rent and taxes. I can understand why they are upset when a truck with little-to-no overhead pulls up outside their door and opens for business.

                      I think the excitement over these trucks is a bit silly, to be honest. People seem to be interested because they think they're getting something "different" from these trucks, but in reality the food truck vendors are laughing all the way to the bank because they're selling smaller portions for higher prices and at the same time avoiding rent and taxes. You notice that most of the trucks in YYC are simply existing restaurants "in disguise..." This food truck trend is a scam of epic proportions.

                      1. re: nonlinear

                        I would wager that the food truck owners pay, among other things, vehicle leases, *taxes* (I wonder how you thought any business wouldn't pay taxes?), payroll, power, maintenance, insurance (notice how this is really beginning to sound a lot like a fixed premises business?) communication, cost of goods, accounting, and I could go on.

                        If you're looking for excitement, well how about the 9,500 food trucks that roll out in L.A. daily (see Arab in yesterday's Herald). The silliness is in the NIMBY attitudes of the various business districts who are acting like the trucks a re dispensing cholera.

                        Food trucks have to be different to be successful, otherwise people will take the comfortable route and not tolerate lineups, inclement weather, and standing up to eat. The limited selection that a truck can offer-unlike your takeout restaurants which can offer a menu 10X that of a truck- has to be tasty and original in some way, otherwise failure is inevitable.

                        I doubt that any of them are laughing all the way to the bank-just how profitable do you think these trucks are anyway? And, I cannot imagine operating a food truck without a prep kitchen (gotta pay for that licensed premises as well).

                        "a scam of epic proportions" (unlike the smaller portions at food trucks( are the Alley Burgers smaller from the truck?)), well methinks thou doth protest too much. (apologies, William)

                        Guess I'll never see you in line.

                        1. re: Scary Bill

                          by taxes, i mean commercial property taxes.

                          as for truck profits, you don't have to take it from me. The owner of Pimento's pizza said "These food trucks are gold tickets — wherever you go you make money with it, but we have to respect people where we go." Or, just do a quick google search, there is a ton of info there tabout startup costs and profits of trucks vs. brick and mortar.

                          clearly, this isn't about food, it's about money.

                          and this isn't only happening in Calgary, restaurants everywhere are getting screwed by this silly trend: http://www.mobilefoodfranchises.com/m...

                          1. re: nonlinear

                            I've been eating from food trucks for over 50 years, so it is hardly a silly trend. (the fries from the trucks under the Bluewater Bridge are the best on the planet)

                            Pimento's is also a different business model than the other trucks, unless he has stopped home delivery in favour of parking. And the real key to his success is the quality and creativity in his pizza's whithout which he'd just beanother lousy overpriced Calgary pizza.

                            And, if you can't beat'em, join em'. The restauranteurs with a poorer offering than the trucks should step up their game, maybe even buy a truck for themselves, they already have their prep kitchen. If they can't take the heat............

                            And I'm surprised that anyone in Alberta doesn't like better for cheaper. It is of course about money. But in this case, it is also about innovative product.

                            1. re: Scary Bill

                              geeze bill, just because you've been eating from them for over 50 years doesn't mean it's not a current trend! (btw i'm a US citizen and have been eating from food trucks all my life, too.)

                              http://www.google.com/trends?q=food+t...

                              http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                              Also, where do you get "better for cheaper." Most people I've talked to who have been to these trucks have been disappointed with the price and amount of food you get; seems to me that these trucks are serving "less for more."

                              and innovative product??? Really?!?!?! since when are hamburgers, perogies, gelato and bbq innovate??? i think you're confusing the YYC offerings with what you're seeing on Food TV. :P

                              1. re: nonlinear

                                Darwinism apply to food trucks as well, not all of these will be around next year if they are not sufficiently innovative and do not offer value. As I haven't tried any of them in Calgary, I cannot comment on their food, ( lineups too long for me, so I went to a restaurant) and it seems you cannot either. But I ate from a half dozen in Vancouver earlier this summer and have to say that the food was pretty darn good, and yes, innovative. Ever had a Japadog, or a Korean taco, Bulgogi tortilla, deep fried sticky rice ball, Asian fries, etc? One of the best was a roasted chicken sandwich on a bun with carmelized onions, but it was the best chicken sandwich I've ever had. If the Calgary trucks don't meet this standard, they will not last, but if they do, Calgary will be joining many of the other Canadian and US cities that are giving the people what they want.

                                You can still go to restaurants though, especially in the whiny Business Zones.

                            2. re: nonlinear

                              "by taxes, i mean commercial property taxes"

                              There's also business tax and the BRZ levy if you're in Calgary.

                              Water and wastewater in a tank, propane and electricity from a generator probably doesn't save much in utilities. I think the big advantage is a truck can go where the activity is, whereas brick and mortar places are stuck being dead at certain times and smoking busy at others. I'm not sure whether people in Calgary will line up in -20 weather, but it's an interesting trend. I haven't actually tried the food - I didn't get anything either on Aug 11 because the lineups were daunting, I went to a nearby restaurant like Scary Bill.

                            3. re: Scary Bill

                              What I've been wondering is... how can they possibly be making so much money when some of them only go out every other night? I would think to make alot of money you'd need to do lunch and dinner daily? I do not own a resto, so have no real idea but so far it seems like a 'hobby' of the main restaurant. If they are easing into, that seems from a marketing perpective, just stupid. Strike while it's hot! Many of us will have forgotten about half of these trucks soon, I'm sure.

                          2. re: Scary Bill

                            But, there is a controversy. Tax protectionism doesn't justify a ban on 17th. The business owners have every right to be upset, but the City should not bend over to them. I also can be upset about things, but that doesn't mean I should be heard above anyone else. We are talking the same group of owners that has forced through movements like licensing bans on 17th to preserve their own business at the cost of consumer choice. Now, before you arm up about that, consider that a proposed change to licensing on the strip would equate to anyone being unable to open a new restaurant. A new restaurant, not a bar (though, I disagree with that restriction, as well). These are a few merchants controlling a prize through governmental means. Screw that. Compete.

                  2. A good friend of mine (who's opinion I respect on these matters) told me the mixed taco platter from Los Compadres was very good today.

                    1. Calgary Street Food Iphone app launched yesterday. =)

                      1. In today's Sun Michael Platt brings up the fact that the trucks are only viable for the (short) summer season in Calgary and takes side with the trucks: www.calgarysun.com/2011/08/19/platt-b...

                        1. Do BRZ's decide if a bricks and mortar business can operate in their fiefdom? (subject to city zoning laws of course ) If so that is wrong. Can they stop another restaurant from moving in? So why pick on the trucks?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Scary Bill

                            I love the concept, and I hope they are successful because it would be a really nice addition to the options in Calgary, but I do see where it could be an issue in the very highest-rent areas. These trucks do not have nearly the overhead of places that pay $35/sq.ft. in rent, plus property and business taxes and BRZ levy. The brick and mortar establishments pay that to be in the high-traffic areas which means enough ambient (as opposed to desitnation) business to justify paying those rates.

                            Lower overhead means able to charge lower prices and still make a profit, so I can understand why businesses in Kensington and Uptown 17 would not want competition from food trucks that could charge a lot less for the same or better chow, and BRZs sticking up for the businesses that pay for their existence. I don't see a problem with the food trucks announcing where they are going to be, in a lower-rent area or private property, and people going there instead of selling to ambient traffic.