Vancouver Foodie Cart Tour

by gigi on July 25, 2011

Jenkins and I were invited on Saturday to preview the latest offering from Vancouver’s Foodie Tour: food carts. I had gone to one of Michelle’s tours last year along Granville Street and quite enjoyed it so I didn’t see why this time would be any different. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try some of the food cart offerings around the downtown area as I had definitely been to less than I would have liked. We met at 10:30 in front of the Granville Canada Line station but it was around 11 before the tour actually started going.

As I had suspected earlier, our first stop was the La Brasserie Street food cart. They were running a little behind that morning, which was why it took a while for us to get started.


I had been to La Brasserie Street a few times before and really enjoyed it each time so I was looking forward to this, even though it was not new to me. The chicken sandwich was just as good as the other times with the crispy fried onions adding a nice crunch to the otherwise soft and moist sandwich. Jenkins noted that he would have liked for some of the larger chicken chunks to be shredded even more so it could soak up more of the house-made rosemary beer sauce.


Since it was the first stop of the tour and the day was particularly sunny, I was glad that La Brasserie Street also gave us each a drink with our sandwiches. In addition, we were also given a butter tart each. Jenkins was pretty smart in getting us to share one since we needed to pace ourselves for the remaining carts. At first, I objected but this ended up being some good foresight on his part. As with the last time I had the butter tarts, I thought the crust was nice and buttery but the filling was a little too sweet for my taste. I also would have preferred some nuts to give the tart a little bit of crunch.


Our next stop was one of Vancouver’s oldest food carts, Japa Dog. I had first reviewed Japa Dog in the early days of Ho Yummy and then again when they opened their Pender Street location so it was definitely another food cart that I was quite familiar with.


We each got half of a Terimayo dog, which is one of Japa Dog’s original offerings. As usual, I added some wasabi mayo to the already present regular Japanese mayo, seaweed, and teriyaki sauce. I quite enjoyed this and it was nice to try one of the original flavours since I usually opt to try the newer creations.


Our next stop was finally to a location that was new to me: Bun Me. To be honest, I had walked past this place a couple of times but never checked out what they had because I’m pretty particular about my banh mi and I honestly did not know what to expect. The baguettes at Bun Me are baked fresh daily and made using a special recipe that its owners had developed.


Bun Me had a couple of offerings and the one we had that day was the lemongrass chicken banh mi. Although we had only a third of a baguette, it was quite a generous portion and seemed to be larger than most other banh mi I’ve tried around Vancouver. The lemongrass chicken was quite juicy and flavourful and if you like your baguette to be crispier and crunchier, then the one at Bun Me would be right up your alley. I was pretty impressed with the banh mi here and wouldn’t mind trying it again the next time I need to buy lunch.


By this point, I was starting to fill up but we still had two more stops to make. Our next cart was Kaboom Box, another cart that I had walked past several times but never tried any of their offerings.


We each got a generous portion of Kaboom Box’s poutine. I’m not sure if this is their regular size or if it was smaller for the tour, but I thought it was a pretty large portion nonetheless. Unlike traditional poutine, Kaboom Box’s version uses a vegetable gravy with miso and is topped with mushrooms and green onions. Having gone to Montreal quite recently, both Jenkins and I didn’t think this was very comparable. I would have liked for the fries to be crispier and although I appreciated Kaboom Box’s attempt to make the gravy more universally appealing, I felt that a regular beef stock has a stronger flavour that allows the gravy to hold up against the fries and cheese. Lastly, and I’m not sure if it was due to the hot day, I found the cheese curds a bit on the soft side and would have liked some more texture and bounciness to it. All that being said, I wouldn’t mind coming back another day to try out some of the sandwiches, especially the in-cart smoked salmon sandwich.


Our last stop was at Nu Greek Street. I was surprised to hear that this was the street cart offering from Nu Restaurant and even more surprised to hear that Nu had recently changed its offering from West Coast to Greek food. To be honest, I had not been all that impressed with Nu previously so I was hoping that their foray into Greek food would be more successful.


We each got mini versions of Nu Greek Street’s chicken souvlaki pita, which came with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce. The tzatziki sauce was actually made with owner Harry Kambolis’ grandma’s recipe and I liked how it was quite thick and tangy, which went quite well with the moist chicken. Although the pita was a bit bready for my liking, it did a good job of soaking up all the juices from the chicken, tomatoes, and tzaziki sauce.


Jenkins and I had a great time at the Food Cart Foodie Tour. It was nice to revisit some carts we had been to previously but what we really enjoyed was sampling the new ones. The carts that are visited on each tour vary depending on the day. Tours are held each Saturday starting at 10:45AM and end about 1:30PM. They cost $50 per person and tickets can be purchased via Foodis Tour’s website. Be prepared to be stuffed and even though you walk from cart to cart, you definitely don’t walk enough to shed the calories you consumed. Smile Jenkins and I were so full afterwards that we didn’t eat dinner until quite late!

Saturdays from 10:45AM to 1:30PM
Cost: $50/person

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