Re-Up

 

 

 

 

Michael stared at me expectantly. "Go on, take a bite." he urged. My nemesis; a fragrant mountain of pulled pork jostling for room with piled-high home-made coleslaw on an over-sized bun. It was an unreasonably tempting sandwich. It smelt like heaven on toast; glistening with a judicious squish of cherry-red BBQ sauce. However, I'd just stuffed myself with buttermilk chicken at the patio cafe at the library. This was my Mr Creosote "Wafer Thin Mint" moment. But I couldn't say no. Silently thanking the food writer gods that I had worn my 'greedy' jeans, I closed my eyes, sank my teeth down and gurgled with pleasure.

 

This was back in 2010. The food truck scene had just begun in Vancouver after its enterprising council decided to hold an open lottery. Over 800 applications came in and 17 trucks gained the right to sell healthy eats on the street. I'd been searching for a sniff of a truck for two days. But instead of a simple trot around the block to grab a burrito from the back of a van, it had turned into an epic hunt for something that seemed only slightly less mythical than a unicorn, which I'd happily have tucked into, served spiked on its own horn. Everywhere I went, the trucks had closed up shop and taken off. It was my last night and I'd given up. Taken the tip of a mate and headed to the sun-trap patio cafe at the downtown library. I was strolling back to my hotel, enjoying that most Vancouverish of sights, mountains tantalisingly glimpsed at the end of a street crowded with glittering high rises, when I saw it; a silvery food truck. I couldn't eat any more. Could I? But really... did I have a choice?

 

I could wear out a thesaurus with superlatives, because, damn, that pulled pork was the best. I'm not ashamed to say I polished off the lot. To have left even a crumb would have been sacrilegious. The Re-Up Addictive BBQ was well-named. Talking to its owners I discovered that they'd been rationing some of their clientele, '18 sandwiches in 18 days for one guy." confided, Michael "We cut him off for a week for his own good."

 

Fast-forward to 2012, Vancouver's streets are pleasingly plump with vans cooking up everything from hot-smoked local sockeye salmon sandwiches and Iranian taftoon flatbreads to perogies, Philly cheese steaks and gourmet juice shots. Around 100 trucks are dotted across the city's downtown core with more opening up in the parks this summer. Most trucks tend to focus on the lunchtime trade, but the free Vancouver Street Food app is your companion to who's open where and when. You can take a two-hour $35 tour with The Tour Guys “Eat Your Cart Out” or combine with a 4-hour $99 city bike tour with Cycle City Tours Food Tour