Sherman's Food Adventures: Street Food City (2022 Dine Out Vancouver Festival)

Street Food City (2022 Dine Out Vancouver Festival)

It is nice to see that food truck pods are becoming a thing in the Lower Mainland.  However, this is still a temporary occurrence as there never seems to be any consistency.  Sometimes they only exist as part of a special event and sometimes, they just get their permits cancelled due to complaints from surrounding businesses. So let us celebrate when we have a good collection of diverse food trucks in one spot for us to enjoy.  This is the case for Dine Out Vancouver Fest with Street Food City at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza from Jan 15th - 23rd.

I was invited to sample something from every food truck on sight including one of my favourites in Disco Cheetah.  We decided to get the KFC Rice Bowl with multigrain rice, greens, corn, edamame, pickled red cabbage, scallion, Oriental vinaigrette, Korean fried boneless chicken thigh, chili mayo and garlic mayo.  Beyond the punch provided from the mayo and various textures from the veggies, the KFC was the star for sure.  It was in large pieces, crispy and juicy.

I've also had Super Thai in the past and we decided on the Pad Thai Chicken in medium spice.  This came with wider rice noodles which afforded a chewier texture (also was prepared properly so it wasn't overdone).  In terms of flavour, there was plenty of tang from the tamarind and sweetness from the palm sugar.  This was balanced off by the good heat provided by the chili powder.  My only wish would be for some preserved turnip or radish.

Staying with South Asian cuisine, we got the Beef Rendang with coconut rice from Kampong - Taste of Malaysia.  This featured tender morsels of beef bathed in a rich gravy.  This was definitely cardamom-forward with obvious hints of star anise, cinnamon and lemongrass.  The rice underneath was aromatic and dry enough to compliment the rendang properly. Normally, when I eat this dish, I don't like it spicy, but you can request for it.

I must've had Reel Mac & Cheese a dozen times already because I seem to see them everywhere (including the PNE)!  No big deal because I do enjoy their mac & cheese.  I let them choose the Kevin Bacon to try this time because I've already had almost of the variations already.   This was the beneficiary of a 7 cheese blend and al dente macaroni.  The ample amount of meaty  bacon on top made this quite the meal.

One of the most surprising items we tried was at Mama's Fish & Chips.  Well, first of all, I've never had the pleasure of trying this particular food truck and second, the 2 pc Fish & Chips with 2 prawns added was fantastic!  Normally, fried prawns are pretty standard, but these were so buttery and cold-water crunchy while the batter was lightly crispy.  As for the fish, it was flaky and moist with the same light crispy batter (which wasn't greasy either).  The fries were crispy and the tartar sauce was balanced.

Probably the one picture that didn't do the food justice was the Arancini Trio from Mr. Arancino.  Inside the lightly crispy exterior, there was the usual aborio rice and 3 different fillings including the Mozza with mozzarella cheese; the Beef Ragu with mozzarella and the Pizza with pepperoni, veggies and mozzarella.  These featured al dente risotto with lots of inherent flavour and plenty of melted mozzarella.  I loved the pizza one the best!

Another food truck that I tried for the first time was Melt City Grilled Cheese.  When I asked which one I should try, they suggest the Meat City Melt featuring handmade meatballs with marinara, pineapple and jalapeño jack cheese on sourdough topped with shaved parmesan.  This was a beast with so much going on.  Loved the amount of melted cheese as it had impact in terms of flavour and texture.  The meatballs were indeed meaty, but tender.  Bread choice was perfect with a crunchy exterior and chewy interior.   Not sure about the pineapple, but overall the sandwich was on point.

Last but not least, we had the Connecticut Lobster Roll and Lobster Bisque from Salty's Lobster Shack.  For those who are unfamiliar, this version features butter poached lobster without any mayo or other ingredients (this had a bit of dill though).  This one here had a mixture of lobster and imitation lobster which I didn't mind as the texture was pleasing and there was plenty of buttery garlic goodness.  Bun was toasted well too.  As for the bisque, it was rich and a bit chunky.  That I also didn't mind as it was full of flavour and aromatics with chunks of lobster and bits of veggies.  This was a yummy end to some real gluttony.  Okay, I'm not suggesting you order from every truck, but I'm not stopping you either!  Go check it out if because there are some really good food trucks participating!  There will be a rotating lineup where hours are 11:00am - 2:00pm weekdays and 11:00am - 5:00pm on weekends.

*All food was complimentary for this post except the bisque*

The Good:
- Diverse lineup of food trucks
- Lots of space and outside for those who are not comfortable dining in at this time

The Bad:
- Limited tables and seating


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