Having just earned the third best food truck city in North America title, Vancouver’s so-called food truck scene is no joke – at least according to the press. While I thought the food trucks in Vancouver are generally quite boring (with the exception of a select few), and I do prefer the sophistication and refinement in fine dining, I’m often tempted to try one of these trucks by food truck evangelists. (People walking around in downtown and standing in elevators with take out boxes in their hands doesn’t help either). Street Meet, a food truck not far from my office, is a food truck that featured “European style street food with fine dining techniques.”. Can this truck marry fine dining and street food into one happy couple?
Street Meet is the bright yellow food truck at the corner of Burrard and Pender – you can’t miss it in the dreary grey and blue backdrop of Vancouver downtown. It serves European (the Mediterranean area, specifically) inspired street food with an occasional changing menu.
Mushroom Soup, local mushrooms, finished with truffle. Rich and creamy, the consistency was quite thick, almost like drying cement. Though it marketed itself as mushroom soup, the flavor of the truffle was overpowering, and I wished it could have more of a mushroom taste. Despite this, this wasn’t bad, depending on how you feel about chefs using truffle flavors for masking.
Italian Poutine, Beef Bolognese, Mozzarella, Fries. Basically bolognese sauce poured over fries with shaved mozzarella, I felt that the sauce was too acidic to have much of an impact. It seemed like the bolognese and the fries was a divorced couple and they just didn’t have the right chemistry together.
Crispy Risotto Balls, Spring Pea, Parmesan, Basil Truffle Aioli. Crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside, the sweet spring peas and the parmesan filling blended well with each other. The basil truffle aioli provided that extra and much needed flavoring.
Pork Belly Bites, Roasted Pork Belly, Agro Dolce Sauce. Tender, fatty, and succulent pork bellies with generous portions, I wasn’t expecting food of this caliber coming out of a truck. The Agro Dolce sauce added a pinch of taste and moisten the already delicious pork belly. This dish could easily fit into a full service restaurant, definitely recommended.
Grilled Lamb Burger, Tzatziki Sauce, Creamy Feta, Red Onion, Tomato, Arugula. One bite into the garlicky Tzatziki sauce and juicy lamb patty and I already felt like I was in a Greece restaurant, but here I was tasting this on the side of Burrard with business dust blowing in my face. The portion was bigger than your average gourmet burger, so it could easily make you fall asleep on the keyboard back at the office. While I wasn’t blown away like I did with the appetizers, it was something different – tasting Greece in a burger form.
Herb Chicken Sandwich, Orange Marinated Chicken Breast, Tarragon Aioli, Stewed Red Peppers, Red Onion, Tomato, Arugula. Except this wasn’t exactly a sandwich and more like a burger, and I would never order a chicken burger. In any case, I didn’t know what to make of this. The chicken was bland, and I didn’t felt the herby tarragon aioli did justice on the chicken. The flavor combination was strange, and I ended up struggling to finish this burger.
Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich, Apple Chutney, Purple Coleslaw. The star of the show here was, of course, the finely chopped and tender pulled pork. Though the pork was perfectly cooked with just the right texture, I felt that the flavor department was too one dimension – it was just a vast expanse of pulled pork with hints of the apple chutney and coleslaw. I would prefer if it had some extra heat, say some BBQ sauce (but again that would be kind of obvious and boring).
Many items on the menu came with these homemade chips that were more crunchy than your regular potato chips but were very well and evenly seasoned – every single bite. It may have been too salty for some (ie. old people or Asians that likes bland food), but for me, they were just great complements to whatever that I was having. Can we have this as a separate menu item please?
I appreciate what Street Meet is doing here – bringing restaurant quality food to the streets while trying to be sustainable is a good initiative. For the most part, it works. However, I do feel that the menu needs a little bit more tinkering to be competitive with the rest of Vancouver’s food trucks.