Now that the calendar tells us it’s spring (if only the weather would cooperate too) it looks like Calgary’s Food Trucks are back!
They were gone for winter near where I work (near Mount Royal University in Calgary’s SouthWest) but on Monday, March 24th I saw the first (of many, I’m sure!) tweets announcing the return of Food Trucks. They visit the campus, and in the past one truck has visited per day, around the lunchtime to add variety to the lunchtime offerings at MRU (and area) now that the university’s main cafeteria has closed.
On Monday I had the chance to check out the first truck, one I hadn’t tried out before – the Family Fry Guy.
Their main menu is… well of course based on French Fries! English Pub style French Fries to be specific, and then they get fancy with either chili-cheese toppings, or cheese and gravy for a poutine option.
Since I didn’t know what the portion sizes would be like (half-way through my meal I was full…) I ordered a regular poutine ($7.25 according to their website, though the prices at the van seemed to be different than the web prices) with traditional (squeeky) Quebec cheese curds, along with a pulled pork on a bun ($5.00 on their website). They also offer ‘melty’ cheese for the poutine, Polish sausage, hot dogs, and roast beef on a bun.
The English pub-style fries seemed a bit wrong for poutine, and although they were nice and thick-cut (skins on) they couldn’t really support the weight of the gravy and cheese. It seems to be a pretty common problem with poutine around here -maybe I’m just expecting too much. The container was quite substantial… I ended up not being able to eat all of my fries. Thankfully though, the fries didn’t seem pre-seasoned, which is good… I’ve had poutine in Calgary that was WAY too salty because I’m sure the cook used pre-salted fries… and then poured salty gravy on top!
The pulled pork on a bun… well… it didn’t look like much. Just some shredded meat and a hefty squirt of sauce on a hot dog bun. They really should have considered upgrading the bun to something a bit more substantial – just like the fries, the bun couldn’t really support the slippery topping. (Plus it looked pretty… boring.) The taste was good though, with nice tender pork and well-seasoned sauce that wasn’t too spicy for me.
Both dishes were super messy though – I always think of food trucks as being street food, festival food, carnival food – not food that you’ll pack up and bring back to your kitchen to eat. Grab lots of extra napkins for these dishes, and find a place to eat before noshing. (Or risk hands covered in gravy…) With the portion sizes (and my tendency to get tired of the same flavour after a while) I’d recommend getting a sandwhich, and then sharing the poutine or fries. I don’t even know who could finish one of the large poutines! If you want onions, bacon bits, or other toppings for your poutine (or sandwhich) they’re on the side… but full hands don’t make for good topping-adding. If you want pulled pork or roast beef for your poutine, it’s available too for an extra $2.00 (according to the website).
With the return of Food Trucks to Calgary’s ‘spring’ – will you be keeping an eye out for the Family Fry Guy – or is there another Food Truck you’re keen on checking out this spring? Let us know in the comments below!