Combine the Toronto Underground Market with Food Truck Eats on a day notorious for being celebrated with music, drink and food and you get a an amazing combination of food trucks, vendors, wineries and breweries serving up Cinco de Mayo themed food at the picturesque Evergreen Brick Works. I volunteered my car and driving expertise (don't laugh) to help Ottawa's Stone Soup Foodworks and their crew get to Toronto in time to set up and serve their local and sustainable cuisine they've become known for.
Since I arrived at the former quarry quite early I was able to get an inside look at the set up; including complex food truck parallel parking, last minute food prep and even contemplated a keg heist. More importantly, since I was around for so long I was able to sample a lot of different food but the ultimate way to eat through an event with over 30 vendors with the help of friends. I was lucky enough to meet up with Kathy (from Kathy Eats) and her friends and was able to sample much more by sharing plates. It was also nice to be with a fellow food blogger who understood my need to photograph everything three times.
I loved all of the food I tried but I did have my favourites. I did the lobster roll challenge, pitting newcomer Buster's Sea Cove's larger, more expensive $12 roll against Rock Lobster Food Co.'s bite sized 2 for $5 roll - winner being the meatier, claw filled roll from Buster's. I also loved Indonesian themed street food vendor Babi & Co. and reluctantly shared grilled Padang-style yellow curry wings and pork satays piled high with pickled cucumbers. My longest wait of the evening was just under 2 hours for La Carnita's deep-fried squid taco with mango habanero sauce. Worth every minute of the line.
Of course a party wouldn't be complete without some drinks and the organizers made sure there were plenty of breweries, wineries and even some tequila on hand. I opted out of the wine and spent most of my time fluttering from beer stand to beer stand chatting and sampling Toronto-area beer that hadn't made its way up to Ottawa. My favourite was the Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale; I kept coming back for refills of the hoppy, pineapple spiked brew - until the 10 kegs they brought ran dry. Although not a fan of cocktails, the Tromba Tequila Margarita made with agave syrup was incredible and I was probably better off only indulging in one.
While some of the better known trucks and pop ups enjoyed long lines, Stone Soup Foodworks bright green truck had problems being noticed. Whatever it was, it wasn't the food; offering Berkshire Pork Ancho Tamales and the infamous late night Mexicone they were the favourites of anyone who dared to wander away from the line.