I love a good wine event and a great glass of bubbly. One of my favourite bubblies is Peller Estates Ice Cuvee so when I heard there was a food truck rally at Peller Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I was there!
It’s the 3rd year for Peller’s Food Truck Eats where almost 20 gourmet food trucks from far and wide are sandwiched between the lush, corduroy vineyards and the posh, high-end restaurant, Peller Winery Restaurant.
With glass of bubbly in hand I surveyed the grounds, the trucks, the wine stations, music area and tables that were scattered around the grounds for the most appropriate strategy. There were food trucks with long lines of customers, some with short lines and others with no lines but swarms of people. On the left was the DJ and a group of exuberant dancers, to the right a cupcake truck and all around, people were mingling, eating, sipping on fine wine among the busy food trucks. With no apparent strategy, I was on my own.
I began walking around, reading menu boards in front of the food trucks. Now contrary to my first impression, a food truck rally is not the same as a traditional wine and food event where food stations prepare and hand out little bits of food so you can taste the talents of many chefs. No, at a food truck rally, food trucks pump out full meals at full prices forcing you to develop a sanity strategy – after all, one cannot eat it all!
So I turned around and focused on the eaters instead of the food trucks. Everyone eating was happy to share what they loved about the food in front of them. It seemed like the more out-of-the-box or shocking the food, the more fun they were having. I approached eight diners squeezed around a table. They raved about the giant, deep-fried, macaroni and cheese balls from the Food Dudes, others loved the monstrous English-style fish and chips from the Feisty Jack. The juice was dripping down from the porchetta sliders from the Rome’n Chariot while lips were being licked over Chang Noi’s Mossamengi (red curry soup).
It was apparent I needed to call in reinforcements. I surrounded myself with three friends and we set out. I would order and taste, they would eat. It was that simple. Here’s what I chose from the dizzying amount of choices parked in front of me. I loved Buster’s Sea Coves Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos, the oysters from Tide & Vine Oyster Co, Salmon Tacos from El Gastrónomo Vagabundo and Pulled Pork & Cornbread Waffles from The Dirty South. Miso Pork and Kimchi Lettuce Wraps from Mind and Seoul and the Lobster Spring Fling Rolls from Chang Noi Enroute.
In the end, I didn’t get to try any of the hundreds of grilled cheese sandwiches I saw devoured from Gorilla Cheese or the gnocchi from Frankie Fettucine. I wish I had room for the Shanghi Cigarrog from Lunchador and the wood oven pizza from Bestia Pizza Truck. Of course, I had no room for the Key Lime Pie from the Itty Bitty Pie Company nor the Red Velvet Cupcake from Curbside Bliss Cupcakes – pity.
With my work only part way done, I look forward to next years Food Truck Eats at Peller Estate Winery.