One of the awesome things I got to do this summer was appear on Breakfast Television and judge some of the city’s food trucks. For three mornings (four, if you include the day when I announced the winner), I got up extra early and — before most people had their first coffee — chowed down on smoked meat sandwiches, burgers, donuts, French Fries and gelato.
I had the pleasure of judging with John Gilchrist and Calgary Farmers’ Market’s Amanda Bonner. (The Best Of segment tied in with the Sundown Chowdown event at the market that weekend. I judged some of those dishes too. Oooof.)
Here we are preparing to try the Whole Truck Burgers and Poutines from Alley Burger.
In the end, the winner was the Naaco Truck. But I have to give shout outs to Cheezy Bizness, which does fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches. I particularly loved The Big Cheese, which has a mix of cheddar and gruyere, pimento cheese, dill pickles and shaved red onion. And one of these days I am going to try a Mac Melt, which is grilled cheese with mac and cheese. Oh, yes! (I also love that owner Nicole is a huge proponent of local and runs her truck as close to waste-free as possible.) And another shout out to Los Compadres. They dished up some truly Mexican fare and the best mole sauce I’ve ever tried.
The folks from Teatro opened a new spot on Stephen Avenue this fall. Cucina is rustic and charming in decor, but the food is impeccably done.
Chef John Michael MacNeil has created a menu of bistro-style dishes with a Teatro influence. Rosemary roasted porchetta is tender and deeply flavoured. On the sandwich, the rich meat is contrasted with an apple-celery slaw.
A couple of weeks after having lunch there, I was back having brunch. Loved that instead of hashbrowns, you can get servings of pan-fried gnocchi hash. I was glad to get back because I really wanted to try the BBT (Bacon Basil Tomato) sandwich, which isn’t on the lunch menu.