Category Archives: Food truck

A Vegetarian Upstart in Calgary’s Cattle Country

Roasted artichokes with pear and chestnut is just one of the innovative vegetarian dishes at Calgary's White Rose Kitchen

Roasted artichokes with pear and chestnut is just one of the innovative vegetarian dishes at Calgary’s White Rose Kitchen

Calgary is cattle country, as much for mythological reasons as for all the area ranches and feedlots. So from a culinary perspective, it’s no surprise to find an abundance of steakhouses and hamburger joints.

Or, conversely, a scarcity of vegetarian restaurants. In a city of a million carnivores, you’d be hard pressed to find half a dozen places serving tofu, tempeh and turnips.

Thus, it’s nice to see a new restaurant—White Rose Kitchen, in a onetime Bowness gas station—devoted to creative, flavourful dishes like roasted artichoke, pear and chestnut; braised broccoli rabe and fig; and fennel confit salad.

White Rose is named for an old Bowness gas station that once stood here

White Rose is named for an old Bowness gas station that once stood here

It’s not cheap. Small (mostly appetizer sized) plates are $12 and big plates $18. But chef Dwayne and partner Alberta Ennest (who also operate Big Fish and Open Range) have certainly upped the ante on the often-staid veggie world.

A veggie flatbread is one of the day's lunch specials

A veggie flatbread is one of the day’s lunch specials

This being Calgary, however, the world of beef hasn’t been entirely abandoned. A sister, attached operation is The Coal Shed Smoke House, a stationary truck where meats are smoked, grilled and braised. The resulting chorizo sausage, beef short ribs and bison burgers are mostly intended for take-away dining, though there are a handful of tables in the hallway leading to White Rose.

The carnivorous Coal Shed Smoke House sits next door

The carnivorous Coal Shed Smoke House sits next door

But this commingling has its limits. You’re not allowed to smuggle your Coal Shed beef brisket, on a paper plate, into White Rose’s calm vegetarian space.

White Rose Kitchen
6512 Bowness Road NW, Calgary
Monday to Saturday 11:30 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-9 pm
403-455-8055

Angling for Good, Cheap Mexican Food in Walla Walla

Dora's Deli has a unique combination: Mexcian food and fishing worms

Dora’s Deli has a unique combination: Mexcian food and fishing worms

How can you not like a place that sells Mexican food and worms? Especially when the tortillas for the substantial tacos are hand pressed and the choice of toppings includes lengua (tongue). Continue reading

Invermere Restaurant Fuzes Truck and Sit-Down Fare

 

Fuze Food has moved from an Invermere, B.C. truck to an indoor location

Fuze Food has moved from an Invermere, B.C. truck to an indoor location

As the charming movie Chef showed, there’s definitely an allure to owning a food truck. The costs of capital, maintenance and staffing can be considerably less than a bricks-and-mortar establishment, and the menu is usually substantially smaller. At the end of the day, you just drive away.

Of course, there are drawbacks, such as power outages and working in cramped quarters over a scorching grill. And if you’re located in a colder climate, there’s a good chance you’ll be closed in winter. Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re a ski or surf bum.

But not every culinary entrepreneur is enamoured with the food truck dream. Indeed, some use the experience as a stepping stone to opening a traditional restaurant.

Such is the case with Fuze Food, in Invermere, B.C. It started as a summer food truck, churning out spiced-up wraps, salads and smoothies, with an emphasis on local ingredients. A couple of years later, young co-owner Sarah Adamson moved into a strip mall right next to a Subway.

The menu hasn’t changed a whole lot, with lots of healthy, tasty options like a satay bowl or a donair wrap. I go for a Thai bowl—loaded with veggies and vermicelli noodles and doused with a house-made peanut sauce—and down it with an apple-avocado smoothie. It’s good, flavourful stuff, though at a bit of a resort-community premium.

Lots of tasty items like this bowl in a box

Lots of tasty items like this bowl in a box

Now that it’s indoors, Fuze is open year round and offering a late-afternoon, evening pizza bar. Though of course that means less time for skiing.

Fuze Food
315 3 Avenue, Athalmere, B.C.
Tuesday to Sunday 11 am-9 pm (pizza bar opens at 4 pm). Closed Monday

Truck Food Goes Upscale at Berkeley’s Brazil Cafe

 

Walkup food cart and beer garden at Brazil Cafe in Berkeley, California

Walkup food cart and beer garden at Brazil Cafe in Berkeley, California

Normally, there’s a distinct drawback to a food truck. Where do you eat the damn stuff? The possibilities include a curb, a shared picnic table, the unprotected front seat of a car, a dusty parking lot. None are entirely satisfying, the hope being the food is sufficiently transcendent to transport you to another world.

Fortunately, Brazil Cafe has come up with a lovely solution at one of its Berkeley, California locations. Technically, it’s not a truck, more of a hybrid, with a beautiful fixed kitchen where the food is prepared and where partner Westbrae Biergarten pours glasses of local craft beer.

And yes, the seating is still mostly upscale picnic tables, with a few lawn-furniture tables and umbrellas added in what appears to be an old parking lot. But everything’s nicely spaced out, creating a most inviting aesthetic. It’s a wonderful place to linger over food and a beer or glass of wine on a warm Berkeley evening.

A perfect way to spend a balmy Berkeley evening

A perfect way to spend a balmy Berkeley evening

The cardboard boxes of food are mostly $9 or $10 and quite tasty, with the rice bowls and sausage winning out over the tri-tip sandwich, the latter’s indifferent bread knocking the grade down a notch.

Brazil Cafe
1280 Gilman Street
Sunday to Thursday 11 am-9 pm, Friday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm