Ottawa Food Trucks and Craft Beer
Hosted by TW Events at the Aviation Museum
I was excited to experience so many food trucks in one place, since I usually avoid downtown and don’t get to try many of these mobile eateries. This event got me thinking though, was it just me, or were food trucks more popular in recent years than in previous generations?
We have TV shows like Eat St. on Food Network which started in 2011, and movies like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (2012) featuring a young couple with duelling food trucks, “The Five-Year Engagement” (2012) with Jason Segel’s character opening his own taco truck after being a restaurant chef, and Jean Favreau’s “Chef” (2014) also featured a man losing his restaurant job and starting a food truck. Even Walt Disney World has gotten on board with this trend when they opened their Food Truck Park in Downtown Disney in 2014.
Turns out, food trucks aren’t a new thing, but their popularity has been on the rise since 2008 due in part from the recession (and people not wanting or being able to invest in full traditional restaurants) and also in part from social media and the ability for food trucks to post daily where they will be serving up their food around town. There are also factors such as health inspections, online reviewers, and people eating on the go that have lead to the increased popularity
Mobile food trucks/carts/stands do have a long history. Some say that every food truck can be traced back to Walter Scott, who sold sandwiches, pies, and coffee to journalists in Rhode Island out of a wagon with windows cut into it in 1872. Others argue that it was in 1866 when Charles Goodnight set out in the Old West with his chuckwagon that started it all. He used a US Army surplus wagon with a mounted wooden box as a mobile kitchen and served beans, coffee, cornbread, cabbage meat, and biscuits to cowboys on cattle drives.
No matter which camp you are in, the truth is that both Scott and Goodnight started something awesome, and now we have food trucks that allow chefs to take their food to where the crowds are. From busy urban street corners with hungry office workers, to construction sites, fairs, or even being rented out for weddings, the real winners are the people who are no longer limited to the permanent restaurants in a location.
That brings us back to the Street Eats Festival in Ottawa this weekend, because what is better than one food truck but MULTIPLE food trucks? Founder and Organizer, Tanya Whelan, decided to make Street Eats an event that not only celebrated local food trucks, but also local craft brewery while providing entertainment for the whole family. She booked local DJ DSound, and the winners of the 2014 Live 88.5 Big Money Shot, The Lionyls for great live music. The event also had games and contests, and plenty of seating for people to hang out. Food and Beverages were purchased with tickets, so you only had to exchange money with the ticket sellers and not each vendor. Everything was DELICIOUS!
It was a great day to remember, sitting there and enjoying good food (my favorite was the Nacho Libre poutine from Big D’s Dog House) and good music and watching planes take off regularly behind the Canadian Aviation Museum. I also loved the compost sorting center, and the free water refills provided by Aquahaulics.
Not only would I make sure to attend this event again, but I also recommend others do as well! Food trucks serve up good food by people who truly love what they do, and Ottawa Street Eats gives us access to 15 local vendors that give us a taste of the city!