Fridays just got a lot more delicious with the advent of 'First Fridays' at Olympic Park. I'm sure you've all checked out MTL Blog's photo coverage of the event, now here's a little sliver of insight into the array of different foods that can be tasted at next month.
Twenty-seven food trucks set up shop to dispense delicacies to the masses, and while I wish my stomach was big enough to fill it with a taste of every option, some tough choices had to be made. With the help of some pals, five food trucks made it to my taste-buds. Some were definitely better than others, so I hope this aids you in your next food truck endeavor, and in the upcoming Food Truck Festival.
First on the docket is 'Phoenix 1', a relatively new comer on the Montreal street food scene. The name gives very little away in terms of type of food, but just so you know, Phoenix 1 is focused on the 'naan-wich,' a fusion of East and West that takes Indian flavours and ingredients and puts them into a traditional sandwich format. Phoenix 1 has several different naan-wiches to choose from, such as their Tandori Chicken for $8, which I got to try. Filled with a healthy amount of chicken, cucumber, carrots and authentic Indian condiments, all stuffed into freshly baked naan, the tandori chicken naan-wich was a good display of Phoenix 1's menu. A cool concept for lunch on the go, Phoenix 1 is a good choice for those looking for fresh take on a standard sandwich.
Serving up seafood with a twist was 'Le Quai Roulant'. Fish and chips instantly stood out on their menu, and who can say no the notion of fried fish and potatoes? Unfortunately, that isn't exactly what you get. The fish was definitely fried, and tasted great with a light and crisp batter, but there were no fries/chips in sight. Instead, the fish is served alongside some lettuce drizzled with dressing. The psuedo-side salad tasted good, and better for your waistline than french fries, it just wasn't what one hopes for when they read 'fish and chips.' Given the tastiness of the fish aspect of the fish and chips, I'm definitely intrigued by Le Quai Roulant's other offerings (like their crab cake), so I'd say its worth checking out for seafood lovers.
Keeping with the nautical theme, I also got to taste the food of 'Lucille's Oyster Dive'. Lucille's main establishment is in Monkland village, so their food truck offers a more convenient way for hungry folks who don't live in NDG to still taste some quality seafood. Lucille's has a lobster roll for $10 on their menu which I simply couldn't pass up. I was hesitant to get it at first, given its size I wondered if it was worth the price, and my worries were pleasantly squashed. Although the hot dog bun bread is small, the staff of Lucille's make sure to pack it full of delicious lobster meat. The bun was also lightly toasted to offset the creamy chewiness of the lobster, a nice touch. Sometimes its the little things that count.
Simultaneously offering meals and dessert is 'Gaufrabec'. I was super excited to see savory options available on their menu, and went for their $9 sweet and salty combo. For the salty I chose a waffle made with Parmesan, egg, spices, and other savory additions. Not gonna lie, this was kind of a let down. I imagined an egg sandwich with savory waffle bread, instead I got a single waffle, that was kind of bland, served with a drizzle of oil on top. The oil was of high quality and paired nicely, but the waffle itself was underwhelming. Plus, it was very difficult to eat with a plastic fork, so I ended up just using my hands. Gaufrabec's sweet waffle that I tried, a banana waffle, was tasty, although it lacked any means to put maple syrup on it. I don't know about you, but all waffles demand maple syrup, what else are the many crevices for? Not too impressed with Gaufrabec, as a food truck at least, and I would stick to their sweet offerings if you're craving a waffle.
One dessert is never enough to end a meal, and that's where the resident ice cream food truck came in: Monsieur Cremeux. Soft serve is the star of M. Cremeux's cool treats, paired with frozen fruit slush, delectable sundaes, or in milkshake form. The maple sundae definitely looked delicious (and will be the next thing I try) but for the sake of tradition the milkshake was chosen. Nothing too fancy here, just a simple milkshake with some quality ice cream. Sweet and satisfying, the milkshake was good, but nothing too extraordinary. When your milkshake is priced at $5, you want something a little extravagant. Probably my fault, since M. Cremeux's other options were cheaper and looked to be more interesting. Regardless, M. Cremeux boasts some solid soft serve which will cool you down and satisfy your need for sweet.
All in all, First Fridays at Olympic Parc was a delicious experience and a great way to showcase the food trucks of Montreal, particularly for those who have yet to indulge in Montreal's delicious street foods. The event only made me more excited for the Food Truck Festival which will boast nearly double the amount of food trucks. Be sure to check out MTL Blog's ongoing coverage of The Food Truck Festival starting July 13th!
Cover photo cred - Bill Binns