Organizing outdoor events can be nerve-wracking, because they are so much at the mercy of the weather. So when we had our first cloudless, rain-free What the Truck?!, we made sure to count our blessings!
Before the storm
It seemed even more fitting last Friday, given it was our most scenic location to date, with ten trucks set up along the beautiful stretch of the Victoria Promenade. In our opinion, it is an underappreciated and underutilized gem in Edmonton, so we were even more thrilled at the amazing turnout!
We also think it was the largest and more diverse crowd we’ve seen at any What the Truck?! event, and though it had to do somewhat with the location and perfect conditions, we also believe it had a lot to do with the dense neighbourhood of Oliver it was situated in. No doubt, the wafting of food aromas helped entice more than a few residents in the surrounding towers!
The Promenade, by Ian McKenzie
It was really neat to see people setting up picnics anywhere and everywhere along the Promenade. From benches to curbs to apartment stoops, it was casual al fresco dining at its best!
Phil was among the early birds
Fel and Jeff enjoy the mac melt from Molly’s
Joe and Vicky at their first What the Truck?!
Loved their buffet spread
Who says a stoop can’t be a perfectly suitable table?
For whatever reason, Mack and I don’t actually end up eating all that much at the events. But we did enjoy what we did sample!
Pork belly adobo from Filistix
Siu mai from The Lingnan
Of course, we do recognize the shortcomings of this location. Because we needed to maintain access to the residential garages situated along this road, we were only able to claim half of the street. This meant that unlike our previous two events, we weren’t able to situate trucks in a way that would have provided some line separation. As well, though our intentions were to have sidewalks as clear as possible, the length of many of the lines made this improbable. We appreciate the patience people had with navigating the Promenade, and your feedback will help us improve future events – for instance, we are looking at stanchions for our next go-around.
This event would not have been possible without the generosity of our partners and sponsors. The Oliver Community League was with us from the beginning, eager to help bring What the Truck?! to their neighbourhood. They also hosted a community social at their local hall afterwards, and it seemed to be a very well-attended opportunity for neighbours to meet one another.
The Urban Monks DJs, Thomas and Marc, also brought their creative spin to the table! They didn’t need to DJ in extreme conditions this time around, but they still brought down the street with their beats. Thanks, guys!
The Urban Monks
Last but not least, Tri-Line Disposal came through with their handy toters. Mack and I always like to return the event site to the community in the same condition we found it, and it really wouldn’t have been possible to do this without their mobile waste containers.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support the trucks! But if you missed the event, you’re in luck! Our next Truck Stop will be taking place on August 15, in the form of a Pulled Pork Throwdown! Hope to see you there!
You can take a look at the photoset here.
4 thoughts on “Recap: What the Truck?! at Victoria Promenade”
Like pretty much everybody, thanks for organizing the events. Alas, there were too many problems (or at least from my perspective) this time, my visit ended up being a test of patience and endurance. Here are some of my notes/comments:
1) It seems some of the vendors still can’t assess how much they have to prepare. For example, Battista Calzone was sold out when I arrived (~6:00 p.m.).
2) Somewhat similar, it is pretty much impossible to line up for three carts during the event. In a way, I feel it is related to how the different dishes or how their system work. For example, in a previous event, I still recall mis-communication between the person taking the order and BOH and, as a result, when the (wrong) order is delivered, it halts the lines a bit until that is resolved. At times, this is not even related to cooking (remember, some of the trucks are scoop and sever!).
3) Layout, indeed, space was an issue; but, there is one thing that drove me nuts: pedestrians not following rules of the road. Now, not the street itself but the promenade. I parked in Jasper and was at the Filistix end and walked towards the other end. The one in the Filistix end was OK; however, as I went to the other end, I noticed people didn’t walk on their right side of the sidewalk and, for god’s sake, please don’t bring the strollers to line up, specially when the sidewalk is already loaded with other people. (Nothing against family but, please, a bit of common sense, please?! >_<).
Looks like everyone had a good time. 🙂