Last Friday, we kicked off our 2013 What the Truck?! season with a Ginger Beef Throwdown. Partnering with the Royal Alberta Museum , the event was organized in conjunction with the current Chop Suey on the Prairies exhibit, which examines the history of Chinese restaurants in our province in the twentieth century.
Although we knew the event would draw a crowd, we never anticipated the sheer number of early birds that staked out a place in line well before the start time. The glorious weather definitely helped, as did the scheduling just before the long weekend, but most of all, I think it speaks to the fact that Edmontonians love food trucks!
I have already written about the rationale for our food ticketing system and the “intentional bottleneck” that we created, and in spite of fielding many complaints, I don’t think we could have done it any other way. Given the constraints of the museum space, as well as a desire to streamline food access to enable sampling of multiple dishes, we were happy with how things worked out overall. That said, we could have done a better job in communicating the reasoning behind the system – hopefully those that left hungry and frustrated will give future What the Truck?! events another chance.
It also bears saying that the trucks just rocked it that night. They pumped out servings like nobody’s business, and continued to push the limits of their capacity. Thanks to The Act , Bully, The Lingnan Express and Smokehouse BBQ for a memorable start to the season!
As for the food, while we didn’t vote ourselves (The Lingnan took home the crown), we were able to sample Bully’s BLT and The Lingnan’s traditional ginger beef. After the craziness, they really hit the spot! For a more comprehensive look at the dishes that night, check out Teresa and Diane’s posts.
Bully’s BLT and The Lingnan’s ginger beef
Partnerships have been vital to What the Truck?! from the beginning, so we appreciated the opportunity to work with the Royal Alberta Museum for the first time. With over 400 people who checked out the exhibit that night, it was counted as a definite success for the RAM!
Without question, this was our most labour-intensive event to date, as we not only had to facilitate the food tickets, but also drink sales. Because of these responsibilities, we could not have run the event on our own, and were indebted to the generosity of our volunteers. Thanks to my Mum, Dad, Felicia, Caleng, Linda, Phil and Robyn for all of your help!
Lastly, thanks to everyone who came – we hope you had fun! We are already in the throes of planning for the next What the Truck?!, which will take place south of the river in June. Stay tuned for more details next week!