Street Food for Lunch: Truck Stop

This afternoon, from 11am-2pm, we hosted our inaugural Truck Stop, a smaller offshoot of What the Truck?! at Churchill Square.

At this point, we’ve resigned to the fact that the weather won’t be on our side. We recognize that it could have been much worse – the rain held off until the very end – but after three events in less than ideal weather, we don’t know what we have to do to get some sunshine on our side!

Anyway, set-up this morning was seamless – 102A Avenue in front of City Hall has been closed to vehicular traffic for a few years now, and as we found with What the Truck?! 2, curbside is the best way to go with food trucks. By 11am, all five vendors were ready to go – but would Edmontonians brave the elements for street food?

Truck Stop

Ready to go

Of course they would! The crowds didn’t swarm in droves as they did for WTT, but we didn’t expect them to, given the lack of notice and the inherently smaller nature of the event. We had pulled some of the colourful bistro tables from the centre of the Square to create a more inviting space, and were happy to see the slight chill didn’t deter people from al fresco dining.

Truck Stop

Lunch time!

Smokehouse BBQ, with its wafting aromas of wood smoke, had a pretty solid line up during the noon hour lunch rush. They tweeted later that it was indeed a good day – they sold more today than they would have over four days in their usual spot in Nisku! So fans of Southern BBQ – if you give them a reason to come back – they will!

Truck Stop

The line at Smokehouse

Mack and I had been looking forward to trying Smokehouse BBQ ourselves – and they didn’t disappoint! The three rib mac and cheese was my definite favourite – the meat just slid off the bone! And the creamy mac and cheese was especially comforting in the cold.

Smokehouse BBQ

The bacon bomb and the three rib mac and cheese

But the beauty of food truck gatherings is the variety – and it was great to see groups of diners arriving together, but ultimately choosing the truck that would best fit their craving, whether it was from Bo Thai, Drift, Fat Franks or Eva Sweet.


Jill enjoys her pork belly sandwich from Drift (and tries not to look cold!)

At noon, a zumba class on the Square definitely enlivened the atmosphere. Mack and I weren’t sure that the dance class would go forward with the numbers that were anticipated, but boy, were we wrong. Upwards of forty people joined the instructor for an up-tempo work out right in Churchill! Unfortunately, this was the last zumba class of the year, but given its success, it sounds like programmers will want to continue it next year.


Zumba on the Square!

Halfway through the event, we noticed some fire pits and heat lamps on the Square. It’s too bad we couldn’t have put them into use today – I’m sure it would have encouraged more people to stick around to have lunch outdoors – if places like Earls and Joey’s can extend their patio season with heat lamps, why couldn’t food trucks?

Chris and Brittney

Chris and Brit are content with al fresco dining

Thanks to everyone who came out to Truck Stop today – you helped us prove that food trucks aren’t just a warm weather phenomenon! Thanks to the City for helping us to make this happen. And a big thanks to the vendors who stuck with us through the rain – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Mack and I don’t have plans for any more food truck extravaganzas this year, but that doesn’t mean food trucks are disappearing from Edmonton streets. Drift, Molly’s Eats and Bo Thai will be out at the Movies on the Square on Friday, and Bo Thai will continue to serve in Churchill Square on weekdays until October 21. For the whereabouts of Eva Sweet, Drift and Smokehouse, be sure to follow them on Twitter!

You can see Mack’s photoset here.