By David Ort | PostCity.com
These days, Toronto’s food trucks are launching as one part of a complete business service. And the new Food Dudes food truck follows this trend: when it launched at a well-attended party at 99 Sudbury last week, it joined a catering company of the same name and a restaurant (Bloke & 4th) from co-owners Adrian Niman and Brent McClenahan.
The menu — which will usually offer seven options, all between $4 and $10 —aims to be “something that’s actually gourmet and outside the box on a food truck,” Niman says. “The truck is the food we do on our day off,” he continues. “It’s our chance to get creative.”
One dish that combines influences from different cultures is a braised veal meatball on a basil-steamed bun ($8), complete with pork-fat fried tempura bits. This joins 24-hour braised brisket on cheddar-jalapeño biscuits ($8) and the much-written-about Cap’n Crunch tacos ($8) to form the category of sandwiches, buns or tacos that the Dudes call “sambos.”
Smaller bites like mac ‘n’ cheese arancini ($4) are classed as “munchies,” and larger items, like the Bangkok slaw with strip steak and calamari ($10), are “boxes.” Many of the items can also be made gluten-free.
It’s a point of pride that everything — from the steamed buns to the cheddar biscuits — are made from scratch with seasonal, local ingredients.
Dessert is often left to the wayside with Toronto’s food trucks, but the Food Dudes want to change that. Their deep-fried Nutella bombs ($4) feature banana bread that’s rolled in homemade Nutella and thinly-sliced bananas, then dipped in an egg cream batter and Corn Flakes before being deep fried. This play on Nutella bread pudding comes served with a bourbon caramel sauce and Chantilly whipped cream.
From running the service side of the catering business, McClenahan knows how to quickly feed large groups of people, and he applied that experience to the truck’s design. The service window is the largest of any food truck in Toronto, which allows them to take orders and pass food simultaneously. A wooden table placed out to the side means that customers with can get their sauces, cutlery and napkins away from the crush under the window. Flat screen TVs, meanwhile, display the day’s menu on the side of the truck and can also be used more creatively, perhaps showing live band footage when the truck is serving at concerts.
The first lunch service for the Food Dudes food truck was today at the Royal Bank Plaza.