By Karolyne Ellacott | TorontoLife.com
Just over a month old, the Hogtown Smoke is the brainchild of Mark Wasserman and brothers Scott and Kevin Fraser, who run the kitchen. Keen on peeling back the red tape that’s holding back Toronto’s food truckers, the team has been raising awareness of their cause through media stints. Case in point: last week’s food truck war on eTalk, where Ben Mulroney helped serve over 180 portions in an hour, completely, um, smoking his competition.
Owning a food truck was a long-time dream of Wasserman’s dad, whom he recently lost to cancer. When the trio saw the trend picking up steam in the U.S., they knew the truckin’ life was calling. The focal point of their truck is a competition-grade smoker—a unique set-up that encompasses a third of the space and lets them smoke everything from meat to beans. The Smoke can be spotted downtown during the week—across from Union Station, say, or at a Queen and Jarvis parking lot—while on the weekend, they can be found at private events all over the map.
The truck’s signature menu item: Big Ben’s Brisket Po’ Boy ($13), a Fred’s Bread baguette stuffed with their Texas-style brisket, which Scott was particularly taken with during travels down south. The meat is cooked low ’n’ slow for 20 hours before being drenched in jus and topped with onions, a three-cheese blend and truck-made horseradish aïoli. At a recent Tragically Hip show in Niagara, the crew shelled out over 800 portions. Also available is a Patron-infused smoked chicken sandwich ($12), and a pulled pork sandwich with Carolina slaw ($12). All of the orders come with root beer–smoked beans, slaw (with some smoked fennel) and a doughnut-shaped piece of corn bread. Judging by some of the lineups we’ve seen, people just can’t get enough.