Food cart road attractions 0
Chris Lee, operator of the La Brasserie Street food cart, serves up Brass Chicken Sandwich at West Georgia and Granville Street in Vancouver, Thursday. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)
Vancouver has decided to liven up its streets by distributing food cart licences to entice chefs, entrepreneurs and foodies to set up mobile restaurants. With more than 30 carts now up and running, 24 Hours is on 14-week tour to bring the best to you.
In week eight, photographer Carmine Marinelli and yours truly feast on some Greek and chicken with a twist.
Third time appears to be the charm for Michael Ip. As one of the co-owners of Nu Greek, the entrepreneur is in the midst of his third mobile food venture. This time, however, he seems to have hit a home run.
"First we tried selling croissants out of school bus," Ip said from his cart on the northeast corner of Granville and W. Georgia. "We found out dessert-ish foods don't work too well."
What does work, however, is food people recognize that is easy to carry. Along with partner Jason Jew, the pair teamed up with Harry Kambolis, a respected Vancouver restaurant operator, to bring the popular Nu to the street.
For $6.50 you can get the restaurant's popular Greek food with a twist. The cart sells chicken, lamb or vegetables wrapped in a pita with onions, tomatoes and tzatziki. Carmine and I tried the chicken version; the best part of the wrap was the pita, perfectly created so it was soft with every bite.
People don't typically like lines, but when a brass chicken sandwich is at the end of it, the masses don't seem to mind the wait. Every day, dozens of people gather at the southwest corner of W. Georgia and Granville to get beer-brined chicken with gravy in a buttermilk bun.
"We promise people will get through in 10 minutes or less," said cart operator Chris Lee. "We are really fast. We know people are busy and need to get back to work."
The popular sandwich is the signature item of the food cart that has been operating for four months. The lines have been building for nearly as long.
The success was instant as La Brasserie restaurant on Davie St. took its popular sandwich off the menu and onto the street. Now the only place to get it is the tiny burgundy cart downtown. If you want to sweeten up your lunch, you can add a butter tart for an extra $1.75. Carmine and I tried the sandwich; it packed a big meal, enough to get those who endured the lineup throughout the day.