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Vancouver food carts get TV play on Eat St. 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Food Network Canada's Eat St. films an episode featuring Vij's Railway Express food cart in downtown Vancouver Wednesday. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)

Food Network Canada's Eat St. films an episode featuring Vij's Railway Express food cart in downtown Vancouver Wednesday. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)

Food Network Canada's hit express-cuisine series Eat St. began filming this week in Vancouver, with its crews descending upon seafood specialists Fresh Local Wild, and Indian eateries Soho Road Naan Kebab and Vij's Railway Express.

Series producer David Freeman told 24 hours Wednesday the show also plans to include Le Tigre Cuisine, which serves dim sum with a twist, and bacon sandwich makers Pig on the Street. They'll likely be back in Vancouver on Sept. 3 at one or both of the locations.

"We've been filming lots of food trucks in Canada this year. The new season will run at the start of 2013. We're hoping for January," he said.

"It's recognition food trucks don't have to be just hotdogs and hamburgers."

Vancouver's food truck scene has exploded recently, beginning from pockets around the downtown core and rapidly expanding to different city parks.

The municipality is now home to more than 100 such locations.

Eat St. visited Vij's Railway Express Wednesday morning and filmed until mid-afternoon, drawing large crowds around the bustling truck.

"The food is fantastic. The vibe is fantastic. Look at it out there, it's like a street festival in India," said Vancouver musician Ashwin Sood, a longtime friend of restaurateur and food-truck owner Vikram Vij.

Vancouver lawyer Sarah Bird described her order of rice puff and chickpea salad as "a food explosion in your mouth."

"As opposed to more Westernized Indian food where everybody goes in knowing what they're going to get - and it's boring - there's different elements of fusion (at Vij's)," she said.

Vij himself was also on hand, flitting among customers, dropping a "hello" here and a handshake there, and getting to know his diners.

"We will elevate the style and bring more chefs down to the level of, 'Let's do something funky and unique,'" the 47-year-old explained.

"I feel everybody understands Indian food now . now people actually get it. People are travelling, people are smart and they know the flavours."

His favourite menu item is the kalongi chicken curry, a Punjabi-style dish.


Email: michael.mui@sunmedia.ca


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