Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Downtown Drift

Spring is here and the sun is out, so bring on the Food Trucks!

I kicked off my May Long weekend by checking out a particular food truck: Drift. A friend from work was raving one day about their Pork Belly sandwiches and when he found out I’d never eaten from a food truck before, he was thrilled that my first experience would be at the Drift Truck.
The line up moved quickly!

Seeing as how I never get to experience my lunch hour downtown, I took advantage of my holiday Friday, called another friend and braved the intense traffic and parking-spot hunt to seek out this new sandwich place.  What I found, in addition to literally a meal on wheels, was a new experience of downtown Edmonton on a weekday, when the streets come alive, bustling with people, music and the colourful and tantalizing food trucks.

Drift’s Friday location was tweeted in the morning as being between Bay Enterprise and Commerce Place. As I was making my way there, I must have passed at least eight other food trucks, most notably the bright pink Perogy Princess and the mobile burger joint Street Eats.  My friend was already there when I got to Drift’s spot and the line moved quickly. Apparently, the Pork Belly sandwich is ‘the usual’ of many others and I was eager to find out why. 

Drift's green truck is a favorite among the food truck scene.
After our sandwiches were ready and they called our names for pick-up, we headed east to Churchill Square to enjoy our food and some overdue catching up. It’s a testament to Drift that the sandwiches stayed warm during our multi-block trek to the table in the Square where took our first few bites.


Juicy, tangy pork belly on a crusty roll, topped with a coleslaw-type mix of pickled carrots and a truly special herb: cilantro. Some people have to work up to enjoying its powerful, punchy flavor but for others, the more cilantro, the better. I am in somewhere in the middle of the two extremes and I thought Drift’s Pork Belly Sandwich was fully enhanced by the cilantro and carroty mix. This is a great sandwich to make your ‘usual’ at Drift. 
Drift's Pork Belly Sandwich. 

Between bites of our sandwiches, my friend and I got caught up on each other’s busy lives and took in the action of Churchill Square: the outdoor salsa lesson in progress, the kids playing at the Ping-Pong tables, the bells of City Hall chiming at 1PM. I had no idea any these things took place there regularly, but now that I do, I’m going to make sure I find my way back. It’s a great space to gather, enjoy the different people and take in those rare moments of blue Edmonton sky and bright spring sunshine.

Blue sky above one of my favorite buildings:
the Edmonton Art Gallery
I sure did and I have the sunburn on my forehead to prove it; rookie mistake to forget the sunscreen but so what? Not not only did I get to try out a delicious, local food truck, I got to spend some special time with a good friend and, ultimately, with my city.

Thank you, Drift and Downtown Edmonton, for a great way to spend a holiday Friday lunch hour. I will be back!

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