Posted by: Grub | October 4, 2011

Off the Wagon Food Cart

Many of you will know of my love for the food cart scene in Portland.  I have for many years talked about packing up shop as a lawyer and starting up my own food truck.  Imagine my excitement when, in the spring of 2010, I heard that the City of Vancouver was approving a series of food carts, mostly downtown!

Unfortunately for me, the carts weren’t set to roll out until July 31st, and I was supposed to have a baby on August 12th. I stalked the cart line-up for weeks beforehand, and on the first work day after the August long weekend, I wandered around to all of the proposed locations.  (At least all of the proposed locations within a few block radius of my office. I was 9 months pregnant after all.)

Nothing! Nada! Zero!  There was one lonely, closed-up cart, and every other street corner was empty. Never mind the fact that none of the carts I had previewed online seemed to offer any kind of vegan options, I would have ordered carrot sticks. Or fries. Or a freaking bottle of water! On my last few days in the office, I made some halfhearted efforts to wander around, trying not to look desperate while standing on (swollen) tippy-toes so that I could see if there was SOMEONE IN THAT CART WITH THE WINDOW LATCHED SHUT.  There wasn’t.

Of course, Sam arrived a few days early, and I never got to sample food cart fare.  Any time we made it downtown while I was on leave, we got sucked into spending every non-fussy minute in the office visiting with people and when we did stop for food, I made a point of going to my favourite downtown lunch spot, Gorilla Foods. (I am hoping to post about Gorilla later this month.)

Well, after a few botched attempts over the last two weeks, I finally, FINALLY got to eat lunch at a food cart downtown today.  And it was good!  And it was vegan!!  It was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella and I didn’t even CARE!!!

Food cart love.

The food truck was Off the Wagon, and to be fair, I knew that I was getting good food before I went there today.  They sell their delicious yam and black bean vegan tacos at the Kitsilano farmers market most weekends, and I devoured a pair of tacos for breakfast on more than one sunny Sunday over the summer. But, there was something super sweet today about sitting at my desk, working, and eating good, fresh vegan food for lunch, while it was a dark and wet and grey Vancouver day outside my window.  It isn’t easy to find good vegan eats in the heart of downtown, and on rainy days like today, the walk to Gorilla, or Nuba or La Taqueria a couple blocks further down, is just a little bit daunting (albeit well worth the wet pant legs, foggy glasses and flattened hair).

Look at those delicious tacos. The yellow stuff on top is wonderful, wonderful hot sauce.

I have a few more food carts picked out to try downtown with vegan potential, so we will see how that goes.  The one wrinkle here in Vancouver is that the carts are not allowed to park overnight, and so many of them change locations on a weekly or even daily basis. I got lucky today, as Off the Wagon wasn’t downtown my first week back in the office and so they were off my radar.  Hopefully they will stick around, as I would love to have their tacos as a regular lunch option!



  1. I hope you are still thinking about your own food truck 🙂

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