Street eats

Food trucks are pop­ping up across Char­lot­te­town serv­ing up plenty of va­ri­ety

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN jday@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/PEIGuardian

Marce­lenna Collings blends up a blue­berry smoothie at Terry’s Berries, one of six food trucks lo­cated in Char­lot­te­town. The en­tre­pre­neur­ial sto­ries be­hind the food trucks vary as much as the items be­ing cooked up in these restau­rants on wheels.

Terry Nabu­urs was quick to dis­cover there is a learn­ing curve to cook­ing in the small con­fines of a truck.

He has come to re­al­ize, for in­stance, that “ev­ery piece of equip­ment that can go wrong, will break.’’

Yet, such frus­tra­tions have done lit­tle to rat­tle the owner of Terry’s Smooth­ies, a busi­ness lit­er­ally parked at the cor­ner of Great Ge­orge Street and Wa­ter Street in Char­lot­te­town, where Nabu­urs serves up smooth­ies and sand­wiches six days a week

Nabu­urs, 24, has sev­eral years of cook­ing un­der his belt, in­clud­ing stints in the kitchens of cap­i­tal city restau­rants Sims Cor­ner and John Brown’s Grille.

Last year, though, he went out west to work on an oil rig to save up enough money to buy a truck to get rolling into his own busi­ness.

“It’s kind of a nice feel­ing to be your own boss - a lot more risk but a lot more free­dom to do what you want to do,’’ he says.

“It’s been quite a whirl­wind so far - learn­ing lots about the food truck busi­ness.’’

Terry’s Smooth­ies opened three weeks ago with cus­tomers eat­ing up his lob­ster and pulled pork sand­wiches, and slurp­ing away at smooth­ies, in­clud­ing ones fu­eled with the fruit from his own blue­berry farm in Belle River.

Nabu­urs con­sid­ers his lo­ca­tion, a space he rents from the city, to be prime.

He works long hours in the food truck, tak­ing off Thurs­day evenings to coach Spe­cial Olympic soc­cer.

He will be clos­ing shop in late Au­gust be­fore go­ing to Al­berta where he will teach a culi­nary pro­gram to high school stu­dents.

“Right now,’’ he notes, “I just want to be able to have a fun busi­ness that I can run in the sum­mer.’’

The en­tre­pre­neur­ial sto­ries be­hind the food trucks in Char­lot­te­town vary as much as the items be­ing cooked up in these restau­rants on wheels.

Su­mi­tra Burke is pre­par­ing the spicy de­lights of her Thai­land home­land in her food truck called sim­ply Thai Pad.

She goes to great pains to make food like Tom Yum, yel­low curry and Pad Gra Prao to her cus­tomers’ ex­act spicy or mild spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Burke did her best to shy away from a re­porter, not­ing her food will sell it­self.

So she handed over a cell phone to her hus­band, Burke, on the line.

Gary Burke says all of the food served at Thai Pad is made with herbs and spices im­ported from Thai­land, of­fer­ing au­then­tic flavour.

Su­mi­tra Burke is grow­ing a veg­etable gar­den to pro­vide fresh pro­duce for her meals on wheels.

Thai Paid first opened in Char­lot­te­town in May 2014 at the cor­ner of Allen Street and St. Peters Road, run­ning for eight weeks.

This year, the res­tau­rant is lo­cated on Allen Street in the park­ing lot of the new Up­street Craft Brew­ery, where the own­ers of the brew­ery see the food truck as com­pli­men­tary – spicy food, cold beer.

On North River Road, a busi­ness called Out To Lunch is serv­ing up more tra­di­tional food truck fare.

Pou­tine, sausages, ham­burg­ers and chicken burgers are on the menu at this new eat­ing lo­cale that opened in May.

Joey Doyle is cook­ing all sum­mer for his un­cle, who bought the food trailer ear­lier this year.

Doyle says noon to 1:30 p.m. Mon­day to Fri­day is the busiest time with the large ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers driv­ing away with their or­ders. A small per­cent­age will eat at one of the two pic­nic ta­bles si­t­u­ated next to the trailer.

Gary

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Su­mi­tra Burke, a na­tive of Thai­land, runs a food truck called Thai Pad in the park­ing lot of Up­street Craft Brew­ery in Char­lot­te­town.

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