Fried Chicken Perfection at Heirloom

Heirloom Food TruckLocation: It’s a truck, so check Twitter or their website
Websitehttps://www.heirloomtoronto.com/

Either my memory is wrong or the food at the Heirloom food truck has seriously improved, because I have a vague recollection of trying their fried chicken sandwich a few years ago and not being particularly impressed.

I just had the Szechuan fried chicken sandwich, and holy guacamole, it was so good.

Heirloom’s menu describes this as “brined chicken thigh, homemade Szechuan sauce, pickled cucumber, bean sprout, organic peanut, scallion aioli, brioche bun.”

Heirloom Food Truck

My only real complaint is that the chicken was a bit dry; though the menu claims they’re using thigh meat, I’m fairly certain it was actually breast.  Either way, it was slightly overcooked and a bit less juicy than it should have been.

Other than that?  Crazy good.

The exterior crisp-factor was perfect, with a profound level of crunchiness that’s never overbearing.

And let’s face it: there are very few things in life more satisfying than biting into a perfectly crispy piece of fried chicken.

Heirloom Food Truck

The sandwich is saucy as hell (it’s impossible to eat without getting sauce all over your hands and face), but it absolutely works.

The Szechuan sauce is sweet, savoury, garlicky, and a little bit spicy (this is a minor complaint, but I wish it were a bit spicier.  It’s basically a mild tingle).  It’s absolutely fantastic, and the big peanut chunks give it a nice nutty crunchiness.

The richness of the aioli works great with the flavour-packed sauce, and the pickled veggies help to cut through the overall heaviness of the sandwich.

The whole thing is an absolute assault of assertive flavours and textures, but it’s so well balanced.  It’s easily one of the best fried chicken sandwiches I’ve had in a while.

Canuck Pizza Truck

Canuck Pizza Truck
Location: Check their Twitter
Website: http://www.canuckpizzatruck.ca/

The Canuck Pizza Truck is one of the more eye-catching food trucks out there — it’s a 1946 Chevy Stovebolt, and it features a real, no-foolin’ wood-burning pizza oven. At first I thought that they had perhaps made a gas or electric oven look like a wood-burning one — but nope, you can peek inside and see the logs burning, so it’s the real deal.

They have a few different options, but I went with the Meat-za, which comes topped with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. They sell by the slice for six bucks (which is a quarter of a pizza) or the whole pie for $23.

The pizza basically tastes like a cross between the Neapolitan style you find at places like Queen Margherita Pizza and Pizzeria Libretto and the cheesier, more traditionally North American style found at pizza joints everywhere.

It’s good. The cheese, sauce, and toppings are all pretty solid, and the wood-burning oven gives the crust a satisfyingly crispy/chewy texture that you can only get from an oven that hot. It’s not exactly the best pizza I’ve ever had, but if I find myself in the vicinity of this truck again, I’ll probably get another slice.

When I went, they were a bit disorganized (putting it mildly) and didn’t seem to have a much of a system for taking and delivering orders; it was a mess, but given that they’re a fairly new truck, I’ll cut them some slack on that.

Canuck Pizza Truck Canuck Pizza Truck

BeaverTails

BeaverTails - Cinnamon & Sugar
Location: Hopefully parked on my driveway forever, but check their Twitter; it’s a food truck
Websitehttp://www.beavertailsinc.com/

I’m going to be honest: I like BeaverTails (cinnamon and sugar BeaverTails, to be specific) far more than I should probably admit. There’s not a whole lot to them — it’s just a big, flat piece of dough that’s deep fried, buttered, then dipped in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. That’s it.

Crispy and crunchy in spots and fluffy in others, combined with just enough cinnamon and sugar to make it sweet but not cloyingly so, it’s so damn good. I can’t resist it. There are other, similar fried dough options (mini doughnuts, churros, etc.) but BeaverTails are king.  There’s just something about the irregular shape of the dough, which gives it textural contrast, that makes it irresistible.

I’m actually glad that there’s no permanent BeaverTails outpost in Toronto, because I’d be eating there all the time. I would live there. They would know me by name. I would die of a heart attack within a couple of years. It would be a life well lived.

BeaverTails - the truck BeaverTails - Cinnamon & Sugar

Hogtown Smoke

Hogtown Smoke - Brisket Po Boy
Location: All over the place (check their Twitter account)
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/hogtownsmoke

Over the last few years, Toronto’s food truck scene has gone from a handful of trucks selling stuff like hot dogs and fries to something much, much more interesting (there are enough to necessitate a website like this one to keep track of them).  It’s certainly been a welcome phenomenon, and has made events like the recent Woofstock much more interesting, food-wise.

On this particular day, Hogtown Smoke had a few interesting looking items on their menu, though I decided to go with the Brisket Po Boy.  The sandwich featured a fairly substantial amount of brisket dipped in au jus sauce, cheese, onions (which I honestly couldn’t even taste), and horseradish aioli.

It was a perfectly tasty sandwich, though I kinda wish I had just gone with the plain brisket.  Good brisket is hard to prepare; it has the tendency to be a bit dry and tough, but this was moist, with just the right amount of fattiness and a nicely subtle smokey flavour.  It was good enough that the other stuff felt more like a distraction than anything else; with brisket this good, all you really need is meat and bread, with maybe a little bit of barbecue sauce for flavour. There were a lot of flavours going on in this sandwich, and ultimately they just took away from the brisket.

The bread was perfect po boy bread — lightly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The whole thing was pretty good, but I’ll definitely be going for the plain brisket if I ever find myself back in the vicinity of this truck.

Hogtown Smoke - the truck Hogtown Smoke - Brisket Po Boy