Adrian Niman (North 44) started his catering company, The Food Dudes, in 2007 as a one-man operation serving elevated fare for the cocktail set. Now Niman, along with supplementary dudes Daniel Frenette, Brent McClenahan and Dave McIntyre, is focused on dishes that, while still influenced by the team’s fine dining backgrounds, “are a little more fun.” Hence the new food truck.
The menu at the Food Dudes Truck is divvied up into three categories: munchies (smaller snacks), boxes (salad-type offerings) and sambos (the Dudes’ term for sandwiches). “People charge so much because of rent,” Frenette says of sit-down restaurants, pointing out that their menu tops out at $10. When we stopped by during their very first lunch service, the well-suited Bay Street crowd was chowing down on the Dudes’ barbecue pork shoulder sambo ($8) and the Cap’n Crunch cod tacos ($8), which feature cereal-coated, deep-fried cod, lime slaw, spicy guacamole and house-smoked sour cream.
The Food Dudes’ love for breakfast carbs also works its way into dessert. Take the Nutella bomb ($4), for example: Nutella-smeared banana bread is topped with more bananas, dunked in batter, rolled in Corn Flakes and, naturally, deep-fried ($4). And if that weren’t enough, the mounds are finished with dollops of whipped cream and drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce. The dessert was a runaway hit at Edgefest, something the Dudes attribute to the festival’s organically induced laid-back atmosphere. Thanks to Frenette’s stint as the Rolling Stones’ touring sous chef (“Keith is a sucker for shepherd’s pie,” he laughs), working a crowd is no biggie—indeed, they’ve labelled their business “food-driven entertainment.”