Food Cabbie

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Five things we learned about Toronto’s street food scene from the Globe’s profile of Suresh Doss

Doss at the inaugural Food Truck Eats (Image: Renée Suen)

On Saturday, the Globe and Mail ran a profile of Suresh Doss, the 34-year-old computer systems engineer and publisher of Spotlight Toronto who’s behind Food Truck Eats. Doss’s tireless energy for the cause has some vendors suggesting he may be some kind of god, or at least, in a memorable phrase, “part elephant.” Below, five things we learned about the front lines of Toronto’s street food scene.

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After a successful meeting at city hall, Food Cabbie runs celebratory Ford Burger special

Food Cabbie Spiros Drossos

A couple weeks back we told you about the recent travails of Food Cabbie and Caplansky’s Delimobile, two food trucks parked, most of the time, in a lot at Queen and Shuter. Although they’d both gotten the necessary permits and inspections, they ran afoul of a little-known rule that prevents trucks from setting up shop for more than 10 minutes at a time in a pay-to-park lot (no, really), and were given until the end of March to vamoose. Earlier today, Food Cabbie’s Spiros Drossos had a meeting with one of Mayor Rob Ford’s staffers, along with the director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to see if they could find a way around the impasse (the meeting was set up after a chance encounter between Ford and Drossos’s wife and fellow Food Cabbie Helen Antonopoulos). Although the regulation is still on the books, Drossos tells us both sides are optimistic that they’ll be able to come to an amicable solution. Indeed, he was so impressed by the mayor’s willingness to help out the little guy that he named today’s special the Ford Burger: feta, onion, romaine lettuce and diced tomato, along with homemade burger sauce, all for $6.75.

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Restaurants

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Where to Eat Now 2012: the 10 top food trucks in the GTA

Flavour of the Year 2012: A Movable Feast

This year, a fleet of new trucks raised street food standards in the GTA. Trouble is, they’re always on the move. Here, the top 10 and their Twitter handles (so you’ll never miss another taco, burger or brownie).

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Two Toronto food trucks run afoul of a regulation they’d never heard of 

Of all the kinds of terrible red tape to get tangled in, the worst kind may be the red tape you didn’t even know existed. Torontoist recounts the long, bureaucratic story of a pair of food trucks, Food Cabbie and Caplansky’s Delimobile (a.k.a. Thundering Thelma), who have happily (and profitably, we’re sure) been serving food from a pay-to-park lot for months. That is, until they learned that they were violating a city bylaw. No, they hadn’t skipped out on the requisite inspections or failed to obtain a license to serve food. Instead, they were breaking the rule that forbids food trucks from serving from a licensed lot for more than 10 minutes. A little digging on Torontoist’s part reveals that the trucks could operate in, say, an unlicensed (i.e. non-pay-to-park) lot if they wished, however. This, of course, makes no sense. Then again, when you consider the amount of red tape that accompanied the A la Cart fiasco program, this is not particularly surprising. Unless the licensing issue is resolved, the trucks could be gone by the end of March. Read the entire sordid story [Torontoist] »

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Food Events

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Year in Review: 2011 was the year street food finally took off in Toronto


After living through decades of delicious but pretty much uniform street meat, followed by a city-backed pilot program that ended up a complete fiasco, Torontonians finally got a glimpse of the street food promised land in 2011, thanks mostly to a clutch of feisty entrepreneurs. A selective and entirely arbitrary roundup of the highs and lows of Toronto ephemeral eating in 2011, after the jump.

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Year in Review: each of 2011’s weekly lunch picks, ranked

Trying to choose a selection of our favourite lunch picks from the last year proved too much like choosing a selection of our favourite children. So instead we present a complete year of lunch picks, ranked by price, from a humble porchetta sandwich (a reasonable $6.75) to a somewhat less humble five-course feast (treat yourself for $100).

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Food Events

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Truck-off: why Calgary’s food truck program works and Toronto’s doesn’t

Toronto’s food trucks are not permitted to operate on public streets in the downtown core

Somehow, inventive, high-quality food served out of a truck has become one of the hottest food trends across North America over the last few years, and Toronto entrepreneurs—like Suresh Doss of Food Truck Eats, or Zane Caplansky—are doing their best to keep up. But such ventures have succeeded despite some strict regulations that keep most trucks off public streets downtown. And although we have no desire to write yet another how-Calgary-is-better-than-Toronto article, that city is halfway through an impressive food truck pilot program that has 10 new trucks roaming the streets. We called around to find out how Calgary got started and see whether the same thing could happen here.

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Weekly Lunch Pick: classic American comfort food out of a downtown truck

(Image: Andrew Brudz)

Spiros Drossos, the chatty co-owner of the Food Cabbie, serves up good ol’-fashioned American comfort food from his shiny new food truck, currently planted at Queen and Mutual. There’s certainly nothing fancy about it, and that’s the point: it’s fast, affordable and very satisfying, and close enough to the Eaton Centre for holiday shoppers looking for sustenance and a break from the crush.

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Openings

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Introducing: Food Cabbie, a new food truck with classic American comfort food

Toronto’s newest food truck (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

The Food Cabbie, an unassuming yellow-and-black food truck serving American classics, popped up a couple weeks ago in a car park at the corner of Queen and Jarvis. Already, owner Spiros Drossos has gotten to know the hungry mugs from the neighbourhood: George Brown students making the trek north and office workers taking a break from their ritual Subway sandwiches (including not a few employees of St. Joseph Media, Toronto Life’s parent company).

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