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Eat & Drink

Toronto food trucks get praised at AwesTRUCK

Posted by Maggie Vourakes / September 10, 2012

awestruck toronto 2012Toronto's food trucks are dishing out lobster, tacos and pulled pork. But where do you begin when you're pressed for time on your lunch hour? Fortunately, Food Truck Eats has made the decision process a little easier with their inaugural AwesTRUCK awards ceremony.

The event held at the Evergreen Brickworks showcased eight finalists. And while each one is a great addition to Toronto curbside cuisine, it was surprising that a few notable vendors like Buster's Sea Cove, Gourmet B1tches and Caplansky's were missing from the roundup.

awestruck toronto 2012The awards ceremony itself, hosted by Eat St's James Cunningham, was a chance to pay a little credit to vendors who have struggled to bring their food to the streets--genuine tears were shed, and the winners' general speechlessness kept the speeches under a minute long. The trophies were awarded in seven categories, and yes, there was one fairly clear winner throughout the night.

awestruck torontoBest Concept
Awarded to the truck with an original idea and best execution of their final concept.

The winner: El Gastronomo Vagabundo, also recognized as the first truck in Canada to bring gourmet food to the streets.

Best Graphics
The truck that draws you in before you even catch sight of their menu board.

The winner: The aqua blue colour and signature, cartoonish donkey helped Blue Donkey walk away with this one.

awestruck food trucksBest New Food Truck
Awarded to the newbie on the block who deserves a little recognition.

The winner: Dobro Jesti. The risotto balls this truck serves were being talked about all through the event.

awestruck toronto 2012The Road Warrior
Awarded to the truck owner who has paved the way for new food trucks to start up in the city.

The winner: El Gastronomo Vagabundo, the first gourmet truck and at two years, has been operational throughout the city the longest.

awestruck toronto 2012Best Pop-Up
The vendor who's missing wheels but still producing great food.

The winner: Fidel Gastro's is bringing a food revolution to Toronto, one extreme sandwich at a time--like the Toronto Cheesesteak, a medium rare, rib-eye finished with caramelized onions, Havarti cheese and a fried egg. And best of all, he now has a food truck.

awestruck toronto 2012Best Menu Item
The one dish that Torontonians want more of.

The nominees:

  • Gorilla Cheese (pork sandwich)
  • El Gastronomo Vagabundo's (fish taco)
  • Rome'N Chariot (meatball slider)
  • Dobro Jesti (risotto balls)
  • Cupcake Diner (caramel apple pie cupcake)

The winner: El Gastronomo Vagabuno made its third trip to the podium for their sweet and spicy tacos.

awestruck toronto 2012The People's Choice
Voted on by customers and food truck fans as their personal favourites.

The finalists:

  • Blue Donkey Streatery
  • Buster's Sea Cove
  • Cupcake Diner

  • Dobro Jesti
  • El Gastronomo Vagabundo
  • Gorilla Cheese
  • Rome'N Chariot
  • Southern Smoke

The winner: Gorilla Cheese, this crew drive in their truck from Hamilton to serve up a lunchtime staple--the grilled cheese sandwich.

Additional photos:
awestruck toronto 2012awestruck toronto 2012awestruck toronto 2012

Photos by Bruce Emberley



chem / September 10, 2012 at 03:43 pm
Food looks excellent, but is it weird that this is at a place I have to drive to.
cleancut / September 10, 2012 at 04:35 pm
WRONG!!! you could walk, Bike or take transit(free shuttle bus from TTC station. Weirdo!
TJ / September 10, 2012 at 05:50 pm
Best Graphics went to Blue Donkey. Dobro Jesti won Best New Food Truck.
rek replying to a comment from chem / September 10, 2012 at 06:27 pm
I walked there from Rosedale Station, and there was a free shuttle bus running from Broadview Station.
Andrew / September 10, 2012 at 06:48 pm
It wasn't here but my fave is Food Dudes. YUM!!
metric / September 11, 2012 at 01:36 pm
Brickworks is a great location for this but don't drive there - parking is a nightmare. A good way to get there by bike is along the Don Valley trail - there is a crossing not far from the brickworks so you scarcely have to deal with traffic.
James / September 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Check this out! Who's next?
James replying to a comment from James / September 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Check this out. Who's next with their food truck dream???
James replying to a comment from James / September 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Chek this out! Who has the next food truck dream???
Niche Catering / September 25, 2012 at 01:01 pm
Wow, this event is a great idea. As someone who works in "offsite" catering, I think it is fantastic that food trucks are being recognized.
Sharon / October 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Awesome Sandwich Brisket Po' Boy. Guys are great too.
LOL / January 13, 2013 at 03:52 am
user-pic trucks. This city is ridiculous sometimes. Nothing here happens organically. Instead, people in Toronto sit on the edges of their seats, watching American cities for cultural cues. The moment New York or Portland does something "cool", all of a sudden every hipster and his/her dog here is trying to copy it.
Other Cities: Montreal