Tasty food truck action at Jazz Fest

Today I kicked off my official food blogging gig for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival. Not a bad assignment, given they’ve got food trucks and stalls onsite serving up everything from Caribbean oxtail curry to pizza to made-from-scratch egg rolls. Not to mention a beer tent serving Bulwark Cider (my favourite), wines and Garrison Brewing beer on tap. I’m a food blogger, not a music blogger, but anyone that lives in Halifax knows this festival brings in some major talent and incredible shows on not just the main stage, but venues throughout the city. So yeah, I’m pretty happy with the situation.

Good news for locals and tourists – the food trucks are not just for ticket holders. The festival is open to the public with free admission throughout the daytime hours on the waterfront at the Main Stage (Lower Water and Salter). This means anyone can come in and enjoy food from the vendors.

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Day One  – I met the lovely Chelsea Lund, owner and operator of Roll With It, a shiny black food truck with a charming hand-written chalk menu. Although the name of the truck makes sense, the menu was not what I was expecting. Roll With It does, in fact, make a weekly rotating feature: a from-scratch, original egg roll. Judging from their Instagram account (rollwithitHFX) they’ve done some pretty unique egg rolls. On top of the rolls, they’ve got burgers, panko-crusted fish and chips (or have it as a taco), poutine, and fresh cut fries.

SORRY. This post is just a teaser! For the full post and more photos, you’re going to the TD Halifax Jazz Fest blog.

Check back tomorrow for Day Two!

Food Highlights: California

IMG_0047In California I was overwhelmed by the eating possibilities. Not having an unlimited budget immediately removed several iconic and high-end dining options, and, this wasn’t exactly a trip just for the food. (We were going to a wedding. We had to be places.) But I did manage to stumble upon some great spots, including food trucks.

Walking from Santa Monica into Venice Beach, we discovered a gathering of about seven food trucks on the boardwalk. We had already eaten and weren’t particularly hungry, but I just needed to try something. I ended up going to Tokyo Doggie Style for one of their Japanese fusion hot dogs. What you see at the top of this post is their homemade veggie dog, with yuzu citrus coleslaw, wasabi mayo, pickled daikon and homemade teriyaki sauce on a traditional hot dog bun. The veggie dog, being homemade, isn’t actually tube-shaped but is more of a long skinny patty. This was delicious. I had mine with their lychee lemonade. So refreshing.

IMG_0019We completely lucked out with the timing of our short stay in Santa Monica, as the Main Street edition of their farmers’ market was going to be held the morning after we arrived, and right across the street from our motel, in Heritage Square. There was live music, a petting zoo, beautiful produce and many booths making food to order. I found one called Bean & Thyme, serving healthy dishes made only from ingredients found at that market. The roasted cauliflower sandwich with cheese, egg and greens (pictured above) was surprisingly hearty, and not-so-surprisingly luscious in flavour, with just enough crunch on the grilled bread. A very memorable breakfast.

IMG_5025Another delicious breakfast experience was in San Luis Obispo at a diner called Louisa’s Place. Now, while there is a banner in the window saying they were voted best breakfast in SLO, according to our friend who lives there, many other restaurants also claim to have been voted the best breakfast. I believe Louisa’s. First of all, we walked in, and it was absolutely packed with locals. And it’s mostly a breakfast counter. We grabbed a couple stools and the ladies in the centre served up some of the the biggest portions I’ve ever seen. I had huevos rancheros (pictured above), which comes with two homemade salsas, and their hash — which is french fries, onions and peppers. The service was fantastic; they comped our beverages without us having even complained, because they thought our food came out slow. My sister had a bacon and guacamole omelet, which was three times the size of what I consider a reasonably-sized breakfast.

There were many more satisfying dining moments; scroll through the gallery to take a look.