Feeding Frenzy

The mix of rain and snow that was forecast to dampen the Spring Food Truck Frenzy on RiverWalk™ April 25 never did materialize. Evidently, even Mother Nature understood just how desperately Calgarians needed a good food truck feed.

As it turned out, the weather was immaterial. With 13 of Calgary's favourite four-wheeled cookhouses tempting taste buds with everything from po'-boys to Indian tacos, smoked meat sandwiches to hearthstone pizzas, house-made marshmallows to mini donuts, the sky may have stayed steely grey all day, but the satisfied smiles were radiant and nobody went home hungry.

Throngs of excited foodies strolled RiverWalk to the beats of Bass Bus, trying to decide what to eat next. "How do you possibly decide what to have? There’s so much good food!" lamented Wendy Lees, founder of create! in the East Village, who had stopped by for a bite before her Friday afternoon art session at the Golden Age Club. With food trucks cranking out freshly-made meals from 11am right through until 7pm, it was probably easiest just to plan to come back again for dinner.

Indecisive noshers employed several decision-making strategies – everything from perusing menus posted on trucks, to casting surreptitious glances at laden plates being carried past, to flat-out asking "what are you eating and where did you get that?" Some would-be diners resorted to more high-tech methods of decision-making, like the construction worker on his lunch break, who received directions over his two-way radio from coworkers eager to direct him toward their personal favourite food truck. For other happy eaters, there was never any question about what was for lunch. "If there was a fish and chip restaurant near my house that made food this good, I would be there all the time," declared Jerry, as he tucked happily into his piping hot beer-battered fish from Happy Fish Catering.

Masked super-heroes and costumed aliens trickled over from the Comic Book Expo Parade on Stephen Avenue, lured by the irresistible aroma of earthling food, giving RiverWalk a colourful cosplay atmosphere. As the line-up at Waffles & Chix began to snake around the side of the Simmons buildings, humans and comic book heroes alike waited cheerfully for their freshly made meals. "It's chicken and waffles," smiled one hobbit. "You can't go wrong with chicken and waffles."