Rain, rain, go away! It was the second annual awesTRUCK 2013, the food truck festival and award ceremony held at Fort York. Mother nature had other plans, but leave it to these food truck pioneers to persevere: The magic coming out of each food truck could not be dampened by a little (or even a lot of) rain.

Kahlua pig taco from Big E’s Hawaiian Grinds. Love the cucumber addition!

The day began with a Samuel Adams beer and food-pairing preview, hosted by an effervescent O.G. of Toronto food pop ups, Rock Lobster’s Matt Dean Pettit. He faithfully guided us through four offerings, each of which had been personally selected by awesTRUCK co-founder Suresh Doss. In under an hour, we ate our way through FeasTO’s “What the Pho” dumplings, La Brea’s Tinga de Pollo chow mein with “happy ending” sauce, shrimp and corn fritter a.k.a Perkedel Jagung a la Babi and Co. (winner of Best Pop-up!) and, last but not least, Hawaiian-style Kalhua Pig Tacos from Big E Grinds. Us journalists fluttered around, eating, snapping, devouring and keeping our glasses poised for refills of Boston Lager and Lattitude 48. Questions arose, such as how does one even get pho soup flavours inside of a dumpling? What is happy ending sauce? Is it socially acceptable to eat twenty shrimp and corn fritters? Can I have a napkin so I can finish lapping up these tacos in peace? It may have been raining outside the Samuel Adams Pavilion but on this Saturday, in these rainboots, it was hard to notice.

Rice Balls from ME.N.U Food Truck

A warm Choco churro on a cool day

After such a hearty welcome, we went into the wild! Fort York was lined with over 50 food trucks from all over the GTA and Southern Ontario. It was a mish-mash of treats. One minute, I’m eating dessert at Choco Churro and the next; I’m watching my Asian-fusion-ed-up arancini rice balls being made through ME.N.U Food Truck’s outdoor webcam display.  A true standout was Frankie Fettuccini’s osso buco gnocci poutine. Yep. That’s braised veal over fried gnocci, with smoked Quebec cheese curds and a lemony natural jus. Am I serious?!?! Yes, Frankie and I are that serious.

Extra points to Manual Labour Coffee for their extreme cuteness

Corn and shrimp fritters/Perkedel Jagung courtesy of Babi & Co

What a fantastic way to celebrate food trucks! Making an event just for them, instead of their usual post at whatever event’s  they’re providing for. Time to take centre stage!

Pho soup elements inside a dumpling from FeasTO? Killer

…And a big congratulations goes to the 2013 AwesTRUCK award winners!

Best Concept: Luchador Gourmet Streatery

Best Graphics: The Food Dudes

Best New Truck: Frankie Fettuccine

Best Menu Item: Luchador Gourmet Streatery‘s pork steam bun taco

Best Pop-Up: Babi & Co

People’s Choice: Gourmet Gringos

Road Warrior: Sid Friedman, Ontario Food Trucks Association

See you in the sunshine next year!