(Street) food and wine pairing
The other day I was tasting some wines around noon at my Gastown office, spitting of course, when the hunger pangs started rumbling. While there’s an embarrassment of options in the neighbourhood, I hit up my biggest constant.
I find myself strolling up to The Juice Truck to pick up a Culver City Salad about two or three times a week because they’re just so damn delicious. An ever-changing explosion of flavour, that particular day’s edition was jam-packed with kale, chard, spinach, mixed greens, quinoa, chickpeas, yam, chopped cabbage, celery, cauliflower, shredded carrot, beet, zucchini, sunflower seeds, avocado and creamy chipotle dressing. As an aside, if you haven’t had one, you must. (You can also track ‘em down elsewhere via CulverCitySalads.com).
Upon returning to the office, there was still a little Riesling in my glass and, well, it IS my job to explore food-and-wine-pairing opportunities, right? The spontaneous match was incredible, leading me to dream of a day when you can not only dive into delightful food-truck goodness around town, but get a little pour of the good stuff to go with it. A guy can dream.
But then I thought there are those who do pick up street food on their way to a friend’s place, or take it back to the office on what could be a very casual Friday! The least I could do is offer potential pairing suggestions to those who may be so inclined. I guess the only thing I wouldn’t suggest is pouring some wine in advance into some sort of unassuming vessel like a coffee thermos to take with you when visiting your favourite food cart, because that would be illegal and never, ever recommended.
Were you to explore those previous options though, here are a few splashes that’d do some downtown Vancouver street food favourites no harm.
The Juice Truck, Abbott & Water, Monday - Friday, 11:30am to 5pm
This is where the whole hare-brained scheme started, and it was from a Culver City Salad being washed down with Germany’s Selbach 2011 ‘Fish Label’ Riesling ($15.95, BC Liquor Stores). The citrusy cheer livened up all those veggies and the off-dry honeyed finish balanced out that kiss of chipotle heat wonderfully. TheJuiceTruck.ca
The Kaboom Box, Granville & Robson, Wednesday - Friday, 11am to 2:30pm
The elevated comfort food, from The BC Venison Burger to The World Famous Hot Smoked Salmon ‘Salmwich’, begs for a light and fruity red to round out the zingy flavours and drink up all that salty goodness. Twist the cap off of Yering Station’s ‘Little Yering’ Pinot Noir, a sunny Aussie swirl of plum, raspberry and black licorice (BC Liquor Stores, $15.99). TheKaboomBox.com
Vij’s Railway Express, Georgia & Burrard, Monday - Friday, 11:30am to 2:30pm
Vij’s legendary Indian fare needs no introduction in this town, but introducing it to the Okanagan’s very own Wild Goose 2011 Autumn Gold ($21-ish, private wine stores) makes for fast friends. The white blend brings a chutney effect with its apple and pear while upping the exotic ante with lychee and floral notes. VijsRailwayExpress.com
JapaDog, Various Locations, Monday - Saturday, 11am to 10pm; Sunday to 8pm
The fabled local Japanese spins on classic hot dogs dole out the umami notes via Teriyaki mayo, seaweed, miso and other incredibly rich elements. You want high acid to sear through it all, with some bright, zippy fruit to lift all those flavours to new heights. Think dry rosé, like La Vieille Ferme’s Ventoux Rosé (BC Liquor Stores, $12.99), the always-dependable French blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah that keeps singing from start to finish!
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