Context: this article has been written during my Pole 2 Pole 4 Charity trip, where I was documenting green initiatives around North America.
While browsing a free Metro newspaper I came across an ad for something called “sausage à trois”: a hot dog which is first steamed, then smoked and finished in the grill. My taste buds were rudely awakened and when I found out they sell it at a food shop near the coffee place where I completed my morning routine I decided to follow my instinct.
The chicken club sandwich
A few minutes later I was looking for a shop in the heart of the Vancouver business district. Although there were some gourmet food shops around, it didn’t seem that they would sell the “sausage à trois”. Then, a block down from where I was, I saw a pickup truck with a huge RV-like silver trailer: that must be it. The sunglass equipped rosy-cheeked business men and women hanging around confirmed my presumption.
No hotdog on the menu. After inquiring it seems that certain ingredients are not in season. Ok. What else. Certified organic beef burger, Grain fed chicken club, Seared Albacore tuna melt and Chicken fried oyster sandwich, which was sold out. Sold out? It was around lunch time. I ordered the chicken club.
Wow. This was easily one of the best chicken clubs I’ve eaten in Vancouver. I decided to ask a few questions. Simon, the owner’s brother, tells me that Fresh Local Wild (FLW) tries to buy only what’s in season at local farms and fish warfs, and that their menu is changing all the time based on that. The explanation to the “sold out” mystery sounds logical too: they stock up on what they think will be used for the menu of the day. If all the ingredients are gone, the item is sold out. This way they don’t have to use the refrigerator more than is necessary. Clever!
The food trucks that runs on recycled cooking oil
Even cooler stuff is found under the hood. FLW is the first carbon negative mobile restaurant business around, which means that they remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they release into it. Simon takes me on a quick tour and leads me to the pick-up truck which tows the trailer. “This truck runs on recycled cooking oil, and a little bit of diesel”. “Cool! This is exactly what we had in mind too!”, I respond. FLW takes it a step further: “All our power needed to run the restaurant comes from recycled cooking oil too”. He shows me a big generator which turns the oil they use to deep-fry and cook into power which they use for the refrigerator, lights, till and other machinery. “Our goal is to provide delicious food, support local farms and fishermen while eliminating the need for petroleum-based fuel in the mobile restaurant business entirely by the year 2016”.
All in all I find this an amazing initiative. Of course their menu prices are a little bit higher than your Subway or Mac, but their contribution to the local community and their persistence to change the mobile restaurant business is unbelievable. Oh, and did I mention it’s some of the best food you’ll ever have?
Go get yourself some lunch! You can find them on W Hastings st. & Burrard st. in Vancouver.