With the Winnipeg summer heat soon drawing to a close and the inevitable onset of fall close at hand I set out to redouble my efforts and visit as many of the new food trucks that now dot the Winnipeg lunchtime streets. Yesterday found me in familiar territory on Broadway Avenue where the majority of lunchtime food trucks are known to set up shop.
As it turned out my choice was an easy one, turning off Main Street the first truck that met my eye was a new to me, the On a Roll Sandwich Truck. Painted an eye-catching bright green announcing “Bringing the flavours of the world to the streets of Winnipeg” was an offer I simply could not refuse.
The menu pasted to the side of the truck spoke of simple family favorites from around the world delivering on the promises of their motto. Shrimp Po’ Boys representing the Louisiana coast of the United States, Jerked Chicken Sandwich giving a taste of Jamaican spicy influences. For a more savory note a patron could try the ever popular, if confusing Chicken and Waffles. Even vegetarians are welcomed with a falafel patty Banh-Mi sandwich representing the best of French and Vietnamese influences.
I decided to dig into a long time favorite of mine, The Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. The service was prompt, efficient and friendly enough to strike up a conversation with the proprietor Brendan Orr. He explained the philosophy of his truck was to deliver quality easy to eat foods to Winnipeg while opening up palates to new ideas. He went on to say that the special next week would be a very tasty sounding lamb burger. Not something one would expect to find on the streets of Winnipeg.
Brendan as it turns out has bounced around some of the finer kitchens in Winnipeg for most of his life starting out as a bus boy at Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano when he was 12, eventually ending up cooking with Chef Fern Kirouac of In Ferno’s Bistro. We discussed the emerging food truck scene in Winnipeg and he agreed with my observation in calling it nothing short of a revolution. Brendan went on to say that Winnipeg seemed to be stuck in the 70’s style of huge portions and poor quality for about 25 years and just now seems to be catching up with current food culture with a rapid determination not only to keep pace but possibly innovate some of its own trends. We parted ways as my sandwich appeared in the window and he returned to the kitchen.
My Cheese Steak Sandwich arrived hot and smelled delicious as I looked for a spot to sit and eat. The first bite filled my mouth with savory goodness the thinly sliced steak grilled very nicely and especially juicy. The ratio of cheese and peppers also was appropriate. Often a sandwich can be overwhelmed with oozing overbearing cheese sauce. On a Roll’s delivery was appropriately gooey and beefy without going overboard on mess. I found the blend of provolone cheese matched well with the other ingredients adding just enough of a tang and creaminess to the sandwich to be appreciated. Coming in at $9.00 for the sandwich and a $1.50 for a can of Sprite totaling $10.50 for a very satisfying lunch without breaking the bank.
Overall On a Roll Sandwich Truck is not trying to re-invent the wheel, but they do deliver a very tasty product and one that you should dig into in the near future.
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