I am declaring 2013 the Year of the Food Truck in Ottawa. I, like many other Ottawa residents, have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the food trucks on the city’s streets. I missed the big launch that was held at city hall a few weeks ago due to confusion about the time (I have to commute from the west end and believed, mistakenly, that the advertised 12pm start time would be adhered to) and a general lack of information. Sparks Street then delayed their food truck festival, further complicating matters. The food trucks themselves have been hitting the streets at a trickle – the late awarding of the licenses meant that many had less than two months to design and commission a truck (or cart) in order to hit the road for the targeted start date of May 15.
Sunday was grey and overcast here in Ottawa – and I was hungry – so it felt like a perfect day to go visit a truck. I chose Bonita’s Cantina, which has a fixed location in the parking lot at 250 City Centre Ave. The best way to get there (and I had to do a quick perusal of Google Map Streetview) is to turn off Albert St. City Centre Ave is located just west of Preston St. Bonita’s is also open 7 days a week, from 11am to 7pm and has an excellent website which details the menu, hours and location. Plus – and this is super exciting – in the month of May you can print off a 2 for 1 taco coupon. Discount tacos and a delicious taco-filled truck (er, trailer)… what more can one ask for?
I did a quick detour for cash because I wrongfully assumed the truck would be a cash only operation. My previous experiences in Ottawa have shown me that I need to have cash in order to buy some poutine, hot dogs or canned pops from the side of the road. Bonita’s surprised me once again by showing off their debit/credit terminal. I just want to let Ottawa know so they don’t feel the need to go out of their way to find an ATM.
Two picnic tables and several muskoka chairs showed I was in the right place. I ordered two tacos, one chicken and one beef, using their 2 for 1 taco coupon. It also felt like a great day for a side and their freshly fried corn tortilla chips were calling my name. A pile of corn tortillas appeared on the counter, were cut into triangles and dropped into the fryer right in front of me. When they promised freshly fried, they didn’t lie. The chips came out warm, fresh and delicious. The provided salsa was fresh, flavourful and highly recommended.
I had a choice of corn or flour tortillas for my tacos and went with the corn. I left no direction for the preparation of the tacos – there are a number of toppings you can choose from – as I would rather see what the chef preferred. As you can see in the photo below, I don’t think it would have been possible to screw this up because what I received was taco deliciousness. Despite a quiet Sunday afternoon, the meat was perfectly prepared and seasoned. I didn’t find them very hot although I was told they had a special hot sauce which would spice things up… of course, this was promised with a maniacal laugh so I’m not sure if I want to go down that route.
Next time I think I will try their chimichanga. Or the burrito. Or more tacos. But there will be a next time!