Sunday, 27 May 2012

Food Truck Eats - Peller Estate Winery

Food Truck Eats
Peller Estates Winery
290 John Street East
Niagara-on-the-Lake, On


The Toasted Tangerine Truck.
The Toasted Tangerine Menu.
Toasted Tangerine BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider.

Toasted Tangerine Braised Beef Toasted Ravioli.
El Gastronomo Vagabundo Truck.

El Gastro's Menu.

El Gastro's Pescado Picante Taco.

El Gastro's Drunken Monkey.

Blue Doneky Streatery's Menu.

Blue Donkey Truck.

Blue Donkey's Garlic Mayo and Ouzo Fried Calamari Pita.

Caplansky's Menu.
Thunderin' Thelma.
Caplansky's BBQ Brisket Sliders and Reuben Spring Rolls.
Beaver Tails Truck.

Beaver Tails' Banana Chocolate.

In her opinion:
What a great idea...combining wine and food trucks.  Food Truck Eats and Peller Estates Winery joined forces to bring together a gourmet extravaganza for 2 days - May 20 and 21, 2001.  For these two days, the beautiful back lawn of Peller Estates Winery was transformed into a sort of food truck heaven - 16 food trucks from Canada and the USA were paired with 16 awesome wines from Peller Estates.

The admission cost was $15 dollars for person 19 and older.  This gave you event admission, a souvenir Govino glass and a glass of wine. Food and beverage were sold the day of the event.  The winery was selling water or soft drinks at $1.00 each and 5-oz. glasses of wine at $5.00 each.  

When we got to the winery at around 12:30pm on the first day of this event, it was bustling with people and the line-ups were starting to get long. We purchased our drink tickets right away.  We then hit our first food truck - The Toasted Tangerine.  This food truck produces some pretty amazing street food.  We opted for the BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich and the Braised Beef Toasted Ravioli. The sandwich had a gorgeous pineapple habanero slaw on top of the succulent BBQ chicken.  Just absolutely delicious.  The ravioli was served with an Italian herb dipping sauce. I've had their spinach and ricotta toasted ravioli and loved them but these braised beef were just outstanding. So good.

Next we hit another of our favourites, El Gastronomo Vagabundo! No one makes fish tacos like these guys and trust me they did not disappoint.  We ordered "Pescado Picante Taco", it is described on their menu as a tempura cod, smoked tomato and habanero aioli, red cabbage and green apple slaw, tarragon dressing and fresh lime.  I describe it as heaven.  So delicious.  For a little dessert we ordered a "Drunken Monkey".  This was a banana fritter with hometown smoked chocolate and tequila ice cream and candied jalapeno. I loved this flavour combo.  The banana was incredible and the ice cream provided the right amount of flavour and heat. Very nice.

We stopped at the Blue Donkey Streatery next for our absolutely favourite pita on earth - the "Garlic Mayo and Ouzo Fried Calamari Pita".  Oh my goodness...this is heaven in a pita. This is fried calamari wrapped in a pita with fries and garlic ouzo mayo sauce. So good.

Caplansky's was our next stop.  This is Zane Caplansky's Thunderin' Thelma truck full of good deli food.  We ordered their BBQ Brisket Sliders and the Reuben Spring Rolls.  The sliders were absolutely delicious. Tender BBQ brisket with a delicious slaw on top.  I love these little bundles of goodness.  The spring rolls were also very good...who would have thought that a reuben sandwich filling of corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese could go so nicely in a spring roll. It was topped with a delicious mustard.  I really enjoyed these rolls.

Well, as you may have guessed after all this deliciousness and two glasses of Peller Estates Ice Cuvee and one of their Ice Cuvee Rose, I was really full. However, we still managed to find a little room for Beaver Tails Toronto's Banana Chocolate Beaver Tail. These are as Canadian as Canadian can be! Whole-wheat dough that is stretched and shaped like a beaver tail. Fried and topped with chocolate (nutella) and sliced banana.  OMG people!  Very very good and the perfect ending to a perfect day spent at one of my favourite places...Peller Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

This event was two home runs in one. Suresh Doss is a genius for planning this event. Basically, any Food Truck Eats event is amazing but to pair it with a winery and not just any winery but an awesome winery like Peller Estates is outstanding. I'm only sorry that I didn't get to try the offerings from the US food truck, the Roaming Buffalo or even the new Canadians on board like Buster's Sea Cove, Gourmet B1tchesDobro Jesti or Hank Daddy's Barbecue

In his opinion:
I love food trucks a lot but I must admit that the line-ups are a put off for me. At all the food truck events that we have been, the line-ups get out of control very quickly and as much as I love the "Neopolitan", lining up for 40 minutes to get a grilled cheese from Gorilla Cheese is not my idea of fun.

At this event, Peller Estates had limited the tickets to 3000 per day, so much better than the free for all shows we experienced in Toronto. Having said that, one hour into it and it was so busy that it looked as bad as any other food truck show out there.

With my wine tickets in hand and a hunger that seemed to be taking over me completely, I set out to feed that hunger as quickly as I could. We hit our favourites first, Toasted Tangerine for BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Fish Tacos from El Gastronomo Vagabondo and Blue Donkey for their amazing Calamari Pita.   

While we were trying out the favourites, unfortunately the American food trucks were creating quite the following and the line ups were again out of control. We then made our way to Caplansky's for the BBQ Brisket Sliders (another favourite) and decided that it was a good time to find some shade. The sun was out in full force and since we had our little man with us, we decided to take advantage of the few square feet of shade under the trees.
Oddly as the food settled in our stomachs, we started to feel very full and realized that there may be only room for dessert after all. There were so many trucks we had not tried but it had to be left for another time.

I rushed to the Beaver Tails truck (coincidently it had the shortest line-up) and got myself a Beaver Tail covered with chocolate and banana. It was delicious and definitely hit the spot without putting us over the "full" limits. Special mentions also goes out to Tangerine's braised beef ravioli and Gastro's Drunken Monkey.

In between all of this, we enjoyed some good wine and also some good bubbly. Peller has now some pretty decent sparkling wine, especially in the form of The Ice Cuvee and Ice Cuvee Rose.

It was an afternoon well spent and the quality of the food and wine were outstanding. Congrats to Peller Estates and Suresh Doss for putting on this event and doing such a great job coordinating it. I saw people there getting turned back because they did not have a ticket, so if you had not previously bought tickets, there was no chance of experience it.

Due to all of the wait times and line-ups, I'm going to have to better assess if we will attend any upcoming food truck shows in the near future. But I will return to Peller, for their amazing wine tastings/tours, their AAA 4 diamond award restaurant and of course their chef Jason Parsons.

Peller Estates on Urbanspoon El Gastronomo Vagabundo @ Flat Rock Cellars on Urbanspoon Caplansky Deli Truck (Thundering Thelma) on Urbanspoon Blue Donkey Streatery on Urbanspoon


  1. Really- very important tips..................

    best sparkling wine

  2. Are you asking or commenting on the Ice Cuvee?

  3. Food truck eats peller estate winery. Useful post

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  4. Be sure to check out Bittersweet, the sister event at neighboring Kurtz Orchards:

  5. Thanks for the heads up...we'll try to drop by.

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