Toronto’s growing roster of food trucks is about to get a little bigger.
Buster’s Sea Cove, a seafood vendor that has been a fixture in the St. Lawrence Market for two decades is launching a food truck as early as this weekend.
People in Toronto have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of some new trucks and 2012 is looking to be a milestone year for the growing food truck scene. The recent launch of the Gourmet Bitches truck and the arrival of Buster’s is just the start of a year that should see about a dozen new trucks on the road.
We caught up with Quinten Chan from Buster’s to find out more about their new truck.
TFT: Tell us a bit about Buster’s Sea Cove and how long you guys have been operating in St. Lawrence Market.
BSC: Buster’s has been in the St. Lawrence Market since 1992. It’s grown in popularity as time has gone on and now it’s favourite spot downtown for locals and tourists.
The core offerings and the biggest sellers we have down at the market location are our grilled fish, calamari, haddock and chips, halibut and chips and our orzo. And right now that’s a five day a week operation and it’s a fun business.
TFT: So when did you guys decide to start a food truck and what was the reason for doing so?
BSC: I used to go down to California for business quite often and about four or five years ago I started to hear about the food truck scene that was starting down there and I even began visiting some of the trucks.
I’ve always been intrigued by the whole trend and as soon as it started making its way across the United States and then started showing up on TV shows I thought about it some more and thought it was a really interesting idea.
Tom (Antomarakis), who’s the owner of Buster’s, was saying there’s a lot of customers down at the market who want to come and have some food but the Market is closed on Sunday and Monday.
So it sort of just fell into place and we thought ‘let’s go get a truck’. And that’s how it began and the ball got rolling from there.
TFT: Are you going to be offering a similar menu to your market location or to you plan on having some dishes exclusive to the truck?
BSC: The whole idea behind the truck and the whole street food scene is that we think it’s a great way to offer some items that we don’t currently sell at the market. For example on the truck we will be serving a lobster roll, fish tacos and some other exciting stuff. We want to do a sort of ‘grown up’ fish sandwich – a Fish Royale we call it – that’s almost like a more refined version of a McDonald’s Filet O’ Fish.
We also plan on having one or two items from our core offerings at the market that we will rotate into the menu on the truck like our grilled swordfish or blue marlin perhaps.
TFT: Obviously the rules are pretty restrictive in Toronto right now in terms of where trucks can vend but do you guys have any spots in mind yet for where you might park the truck?
BSC: For the immediate future we have a semi-permanent spot locked up at Queen St. E. and Jarvis St. where we plan to be when we aren’t doing an event or catering somewhere.
A big part of our business is catering and now we can give our clients the option of having the truck come to their event.
In terms of the rules and regulations, we’re hoping this whole street food revolution going on right now will get City Hall to take notice and relax some of the rules surrounding the trucks.
TFT: Do you have a launch date for the truck yet?
BSC: We are hoping to be in attendance this Saturday at the Street Food Block Party – it’s not for sure yet but we’re shooting for it. After that we should be open for business.