Food-Truck & Pop-Up Eats in Prince Edward County 🌮
In addition to the traditional (and awesome!) brick and mortar restaurants in The County, a LOT of super talented chefs have been literally popping up all over the place, setting up food trucks or taking over kitchens. Trying to keep up with them is a little like playing a delicious game of whac-a-mole.
by Susan Smythe-Bishop of The Citiot
Indulge in the yin-yang of healthy vegan caesar salads, fried chicken paired with creamy mac ‘n cheese and delicious doughnut holes with a delightful little caramel dipping sauce to finish. | Photo Courtesy: @picnicpecfood
Rebecca Hunt of Picnic PEC was really one of the first “pop-ups” we encountered and got super excited about here in The County. While she’s focusing on catering, she appears at special events and occasionally at the Wellington Farmers’ Market.
After years of popping up at The Brake Room, Sandbanks Winery and the Vic Cafe, Idle Wild has opened its own location on Main Street Wellington, where they serve up their “adventurous & authentic ethnic” dishes on a take-out basis. Paul and Mel seem to follow wherever their inspiration takes them, with wildly different but consistently delicious menus every time they “pop up.”
Flossie’s Sandwiches has also found a more permanent home for their handmade sandwiches crafted from locally-sourced produce and artisan-cured meats. These sandwiches, made by true sandwich aficionados – many finished on the griddle so they’re hot and swaddled in melted cheese – can be found at Carson’s Garden & Market.
Quick: what goes best with beer? Bingo! It’s barbecue. And at Barley Day’s Brewery, you’ll find Big Mike himself slinging some serious BBQ eats. This is Texas-style barbecue, featuring brisket, pork side ribs, pulled pork, fire-baked beans, maple-mustard coleslaw, cornbread, lemonade and ice tea. Bring a ‘kerchief for the meat sweats!
When you’re driving through The County and the concert calendar comes on 99.3 FM, that impossibly low, speaking-from-the-cellar voice listing off the live acts playing at The Waring House or County Canteen comes from Ras Bingi, chief cook and bottle washer at Bingi’s BBQ, where the smoker turns out impossibly soft jerk chicken, pork ribs, wings and curry, as well as vegetarian fare.
A rainbow wrapped in a tortilla. That’s shredded pork, beneath a tangy salsa and pickled onions and jalapenos. Mmmm… | Photo Courtesy: @guaposcantina
Other pop-ups include Guapo’s Cantina, a taco-lover’s dream with inventive ingredients and eye-popping toppings. Find them at Keint-He Winery. They have a really tasty looking poutine, like supreme nachos, but all that goodness over french fries.
The Sichuan Pork Wrap is a must try from Outlet Food Co. | Photo Courtesy: @outletfoodco
Outlet Food Co. makes some damn delicious chicken. Their jerk chicken wraps – deliciously embraced in heavenly roti – have become a fixture at festivals and the Wellington Market. But they also do some delightful things with oysters, pork belly and house-made sausages. Find them on the regular at The June Motel for #FoodieFriday or have them come into your vacation rental for a “First Timers” feast featuring as many local finds as they can fit on a plate.
Mark’s County Chips is a classic chip truck and a popular place for fries, burgers and more. It was a fixture in the Picton Canadian Tire lot for many years, but it’s since moved over to Picton’s Lake Street, where there are plenty of tables and benches to enjoy the food while watching the beach-goers pick up their LCBO haul on their way to Sandbanks. Mark has a pretty extensive menu – beef burgers, chicken burgers, sausage, fish – and most items on the menu are less than $8.
Smokin’ Rednex specializes in Alabama-style slow smoked briskets and pulled pork, pork tacos, baked beans and mac ‘n cheese. Various winery staff have been known to drive for lunch wherever they are in The County, jonesing for their daily dose of that mac ‘n cheese!
Potentially the spiciest thing you’ll eat in PEC comes from Bajan Bites authentic Barbadian pepper sauce – which comes highly recommend on their #OhMyCodFishcakes. Order yours from their stand at the (Saturday) Wellington Farmers’ Market and gaze off into the blue horizon of Lake Ontario and you would swear you’re in the Caribbean. Keep an eye out for them popping up at local festivals and wineries.
And finally, it’s not a food truck, but it seems to have popped up all the same. Closson Chase has a great new sandwich shop just opened called The Swinery. Now you can pair a selection of their lovely wines with your choice of delicious pulled pork or brisket nestled in a golden brioche bun. They have a cheese sandwich made of decadent Fifth Town Buffalina Gouda as a vegetarian option too! Sit, sip and nosh on their new patio overlooking the vineyard.
With all these places to eat (and more!) you better come hungry to The County.