Mount Sinai’s latest fundraising campaign is The Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for the Cure. Over the next three weeks (the first event was this past Friday – October 12) food trucks will be parked in the Mount Sinai parking lot selling their goodies and giving a portion of their sales to the hospital in search for a cure for cancer. The final event will be a chefs challenge at the Royal York featuring Food Network chefs like Chuck Hughes and David Rocco. An amazing cause with amazing food, how can you not get behind this charity?
Friday at lunch found me at Mount Sinai in the parking lot. The signage for this event could be slightly better – it is in the parking lot on Murray Street but it is around an awkward corner. The best way to track down these trucks is to enter from Orde Street rather than from around Mount Sinai.
There are tents set up selling tickets at the entrance of the event. Each ticket is $10 and each truck has 2 or 3 ticketed items. Using one ticket, you get one menu item as well as making a donation to the hospital. I don’t know the percentage breakdown but I assume it is profitable for both the hospital and the trucks. Each truck also has items that don’t require a ticket and are therefore less expensive.
There were three trucks participating on Friday – Dobro Jesti, Blue Donkey and The Food Dudes. I decided to try Blue Donkey since they have been around forever and somehow I have never tried them. This was poor planning on my part because Blue Donkey will be back at this event again, but The Food Dudes (another truck I have yet to try) will not.
I ordered the Chicago-Style Chicken Gyro from Blue Donkey. Oh, and of course, it’s not a day at a food truck event without a risotto ball from Dobro Jesti.
The Chicago Style Chicken Gyro with tomato, tzatziki, french fries and cheese, served either mild or spicy. I ordered it spicy because A) I was assured it wouldn’t burn my face off and B) I wanted to ensure I got the most flavour I could. And yes, I ate this on the subway on my way back to work.
As blasphemous as it may be, I am not a huge fan of Greek food. If you have a Greek restaurant or recipe that will completely blow and change my mind, please let me know. I love tzatziki, cucumber, olives and tomatoes, so I have the foundation for loving Greek food, I just don’t think I have found my restaurant or recipe yet.
That all being said, I enjoyed this gyro. And here is why:
1. The pita was fluffy and airy, yet substantial and strong enough to be the foundation for this stuffed wrap.
2. The chicken was so perfectly seasoned and spiced. At first, I was thinking to myself this isn’t spicy but by the end of the gyro I was delightfully numb. The spices used on the chicken tasted exactly like a Portuguese chorizo sausage. As soon as a pinpointed the flavour I was ecstatic. The gyro is worth it for this flavour alone.
3. The tzatziki could have had a stronger, cucumber flavour. It was more sour cream then anything else.
4. I can’t get behind the french fries in the gyro. I don’t know what that is about. I think they are going for a balance of textures and trying to accomplish something crispy and crunchy but it did not work for me. I am not a huge french fry fan so maybe that was part of it but I think it was more the fact that it was incredibly random and unnecessary. I applaud them for trying something new and fresh but I would have much preferred that crunch to come from cucumber.
5. I think the gyro could have used more garlic, red onion, cucumber and tomato. Because of the strong (yet amazing!) flavours from the chicken i think the rest of the ingredients found in the gyro was slightly overpowered and washed out.
I know from the above comments it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this gyro but I really did. It was a delightful surprise for a Friday afternoon and it put me in a strong food drunk that sustained me through the rest of the work day. I would try this truck again (maybe the Greek poutine next time!) and I would suggest it to other people.
Next week Mount Sinai will be featuring the gastronomic stylings of Rome ‘N Chariot and Stuft, two trucks you won’t want to miss. So get out there and support local business and the hospital!