When dining out, I live by this mantra: Order something that I wouldn't make at home.
Measured by that standard, Vancouver's street-food fare is a roaring success. Fair to say, I have not, and will not, be whipping up a mashed-potato and gravy-stuffed croissant.
If you want eclectic food, Vancouver's food carts are the place to go. But in figuring out my top pick among the 11 cart contenders, mere oddity wasn't enough. I was looking for quick service, taste and, above all, a cool street-eating experience.
On those three counts, The Re-Up BBQ by the Vancouver Art Gallery is the clear winner. Its menu is simple in every sense: Pulled pork sandwiches and drinks. So, even with long lines, the one-sandwich menu makes for snappy service.
On taste, the Re-Up BBQ is competitive, though I'd have to give the nod to the Roaring Dragon's Korean short-rib tacos (and perhaps even Marsha Lederman's pizza pick). That said, the delights of the sauce on a pulled pork sandwich are not to be underestimated.
Ultimately, the Re-Up BBQ outdistances its rivals, including the more sophisticated tastes of the Roaring Dragon, by virtue of its street cred. For the Roaring Dragon, and many others, I was forced to hustle back to my desk to dine. But for the Re-Up, a quick stroll to a sunlit bench was all that was needed for a lunchtime reverie. That is an indisputable pleasure - and definitely something you can't make at home.
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