Food Truck Eats attracted long lines when it hit Ryerson on Nov. 18. PHOTO: MOHAMED OMAR

Meals on wheels park at Ryerson

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On Friday, Nov. 18, the Ryerson community was served by a fleet of trucks offering diverse food fare. Alvina Siddiqui reports on the possibility of Food Truck Eats becoming a permanent fixture

The empty lot across from the site of Ryerson‘s future Student Learning Centre may become a home for a fleet of gourmet food trucks.

On Nov. 18, five trucks parked at the corner of Yonge and Gould Streets as part of Food Truck Eats, a fleet of gourmet food trucks.

“We only decided we’re going to do this two days ago,” said Suresh Doss, publisher of lifestyle website Spotlight Toronto and the organizer of Food Truck Eats.

The food options available on Friday ranged from cupcakes and grilled cheese to Southeast Asian cuisine.

Tamara Jensen, co-owner of El Gastrónomo Vagabundo, a truck that serves different international fare, thinks the trucks would make excellent use of space, even if only for a temporary period.

“We [have] petitions going around for this so we can get [municipal] licenses,” she says.

The owner of the site, the Lalani Group, is eager to see the site used for street food events and strongly supports the idea, according to Doss.

The plan is to hold a few test Food Truck Eats events to see the results. Depending on numbers, it could become a monthly, weekly or daily event. More events will be held during the spring.

In the past, they have set up in Mississauga Celebration Square and in the Distillery District during Nuit Blanche, among other places.

Executives at Ryerson have already been in talks with Food Truck Eats about the use of the lot at Yonge and Gould.

Some of the possibilities discussed include letting Ryerson use the space to display student artwork or set up booths run by different student groups.

“So far it’s been positive, but only because they have seen examples [of our previous work],” said Doss.

Doss has also reached out to local establishments like Thai food restaurant Salad King to offer them the chance to set up their own food booths.

Food Truck Eats spread the word about their Ryerson debut primarily through the use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“So far we’ve seen a great response,” said Jensen.

Kelly Ali, a third-year psychology student, found out about the event through Twitter. She hopes that the trucks will someday become a campus mainstay.

“It just offers something different and it’s cheaper and easy on-the-go,” said Ali.

Presenting students with more options, according to Doss, is one of the project’s more important aims.

“I just want to show people that there are more options to street food other than burgers and fries,” Doss says.

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