First Fridays have been getting a ton of buzz as the summer’s foodie destination for street food, but with only three events throughout the season, the lineups can be painful on the feet as well as hard on an empty stomach. If you haven’t gotten your food truck-fix just yet, head down to the Food Souk at the Just for Laughs Festival this week (until July 29th). That’s exactly what I did this weekend and boy, was I ever impressed with the scene.

The choices were truly endless with over a dozen vendors on-site. The food was unique, varied and not your typical “street meat” (curbside hotdog). As I made my way down the souk strip of Sainte Catherine Street near Place des Arts, I spotted the familiar lime green Grumman ‘78 taco truck right away. With a husband who is proud to have once been the FourSquare mayor of their Faubourg location, I am all too familiar with their soft shell tacos, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a feta pimento taco ($5) to start my culinary souk adventure.

Then there was the bright pink Apollo cabin serving up duck confit grilled cheese ($10) and watermelon ginger gazpacho ($6). The Death Grill flaming hearse was quite the sight with Philly cheese steaks ($6.50) on the menu, cooked on a coffin-like grill. Le Mangeoire had a tempting decadent sandwich ($6) with peanut butter, nutella and bacon as well as the savoury Migrateur ($9) with maple gravlax, orange mayo, fried capers and cucumbers.

The list goes on and on… Duck or pork poutine ($7) at Lucky’s Truck and panzanella ($4) at Pas d’Cochon dans Mon Salon. My kids especially enjoyed the maple ice cream ($5) from Martin Juneau’s Monsieur Crémeux topped with Cracker Jacks. The Nouveau Palais Winneburger was there along with Takoyaki (pancake balls), Hot Bulldog Palace and La Catrina Paletas (paletas are Latin American ice pops usually made from fresh fruit). I was hunting down the latter to try their honey-honeydew and iced coffee flavours, but unfortunately didn’t end up finding them among the crowd.

The souk is a real hubbub of culinary delights and won’t be around for much longer. So get out there and eat, drink and be merry!

Lauren Cracower, guest zurbaine

Just for Laughs Food Souk
Sainte Catherine Street West (between Jeanne Mance and Saint Urbain)

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