Kaboom Box – Fresh Local Wild (Organic Seafood Food Cart)

Restaurant: Kaboom Boxย (formerly calledย Fresh Local Wild)
Cuisine: Sandwiches/Seafood/West Coast/Pacific Northwest/Food Cart
Last visited: November 27, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
Address: 795 Granville Street (Corner of Granville and Robson)
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Chef Josh Wolfe
  • Ocean Wise
  • Local ingredients
  • Hand picked mushrooms
  • Biodegradable containers
  • Catering available
  • Tues-Sat: 11:30am-5pm

**Recommendations: If you like Po’ Bo Sandwiches it’s good here, but I personally liked the Vanwich better.

Believe it or not, this is my first Vancouver food cart I’ve visited. I was planning to tackle them all in one very special day, but plans changed. I wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity when Captain Steve from Organic Ocean, the supplier for tons of Ocean Wise restaurants in Canada invited me to Fresh, Local, Wild. Besides indulging in deep fried “healthy” food I was able to ask my questions and get a better idea of what Fresh, Local, Wild is really all about.

Chef Josh Wolfe left his executive chef position at Coast to open Fresh Local Wild, a food cart in downtown Vancouver strongly emphasizing the use of sustainable seafood, fresh and local ingredients. I’m going to speak honestly, from a consumer’s perspective. I actually did enjoy the food here, but I do think the price point is high for a food cart, considering I can get a gourmet grain fed beef burger and sit down to eat it at Romer’s Burger Bar for $10. I’ve done research and I can generally state that people want to spend at most $8 from a food cart. Mind you the boys are spending extra having everything certified Ocean Wise as well as investing in biodegradable containers.

I do support what they’re doing, and they are trying their best, but here’s my issue in general. I do support sustainable fishing, but what makes it any different than having things certified organic? I asked Chef Wolfe the same question, since Fresh Local Wild is as organic as they can be, although completely Ocean Wise. If there’s such a push on organic/sustainable seafood, why not an equal push on organic everything else? I just think that if sustainable fishing and going organic are “movements” (Chef Wolfe) then it should all be carried throughout the menu and also made affordable for people to participate in this “movement”. Nonetheless it is true that restaurants can be “Ocean Wise” and “Certified Organic” without purchasing the rights for the labels. I don’t limit myself to Ocean Wise or Certified Organic foods only either, but I’m just throwing the topic of discussion out there.

Anyways onto the food, I was freaking cold as f eating my lunch and I seriously believe the conditions in which you eat your food can affect the overall enjoyment of it. My taste buds felt frozen as I tried to grasp my sandwich with my icicle fingers. Thank god the boys were nice enough to let me eat inside their food cart. (Super friendly staff, and I’m not the first to say it.) Last but not least, being behind the scenes I can state for a fact that there is a hot smoker in the trailer and the salmon is being smoked on site.

On the table:

**Po Boy Sandwich – 4/6

  • Fried Oyster Po-Boy alone $10 (+$3 for poutine)
  • It’s stacked with 2 medium sized deep fried oysters, loads of tartar sauce and a crunchy fresh cole slaw.
  • Considering I rarely eat cooked oysters (love them raw) and rarely eat deep fried seafood (waste of flavour), I actually really enjoyed this sandwich. It does start off with a good ingredient and the oysters were meaty, plump and juicy, but not too fishy in taste with a savoury panko breading that was light, crispy and well seasoned.
  • I really didn’t care for the whole wheat bun (which authentically should be a French baguette), although it was nicely toasted and not overwhelming.
  • The oyster itself had tons of flavour and it was the thing I could taste the most. The seasoning was pretty perfect and there was a nice tang from the creamy tartar sauce and crunch from the fresh cole slaw. However I did lose the flavour of the dressing on the actual cole slaw.
  • Overall the sandwich was pretty basic, nothing out of this world, although still well executed and very good. But for $10, I want my fries included (and it doesn’t even have to be a poutine).

**Vanwich (Hot Smoked Nothern Coho Sandwich) – 4/6

  • Vanwich alone $8 (+$3 for poutine)
  • Vancouver’s very own Vanwich!
  • If the bread was better this sandwich would be an easy 5/6 (excellent).
  • It doesn’t look like a lot of salmon, but they’re really smart with the execution because the way the salmon is prepared it doesn’t require them to use a lot of it.
  • It’s still a decent amount of salmon though and the flavour is well infused and developed. It’s delicious!
  • It was nice and salty and very obviously cured in a brine before it was smoked.
  • It was almost like candied salmon except it’s savoury, smoky and not sweet. (They should also offer a candied wild salmon version though)
  • The salmon was moist and meaty and I could still taste the fish in every bite.
  • Again, although fresh I did want more flavour from the cole slaw because it was all very basic and I think grainy mustard and/or more maple might have done the trick. I just wanted more dynamic flavours.
  • I would even play with the idea of using sesame seeds or oil to the slaw to make it more of a “Vanwich”.
  • The ratio of salmon to bun was actually very good, but I just don’t care for the whole wheat bread they were using again. Even if store bought, a toasted square ciabatta would be nice.
  • I think $8 with the fries is reasonable.

Chanterelle Mushroom Poutine3.5/6

  • Quadra Isle Chanterelle Mushroom $5 alone, +$3 as side
  • Definitely a fancy item not expected from a food cart.
  • The fries taste like yam fries or Yukon Gold potatoes, but they were actually Russet Potatoes. I was totally fooled because they’re creamy and not starchy at all and very well seasoned. They’re thin cut fries and some were crispy, unless they were touching gravy, in which case they went limp and soggy, double frying them would help.
  • This is a vegetarian poutine and although I loved the Chanterelle mushroom idea, I wasn’t a fan of the actual gravy. There was lots of creamy sauce, but it was bland and I got more flavour from the fries than I did the gravy. I just felt like I was eating extra calories without the satisfying taste to justify it.
  • The Chanterelle mushrooms are hand picked by Chef Wolfe himself, that’s some serious dedication… although the idea of that sounds fun to a foodie like myself.
  • The cheese curds are a White Cheddar cheese curd, but they don’t melt (which they shouldn’t) and they don’t squeak in your teeth (which they should). They taste a bit aged, but firmer and stronger in flavour than a standard Mozzarella. I didn’t mind them but I prefer La Belle Patate’s authentic cheese curd, which is a very fresh cheese curd before it turns into White Cheddar.

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10 Comments

  • Bow says:

    I think you meant a mini French loaf “cos in New Orleans they stuff 8 to 12 oysters into the loaf…Did you know Mijune, you can buy silk longjohns ? How many napkins did this meal take ? I think they’re heavy into sauce ‘cos of the cold. Yea, it’s hard to take cart food seriously, at restaurant prices,eating standing up, in the pourin’ rain, and no bathrooms…if the cart prices were cheaper I would eat there but I can sit down and eat elsewhere for under $10.

  • Mijune says:

    @Bow – I thought it was a baguette? Or in Montreal it’s a baguette and New Orleans it’s a submarine/French loaf? Thanks for helping me out with that though… I look more into it ๐Ÿ™‚

    – No I didn’t know you could buy silk longjohns! From where?!
    – I had a LOT of napkins! Especially since it was windy and my hair down and blowing into the saucy sandwich and then sticking to my face ๐Ÿ™
    – I know what you mean, and I respect your decision, but they are pretty good, so you may want to consider trying it just once?

    thanks for your comments bow!

  • KimHo says:

    Considering I rarely eat deep fried seafood (waste of flavour)

    Wait… Do you prefer, say, raw squid vs. calamari? Just saying… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Even at $8 for street food, it might be a little bit too much. (But, then again, that’s only a single vote vs. majority). Otherwise, agreed, while the food is good, I don’t think the lack of infrastructure (water, sitting space, shelter, et al) should make the food cost that much compared to proper sit down restaurants. I mean, not everybody would be allowed to sneak into the trailer, hahahaha!

  • Cameron W. says:

    So they have a veggie poutine but no veggie sandwich. That’s a bit disappointing.

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – lol well I prefer grilled squid over deep fried squid ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol sorry kim.. perks of being a poorly insulated girl!

    @Cameron W – Oh I’m sorry to hear that… yeah it is about local seafood, so perhaps not the right place for you. Although maybe they’ll have something further down the road available.

  • KimHo says:

    perks of being a poorly insulated girl!

    Can I translate that as in you having no fat??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Bow, do you know where to get those silk longjohns, hahaha!

  • Bow says:

    Support local industry, buy Karen Allen silk, either online or at a store like Bare Basics, 3871 Moncton, Richmond…I do eat from food carts, when the weather is ok, but not when it’s cold, raining, or windy. I prefer to sit down and not gulping my food because it’s too cold. I also hate major lineups.

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – lol no poor circulation! I have fat! lol trust me… i have fat.

    @Bow – agreed. I hate eating in the cold too! Actually I hate being cold.

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