Montreal To Put A New Spin On “Street Food”

A Chinese food truck in Boston. Image: Joseph Barillari
A Chinese food truck in Boston. Image: Joseph Barillari

Montreal is known for its fine and unique culture. Visitors flock to the city for its art galleries, high fashion and excellent cuisine.

Now, people in Montreal have a special treat in store for them.

The city’s mayor, Michael Applebaum, recently announced that the ban on food trucks has been lifted. That means that people may now be able to sample the city’s unparalleled cuisine from special food trucks on the street.

In many big cities, street vendors offer hot dogs and sausages from food trucks.

In typical Montreal style, the food trucks in that city will be a little different. The “street food” in Montreal will be “of a quality that is going to be highly respected and renowned,” the mayor said at a news conference, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.

After the announcement, the mayor approached a food vendor called Grumman 78, which served him a Vietnamese-style taco and tomato salad with cornbread croutons.

The city has had a ban on food carts since 1947, when wagons selling French fries were asked to leave because they were causing littering and tended to create traffic snarls.

Some people in Montreal want to know whether some of the “ordinary” fare that the city has made famous—such as smoked meat sandwiches and poutine (French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy)—will be offered by the food trucks.

According to the Globe the mayor said, “maybe someone’s going to come with poutine—a very special type of poutine.”

PoutineLaBanquise; Image: Sjschen
Poutine, from the Montreal restaurant La Banquise. Image: Sjschen

In other words, some of the old classics may get a fabulous Montreal makeover as they hit the streets.

The pilot project will see about a dozen food trucks in the city’s borough Ville-Marie starting in June.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
When people think of “food carts,” they often think of fast food that is inexpensive and may not be very nutritious–for instance, hot dogs. In this article, the author implies that the “Montreal way” of offering street food will be a bit different. What sentences in this article give that impression?

If you were to create a food truck what would you serve and why? How would you design the truck to attract customers?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences
How do you think the author feels about Montreal? How would this article be different if it was written by someone who knew nothing about the city?

Make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Prompt: Word Meanings
The last sentence in this article uses an interesting word that has several meanings: “pilot.”

Write down all of the meanings you can think of for the word “pilot.” Which definition fits the way it is used in the article?