Food ManyFest

ManyFest Meanderings

Last week marked the annual return of ManyFest, Winnipeg’s big donwtown festival, highlighted by Winnipeg’s Food Truck Wars. This is the first year in a few that i haven’t really taken in much ot the festival. Usually I find it a good place and time to check out the food trucks I’ve heard about but haven’t yet had the chance to visit. However, a combination of bad weather and a busier church schedule meant I only spent a little time aound the festival.

ManyFest Sweet Bourbon
The Sweet Bourbon Adult Icre Cream from Trendy Treats/

ManyFest Friday Night

I left work a little early on Friday night so that I could get down to ManyFest before the majority of the crowds showed up. If you read this site regularly, you’ll have read about my great dislike of line-ups. I started off my evening with coffee at Fools and Horses. Fools and Horses is locatd just on the fringe of ManyFest and, asie from being my second home, it’s a nice place to get away from the intensity of the crowds on the festival site.
I didn’t get a picture of the set up, but Fools and Horses had extended their patio for ManyFest with an installation that was part of Dream Streets. Dream Streets is a project of The Dream Factory which works to help children battling life-threatening diseases to live out their dreams. The project out front of Fools and Horses was the work of Emily Sinclair, a local landscape architect, and former barista at Fools and Horses.
Heading over to the festival site, I wandered up and down to get a good look at all the trucks to decide which ones I hoped to visit. After I had wandered my through I decided I would make my first stop Phat Dogs. Phat Dogs is the latest food truck from Derek Collins of Poutine King fame. Last year he was debuting his Wiggle Chips truck and this year was the first ManyFest appearance of PhatDogs.

ManyFest Phat Dog
The Japanese Phat Dog is a great mixture of sweet and savoury.

Derek was out on the street supervising the various trucks when I showed up and so I asked him which of the dogs he would recommend. He suggested the Japanese Dog, and was kind enough to treat to one. The dog starts with a Nathan’s All Beef hot dog. If you’re not familiar with Nathan’s, they are the company behind the famous Coney Island Hot Dog eating championship. It’s place inside a soft bun, and covered with sweet onions, nori, and a great mayonaisse giving these dogs a fine mixture of sweet and savoury in their taste.
The Japanese Phat Dog is also a satisfying eat. Instead of finding another main course or appetizer dish I decided I wanted to try something of a dessert nature. With that in mind I head over to the Trendy Treats truck.
Trendy Treats advertises themsleves as serving adult ice cream treats. This is ture, as several of the treats they serve are alcohol infused. However, it’s still the king of place where you can go with the whole family, because they also carry severl non-alcoholic treats that the kiddies will enjoy.

Many Fest Jolly Rancher
The Trendy Treats Jolly Rancher Swiss Ice.

My visit to Trendy Treats was actually my third of the year. On my first stop, earlier in the summer, I ordered their Sweet Bourvon adult ice cream. This was very enjoyable. The ice cream is rich and creamy and the bourbon flavour shines through, but without any of the burn you get whne drinking bourbon. I got mine with caramel syrup on top which added a nice, sweet element to the ice cream.  That’s the ice cream pictured at the top of this post.
On my second visit I decided I would try one of the Swiss ices, and went for fun, with the Jolly Rancher flavour. This was a areally enjoyable treat with lots of litte bits of Jolly Rancher studded throughtout. The best part was the that it tasted like I was eating Jolly Ranchers.

ManyFest Peach Bellini
The Peach Belline Swiss Ice from Trendy Treats is a refreshing way to cleanse your palate during an evening of food truck dining.

On Friday I went back to the Adult treat choice, and ordered a Peach Bellini. This is a smooth tasting Swiss Ice. The peach flavour isn’t overly strong, but it tastes very natural. It was a very refreshing dessert dish.

ManyFest Fringe Dining

After my Swiss Ice, I wandered around a little, and then went back to Fools and Horses for another Americano. I noticed while I sat there that there was another food truck out on the street, just across form F&H. This place was called BaoHouse. I figured that every good festival deserves a fringe, so after drinking my Americano I wandered across to see what was available from BaoHouse.

ManyFest Bao House Panko Dog.
The Panko Dog from the Bao House food truck on the fringes of ManyFest.

Bao House turns out to be a truck that is serving a variety of Asian inspired Bao sandwiches, and hot dogs. Having tired the Japanese dog from Phat Dogs I figured I would go with one their hot dogs rather than one of the Bao dishes. They were offering a spicy Panko Dog and that was what I chose.
The hot dog was quite good. I really liked the toppings, expecially the crunch that I received from the panko crumbs spread throughout. The only thing I didn’t like about this dog was that thehy cut the bun completely through meaning that the condiments were spilling out all over the place.

Back to ManyFest on Saturday

My Saturday was quite full, and so I didn’t end up getting to ManyFest until the evening rush was well under way. As a result, I made my one choice based on lineups. I made a return stop at a truck that I’ve tried on a few occasions in the past. Ordering myself a Beef Curry from Simba Safari. I think Simba Safari deserves more business than they seem to get. The beef is tender, as are potatoes, and the sauce is nicely spicy.

ManyFest Simba Safari Curry
SImba Safari Beef Curry

The oddest part of the weekend was the news that it appears that Winnipeg’s burgeoning Food Truck scene is going to be cut short by regulation and onerous business fees. I hope I’ll have food trucks to write about next year, but it’s beginning to look like they may go the way dodo.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.