Fresh Local Wild: Best Oyster Po Boy Sandwich in Town
Robson and Granville, Vancouver
Think juicy, plump, fried oysters in a toasted bun with crunchy coleslaw and a hot side of poutine smothered in mushroom gravy and soft chucks of cheese curds. Imagine that on a blustery, cold Vancouver day. If that sounds irresistible, you have to visit one of Vancouver’s new and popular street vendors, Fresh Local Wild. Housed in a fire engine red food cart, it’s the one with the long line up, customer testimonials endearingly scrawled on all sides of the cart with black marker, and the smells and sounds of sizzling fried seafood emitting from inside.
Owned by Andy Fielding and famous Vancouver Chef, Josh Wolfe, the former Executive Chef of Coast, Fresh Local Wild, true to their name, features fresh and local ingredients caught in BC waters and picked from BC forests. On the menu are Quadra Isle Chanterelle Mushrooms, Northern Coho salmon, Sockeye salmon sashimi and my personal favourite, local BC oysters. Fresh Local Wild also believes in sustainable and responsible harvesting which fits right in with Vancouver’s mandate as a Green city.
I ordered the Oyster Po’ boy sandwich with a side of fries, my co-worker got the same thing but with a side of poutine. As we waited on the windy corner of Robson and Granville, the tips of our noses kept getting colder and colder but as soon as we tasted our piping hot sandwiches, it was clear that it was worth the wait.
The meaty oysters were perfectly crispy on the outside, fried in panko crumbs. The oyster meat was smooth and buttery. And although, traditionally, oyster po’ boy sandwiches are served on French baguette bread, I liked that Fresh Local Wild used toasted buns, the sandwich was more compact that way, easier to hold in the hand, and I got more oyster per bite. I also loved the coleslaw inside the sandwich (and I’m not even normally a coleslaw fan!), the crunchy colourful strips of carrot, red and white cabbage flavoured with just the right amount of tangy dressing gave the sandwich more layers of texture and an extra punch of flavour.
I also tried some poutine, the gravy was not as thick as beef or turkey gravy, but definitely still did the job as the salty binding ingredient in the poutine. The mushrooms also added extra flavour, giving the poutine a rustic, robust taste not found in traditional poutine. The cheese curds tasted fresh and wonderfully squeaky, which is what I look for in a poutine.
Fresh Local Wild has definitely marked their territory as the best fried food vendor on Robson and Granville, and I’ll probably be a regular customer. Maybe one day, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to scrawl my testimonial (or blog address) on the side of their cart.