Kaboom Box: the food cart for Vancouverites
Granville and Robson, Vancouver
If Vancouver, British Columbia were to be represented by a sandwich, Kaboom Box’s salmwich would be it: tender and flaky, hot smoked wild salmon, glistening in flavour topped with fresh, crunchy coleslaw made from local ingredients sandwiched between a toasted bun. The food cart formerly known as Fresh Local Wild, Kaboom Box is back on the streets again in the same location, in the same fire-red cart and serving up the same sustainable seafood that it became famous for last year.
After the hype surround Kaboom Box’s salmwich being named one of the best sandwiches in Vancouver by Erin Ireland, I had to order one for lunch. A Vancouverite to the core, I grew here, eating salmon every summer, barbecued, smoked (hot and cured), steamed, pan fried, in sushi, in soups, on bagels and of course in sandwiches. I would say that Kaboom Box’s salmwich measures up to the Vancouver standard. The smoky flavour comes through in the meat, and is balanced by the cool crunch of the coleslaw also in the sandwich. The salmon meat is also moist and not overly salty. I would have preferred a softer bun but the bread definitely did not get soggy even though the dressing from the coleslaw was dripping all over the sides of the sandwich.
My other weakness is poutine, any type of poutine, just as long as the cheese curds are squeaky. And yes, the cheese curds at Kaboom Box are squeaky despite being smothered in creamy mushroom gravy (with real pieces of mushrooms mixed in!). I have tried this poutine last year, and some small changes since then are that the gravy seems less salty but does seem creamier than last year (which is good). I had my doubts about this vegetarian poutine, mostly because I am not usually a mushroom fan but Kaboom Box has changed my mind.
The fish and chips order is another great deal, under $10, and the order comes with a big pile of fries and three hefty pieces of Pacific cod. The fish is flaky and tender, and the tempura batter is delicious. I happen to love batter on fried fish sometimes even more than I love the fish itself so I appreciated the slightly thicker batter on the cod, the batter also had hints of egg flavour, and was crispy to the last bite. There were bits of skin left on the fish, which reminded me of the fish and chips that I recently ate in England. Again, the fish and chips were not overly salty, which really gave the natural and delicate cod flavours a chance to shine. The fries were crispy as well but I really do prefer thick, home fries as opposed to the skinnier fries served at Kaboom Box.
One problem with these food carts is that there is never available seating nearby so we walked to the Pacific Centre food court to eat. Thankfully, it was a relatively warm day so our food was still hot when we got there.
I am still in love with the fact that Kaboom Box uses all local ingredients and stands by their mandate of sustainable food and environmentally responsible dining: all their take-out boxes are recyclable paper, all their seafood is Oceanwise Certified and their vegetables are organic. This food cart is a true representation of Vancouver, British Columbia and our mission to create a clean and sustainable environment.