Barbeque hot spot serves up succulent southern eats in downtown Vancouver
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
Nestled between the mountains and skyscrapers of downtown Vancouver, a quick SkyTrain jaunt away from New Westminster, is a glittering oasis of shiny food trucks just waiting to be explored this summer.
Vancouver has gained a reputation for its formidable food truck presence; after only three years of offering mobile munchies, the city has landed third place on Travel and Escape’s list of food truck cities, coming in after Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas. To commemorate this designation, The Other Press is pleased to present our four-part summer series on outdoor eats in the city.
For our first installment, we take you to the Re-Up BBQ food truck, located outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at West Georgia and Hornby Street. Since Re-Up is known primarily for their pulled pork sandwiches (which they also sling out of their New Westminster River Market location), I had to try one.
I wouldn’t call myself a pulled pork connoisseur; the term implies that I’m discerning about the pulled pork that I eat, which is not true. I will eat any pulled pork at anytime, anywhere on the tangy/sweet spectrum, with toppings ranging from classic coleslaw to incomprehensible lettuce and tomato. But after trying Re-Up’s sandwich, I’m positive that I’ve found my pulled pork of choice. Served on a fresh-baked Portuguese bun, the sandwich contains an ample portion of slow-roasted and expertly spiced shredded pork. It’s drizzled with a tangy (and not too sweet) barbeque sauce and topped with some of the freshest, crunchiest coleslaw I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.
I decided to wash down my delicious sandwich feast with a sampling of Re-Up’s homemade beverages, their southern sweet tea and homemade cola, both on offer at the food truck. The sweet tea is perfect: not too sweet, with a strong tea flavour. Real tea makes the difference: “[The] southern sweet tea is orange pekoe that we brew ourselves. We just add lemon and sugar. It’s kind of like Nestea but not terrible—that’s how I describe it to people,” says Re-Up worker Jacey Gibb.
As for the homemade cola—a lighter, caffeine-free alternative to regular Coke—Gibb touts its natural flavours, adding, “One of our managers makes the syrups herself.” Re-Up’s cola is definitely for those with a sweet tooth, but since Gibb mixed it for me on the spot, you could always ask to have it with less syrup.
“We actually usually have a beef brisket sandwich as well,” Gibb reassures me on the limited menu selection. “Pulled pork was what we started with and that’s what we’re best known for, but the beef brisket sandwich has definitely developed a cult following.” Gibb adds that they expect to be serving the beef brisket out of the food truck in a couple weeks.
When asked about the secret ingredient is to their signature sandwich, Gibb was tight-lipped, saying only that it’s made with love: “A whole rainbow of love!” All I know is I’d love to eat another one. Re-Up BBQ is now my go-to spot for slow-cooked food, served fast in downtown Vancouver.