November 07, 2013 - 5:07 PM
VERNON - Food trucks aren’t just for music festivals and carnivals; they’re becoming a beloved, and all the rage facet of culinary scenes across North America. Just tune into the popular show Eat St., check out Kelowna’s summertime food truck rally, or Kamloops' food truck fare to see—and taste—for yourself. Vernon is no exception to the street food craze with locals lining up for outdoor eats.
Monday through Saturday, snow storm, sleet or shine, you can find your way to the Sizzlin Shamrock by following your nose. Cook Dave Braybrook can be found at his gourmet hot dog and smokie stand in the parking lot of Fisher's Home Hardware on Coldstream Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On a typical afternoon, the parking lot becomes a hive of activity with people wolfing down hot dogs in their cars, piling condiments onto their smokies and chit-chatting with Braybrook as he tends his grill.
In its three years of operation, the Sizzlin Shamrock has become a local favourite. It’s no mere coincidence that patrons of the Home Hardware time their visits around lunchtime. The super loaded gourmet hot dogs—and array of condiments—are too tempting to pass by.
Born in Armstrong, Braybrook spent much of his life as a logger. He moved back to the North Okanagan several years ago to be closer to family and worked for a towing company before launching his hot dog venture. His custom-designed food stand was built in the company’s mechanic shop, and as soon as it was ready, Braybrook quit the job and took to the streets of Vernon.
“I floated around for a bit, trying different locations (like) Kin beach,” Braybrook says.
It wasn’t long before Larry Fisher, owner of the downtown Vernon Home Hardware, saw the potential and offered him a home outside the store.
“All the locals shop there—you always look at Fisher’s before going anywhere else—so I knew it was going to be a great place,” Braybrook says.
It’s mutually beneficial with both enterprises attracting customers. Braybrook serves over 100 people a day—often closer to 200. You might wonder how he manages to have all that food ready for 8 a.m., and the answer is his wife.
“She’s the backbone of the company,” Braybrook says. “She’s up at 4 a.m. getting everything ready.”
Despite the popularity of the Sizzlin Shamrock, there’s not exactly an abundance of food trucks in Vernon. The need for more is a common refrain—as is, pardon me, my mouth is full—around the Sizzlin Shamrock. Braybrook himself welcomes the presence of more vendors, insisting they would enhance business. But it’s a hard sell at city hall because Vernon’s restauranteurs fear it will hurt business, Braybrook says.
Set up on unassuming street corners, food trucks bring a different dining experience, one characterized by asphalt under foot, tailgate seating, and a spontaneous ambience that Vernon locals appear to relish.
Check out the Sizzlin Shamrock on Facebook.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013