First Look: the Hula Girl espresso truck, Toronto’s new mobile coffee bar
By David Ort
Espresso on wheels (Images: David Ort)
While other food trucks compete for the food market, Elias Vastis and his Hula Girl truck are concentrating on dessert and beverages — especially the ones that involve coffee.
After a decade spent working in Toronto’s coffee industry, including venues such as Caffe Demetre and The Drake Cafe, Vastis opened Hula Girl Espresso Boutique on Dundas West in 2010. Late this summer he unveiled the truck, which he describes as “an espresso bar on wheels, but we go over and above that.”
It’s clear that Vastis is particularly proud of Hula Girl’s roaster, which utilizes a unique roasting process that claims a 77 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The beans, ground to order on the truck, go into all the expected coffee drinks like espresso ($3) and cappuccino ($4).
Beyond that, the drink menu offers five flavours of loose-leaf tea ($2.50) and multiple flavours of hot chocolate ($4.50), including toasted marshmallow and frosted mint. All of the usual coffee suspects come in iced versions, but there are also smoothies ($5) and lemonade ($4), which comes in non-standard flavours like guava-ginger and blueberry-mint.
Hula Girl also offers cookies ($2.50), butter croissants ($2.50) and ChocoSol chocolate bars ($5), but we’d say the cakes-in-a-cup are ($5) are a winner. At a recent service in support of Eat to the Beat, these confections — in flavours like red velvet, blueberry cheesecake and caramel brownie — were a hit.
The Hula Girl truck will make its next appearance as part of Nuit Blanche on Sept. 29, then it will be traveling to Waterloo for Oktoberfest. For other appearances, check the truck’s Twitter feed.
Hula Girl, @coffeetruckto