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Review: the Food Truck Garage

As greasy burger chain Carls Jr. continues its aggressive expansion into New Zealand, it’s heartening to see that celebrity chef Michael Van de Elzen hasn't given up his crusade for fast and healthy takeaways.

On the contrary, his latest venture, the Food Truck Garage in Auckland’s burgeoning City Works Depot, could mark the beginnings of a quiet fast-food revolution in this country. The food is certainly as fast and tasty as any fast-food chain – and much healthier.

The Beefroot Burger at the Food Truck Garage

Its burgers are a triumph. Featuring at least 50% vegetables in the patties, the “chikette” (chicken and courgette) and “beefroot” burgers (beef and beetroot) are delightful. The former comes with lettuce, sprouts, eggplant puree and tatziki; the latter with lettuce, tomato, gherkins and a spicy secret sauce.

Unfortunately for the old waistline, the Food Truck Garage’s chips aren’t as sinfully delicious as the ones you’d get at your local takeaway. Nevertheless, they’re undoubtedly a tasty and healthier alternative – steamed, baked and then roasted before serving, rather than deep fried in oil.

The Food Truck Garage also does gourmet hotdogs as well as salads and wraps. It has beer on tap, naturally sweet house-made soft drinks, free sparkling water, white pinot gris and red pinot noir. The prices are fair – $12 for a burger, $8 for a hot dog, $6 for chips – and the service is swift and friendly. 

The restaurant itself belies its celebrity chef pedigree and instead of being pretentious and flashy, it’s warm and easy-going. Simply place your order at the counter and wait for your food to be grilled to order. You might even see the man himself managing the kitchen.

The Chikette Burger at the Food Truck Garage in Auckland

As a spin-off of Van de Elzen’s popular television show, in which he travels the country in a food truck to educate Kiwis about healthier alternatives to takeaways, the Food Truck Garage is very effective. For the sake of the health of New Zealanders, here’s hoping it’s the future of fast food.

The Food Truck Garage is open 7 days from 11.30am to late at Auckland's City Works Depot, Wellesley Street West.

Check out these reviews of the City Works Depot's other recent openings: Al Brown's Best Ugly Bagels and Brothers Beer.

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  1. City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland, Auckland

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