Food Trucks, Food Crawls, Restaurants and Diners – Oh MY!!

#FoodTruckFriday Feature – Dolce and Banana

Dolce and Banana is new to the streets of Edmonton this year:

Edmonton’s only ITALIAN FOOD TRUCK specializing in fresh pasta, grilled panini, Italian pastries & dessert, homemade Italian soda’s and specialty coffees.

Ernesto Rizzi has been part of a family run pasta business for a few years now.  Pasta by Caterina is available at some of the Markets around Edmonton.

Now Ernesto has branched off and started his own venture with his brand new foodtruck.  He is one of the “Trucks with heart” that you will see at Eden’s Market for YESS every Sunday.

There is not pasta on the truck yet, but I hear a rumor that it may be coming soon!

From Ernesto:

It all started when my mom came to Canada and noticed that fresh pasta was hard to find.  Having grown up in Italy, she would always make fresh pasta with her family.  So, with her experience and realizing that there was a market for fresh pasta, a business was born.  Her goal was to share her love of Italian cooking.  “Pasta By Caterina” has been supplying fresh pasta to local farmers’ markets since 1997.  I have been working closely with her for the past ten years now.  We have both been selling at various farmers’ markets in and around Edmonton as a vendor of fresh Italian products.  Since the beginning, we have expanded our product line offering everything from fresh sauces and pesto, frozen pasta’s to Italian baking.  We’ve had the privilege of showcasing our fresh products on “Breakfast Televison,” “Vue Weekly,” as well as “The Edmonton Journal,” not to mention various Farmers’ Market newsletters through the years.

My passion for cooking began at an early age, having been influenced by my mother’s authentic and traditional family recipes.  My background includes having worked in the food and service industry for almost twenty years now.  During my employment at both “The Sicilian Pasta Kitchen,” and “The Basilica” Banquet hall, I was also running a small business, “Delightful Creations,” specializing in cheesecakes.  During this time, I personally baked cheesecakes for both establishments desserts menu.  Soon after, I was offered the position of Assistant Manager of “Famoso,” Neapolitan Pizzeria at West Edmonton Mall.  Currently, I am working casually at “Ernest’s” Fine Dining at NAIT, where my sister is also a culinary instructor.  I am also a recent grad of the “Anderson Career Training Institute.”

Even though I enjoy being a vendor at farmers’ markets, I have always wanted to take it to the next level.  I have been wanting to open up my own food truck for the past few years now.  I noticed that, while there were a lot of food trucks in Edmonton, there wasn’t one offering Italian food.  So, I thought, the opportunity was right.  The best part of owning my own food truck is that I am able to be creative with the food many of us have come to enjoy.  For example, when was the last time you had Lemon Tiramisu?  My goal is to take you on a culinary journey of Italy, offering various specialties from the different regions of Italy, with my added personal touch.  After all, Italy is so diverse when it comes to food.  I am the only Italian food truck in Edmonton offering grilled Panini, fresh pasta, pizza, homemade Italian soda’s and smoothies, Italian pastries and dessert and specialty coffee’s.  My menu changes on a weekly basis, catering to everyone’s different tastes.

The history behind my logo is that it is an old family picture, dating back to the early 1900’s.  The twin boys in the picture are my late maternal grandmother’s cousins.  I chose the name, “Dolce and Banana,” because I have always liked the name and I think it works with the picture.

 

Dolce and Banana Logo

 

A partial example of a Sunday Market menu:

 
Dolce and Banana Menu

I was at the market early volunteering for YESS so breakfast was what I was craving and D and B was able to deliver.

Dolce and Banana Breakfast Panini

It was SO sunny out, it was rather hard to get a good shot of this deliciousness!  Grilled to perfection, the bread was a perfect texture for the nice soft frittata inside. The Prosciutto and Mozzarella were a tasty accompaniment to the eggs.  Brava!

There aren’t very many of the trucks where you can get a hand-crafted latte.  Local Omnivore makes a great espresso, and now I have to add Dolce and Banana to that list.  Their Italian Sodas are wonderful and refreshing, available in a variety of flavours.  My favourite item on the menu so far is the warm Nutella Latte.  Decadent, chocolatey and nutty all at the same time!

I can’t wait to see what Ernesto puts up on the menu next.  Here is hoping for some great pasta options, and just more of the creativity he has come up with so far!

Dolce and Banana does not have a website yet.  You can find them on Twitter as @dandbfoodtruck or on Facebook. You can also follow their schedule with the StreetFoodApp.

 

 



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