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Bud the Spud Chip Wagon, Halifax

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Posted by : foodnetworkcanada, Fri, Oct 31 2008

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Bud and Nancy True have been dishing up the best fries from their chip wagon on Spring Garden Road, just in front of the big library in downtown Halifax. And they've been doing it for 32 years! You can find them six days a week (they do take Sundays off) from around 11 AM to 3ish during the "Summer"  season which actually starts for them any time after the start of April, depending on the weather. And again, depending on the weather, ends sometime in late October or later, if it's nice. They've been known to be open as late as January, but not lately… too bad for us. The winter months are spent travelling and relaxing.

Unlike many a chip wagon or restaurant, for that matter, Bud and Nancy have been buying their potatoes in PEI from the same farmer, David Dawson, for all these years. They peel them and cut them into perfect fries. No bags of frozen fries for them!

The menu is brief: classic fries served in brown paper bags cut to size or poutine. I'm a classic girl, just a little salt to perfectly fried potatoes, hand cut preferred, and I'm in Heaven.

I was fortunate enough to get invited into the "kitchen" to have a chat while they worked at getting everything ready for the first customers. First, I must say, the kitchen is so clean you could eat off the floor, and the counters shine.  

Six deep fryers are bubbling away and steaming once the potatoes are added. It was awesome watching the ballet of Nancy preparing the service side of the truck and Bud doing the cooking while we have our chat and it all looked effortless. They're the perfect example of team work when it works well. They both said you need to find a good partner with the same sense of determination and willing to really get involved in the day to day. And about the work; the window opens around 11am but they've been busy since sun up getting supplies ready and driving in from their home.

The window closes in mid afternoon, but they're still busy many hours later: clean up and stocking takes a lot of work. And that Sunday "off," there's shopping, peeling, cutting... The list is endless, but we're all grateful they still do it all.

Bud and Nancy are actually from Ottawa where chip trucks are commonplace, especially across the bridge in Hull, Quebec. He was head of Revenue Canada's Graphics Department and she was the secretary for the Canadian Yachting Association. But that life wasn't for them, so they quit and travelled for a year and ended up settling down. They came to the east coast, fell in love with Nova Scotia and the rest is 32 years of history.

The best thing about Bud the Spud for them is the repeat customers. Bud and Nancy know their names and their stories and now they're into serving the third generation of customers, some of whom have been gone from Halifax for years and come back looking for the chip truck.

So the next time you're in town enjoy the best fries anywhere. Just look for the long line, but don't worry, it moves quickly and is well worth the wait.

Ruth Daniels is a food blogger and cookbook author based in Atlantic Canada. 


Posted: Fri, Oct 31 2008 by foodnetworkcanada
Filed under: Snack, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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