UPDATE 2017: It seems Trailer Pork Boys has been closed since 2014, but I’ll leave this post up for nostalgia, or for anyone needing directions for a destination within the same area.
Now why, you may ask, why would I suggest a bike route to a food truck located in a big parking lot at the very busy traffic corner of Carling and Merivale? Well I probably never would have, until I read on Twittersphere how one of the Trailer Pork Boys caught someone on a stolen bike belonging to one of his buddies at Tall Tree Cycles. I’m fond of Tall Tree after they gave me great advice on a bike for my daughter and my Brooks saddle, but I was most impressed with the bike salvaging heroics displayed by the quick thinking Pork Boy. But the clincher were these great reviews on Foodies. Now I REALLY had a hankerin’ fer a pulled pork sandwich! But how to bike there safely from Centretown? Well, here’s how. Blue line’s how I got there, orange line was my ride back.
The route there is a bit circuitous, but pulled pork sandwich is a meal you have to earn! Follow the O-Train bike path to Prince of Wales Drive, then cut through the parking lot in front of this rapidly disappearing big Sir John Carling Building They are in the process of tearing it down. UPDATE 2017: They blew up the building and ripped up the parking lot, but there’s a desire line path short cut through the grass you can take in place.
The short cut avoiding Prince of Wales to the National Capital Commission Scenic Driveway goes past the historic William Saunders building and the Experimental Farm heritage greenhouses.
There is a bike path with lots of shady trees running along the NCC Scenic Driveway, starting just beyond the big red barn.
Cross Fisher Avenue and weave your way through quiet residential streets as shown on the map, which will bring you to Merivale Road right across the street from our destination, the Trailer Pork Boys!
I arrived just before they open at 11:30. There were a couple of people ahead of me, so I had time to relax a bit at one of their parasol’d pic-nic tables and take in the scenery, such as this elegant old Ottawa Hydro-Electric Sub Station no. 3 across Carling Avenue, juxtaposed beside the hyper functional electro wire and truss infrastructure.
And this is the pulled pork sandwich I had for lunch. Very yummy indeed. You will need to take advantage of the roll of paper towels provided at the pic nic table. The pulled pork poutine looked very scrumptious too but I’d have to come up with a much longer bike route to earn one of those.
Another more direct route to the Trailer Pork Boys, as indicated by the orange line on the map, is mostly the way recommended by our pulled-pork-chef-and-swiped-bike-spotter par excellence, which he rides to work from his home in Hintonburg.
There is a bike lane along Merivale north of Carling, but it disappears just before going under the Queensway, so rather than stick to Merivale I cut through the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Hospital parking lot. A few curbs to hop if you do. Tricky call. I would probably continue along Merivale, as our biker-chef most likely does, if the traffic was light. Either way will take you to Island Park Drive.
I’ve always felt comfortable riding on the bike lanes along Island Park Drive regardless of the time of day.
Island Park eventually crosses the bike path along Byron which I followed home in the manner described in this post.
So, I highly recommend the Trailer Pork Boys for their great food AND their love of bikes!