While checking out Surrey Fest 2022 for our brand-spanking-new news and events site Surrey Insider I was especially stoked to see Phoenix Flame BBQ on the grounds at Holland Park. While anything barbecued has me frothing at the maw, what really got me revved up was that this non-profit food truck is operated by none other than the legendary Phoenix Society, one of the longest-running drug and alcohol recovery societies in Surrey. Like the legendary bird unfurling its mighty wings, Phoenix has branched out to include many other facets of support for marginalized people since their inception in the early ’90s.
…Such as the Phoenix Flame BBQ food truck manned by Gurpreet and Prem Singh (pictured above) and folks in recovery who can give something back to their community while reintegrating into society at large. Phoenix Flame has doled out over 15 000 free meals since their rubber hit the road in the winter of 2020/2021 thanks to community donations and commercial events such as Surrey Fest, where the general public gets to sample the same hearty meals they dole out to the homeless at a very reasonable price with all proceeds going back to the Mobile Community Kitchen.
While Phoenix Flame BBQ food truck has a seven-dish repertoire on rotation, the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($13) is their most requested item. And we can see why! This Carolina-style smoked hog comes absolutely drenched in tangy, mildly spiced ‘cue sauce that miraculously stays bound up in the meat and doesn’t cause the lightly toasted bun to sog up. They gave us some packets of mustard, ketchup, and relish to go with but we didn’t even think of sullying the sweet meat with any further flavours.
Believe it or not, that thirteen bucks also includes fries, coleslaw, and a drink! We found this pricepoint very reasonable for food truck fare, which tends to be on the stingier side portion-wise given the prices. The crinkle-cut fries were tossed in what seemed to be the exact same seasoning you’d get on those Old Dutch Chili Rip-L chips! I personally love that flavour, so if anyone knows where to buy the seasoning or an equivalent please leave a comment down below. Phoenix Flame’s coleslaw was sweet and creamy, with a lot of parsley mixed into the usual carrot and cabbage slaw. The parsley addition gave it a summery vibe which was perfect for a weekend festival like Surrey Fest.
We also got to sample their BBQ Chicken Sandwich ($13), this one also smoked and served up with an Alabama-style sauce. Some nice grill marks on the poultry and the sauss was just as boss as the pulled pork, but given the nature of chicken breast we were inclined to add some condiments this go-round. The onion rings may not look like much due to my rusty camera skills more than anything, but they were golden and crispy on the outside and moist (this is still Craig’s favourite term two years later) and juicy inside.
Phoenix Flame BBQ also has a Smoked Vegan Burger available for twelve buckeroos; while we can’t personally vouch for it our random vegetarian tablemate had one and was quite satisfied.
This summer Phoenix Flame BBQ will be open Fridays from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the location below, start date TBD. They also cater private and public functions and offer customizable menus to suit your company or private event. If you’d like to support their mission to Feed the Need they are currently seeking kitchen volunteers (email them here for more info) and donations to help cover costs. For more on Phoenix Society click on over to Surrey Insider and sign up for emails so you can also keep in the loop with all the hot summer action Surrey has in store this year! Or if you’re craving more drool-worthy BBQ food truck fare you can read our story on Pork Mafia food truck. Chow for now!