Say goodbye to the hot dog stand- Food trucks have hit the capital, and they take street cuisine to a whole new level.
By Kinne Chapin
Move over cupcakes- a new food trend has come to the capital. The new kid on the block is the food truck, a mobile restaurant that takes street food from the lowly hot dog to haute cuisine. Food trucks may have gotten more buzz after the Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race premiered this summer, but DC’s food trucks were here long before- quietly gathering a word of mouth reputation and generating long lines of customers.
At the recent Curbside Cookoff event, the top DC food trucks gathered at the Old Convention Center to prove to doubters that you can make a gourmet meal on wheels- and serve it at a reasonable price point. People were convinced; hundreds of hungry customers showed up at the event to taste each vendor’s interpretation of upscale street cuisine. Don’t think you could choose from all of DC’s tempting food truck options? Here’s a whittled down list of the top food trucks to follow.
1. Eat Wonky: Ever heard of poutine? We hadn’t either, but the Eat Wonky truck specializes in this traditional dish from Quebec- fries topped with cheese curds. The combination of flavors is surprising but delicious- a mix of salty, savory, and creamy. For those not interested in testing out Quebecios delicacies, Eat Wonky also features grilled cheeses and locally made whoopee pies from Treet Bakery.
2. Redhook Lobster Pound: This food truck has been getting a lot of press- and it certainly deserves the attention. The main attraction? A succulent lobster roll that will make you feel like you’re at the beach. For those inclined to try something a little different, the shrimp roll is also delicious. Top it off with a glass of homemade lemonade, and you have a meal you won’t soon forget. The best part of this truck is the lighthearded energy of its crew- they play music for the crowds that wait in line, and, when asked, owner Robyn says that they are “having an absolute blast.”
3. Sauca: Sauca is this truck’s word for sandwich- think a scrumptious taste of global cuisine in a handheld wrap. The Pork Bahn Mi sauca is a tribute to Viatnamese street vendors and plays with flavors like ginger, chili, and pickled vegetables for a powerful impact. If the saucas themselves don’t speak to you, order the Chicken Mulligatawny, a lightly spiced Indian soup accented by a creamy dill yogurt sauce.
4. Takorean: This aptly named truck is serving up Korean barbecue tacos- a flavor fusion that makes for an unexpectedly tasty final product. Be prepared to wait in line for your taco fix, as this truck has garnered a large following, but the wait is more than worth it. The Tangy Chicken Tacos are sweet and even a little spicy- especially when topped with the unforgettable Spicy Kimchi Slaw.
5. Sweetbites: If you have a sweet tooth, head to this truck to fill your craving. Their Brown Sugar Cherry Scones melt in your mouth, and the Fruit Topped Cheesecake Bites give you the pleasure of buttery cheesecake without the pain of a fork. The pastries offered at this truck are extensive and it’s worth exploring your options, but yes, there are cupcakes. Nine types of cupcakes to be exact- so if you still haven’t gotten your fill of the mini desserts, you can stock up here.
As this eccentric list demonstrates, the best part of the food truck craze is the variety- there’s a truck for every taste. The more exotic food trucks offer a way to sample global cuisine without a hefty price tag- many options are under ten dollars, so they make the perfect place to take a quick lunch break. Want to hop on the bandwagon? Follow DC’s top food trucks on the website Food Truck Fiesta, or monitor them directly through their twitter sites, which let aficionados know where the trucks are stationed.