Last winter while visiting home for the holidays, my dad, sister and I spent the…
A Foodie’s Favorite Food Trucks
Stumbling upon a street lined with food trucks is as exciting as stumbling upon an outdoor farmer’s market. Seriously, I’m so happy food trucks are a thing. They’ve returned to campus now that school is back in session and I’m definitely taking advantage of it.
I’ve decided to give a quick rundown of my top 5 picks in the DC area. Most of these are located in Northwest, specifically Foggy Bottom. Recently, I’ve discovered that Virginia Avenue becomes a hot spot for food trucks around lunchtime during the work week. Of course! All those hungry government workers need to escape for some fresh air, and a food truck is the perfect way to do so. The sidewalk becomes packed, but it’s so worth it.
Dirty South Deli
Dirty South Deli
I can thank Emily’s puppy, Korra, for this new discovery. My sister just got back from vacation and we had Korra while they were away. Famished after one walk, I knew I couldn’t just run in somewhere like usual since she was with me. Turning the corner, I gazed upon the path before me, littered with trucks advertising food from all over the world. Malaysian cuisine, sushi, southern style fried chicken, pulled pork, tacos, burgers, Peruvian dishes and more.
What to try!?
I walked up and down, surveying each one before making the crucial lunch decision. Finally, a bright blue truck caught my eye. It’s not dingy looking the way some trucks can be, the line isn’t unbearable, and I saw a poster advertising their recognition from the City Paper as one of the Best of DC. Bingo.
Dirty South Deli has incredible sandwich options, so it took me the entire time while in line to decide what to get. Korra patiently sat next to me and relished in all the attention she was getting. The Mr. Chips is a signature, so I went with that. It’s piled high with chopped pork, bread & butter jalapeno, Manchego cheese, cilantro, citrus mayo, and a brioche bun. Honestly, the City Paper said it best:
“Dirty South Deli makes a chopped pork so juicy and flavorful that if it were served between two slices of bread without toppings, I’d probably still have to consider it among D.C.’s best sandwiches. But when that addictive meat is topped with bright ingredients like citrus mayo, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños, the combination of spicy, sour, and tangy flavors leaves a lingering taste on your tongue.”
Ahhhh re-reading those words makes me crave that sandwich! I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had pulled pork this juicy and purely succulent. I worried the jalapeno would make it too spicy, but to the contrary, it wasn’t at all. Unfortunately, I’m blanking on the perfect string of descriptive words to convey the explosions of flavors that burst in my mouth with each bite. Definitely a new favorite! They also have a brick and mortar location at the National Museum of Women in the Arts which I would love to check out sometime.
Tasty Kabob’s green truck is a staple on GW’s campus. They are here daily and park right outside of Kogan Plaza (basically the center of campus) along with Yumpling. They serve halal food that doesn’t necessarily have the most stunning flavors, but for only $9 you get a heaping amount of lamb and two sides. Pick a protein, have it as a gyro or put it atop rice or salad, then choose between okra, spinach, chick peas, or a side salad. They are consistent in their product and always friendly!
Now, the Yumpling truck is one that may come off as looking a tad sketchy. I’ve heard good things about them though, so I decided to give them a shot. I got six pork dumplings for only $5, another huge plus to food trucks. You can order a variety of sauces but I kind of panicked while ordering (have you ever done that?) so I just got soy sauce. Maybe other sauces would have elevated these more, but otherwise they were underwhelming.
Last year I had a huge fan girl moment when I met Kwame Onwuachi, a young chef in the D.C. area who’s been making headlines recently. We were at the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor with my family and he was taking part in the chef demonstrations. He was so kind, because as a security guard told me that I couldn’t get a picture, he came over and happily posed with me. Check out his story, it’s an incredibly interesting one. He’s publishing a memoir next summer, so I’ll be keeping a look out for that!
The festival’s source of food came from food trucks, a dream come true for me! At the time, I foolishly still thought I didn’t like lobster that much, so while Emily, Irakli, and my dad sought out gorgeous lobster rolls – piled high I might add – Troy and I wandered off in search of something else. We finally decided on The Frenchman, an attractive truck because we caught glimpses of the food coming from it. I ordered Napoleon the Conqueror, a crispy deep fried chicken sandwich with swiss cheese, bacon, ham (I asked for it without), a fried egg, and their “Frenchy” sauce. Their fries are super thin and the chicken was hot, crunchy, and crispy. It was a tad messy, but all truly delicious things are.
Props to their web team because they have a section on the website which has a map that updates whenever their current location changes. Obviously, you need the people to be able to find you!
Ahhh another GW staple, although I have not seem them on campus recently. CapMac serves gooey, cheesy, delectable mac and cheese that is ridiculously filling. They are a little more expensive than other trucks, but man is it worth it if you’re having a treat yo’self day. I’ve only had them twice, but I would always get it before this one particular class that I couldn’t stand. Hey, anything to get you through it, right? They are the epitome of comfort food. Warm, cheesy, curly noodles, and a crunchy breaded topping. Mmmmmm
Here are some honorary mentions:
— Rachael Paul (@Rachael__Paul) February 29, 2016
— Rachael Paul (@Rachael__Paul) February 9, 2016