Thursday, October 30, 2014

Food Trucks (DC Metro Area)

One of my favorite things about going to school, and thus living, in Northern Virginia is the abundance of food trucks in the area.  My local WMATA Metro stop, Ballston, hosts several each weekday, and there are dozens throughout the DC Metro Area, most of which are tracked daily by the website Food Truck Fiesta.  This site lists the locations of each of the trucks that tweets each day, plus pictures of the truck itself, their menus, and shows the tweets themselves so that you can check out any specials, find out what time they are going to begin serving, and more.

Since I am home during the day primarily, I have had the opportunity to check out several of the trucks, and they range from mundane to spectacular.  Some represent offerings from area restaurants (Kohinoor Dhaba, an Indian restaurant in Crystal City, and Chef Seb, from Amoo's Restaurant in McLean, are two of my favorites), while others are start-ups from accomplished, classically trained chefs, like Brandon Ingenito's Brandon's Little Truck.  Pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup, is probably the most heavily represented single item among the trucks, with tacos and rice dishes right behind.

Chef Seb is probably my overall favorite at this point, by virtue of the ridiculously delicious Pumpkin Braised Chicken Stew, served over rice.  With a slightly sweet, very pumpkin-y flavor, the chicken itself is falling apart tender, but still moist; completely delicious, almost addictive, this is the perfect fall meal, and is the rare pumpkin dish I actually like in a completely over-saturated category this time of year.  It is served with a grilled pita, chimichurri, and a yogurt sauce with cucumber in it.

Brandon's Little Truck serves by far the most creative, upscale food in the bunch; a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the chef puts all his training and experience (including working at the other CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency, in their fine dining room at Langley) into creating some deliciously simple yet refined food.  His lamb burger was the first I had ever had that was not overcooked, and his heavy reliance on pork belly is just wonderful, as it is among my favorite ingredients.  The Asian Pork Belly Fries are really delicious, with the fatty, bacon-y pork providing the perfect thing to complement the crisp fries, mildly spicy wasabi mayo and Sriracha, and the crispness of the slaw. 

To go into all of the various trucks I have tried would take forever, so let it simply be said that there is a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful options, and I highly recommend trying them out.  Most are reasonably priced, and with one exception (an Indian truck that I cannot remember the name of) all offer a good amount of food for what you pay and do not leave you hungry.

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