3. The Food Truck Revolution in Washington D.C.
Don't be fooled by the crowd outside the National Portrait Gallery, they may be looking for lunch, instead of admission! On this particular day, chef Andrés' PEPE FOOD TRUCK, which serves Spanish sandwiches and soups, was parked in front of the museum with a line 25 people long -- and growing by the minute.
Compared to other metropolitan areas, D.C.'s food truck movement lagged behind because of three words: government red tape. However, after refining old regulations -- including a decades-old law affecting when a truck could stop (only when a patron waved it down!) -- the national gourmet meals-on-wheels revolution as come on lightning-quick.
The movement really took hold on President Obama's inauguration day in 2009, with the launch of the FOJOL BROS. INDIAN TRUCK, described by its owners as a "traveling culinary carnival." (The chefs dress up in funky Arabian Night costumes and fake handlebar mustaches.)
Three years later, there are more than 100 mobile eateries -- and counting. "Food trucks attract everyone from well-suited business types to T-shirted college kids," says Mike Bober, co-editor of food- insider site capitalspiceblog.com. "They're the grand equalizer. Everyone wants interesting food at an affordable price." Andrés agrees: "I may have high-end restaurants, but we can also offer options at my truck for $10. It feels good that we can reach so many people."6 FOOD TRUCKS TO TRY IN WASHINGTON D.C.
While many mobile eateries have regular stops throughout the city, savvy truck owners announce their daily locations and menus on Twitter.
- CAPMAC (@CapMacDC, $7): The comfort-food caravan serves twists on mac 'n' cheese, like their Classic (cheddar and pimiento cheeses with crumbled Cheez- Its) and Reuben Mac (swiss and fontina cheese, pastrami, sauerkraut and a rye bread crumble).
- CURBSIDE CUPCAKES (@CurbsideCupcake, $3): Bubblegum-pink vans canvas the town selling fresh-baked faves, including their version of a tequila sunrise: a moist orange cake covered in buttercream icing spiked with tequila.
- DC EMPANADAS (@DCEmpanadas, $3.50): Order off a rotating menu of savory stuffed fried pastries like their Executive Order, filled with bacon cheeseburger and grilled vidalia onions.
- PORC (@porcmobile, $8): Locals flock to PORC -- "Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine" -- for mightymeaty fare, including heaping-tall pastrami sammies and slow-roasted pulled- pork platters.
- RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND DC (@LobstertruckDC, $15): Choose from two types of fresh lobster rolls: Maine-style with a homemade lemon mayo, or Connecticut-style with just lobster meat and melted butter.
- STIX (@eatstix, $5): Curbside dining can get messy, but not at this roaming eatery, where every item is served on a stick. Try the skewered summer salad (chunks of cucumber, cherry tomato and red onion) and beer-brined BBQ chicken, marinated overnight in dark lager.
Prices and other details were accurate when published in July 2012.Continued on page 4: