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12Trucko de Mayo: Food Truck Rally

WHEN ONE OF MY COWORKERS SUGGESTS A FOOD TRUCK FOR LUNCH

(If you don’t know about the whenindc tumblr – let me be the first to tell you how amazing it is. Enjoy!)

Several times a year in the District of Columbia a magical event takes place. Trucks dressed in the most fanciful fashions, colors, and patterns gather in a mysterious location.  Early in the morning on this eventful day, sumptuous, tantalizing smells fill the air. Soon the smells waft over neighborhoods into and out of houses, awakening slumbering guests, calling to them. Tweets go out over the inter-webs, calls are made, emails are sent, even smoke signals go up so that District residents are properly alerted to the phenomenon of the Food Truck Rally.

This past Cinco de Mayo the Washington DC Food Trucks Association held Trucko de Mayo.  I had the good luck to attend this event. It was better than anything I could have imagined. Food trucks lined the RFK Stadium parking lot presenting some of the most creative fare ever to grace 4 wheels.  I arrived later in the evening, there were picnic tables set up in the center of the stadium. I met my friends at the entrance to the gate, they had been there for some time, but had only managed to secure popcorn and beer. While their dedication to beer is to be commended, I immediately saw that they had lost their focus and that a bit of organization was in order.

As a serious researcher, I took it upon myself to conduct a thorough assessment of the best trucks to sample before we left. We started out by gathering further libations from the beer station located in the center of the field in order to quench our thirst during our intrepid quest. After we were suitably supplied with Dos Equis, we made the rounds surveying the different trucks that were available.  There were approximately 30 trucks attending the event, serving everything from pizza to gyros.

Some of the Rockstars of the DC Food Truck scene were present: the Takorean, Dangerously Delicious Pies, and Hula Girl. By the time I arrived at 7:30 the Dangerously Delicious Pie truck was out of 75% of their menu and the natives were close to storming the castle.  The Takorean had plenty of food left, but the line to sample their sumptuous fare might as well have been infinite: that long.  I could have eaten at Hula Girl, but I’ve seen that truck – I was going for something more rare; a unicorn.

The DC Empanadas truck sparked my interest and I made a mental note to throw this truck into consideration for final selection. The Maine Lobster Truck was also under consideration but I cut them from the final list because of the crowd and all the mayo involved in lobster rolls; the smells coming from the truck were tantalizing however.  My companions chose SOL a latin food truck and The Big Cheese, a truck specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches.

I was still at a loss as to what my selection / contribution would be when an intoxicating smell caught my attention.  I passed a number of trucks until I reached a truck at the far end of the parking lot. The smells emanating from this truck spoke of spices from a magical land leading me further and further away from my companions. The smells led me to a truck that emulated the style of a carnival down to the costumes worn by the employees who were dressed in turbans, mustaches, and sparkling sequined shirts. The menu was traditionally Indian; allowing customers to choose from two vegetables and two meats. Not knowing if I would ever be able to get back to this amazing place I ordered the palak panner, the pumpkin, and the curry chicken.  The sequined contortionist taking orders was nice enough to pose for pictures. They shouted “Food Pornographer” once my food was read and sent me on my way.

My companions and I returned to our table and spread out our feast for everyone to share. I had obtained a last beer from the stand before it closed and we sipped as we surveyed our purchases.  My friend Laszlo had chosen the Thrilled Cheese; a grilled cheese sandwich with jalapeno cheddar and guacamole on sourdough bread. Peyton on the other hand had chosen a burrito bowl with lettuce, beans, rice, pork, and guacamole. Everything was a delight to the taste buds; but in my opinion the Fojol Brothers far surpassed the other trucks I had the opportunity to sample. I’ll admit to a bit of competitive bias, but the fact still remains that the pumpkin was tender and well seasoned, the chicken was juicy, the curry was the perfect level of spice, and the flavors melded together in a cacophony of splendid tastes and textures. Simply stated: I was in love. I cannot recommend sampling the Fojol Brothers wares highly enough. The portions were generous, the employees kind, accommodating, and personable, and the food was nothing short of delicious.

We failed to leave room for dessert but that doesn’t mean that the food truck rally was lacking in sweet treats. An ice cream truck called The Orange Cow was present, as was Curbside Cupcakes.  DC empanadas offered a dessert empanada that looked interesting, though I opted not to sample it.  Also as mentioned above, Dangerously Delicious Pies was present, though by the time I arrived they had sold out of all sweet pies and only had savory left. Needless to say that the food truck rally was able to meet the needs of even the most sweet addicted D.C. native.

For anyone seething with anger that I am bragging about an event that is they cannot attend, never-fear. There are foodtruck rallys scheduled throughout the summer; organized by Truckeroo. The rallys are free admission and there are live music groups that play throughout the day and into the evening. Truckeroo starts at 11 AM and goes to 11PM , so it can either be a great end to the day or a great beginning to an evening.

If you’re looking for a particular food truck during the week, most of them list schedules so that you can find the truck. There are also apps that help locate foodtrucks. I recommend using foodtruckfiesta as a general resource to finding your favorite trucks.

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