Thursday, June 14, 2012

Truckeroo D.C.

Like diamonds to girls and bagels to cream cheese, street food is a Plebe's best friend. Which is why I've been forced to move to Washington, D.C. Psych. I haven't relocated, but I have been spending an inordinate amount of time lately in the nation's capital. Despite this being the home of my other half, my stay here is predominantly based on the fact that D.C. has one of the most thriving food truck cultures in the Northeast.

Serendipitously, last week Samburger and I both had the great fortune of being off on the same day as Truckeroo, a day-long gathering held once a month that 
brings together many D.C.'s finest mobile meal purveyors. So with glee in our hearts and small bills in our pockets, we ventured off to the Navy Yard event space.

After a quick survey of the landscape, we set our sights on four dishes:

Feelin' Crabby's crab slider - $5
Our first bite, and by far our favourite, was Feelin' Crabby's crab slider. You'd assume with such a declaration that I'd have infinite words of praise for this crustacean conglomeration, but I'm at a loss. How do you describe perfection? You can't. You simply urge others to go and experience it for themselves.

The backyard BBQ-style bun served as the perfect cushion to the Old Bay-dusted, overly generous portion of crab meat. Mixed with only the faintest hint of mayo, the patty bore zero signs (or scents) of fishiness or any other negative adjective associated with coming from the sea, a testament to its ultimate freshness. This product 
was sheer quality, and only left us wanting more. Which is why you'll find us at the Feelin' Crabby truck again this Friday for lunch.

The (half) "Full Vermonty" - $6.50
While I waited alongside my khaki-bottomed brethren for the crab slider, Samburger was tasked with making our selection from the neighbouring Big Cheese truck. Being the amateur turophile he is, he opted for the most pretentious sounding - and Flintstone-like - sandwich on the menu, the "Full Vermonty": Cabot clothbound, cave-aged cheddar on sourdough ($6.50). Given my love for Cabot cheddar cheese, and anything dressed in a loincloth, my hopes were high.

Contrary to other reports, I actually found this sandwich to be a decent size. However, in terms of taste, the Full Vermonty was lacking. I'm fairly confident that my own version would've been equally satisfying, and that's saying something. The highlight of this sandwich was definitely the butter-battered toasted sourdough. (The above linked piece mentions it's from Lyon Bakery*.) Absolutely divine, but again, nothing that couldn't be mastered at home with a good teflon pan.

*Lyon Bakery does not have a retail outpost. They do, however, have a Farmer's Market-type kiosk outside of Union Station.

The Stixmobile
Our third stop was Stix, a truck that specializes in the impalement of innocent veggies, meats and fruits. Here we singled out the grilled corn on the cob with "garlic parm butter."

Before I begin, I'd just like to say that the disappointment I experienced here was partially my own fault. When I saw the words "grilled corn" and "parmesan" together, I automatically assumed that the cob would be prepared Mexican style (since parmesan cheese is often used as a substitute for Cojita). It wasn't.

Either way, it still wasn't great. Not enough char on the kernels and the garlic parm butter was lacking, well, garlic and parm. Overall, a total waste of $3, and starch.

In an unrelated plug, if you're looking to experience the alegría that is great Mexican corn, head over to The Standard.

TaKorean's caramelized tofu taco, topped with Napa-Romaine slaw, Sriracha, lime crema,
cilantro and sesame seeds - $3 
Our fourth and final stop was TaKorean, one of the event's biggest draws.

These days, Korean seems to be the street food fusion partner de rigueurAnd for good reason. Like Asia Dog in New York and Koji in LA, TaKorean is bringing the flavourful combinations of Korean BBQ and accoutrements to the Embassy-laden streets of D.C., but in Mexican form. The one word that comes to mind when I think about the marriage of these two cuisines is harmony. The whole thing just works. The Sriracha and lime crema play beautifully off each other, only serving to enhance the hoisin flavour of the marinated and seared tofu. Like Feelin' Crabby, TaKorean will definitely be a repeat offence, especially considering each of these bad boys is only a Plebe-tastic $3. 

Price: For all four bites, a stellar $17.50.

Truckeroo is held once a month in the Bullpen space adjacent to Nationals ballpark, at the corner of Half Street and M Street SE, across the street from Navy Yard metro (green line). Check out the next one on July 13th. Admission is free.

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