Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Curbside Cookoff: Trucko de Mayo... Part 2

And now...the rest of the story.

(Did anyone else listen to Paul Harvey while they were growing up?)


After our first round of savory offerings, it was time for a little snack.  We wandered over to Popped! Republic, a new truck which rolled out for the first time at Trucko de Mayo.  Popped! Republic offers hot air popped popcorn in a variety of flavors--traditional, kettle corn, Capital Caramel, cheese, and some specialty offerings too.  They a variety of sizes from mini to jumbo and you can mix flavors if you'd like.  

Duff Man & I chose a mini-sized bag of Capital Caramel.  It was delicious--crunchy and sweet.  Even better is that it was only $2.00 (and some of the other flavors were only $1.50 for the mini bag.)  This place is definitely a great stop for a snack.  Next time I might see if their "Obama Mix" (Capital Caramel + Congressional Cheddar) holds up to the infamous Chicago Mix from Garrett Popcorn.  If you get the plain stuff, it's probably pretty healthy too--but where's the fun in that?

After our snack, our group split to wait in two of the longest lines--Curbside Cupcakes and TaKorean via Pleasant Pops.  

The line for Curbside Cupcakes was pretty long, but at least it moved pretty quickly.  They had over a dozen flavors from which to choose (although several had already sold out by the time we got there.)  We decided to get a mixed pack of 6 ($15) and brought them home with us.

Top row: Tequila Sunrise, Banana-Chocolate Chip, Strawberry
Bottom row: Red Velvet w/ Cream Cheese frosting, "Black" Cupcake (dark chocolate), and Snickerdoodle
All of the Cupcakes were delicious--moist and flavorful.  I'm a huge fan of frosting, and I enjoyed the generous amount on top (although I know that not everyone does.)  

While Duff Man was waiting for cupcakes, our group hit up Pleasant Pops ($2.75 each or 4 for $10).  They used to set up at my local farmer's market, so I skipped them this time.  The folks in my group liked them, although one commented that the Mango Lossipop from Fojol Brothers was better.

I wish I had taken a photo of the lines for TaKorean and the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck.  Insane.  I've been to the Lobster Truck before (DELICIOUS, but pricey), so we decided to try TaKorean.

TaKorean makes Korean BBQ tacos.  They come with your choice of protein (Bulgogi Steak, Tangy Chicken, or Caramelized Tofu), your choice of slaw (Napa-Romaine or Kimchi), and are topped with Sriracha (hot sauce), lime crema, sesame seeds, and cilantro.  

We stood in line for a long time--at least half an hour.  Since we were already pretty stuffed, Duff Man & I decided to split a Bulgogi taco ($3.50 each or 3 for $9) with Napa-Romaine slaw.  The taco was good...  but only just that.  I'm not a huge corn tortilla fan anyway, but the meat didn't have a lot of flavor and the whole thing was doused with so much Sriracha that it was hard to discern any of the other flavors.  It wasn't bad, but I think it's overpriced and the wait was too long for what I got.  

Overall, Curbside Cookoff: Trucko de Mayo was a great event--well-organized, good selection of trucks, ample parking, and the lines generally moved pretty quickly.  The only real down side was that the bands I heard weren't particularly engaging.  Ah well, you can't win them all.  

Trucko de Mayo was a fun and tasty way to spend a Saturday, and I'd gladly do it all over again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Curbside Cookoff: Trucko de Mayo... Part 1

A little over a week ago, Duff Man & I met up with some friends down at RFK stadium for Curbside Cookoff: Trucko de Mayo.  The event promised over 40 food trucks, music, beer, and more.  

All this AND free Sombreros, courtesy of D.C. United!
General overview of the event: 
The good: Great site, free parking (and metro accessible), traffic police to ensure you didn't get run down by stray food trucks,  great selection, generally short lines (with a few exceptions), lots of seating, no entry fee.
The bad: lousy music, HUGE lines for a few trucks, not much to do other than eat.  Then again, maybe that's a pro.

Through the course of the day, we tried food from about 6 different trucks.

We started at Big Cheese, which offers gourmet grilled cheese made from all-natural ingredients (and tomato soup too, if that's your thing.)

Between our group of friends, we tried the following ($6.50 each):

  • Mt. Fuji:  MT Tam brie, fuji apple, honey on multigrain
  • Midnight Moon:  goat gouda, caramelized onions on multigrain
  • Thrilled Cheese: chipotle cheddar, jalapeƱo, guacamole on sourdough
I wasn't a huge fan of the Thrilled Cheese--I thought the spice overpowered the flavor of the cheese--but Duff Man loved it.  Other than that, the Mt. Fuji and the Midnight Moon were both winners (and I'm not a big goat cheese fan.)  All of us agreed that the bread was amazing on all of our sandwiches.

After we finished our sandwiches, we headed to a barbecue truck (which he seemed to enjoy, but I didn't pay attention to because I'm not a big barbecue fan) and then headed to the real reason I wanted to go to this event.

Pepe is the food truck run by Jose Andres, D.C. chef and entrepreneur.  The reviews I've read have been nothing but good and I was excited to try it out.

Pepe makes "flautas"--delicious sandwiches on long, narrow rolls.  Duff Man & I tried the Jamon Serrano y Queso Manchego (Serrano Ham & Manchego Cheese with olive oil) flauta, while other folks in our group got the Butifarra "Burger" (Spanish pork burger with alioli and brava sauce).  Both sandwiches were delicious; simple, but clearly made with high quality ingredients.  The flautas cost about $10 each--which I thought was worth it, based on the quality.

Parked next to Pepe was Fojol Brothers of Merlindia: A Traveling Culinary Carnival.  It's like a circus car and lunch all in one!

You could get full-size food offerings, but I really liked the fact that you could buy a $2.00 "Dingo Bite" if all you wanted was a little taste--which is what we did.  Duff Man got a Dingo Bite of Butter Chicken over Basmati Rice, while another friend got the Spinach & Cheese (also over Basmati Rice) with a Mango "Lossipop" popsicle.

Screen Glare = Bad photo.  Sorry!
The Butter Chicken was good, but nothing outstanding--just your typical offering you'd get at your favorite local Indian take-out restaurant.  My friend enjoyed her Spinach & Cheese, but RAVED about the Mango Lossipop for another hour.  If I was near Fojol Brothers, I'd definitely eat it again--but I'm not sure that I'd stand in a long line or go out of my way to track it down.

That's definitely long enough for one post.  I'll cover the rest of the trucks we hit up tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is This Thing On?

Is this thing on?

Ok, it's been a while.  Life has been crazy and I've been, well, living it instead of posting.  

I think it's been the right choice.

However, now that my Spring Concert is over (woohoo!)  I'm going to try to squeeze in a few posts before things pick up yet again.  Friday's a nice easy day to start--so here are your Random Friday Vrittis!

1.  Pineapple coconut water tastes WAY better than the regular stuff.  

2. Yes, I know there's a jump rope in my drink.

3.  I love having new yoga clothes.  (More about that in another post.)

4.  If you ever catch up to these folks, wait in the line and order.  Amazing, and worth every penny.  (More about this in yet another post.)

5.  I was doing a GREAT job eating well for about a month... and it's all gone to pot in the last week and a half.  I'm working on getting back on track though.

6.  I'm *still* thinking about getting clipless pedals.  And it still scares the crap out of me.  

7.  I like subbing yoga, but I think I want to teach a regular class.  I just need to figure out how to fit it into my schedule AND maintain my own practice AND still have time to hang with Duff Man.

8.  We're going on vacation to Chicago this summer.  I've been there a zillion times, but always in winter (except for St. Patrick's Day last year.)  Any suggestions?

9.  I desperately want to eat at minibar.

10.  I was in a food rut for a while there, but not anymore!  I have lots of recipes I'd like to try out, or to try again so I can tweak them.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I hope you take the time to enjoy the beautiful weather outside!