Food and Drink, The Features

Ticket Giveaway: Funky Fresh Foodie Fest

Like beer? Like food trucks? Then you’ll probably want to get yourself over to the DC Fairgrounds for the DC Funky Fresh Foodie Fest (DCF4) next Saturday, August 25.

From 1 to 9 PM, food trucks including Pepe, Takorean, DC Slices, BBQ Bus, Tapas Truck, Curbside Cupcakes, Rolling Ficelle, DC Empanadas, Fojol Bros., and Pleasant Pops, will be at the DC Fairgrounds along with 10 craft brews. You’ll get to sip the likes of Starr Hill, Goose Island, Old Dominion, Fordham, Shock Top, Widmer, Kona and Devil’s Backbone breweries. The winners of the 1st annual DC Trucky Awards will also be announced that day.

And if you need a break from all that eating and drinking, you can check out some of the bands, outdoor games, Google and Art Whino lounges or the karaoke competition (might need some extra beers to muster up the courage to participate in that).

Tickets to DCF4 are offered in tiers: regular admission for $65, premium for $75 and general admission for $10 with the option to purchase beer and food a la carte. A portion of the proceeds from DCF4 will go to DC Central KitchenWe’re giving away 5 pairs of general admission tickets, thanks to Wonky Promotions, which will get you:

  • access to the site, entertainment and activities,
  • samples from sponsors, including Honest Tea, IZZE, KIND Healthy Snacks and a special tasting from City Eats and chef Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s, and
  • the opportunity to purchase food and drinks a-la-carte from food trucks and breweries.

Here’s how the giveaway works:

For a chance to win tickets, leave a comment on this post using a valid e-mail address between 9 AM and 3 PM today. One entry per e-mail address. We’ll close the comments section at 3 PM and five winners will be randomly selected and notified by e-mail. If you’re chosen as a winner, you must respond to the e-mail within 24 hours or you will forfeit the tickets and we’ll select another winner. The winners will be able to pick up the tickets under their name at will call at the Funky Fresh Foodie Fest.

Food and Drink, The Features

Proposed Food Truck Legislation: What They Mean as the Comments Period Comes to a Close

Photo courtesy of Phaesia2012
Gotta Have it!
courtesy of Phaesia2012

Back in January, the Mayor’s office announced newly proposed food truck legislation that aims to update the more than 30-year-old laws regarding street vending. With the period for public comments ending tomorrow, I spoke with some of the food truck owners in the city about their thoughts on the legislation and what they hope will happen next. If you haven’t sent your comments to the Mayor’s Office and the DCRA yet, you can do so by sending an email to by March 1, 5 PM. Those of you that stand with the food trucks can show support by heading to and submitting a letter to the Mayor from there.

After the jump you’ll find more about legislation and what I learned from the food truck owners. And if you’re really curious, you can read the full proposal here (all 67 pages).

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Food and Drink

What Will Happen with Food Trucks While They Wait for New Regulations?

Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC
Red Hook Lobster Truck Harassed by MPD
courtesy of Mr. T in DC

So you might have noticed that the interwebs were all atwitter yesterday about the alleged crackdown on food trucks. It started off with a post from Kyle Johnson of Food Truck Fiesta about how food trucks were going to be fined if there was any lapse in time for a line of customers (ie: a truck could serve a line of people, but if that line stopped and there were no customers for no predetermined amount of time, MPD could fine the truck and shut them down for the day). Followed by a few other blog posts, a great article by The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis, and then a tweet from Mayor Gray assuring us all that no new enforcement was going to happen. Pardon my skeptical eye roll.

My skepticism comes from the fact the initial story got its legs from food truck owners themselves. As DeBonis reported in The Washington Post, Kristi Whitfield, the proprietor of Curbside Cupcakes and executive director of the DC Food Truck Association, stated that the police department’s lead vending enforcement officer told her “that ‘heightened enforcement’ of the city’s vending laws ‘are going to be a top priority’ starting Friday.”

Additionally, The Post reported that new regulations for food trucks are on their way to being published and reviewed for comments, they have to ensure that they use heavy vehicle lighting according to the regulations, Click Here for more information. Was that law enforcement official completely misinformed? Or is MPD really going to play games with the food trucks while they wait for new legislation to be published, reviewed and potentially passed by the DC Council? At the time of publishing this post, we had not received a response to our email requesting a comment from the Mayor’s office about moving forward with the proposed legislation.

I’m not saying that DC government doesn’t have bigger problems on its plate at the moment (one word: embezzlement). But to arbitrarily decide to start enforcing a law, albeit antiquated, and mess with the livelihoods of food truck owners and employees, well, that really grinds my gears, to put it lightly. There are several issues at play with creating regulations for food trucks and I hope we don’t punish these small businesses. It seems as though we’ll all be waiting to see if MPD acts on these initial threats of a crackdown and what the new regulations set to be published on January 20th will have in store for the trucks.

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Predictions for Food Trends in 2012

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
opening wide
courtesy of philliefan99

With 2011 and the year of the burger now behind us, the food team’s mouths are already watering and we’re looking ahead at what 2012 will bring to our plates. Our team, comprised of myself, Tricia and Natalia (our newest addition to the team!) all brainstormed about what we think will be all the rage in the new year when it comes to food.

Find our full list of predictions after the jump.
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The Daily Feed

Food Truck Beer Dinner

Food Truck Beer Dinner at Das Bullpen, 8/27 for $75

Wow, this hits all of my core competencies: Food Trucks, Beer Dinners and Baseball.  Das Bullpen will be hosting a 3-hour beer dinner on August 27th with Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head breweries, as well as the tasty deliciousness of Cap Mac, Porcmobile, Stix, Hula Girl, Doug the Food Dude, and Eat Wonky.  Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head will also have Life and Limb, their co-operative brew, on taps all night.

Tickets are $75, and benefit Living Classrooms, which provides hands-on job training programs for those who need them most. Get your tickets early, I’m better this is going to sell out.

The Daily Feed

Food Truck Gathering at SW Waterfront this Saturday

Photo courtesy of
‘CH Day 2010 Food Trucks’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

We haven’t had great weather for strolls amongst the cherry blossoms this week, but maybe we’ll get lucky Saturday and you can go grab some good ‘ole food truck fodder at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival.

The festival, a part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival, will host nine food trucks from 1 PM until approximately 8:30 PM, when the fireworks start. The trucks that will be serving include Red Hook Lobster, Curbside Cupcakes, Fojol Bros., District Taco, Tasty Kabob, Eat Wonky, DC Slices, CapMac and Sidewalk Sweetsations.

The festival is free and completely open to the public. Plus there will be live music and loads of “family friendly” activities running from 6th to 9th street. So cross your fingers for some sunshine, grab a wonky dog or kabob and enjoy the fireworks this Saturday.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Chinatown Coffee Co. + Food Trucks Happy Hours

Courtesy of Bravery Corporation

The scene: you work in the no-man’s land for food trucks. You watch with envy as all your friends get to take advantage of the food that’s rolling about, tweeting up and down about the latest and greatest dish they’ve gotten from a truck, while you’re stuck with a frozen TV dinner at the office. Whine no more. This spring is your chance to try the trucks you’ve been craving during this year’s “Food Truck Thursdays.”

In a friendly showing of brick and mortar restaurant and food truck collaboration, Chinatown Coffee Co. is hosting a happy hour series from 6:30 – 8:30 PM starting at the end of March. Each week a different food truck will serve outside, and you’ll be able to take advantage of $3 beer specials, wine and absinthe from Chinatown Coffee Co. No need to scope out a park bench–patrons are welcome to bring food from the trucks into the coffee shop.

Here’s the schedule for Food Truck Thursdays, though more trucks will be  added to the calendar for the summer:

March 31: Takorean
April 7: Red Hook Lobster Pound
April 14: Fojol Bros.
April 21: DC Empanadas
April 28: Big Cheese
May 5: Sabor’a Street
May 12: Eat Wonky
May 19: CapMac
May 26: DC Slices
June 2: PORC

The Daily Feed

First Look: Bada Bing Cheesesteak Truck

‘Bada Bing Truck’
courtesy of ‘foodtruckapp’

One of the latest entrants into the burgeoning DC food truck scene is the BadaBing Cheesesteak Truck, which patrols the Wilson Boulevard corridor in Arlington, looking for hungry customers.  When I found the truck on North Lynn Street in Rosslyn today, it was surrounded by almost  a dozen patrons, risking their body heat for a chance at a cheesesteak.

Founded in 2010 by Nicholas Terzella, a former executive chef trained at the New England Culinary Institute who has worked in cities like New York City and Miami, the BadaBing Truck offers two main types of sandwiches: cheesesteaks and spiedies (pronounced “spee-dee”). While cheesesteaks are a favorite, staple American sandwich, the spiedie is a little more of a regional favorite, that some people might not be as familiar with.  The spiedie originated with Italian immigrants in upper New York State in the early 1900s, who took cubes of marinated, skewer-cooked chicken or pork (spiedinis) and stuffed them in a hoagie rolls. The resulting sandwich was so popular it even spurred the creation of a regional spiedie festival, the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally (now in its 27th year!) in Binghamton, New York.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

First Look: DC Empanadas Food Truck

DC Empanadas Truck
DC Empanadas Truck
Courtesy of Bonappetitfoodie

Here’s what I really love about the food truck scene: one day I can get Indian curry, the next day an all-American, New England lobster roll and the next a delicious selection of Latin American empanadas. And even within the menu at DC Empanadas there’s diversity in the fillings–fruit and cheese, beans and rice, and some good ole meatballs, marinara and mozzarella.

DC Empanadas officially started rolling in the beginning of January and is further proof that frying something will only make it more delicious. I’ve made two trips to the truck so far and have subsequently devoured every little pocket of fried dough with hot fillings that I’ve gotten my hands on. The types of empanadas they offer change daily, so I’ve happily done some of the legwork for you and tried seven of them. Yes, seven–that’s about one-third of the menu. You’re welcome. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

First Look: Big Cheese Truck

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘BrianMKA’

Food on wheels has been (and I’m thinking it will be continue to be) all the rage in DC. And with each new truck’s appearance, I get giddy about the prospects of expanding my lunch horizons. Big Cheese Truck launched in mid-December and I finally caught up with them to give them a try. It was a cold, blustery day and I thought a hot grilled cheese and warm tomato soup would be just the thing to get me through the workday. Unfortunately, I’ll be honest and say that I was disappointed.

The tomato soup was chunky and had a strong basil flavor. While I could have handled the basil, the salsa-esque consistency threw me off. Something about warm, chunky salsa under the pseudonym of tomato soup just didn’t do it for me. The grilled cheese with cheddar on sourdough should have had more cheese and definitely could have been melted more to reach the point of gooey-deliciousness. The cheese from the local Cowgirl Creamery was a good pairing with the tangy sourdough bread. However, for a sandwich coming from a truck named “big cheese,” I was expecting huge, gooey gobs of cheese, not a thin, apparently shredded, layer of the stuff.

I know the initial launch for a food truck (or any restaurant, for that matter) can be rough, and there’s some level of trial and error on the menu. So I’m hoping that the Big Cheese Truck will improve with time and deliver a bigger and better lunchtime favorite to the hungry cheese-eatin’ people of DC.

The Daily Feed

Fresh Lobsters Roll Into Town, Preview at Azalea Festival

Photo courtesy of
‘Lobster baskets’
courtesy of ‘aejharrison’

Most displaced New Englanders long for fresh lobster from time to time (I feel like it’s part of our contract for living in DC, that and mocking people who complain about snow). As much as we come to appreciate the offerings of the bay and crab season, we long for that shellfish we call our own.

It’s not always possible to make that trip up north justifiable just for some lobster, but it looks like some of the flavor of the North Atlantic is on its way down to District residents. The Red Hook Lobster Pound, a Brooklyn-based eatery, is filling up with fresh lobsters and rolling down to the region for the Landon Azalea Festival in Bethesda on April 30-May 2. The three-day appearance will be a preview as the owners of Red Hook work to “trick out” a truck that will become a permanent fixture in D.C. come June.