November 3, 2011 | by Jonathan Howard
Keep on truckin’

The first-ever Washington Blade Food Truck Rally was held last week as part of the High Heel Race and attracted seven of the city’s best food trucks. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The food truck craze that began a few years ago remains in full force and with seven of the city’s top trucks gathered in a 17th Street church parking lot for the inaugural Washington Blade Food Truck Rally last week, it seemed a good time to review some of the offerings.

The rally was part of the 25th annual High Heel Race and drew a large, steady crowd throughout the night. Rather than watch the race, I spent the evening sampling various treats from the vendors.

Mojo Truck  EXTRAordinary Sandwiches (@Mojotruck)

You have options at the Mojo Truck, with four basic sandwich choices and three different ways to get those sandwiches. I opted for the pork sandwich with the classic set of toppings, which includes tomato, mozzarella, fried egg and lettuce. (No lettuce for me, however, as I have great disdain for crunchy water.) Growing up Cuban, I always have high expectations for any pork-based sandwich, and the pork on this sandwich definitely held its own. Also, the bread was nice and crispy. The half melted and half un-melted mozzarella was a bit disappointing, though, and I couldn’t find my fried egg anywhere on the sandwich. I was really looking forward to that fried egg.

STIX Grilled Deliciousness (@eatstix)

The bacon-wrapped filet mignon was the first thing that caught my eye here, but I also find it hard to resist Tequila Lime Chicken, which was the second item on the list. Meanwhile, the hubby decided to try the Tomato Caprese with a Balsamic Reduction. And let me say, damn, that is some really good chicken on a stick. It was well-seasoned, well-cooked, and when you add a squirt of lime, that chicken just dances around your mouth, spreading joyful flavors everywhere. I tried some of the Tomato Caprese, something I have never eaten off a stick before, but with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes that explode in your mouth, and that delicious reduction, I would say this is a must try.

Rolling Ficelle (@TheFicelle, rollingficelle.com)

There were so many delicious options listed on this menu. These were definitely sandwiches with style. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and order The DeKooning Ficelle. The DeKooning has roast beef, provolone cheese, crushed cherry pepper relish and light horseradish mayo on fresh Lyon Bakery Bread. The roast beef was tender, there was a sweetness to the cherry pepper relish that matched amazingly well with the meat, and the horseradish mayo added a touch of heat that made me smile. I do love me some spicy! And the bread? Wow, that is some fresh, crispy, perfect bread.

How was I going to top that? Well, I moseyed on over to Porc to see what they had to offer.

Porc: Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine (@Porcmobile)

This food truck had a sense of humor. I especially liked the note that suggested the sign was “scratch-and-sniff,” and that you get half-off your meal if you are rocking drag. (I knew I should have put on some high heels!) I debated between the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Smoked Angus Beef Sloppy Joe. But, since they are called Porc, it would be wrong if I didn’t get the pulled pork. So, I stepped up and ordered my second pork sandwich of the night with hot BBQ sauce. This sandwich was good, but not great. The pork was moist and tasty and the bread was soft and fresh, but the “hot” BBQ was not hot at all and left me wanting more flavor.

Next, it was time for pizza. I like to consider myself a pizza expert, being a New Yorker and all.

DC Slices (@DCSlices)

This truck has pretty much what you would expect – a few different slices and some rather tasty-looking fried food. The added bonus for me was the fried pickles on the menu. I love fried pickles. So, the husband and I ordered a cheese slice, a pepperoni slice, and an order of fried pickles. I couldn’t wait to taste the fried pickles. Then, moments later, disaster stuck: they were out of fried pickles. Disappointment rushed over me, but then I remembered I still had two slices of pizza to taste. I bit into the pepperoni slice, and was impressed. The crust was nice, the sauce-to-cheese ratio was correct, and the pepperoni was perfect. Overall, not quite up to New York City pizza standards but some of the best pizza I have had in D.C. The cheese slice was a little underdone, though, leaving the crust a bit soggy, but overall quite good.

Now, it was time for dessert. First stop? Dangerously Delicious Pies.

Dangerously Delicious Pies (@thepietruckdc, dangerouspiesdc.com)

Sweet and Savory pies, with so many options – what is a guy to do? We opted to try three pies, one savory – the “Hot Rod Potato” – and two sweet – the signature “Baltimore Bomb Pie” and the “Apple Cinnamon Chess.” The Hot Rod Potato pie was so rich, with layers of potatoes, cream, cheeses, onions, and (my favorite part) the hot sauce. There was no lack of flavor with this pie, and I was thrilled. The Baltimore Bomb pie was full of Berger cookies. The crunchy chocolaty top of this pie slid right into the rich filling that was lighter and fluffier than you would expect. Finally, the Apple Cinnamon Chess was the best apple pie I have ever tasted. I am bringing this one home to the family for Thanksgiving.

And why not add some ice cream to the pie in my stomach?

Sinplicity Ice Cream (@sinplicity1, sinplicityicecream.com)

I left this truck until last because I was a bit cold, and I didn’t really know what could be so special about ice cream. Then, I looked at the menu. While looking at the menu the lovely woman working the truck handed me a sample cup of hot chocolate, I sipped it, looked up, pondered it, and wondered why I have never had hot chocolate like this before. This hot chocolate with orange and cinnamon is so amazing, it will definitely make you stop for a moment after you taste it.

Then, I ordered my ice cream. I don’t usually like my food touching, let alone mixed together. So when I ordered the Chocolate Chili Pepper Ice Cream, my husband looked at me like I had lost my mind. But I was in love on the first bite: this is what ice cream should taste like. Rich and creamy chocolate with the warm flavors of the chili pepper – it was divine! I had a bite of ice cream and a sip of hot chocolate and repeated this as I walked down to the High Heel Race. I am sure there was chaos around me but I didn’t notice. I was completely enthralled by my ice cream!

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