Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weather & Holiday Recovery

Due to weather and leave surrounding the 4th of July holiday last week, I was only in the office 1 day but I was able to squeeze in visits to 2 new-to-me trucks in that day.  First up was the few-weeks-old Fire and Rice serving Korean bowls of food ($8-8.50, or veg for $6) which can be served more bibimbap-style with a fried egg for a couple bucks more.  I appreciate that you can pick what vegetables you want in your bowl of rice plus chosen protein and my 'spicy pork' was nicely trimmed and seasoned although not that spicy.  Luckily they had sriracha and a more sweet soy-miso(?) squeeze bottles on the counter for self-doctoring, but the issue both my friend and I had was the size of the portion.  We both found it noticeably small, however I will say after a tweet yesterday I suspect we weren't the only ones who had that sentiment.  If a larger portion size is on tap for my next visit, I'll be back for sure; if not, I'll stick with Kimchi BBQ Taco where I'm always full after my meal (Kogi,) with similar, equally enjoyable food for $.50 less.  3 honks for now until I can make it back.

Fearing I'd still be hungry after my bowl (which I very much was,) I sought a hearty side and remembered DC Ballers has fries on the menu in addition to their balls of falafel.  For $3.50 you will receive a huge portion of fresh cut fries, cooked to order.  They were deliciously seasoned with za'atar and were served with one too small (given the copious amount of fries) cup of dipping sauces.  I ordered spicy chipotle and was also offered a sample of a "fully homemade" garlic sauce at the serving window.  Think a nice smokey mayo with a little heat for the former, and for the later, while quite tasty, was a really pretty thick white sauce; it had an odd-ish texture which was not very "dip-like" at all.  Several other dipping sauces are also available.  In a heartbeat I'd go back for another order -- luckily they have 2 trucks now.  No rating without having sampled on a "main course" yet, but I think you get the idea I at least liked my side a lot.

Today between meetings I squeezed in a quick trip to the Tapas Truck for a sample of the 3/4 new menu.  (The corn fritters remain, which I'm exceptionally grateful for.)  Today's additional selections included a pulled pork slider with mustard BBQ sauce and garlic fries, meatballs in a tomato cream sauce with saffron rice, and fried calamari and shrimp with a paprika sauce.  From the photo you can see I went for the first and second tapas.  There are things I just don't get about this truck because some things are done so very well, and then it feels like corners are cut in other places.  For example, the pork and sauce were awesome but it was on mediocre bread.  Similarly, the sauce for the meatballs was lovely, but I truly believe they used frozen, pre-made, and probably mass produced meatballs.  $9 for all that food which is mostly great is a sound deal, but I think most of us will pay an extra buck or two to savor a completely good, fresh meal rather than a mostly good, partially mass-produced meal.  Keeping them at 3.5 honks.  Am I making any sense?