Eat DC: Food Trucks

In honor of Christine & Karen‘s upcoming trip to visit me in DC, I thought I’d share a little insight as to my planning process when it comes to what to show them when they are here. I am, by no means, an expert on the DC food scene, but these are the impressions I have of it. While we won’t be able to visit all of these places, I hope you will be able to at some point!


Food trucks are kind of amazing and I don’t know why they seem like such a new thing to me. I mean, I’ve been chasing ice cream trucks down the streets for decades now, but I didn’t know this was an option for every other food imaginable! (Also, ice cream truck driver, stop ignoring me just because I’m not a small child, please.)

I don’t know if I can tell you the “most DC-est” food trucks that the District has to offer. This Eat DC series has taken a lot out of me, so I just thought I’d share some food trucks that are important to me, at the very least, and I think they’re important to at least a decent proportion of DCers as well. If you want to know where these food trucks are, you can check their individual Twitter/Facebook accounts or check resources like FoodTruckFiesta.

(Note: All DC food trucks operate for lunch hours on weekdays, typically 11-3, unless they are at a special event.)

Crêpes Parfait

The non-business side of the truck (Photo courtesy of crepesparfait.com)

This adorable truck with copper pans, a little windowsill flower garden, and French music playing is easily one of my favorite food trucks. In addition to delicious crêpes, which I lurve, owners Chef Mounir Elhilali and Roberto Catanuso are such sweet and kind gentlemen. It’s hard not to smile when you walk up to the truck, these two men smiling at you from underneath their berets, and get wrapped up in the feeling that you’re walking into a French bistro and not relishing your small break from the workday. You can get a gluten-free one, if you’d like, and they make their own lemonades and iced teas! Je vous adore, Crêpes Parfait!

Popular items include chicken crêpeNutella and banana crêpe,  and ham crêpe

Website: crepesparfait.com
Twitter: @CrepesParfait // Facebook: /CrepesParfait

TaKorean

Photo courtesy of takorean.com

I have long known about TaKorean, which serves — you guessed it — tacos of the Korean variety. There are now several trucks that serve Korean tacos, many of whom I frequent because the TaKorean lines are way too long for me. But TaKorean was the pioneer in the DC area, and their long lines are a testament to their success and the success of Korean tacos in DC. They now have brick-and-mortar locations in DC so that you don’t need to chase down their trucks anymore. If you are a big fan of bulgogi and kimchi in your tacos in DC, you can thank TaKorean for paving the way.

Popular items include kimchi slawpork bo ssam, and bulgogi tacos

Website: takorean.com
Twitter: @TaKorean // Facebook: /TaKorean

Basil Thyme

Photo courtesy of foodtruckfiesta.com

One of DC’s most popular trucks is Italian regular Basil Thyme. They deliver fresh ingredients and delicious Italian food on wheels, and can you blame the people for being so happy and willing to eat it? It’s one of our most-reviewed food trucks on Yelp, where folks sing praises of the friendly staff — like former IT salesman and co-founder Brian — and delicious food that doesn’t make you feel guilty and full of regret when you’re finished. (Especially because entrees come with a side salad that let you feel a little healthier!)

Popular items include cannolieggplant lasagna, and traditional lasagna

Website: basilthyme.com
Twitter: @BasilThymeDC // Facebook: /BasilThyme

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Photo courtesy of redhooklobsterdc.com

One reason a lot of DCers are so grateful for food trucks? Because they can some New England classics like clam chowder and lobster roll. On wheels! (The fun of food trucks is that your food is on wheels.) While many of our food trucks have several competitors — Korean tacos, halal food, etc. — there aren’t that many people peddling lobster rolls on wheels! For a taste of New England in a town that is increasingly embracing Southern comfort food (nothing wrong with Southern comfort food!), it’s nice to be able to settle in with a taste of Maine.

Popular items include Connecticut style lobster roll, shrimp roll, and whoopie pies

Website: redhooklobsterdc.com
Twitter: @LobstertruckDC // Facebook: /RedHookLobsterPoundDC

PhoWheels

Photo courtesy of phowheelsdc.com

 

You know what used to cheer me up so much on bad days at work that were also dreary and rainy outside? Stepping outside the office and being able to pick up a steaming bowl of pho. PhoWheels is one of our best pho trucks in the area, and I’m so glad that trucks like them exist. Not only do they serve pho, they serve banh mi and banh mi-style tacos. (And you can get a poached egg for your pho or fried egg for your sandwich!) Also, people love the “chork” (chopsticks + fork) that they give you to eat your food with. Plus, they often partner with SnoCream Company, the snow cream bus. (AND THEY SELL MACARONS TELL YOUR FRIENDS.)

Popular items include pork belly tacoseye of round pho, and banh mi with fried egg

Website: phowheelsdc.com
Twitter: @PhoWheels // Facebook: /PhoWheels


We’ve got more food trucks than we really know what to do with in DC. In the summers, we have a monthly food truck festival called Truckeroo that is a great way to check out trucks that don’t stop by where you work! I love the food truck scene and love sharing my favorites with folks.

Do you like food trucks? What are your favorites?
Is there a food that you wish food trucks served near you? 
(I wish I could get real NY style pizza!)

 

Eat DC: President-Themed

DC is one of the top foodie cities in America, but that means that much of our food scene looks the same as others. It’s a culture driven by young professionals who love burgers, brunch, and happy hours. What sets DC apart?

Well, the president lives here. Every president before him has. DC is distinct because of it’s importance in American politics and, subsequently, in US history. In terms of our food scene, this culminates in president-themed restaurants and bars.

Nothing screams DC more than a trendy restaurant that is dedicated to a US president.

Lincoln

The iconic giant armchair/booth (Photo courtesy of lincolnrestaurant-dc.com)

 

With Lincoln, we reach the pinnacle of the DC food scene. Small plates? Check. Southern food? Check. Happy hour and brunch? Check. Trendy food items? Check. President-themed? HUGE CHECK. This is easily one of the coolest places I have ever seen and one of the most DC places I can think of. It is a really nice gastropub with an impressive menu of small plates and drinks. It is also the trendiest tribute to an American president I have ever seen. Copper pennies on the floor, mason jar lighting, cast-iron skillets for serving your food, bathrooms labeled “Abes” and “Marys”, etc. I just really love how into the theme this place is. I mean, PENNIES. Because Lincoln! The cocktail menu commits also, as I fully expect from any themed restaurant.

Popular items include braised short ribsmac and cheesepot pieMoscow Mule, and Lady Lincoln.

Come for happy hour, brunch, dinner, lunch, whatever. Come for the Lincoln-themed gastropub whenever you can!

1110 Vermont Ave. NW; (202) 386-9200; lincolnrestaurant-dc.com

Teddy and the Bully Bar

(Photo courtesy of teddyandthebullybar.com)

 

Actually owned by the same folks who own Lincoln, and actually, a pretty similar concept, as well. Lots of small plates and, guess what, they’re also into the farm-to-table goodness! The menu is meant to reflect Teddy Roosevelt’s love for comfort foods and game, since we all know he was an avid hunter. The vibe here is decidedly different from Lincoln. Where Lincoln is darker and cozier, Teddy and the Bully Bar is brighter and has more modern touches, like the mounted “animal heads” that are really 3D art.

Popular items include mac and cheesebrussel sproutsscallopsRio Roosevelt, and safari sangria

Come for happy hour, brunch, dinner, whatever

1200 19th St. NW; (202) 872-8200; teddyandthebullybar.com

The restaurateurs behind Lincoln and Teddy and the Bully Bar are actually coming out with another restaurant in the fall, so stay tuned for more from a spot called Declaration!

What I Packed: Florida 2015

I had a few guidelines in mind when it came to packing for Florida that made it different from packing for other trips I’ve taken:

  1. I was going to DisneyBound.
  2. I was going to be wearing summer clothes quite a bit earlier than I thought I would.
    (The average high in Fort Lauderdale for April is about 82°F/27.7°C.)
  3. I needed to bring some things for camping.
  4. Everything needed to fit in a backpack.

This was my first time booking with a budget airline rather than the one I frequently fly with, so fitting everything into a personal item is not something I’m used to. However, since it’s a short trip and warm-weather clothes don’t take up much room, this didn’t turn out to be too much of a problem. (We’ll see what I say as far as fitting souvenirs in on my return trip!)

Electronics

No real need to things like my laptop so we’re keeping things around primarily for documenting.

  • Phone + charger + portable power bank
  • Camera + extra battery + extra SD card + battery charger

One of my power banks also doubles as a flashlight, and I will be bringing a small keychain flashlight also.

Pirate cruise outfit

The theme of this cruise was pirates, but as I had inspired my friends to DisneyBound for this outing, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t draw some inspiration from Disney myself! I was originally going to do Captain Hook to match my friends’ Smee and Rufio, but checking the weather forecast in Fort Lauderdale told me that long black pants, long black boots, and a red blazer weren’t going to fly. So, I decided to finally do a Pirates of the Caribbean outfit, as I have long wanted a little cursed Aztec gold necklace of my own. I decided to channel Elizabeth’s look in the red/burgundy dress Barbossa gives her in the first film, so here is what I pulled together for a more casual, summery take:

  • Lace burgundy dress
  • Black corset
  • Cursed Aztec gold necklace
  • Black flats

The corset is a tricky item but the look isn’t quite complete without it. So I made sure to repurpose it later in the trip, as it takes up a finite amount of space; I can’t compress it in my suitcase because of the boning along the sides, and I couldn’t wear it down because it would set off metal detectors. (Also it’s not the comfiest accessory I own.)

Disney World outfit

 photo ariel_kissthegirl_3-1.jpg

I finally pulled together a blue dress Ariel outfit, after years of trying:

  • Pale blue T-shirt
  • Black corset
  • Blue skirt
  • Black flats
  • Blue hair bow

This feels like a lazy Disneybound, but I like that I’m able to repurpose the corset and finally attempt this look.

Other clothes

So I guess I can’t run around looking like Elizabeth Swann or Ariel all day during my trip, can I? (… or can I?) Also, it’ll probably be good for me to wear shorts at some point rather than be running around in a dress/skirt the whole trip. But I’m going to be rewearing some things because, you know what, it’s a vacation and I have limited space in my bag. If I could, I’d just wear the same thing the whole weekend through, if not for how smelly everything will be by then.

  • Swimsuit (bringing 2 bottoms because I don’t know how I feel about my newer one yet)
  • Denim shorts
  • Faux knee-high stockings (in case I am not comfortable baring my legs and it’s not too hot that I’m forced to)
  • Cardigan
  • Mickey Mouse T-shirt (as a cover-up/PJs/if I need another shirt)
  • Fleece-lined leggings (in case it gets cold when camping)
  • Scarf/cover-up
  • Wide-brimmed straw hat?
  • Underwear

IMG_1469

Toiletries

Keeping my toiletries TSA compliant comes pretty naturally to me, at this point. I am not terribly high maintenance (…right?) and having a lot of samples of items makes packing for trips a super breeze. Always keep your samples, folks! And any gifts with purchase! Those are so great when it comes to travel:

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Cleanser + moisturizer + konjac sponge (for face washing)
  • Facial sunscreen +
  • Shampoo + conditioner + sea salt spray (travel sizes courtesy of Influenster)
  • Shampoo + body wash

Items that I will need to buy when I land — due to them not being TSA-friendly — are:

  • Big bottle of sunscreen for body (minimum SPF 50, I don’t play games with my sun protection)
  • Insect repellent (I am a renowned mozzie magnet)

Everything else

This includes gear for camping (our friend, Tim, has graciously taken the burden of bringing almost all the camping stuff like tents and sleeping bags down himself), miscellaneous accessories, and other travel necessities I like to have:

  • Beach towels
  • Sunglasses
  • Hairbrush
  • Umbrella
  • First aid items (painkillers, bandaids)
  • Lady trouble items
  • Hand sanitizer

And of course, I’ll have things like my wallet, my keys, cash, lip balm, for carrying about on a regular basis in a clutch and a larger bag, probably a small backpack as I couldn’t find a good crossbody.

Onto the plane, I’ll be wearing the pirate cruise dress, safety shorts, scarf, leggings, and a hoodie so that I can stay warm on the plane and at night when camping if I need to.

Everything fits, and I have room for souvenirs! Let’s hope I can say the same coming back.

Off to Spring Break!

Surprise! This is the first year I’m doing a more conventional spring break in that I’m going to a warm location. Yelp is having their annual spring break in Fort Lauderdale this year, and while I was originally not that interested in going, that changed when my friends dangled Disney World in front of me.

WALT. DISNEY. WORLD.

I am leaving tonight and, as a result, will not have posts for BEDA while I am away. (Unless I prepared some in advance…?) BUT you will have some spring break recap posts to look forward to. (They’ll come before those Europe posts that I keep putting off…)

Even though it feels like an odd time to take a break like this, I think I need it. Like I said in an earlier post, it’s important to give myself things to work for. Also, something something fitness motivation something swimsuit body? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll exercise more before I have to hit the beach and maybe I won’t or maybe I won’t go the beach at all.

I haven’t been to Disney World since 2009 and my Disney obsession has since bloomed into something that makes me worry I will spend my day there just crying because feelz.

Let me know what is new or what are the must-see attractions at Disney, Fort Lauderdale, and Key West! I definitely want to know what are some must-eat treats while I’m down there!

SCK Adventures: Memorials & Memories (Day 4)

(Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3)

When Sunday rolled in, we had our best weather yet. It was sunny, it was warm, the weather was essentially perfect. It made it all the more sad to me that I couldn’t spend the entire beautiful day with my rays of California sunshine.

TL;DR Farm-to-belly brunch, memorial walk, and… saying goodbye to Karen and Christine

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