Saturday, November 26, 2011
From their fantastic food to ambience that their restaurant provides (specifically their outdoor seating) Hank's is a must try. They have another location in Old Town Alexandria that I have yet to visit which may be more convenient to any readers from Virginia. To residents of the District they have prime real-estate and their outdoor seating provide a tranquil experience when the weather is nice outside.
Prices are a bit expensive which I why I can not go more often but the freshness and flavor more than justify it. It can get busy especially when the warm weather makes sitting outside alluring. So if you are ever in the mood for fresh seafood give Hank's a shot you will not be disappointed.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Our food truck tour continues with a recent addition to the ever growing fleet of mobile vendors. The Far East Taco Grille which opened its doors in early September takes tacos, a traditional latin dish and adds Asian flare. This fusion of cultures is in vogue not only in brick and mortar restaurants but also with food trucks in and out of this city.
My first experience with fusion tacos came this past year when I sampled the TaKorean truck. The two experiences that went behind that post were positive, so when I heard that there was another truck that served similar food I pounced on it as quickly as I could. As you may know by now my Latin background has somehow encoded tacos into my DNA; they are as much a staple in my life as sleep, water, and air.
Once I became aware of their truck I began to follow them on twitter and waited for them to serve anywhere near the Georgetown. My wish came to fruition later that week when they arrived at the State Department. Once the clock struck noon I began my journey to their location in pursuit of taco bliss. On the way there I glanced at their menu on my iPhone and thought long and hard on what I was going to order.
My knowledge or lack thereof when it comes to Asian cuisine proved to be an impediment when I was trying to finalize my decision. While I have exposed my palate to Asian cuisine that is not enough to internally justify what I believe is adequate knowledge for constructing the perfect taco with the ingredients presented to me.
Once I arrived at their black truck I was still unsure as to how I would pair each taco. Each taco comes with one choice of meat, one vegetable slaw, one sauce, and four different topping which are unlimited. I knew beforehand that I was going to try each different meat but pairing it with a slaw and sauce proved to be a challenge to me since I take tacos very seriously.
While waiting in the long line I finalized my decision. I decided to order a powerful steak (rib-eye steak) with Sriracha sauce, kimchi-lime slaw and all the toppings (cilantro, chopped onion, sesame seed, and lime-crema). I also ordered a bang tang teriyaki chicken taco with their #15 sauce, sweet chili romaine slaw, and all the toppings. The last taco I ordered was a sweet sexy tofu with grilled bean sprouts, spicy mayo sauce and all the toppings. After waiting a few minutes my order was presented to me, at which point I took it to a nearby bench to enjoy one of my favorite meals.
I dissected each taco carefully trying to both enjoy the flavor combinations, identify which components matched well and what needed to be added or removed. The steak taco was constructed perfectly, the juicy and flavorful meat mixed well with kimchi lime slaw and the minor kick of the Sriracha offered remnants of past taco experiences. The chicken taco while good was not great, I initially wanted to order it with either the spicy mayo or pineapple sauce but wanted to try something new. The #15 sauce while flavorful reminded me of a peanut flavored Thai sauce which I do not like. The tofu was the biggest surprise of the three; while I enjoy tofu from time to time it is almost sacrilegious to have a taco devoid of some animal. To my suprise it was a huge success, the tofu was full of flavor and the spicy mayo offered an extra kick of flavor.
My first experience was met with a great deal of curiosity. I wanted to tinker more with the flavor combinations in order to create the perfect Asian taco. I attempted this feat earlier today when I visited them at the GW campus. I stuck with my original steak taco since I enjoyed it so much, I also ordered two chicken tacos in order to remedy the blunder of the original. The first chicken taco came with the spicy mayo, sweet chili romaine slaw and all the toppings. The second taco was adorned with pineapple sauce, romaine vinaigrette and all their toppings. The steak taco tasted even better than I remembered from my first experience and the two chicken tacos were magnificent. If I had to choose one I would prefer the one with the spicy mayo as it blended better with the sweet chili romaine slaw.
All in all my two experiences with this vendor were positive. The ingredients are flavorful the the taste combinations are pure ecstasy. Their service is prompt but the lines during both instances were long. They are cash only at this point and their prices are average (3 tacos cost $8). The only thing that would make them better would be to serve ice cold beer which is almost necessary when devouring tacos but that is not possible with food trucks. Definitely worth a try if you are a fan of tacos or Asian cuisine.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
My recent reporting, or lack thereof with food trucks became apparent when I noticed how far back my last post was. This prompted me to make a greater effort to escape the confines of Georgetown and bike to various food truck hotspots during my lunch break. Last month I accompanied a friend to the weekly Farragut Friday gathering of a large number of popular food trucks.
The number of new trucks I saw was a complete shock and speaks to the rapid evolution of this industry. As I walked around the park slowly observing each individual truck a black and orange truck immediately caught my eye. The Rolling Ficelle led Juan Jose Quintana serves a variety of sandwiches whose recipes are drawn a culinary team with years of experience. Each sandwich is served on a ficelle (French for string) which is a thinner version of baguette from the Lyon Bakery in DC.
While waiting in line I was able to scan their menu and look enviously at sandwiches that were being eaten. Flabbergasted at which sandwich I should try I finally decided on the Davis which consists of chicken breast topped with parsley, lemon aioli, and slivered almonds over avocado, red tomatoes and romaine lettuce. I also ordered a soda and chips which set me back about $10 which as you know is average in DC. Once I had my sandwich in hand I joined my coworker and made camp under a tree during the warm summer afternoon to enjoy our meals.
My initial thoughts were of how large the sandwich was and whether I could actually finish it. Leaving this thought behind I began to dig in. My first couple of bites were met with sheer amazement at both the quality of the bread and the contents within it. The ficelle felt like it just came out of the oven; it was as soft as butter and full of flavor. The sandwich as a whole was superb, the ingredients blended well and made for an incredible meal. Both my coworker and I were surprised that I was able to finish it and in such quick time.
Once my turn came I approached the truck and placed my order. This time I decided to sample the Calder which is their take on a cold cut. The Calder consists of hard salami, mortadella cheese, and Danish ham which is adorned with romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, pepper relish and Italian dressing. Once I received my sandwich I nestled myself under a tree, opened my book and had a quiet lunch.
To my delight the same positive characteristics were present in this sandwich as well. The freshness of the bread and natural blend of the ingredients were on full display. The sandwich was also not drenched in dressing which was a huge positive for me because this error occurs more often than not.
If like me you are a sandwich lover, especially on a baguette then I would highly recommend visiting this truck. Their ingredients are fresh, the bread is fantastic and their prices are on par with any food establishment. I have never had to wait too long in line and the service is prompt. For all these reasons please skip the abomination that is Subway and try this, it is a real sandwich. Did I mention how much I hate Subway? I will save that for another post entirely but please try this if you want a real sandwich.