Food Truck Fetish Fridays: A Barbarian Visits Tapas Truck

Image of Food Truck Fetish Fridays food truck

Let me begin this Food Truck Fetish Friday post by saying that tapas are not my cup of tea. While I have long admired the nation of Spain for its collective embrace of daily siesta nap culture as necessity, folklore of El Cid and Don Quixote, and a storied tradition of running with—and being gored by—enormous angry bulls, I have never cared for their saucer-sized contribution to the scene of international cuisine.

Or at least that is the notion I have always firmly ingrained in my mind because I rarely indulge in tapas. Like, ever. You see, my perception of this style of dining gravitates toward the quintessential American school of thought: it’s freakin’ lame, much as it is perceived in Birmingham, Kansas City, Memphis, or anywhere that prides themselves on the value of sizable portions, which, judging by our restaurants and waistlines is…THE ENTIRE U.S.A.!

I also have innate biological restraints to tapas that are hardwired deep into my inner circuitry. Being a self-conscious barbaric male precludes me from seeking out this form of nutrition when I need to satisfy my appetite. Typically, these dishes are served alongside glass pitchers of fruit-infused, pinkish sangria to groups of 24 year-old female interns on Capitol Hill. Apparently, these young ladies enjoy paying $15 for each paltry appetizer plate in a fleeting attempt to relive their trials and tribulations as study-abroad students in Barcelona.

Me? I know where I belong and that is usually sitting in a dark, dank dive bar with a lukewarm beer in one hand, an overstuffed roast beef po’ boy sandwich in the other, and my mind flip-flopping back and forth as I decide whether it is advisable to carry my foodstuffs with me when I get up to use the bathroom.

Well, wouldn’t you know—my next stop on the free food truck lunch tour was…the Tapas Truck.

Continue reading

Patriotism Now 50% Off, Thanks to Online Coupons

Image of Groupon for Half Off Patriotism for July 4th

Patriotic Online Deals Also Offer Rare Glimpse into National Psyche

Most of the time, you don’t have to look very far or think too much about what it means to be American. Lest we forget, we are constantly reminded of our duties as a citizen to uphold the lofty values that our forefathers intended to bequeath upon our great land.

Like most mornings, I open my email and begin deleting junk from a list of usual suspects: Living Social, Groupon, Capitol Deal, Amazon Local Deal, the landlord, debt collectors, Eversave, and ESPN. However, this time, I found the diamond in the rough awaiting me in  my inbox:

“Subject: Half Off Patriotism – Fourth of July Deals ‏”

Thanks to the advent of modern technology, I was given a key, nay a revelation, to enjoy my god-given rights as an American to the maximum extent possible by virtue of…Patriotic Online Deals for the Fourth of July!

With Independence Day just around the corner, many of us have already concocted detailed strategies of how we will honor our great nation. For many, this usually involves a simple equation consisting of food, family, friends, fireworks, and copious alcohol consumption. My current plans still adhere to this time-honored tradition, but after receiving the opportunity to purchase a bevy of limited-time offers, my Fourth of July machinations have bloomed into a star-spangled furor, sure to shatter my own personal records of patriotism.

How, you ask? Behold, the keys to freedom enshrined in the Articles of Online Coupon Patriotism:

Continue reading

Food Truck Fetish Friday: Tasty Kabob

Image of food truck fetish friday tasty kabob

Kebabs, or kabobs, depending on your spelling preference, are a form of food that appeals to the barbarian within all of us. The mere thought of sharp metal and wooden skewers piercing through tender hunks of meat as it sizzles over roaring flames conjure images of Turkish warriors, Arabian knights, and even Greek philosophers gathered around ancient pyres under starry desert skies, awaiting a higher form of sustenance earned only through the shedding of blood or arduous debate over human existence (in the case of the philosophers).

This primal mojo, coupled with my boundless adoration of eating meat on a stick, is precisely what makes kebabs one of my all-time favorite food items. Kebabs, in fact, approach perfection. Easy to handle, you can eat kebabs at carnivals, you can eat kebabs at weddings–both during ceremonies and receptions; you can eat kebabs on your couch, and you can eat kebabs to suppress road rage while suffering through rush hour traffic. On a boat, in a plane, or on the toilet — the kebab allows the eater to fill their stomach in succulent pleasure without the need for elitist plates, forks, knives, or napkins. Simply place the meat in your mouth and chew, swallow, and toss the empty skewer on the ground, and return your focus to the important business of thinking about what to eat next while sitting in front of your TV.

For these reasons, I was particularly excited about redeeming my free lunch coupon for the Tasty Kabob food truck in Washington, D.C.

Boy, did I ever set myself up for disappointment of tragic proportions.

Continue reading

Food Truck Fetish Friday: Rolls on Rolls

Image of food truck

Eating complimentary meals from Washington, D.C. food trucks is a monumental task. In fact, I only have until December 31st to capitalize on the greatest prize I have ever won, which is a pile of 40 pieces of paper, each redeemable for free food. There is something about carrying these coupons around that, well, makes me feel much cooler than other patrons who have to fork over wads of crusty dollar bills or swipe their Visa Platinum Rewards card to get their lunch. Me? I just brandish my stack of cardstock tickets and slam them down on the counter as I demand free food.

It was under this condition that I marched toward the Rolls on Rolls food truck at Franklin Park in downtown D.C., my sails filled with gale-force wind. Knowing that I was entitled to a chicken masala roll, vegetable samosa, and a frothy mango lassi, I nearly realized ultimate enlightenment as I perched under the Bodhi-like awning to place my order.

Typically, when you order Indian food and ask for “spicy,” you receive a warm smile, shallow promise, and a paltry pinch of cayenne basked in politeness so as not to nuke your virgin American palate. At Rolls on Rolls, they do away with the niceties and follow through on the mission to deliver maximum heat.

Continue reading

Food Truck Fetish Fridays 2: Borinquen Lunch Box

Image of food truck

I must admit, I know little-to-nothing about Puerto Rican food. Had I not won the Trucko de Mayo raffle prize (I really stole the food truck coupons from my wife, the true winner), I would have never discovered the sheer awesomeness that our Island Territory hermanos and hermanas dish up. Having a few friends who hail from Puerto Rico—and who “coincidentally” know a lot about, and like, food—I should not have been so surprised when I happened upon Borinquen Lunch Box.

Borinquen prides themselves on serving up authentic Puerto Rican cuisine from scratch. After experiencing their food, I can understand why they are proud of their product.

As I sauntered through Franklin Park, I spotted the truck and bee-lined to the front of the queue. One of the fun parts of this little food truck “project” is chatting with the good folks who work in these roaming kitchens. Just about every one I have visited so far usually get a kick when this big, fat dude shows up with the winning ticket.

For the Borinquen lunch prize, they offered me the choice of their Cuban sandwich, or something called a Tripleta. Being the food snob that I am (not really—I like it all), I opted for the tripleta, which is far less passé than a Cuban sandwich (that’s like so totally 2010).

My Spanish classes from high school are just some of the myriad pieces of my memory that have been sucked into a deep black void in the time-space continuum. Or just depleted by cerveza. After eating the Tripleta sandwich from Borinquen, the language lessons came flooding back and I remembered that tripleta is Spanish for AWESOME.

Continue reading

Food Truck Fetish Fridays

Image of food truck

In an attempt to launch a new series on this blog, I am going to dedicate each Friday to food—specifically, food served from a truck. You see, I recently won (OK, my wife and our friend won) a raffle prize at an event called “Trucko de Mayo” entitling us (OK, mostly me so far) to a free meal from more than 30 different food trucks in the Washington, D.C. area.

With that, I have the unique opportunity to sample a variety of cuisine while inhaling the sweet essence of diesel fumes in our nation’s capital. In doing so, I will review the vendors and dishes…mostly just for fun. More importantly, I hope to decipher whether the food truck craze is justified by virtue of the quality of their menus, or whether it is simply a passing fad to capitalize on our insatiable quest as Americans to eat in every possible location, venue and setting throughout our great country.

Since I occasionally watch foodie programs on TV and am biologically programmed to consume food to survive, you can rest assured that my opinion counts just as much as any other Joe Schmoe on TV who has ever taken a bite into a luscious carne asada taco only to be met with disgust upon recognizing that the “meat” consists of heavily seasoned shoulder fat scraped together from the butcher’s refuse pile.

But first, a quick look into the foodie phenomenon that has overtaken the U.S. of A.

Continue reading