8 Food Trucks That Call for a Lunch Break
These rolling restaurants have been around the block a time or two, and they're as good as ever.
The novelty of food-truck dining may have faded, but there are still plenty of reasons to eat from one. Aside from the convenience factor of grabbing lunch curbside only a few blocks from home or office, there’s also the variety and—dare we say?—reliability that has come to define some of these meals on wheels.
“Before, people were eating from food trucks because it was the new thing to do,” says Najiba Hlemi, who was executive director of the DMV Food Truck Association until last month. “Now we’re seeing that with an abundance of trucks comes the need for a competitive advantage.”
Hlemi says that’s a good thing for customers, and it’s only going to continue as the spring season ramps up and heads into summer, when food trucks become the best way to catch lunch with a side of Vitamin D. “What you’re going to see is better-tasting food from a lot of trucks, exciting menus, more artisan and niche offerings,” she says.
Some of those new offerings will be served up from trucks that have been around Arlington for close to five years. Their owners continue to woo us with tasty choices, from bowls of pho that hit the spot, to ice cream that beckons us to drippy sidewalk eating. Here’s a rundown of the trucks that have our number.
1. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
It’s hard to find a better food-truck combination to brighten a rough day at the office—or break that ill-advised diet—than fried chicken and doughnuts. Thankfully, Astro has been serving both from a truck, as well as standalone locations in the District and Falls Church, and making frequent stops in Ballston, since 2014. The truck’s menu can change with the seasons, but there are some standbys on it: the maple-bacon doughnut, the crème brulee one, or a piece of fried chicken sandwiched between two halves of a doughnut (or a biscuit).
Astro’s co-owner Elliot Spaisman says the team, which is opening a store in Los Angeles, doesn’t always roll out the truck on Mondays, when potential customers are still repenting for their weekend “sins.”
“But as the week goes on … Friday is definitely doughnut day,” he says.
Follow the truck on Twitter @AstroDoughnuts
2. Over the Rice
It sounds simple, but this truck has generated quite the following by putting an entire lunch in a bowl and over rice (or salad). Marinated meats—choose chicken, lamb, steak or pork—star over basmati rice with options of spicy hot sauce, tangy yogurt sauce, or both. The truck also has vegetarian options for non-carnivores.
“Whenever I notice it outside my office in Rosslyn, I immediately question any existing lunch plans,” a reviewer recently wrote on Yelp.
The red truck covered with larger-than-life cartoon characters is hard to miss when it rolls into the concrete corridors of Ballston or Rosslyn, and it can generate quite the line. The eatery also has a brick-and-mortar location inside the Crystal City Shops.
Follow the truck on Twitter @OverTheRice