Map depicting the locations for food trucks in Alexandria
With the Alexandria City Council’s decision last week to allow food trucks at designated areas on West Street, King Street, and Eisenhower Avenue, some new menus may be rolling into town over the coming weeks and months. Here are three to put on your radar.
Vietnamese-inspired Lemongrass is no stranger to Alexandria — it took part in the weekly food-truck event at the Patent and Trademark Office just last Thursday. But Alexandrians would consider it a victory indeed to play host to Lemongrass more frequently at each of the city’s newly legal locations.
Peruse the menu for just a moment and you’ll see that Lemongrass offers several ways to enjoy three proteins: slow-roasted pork, lemongrass chicken, or tofu. If you’re aiming for a lighter lunch, give the salad a try, but if you want a stick-to-your-ribs meal that will leave you full but not stuffed, the vermicelli noodles are a sure winner. Served cold, the noodles are a perfect complement to the hot protein, and the addition of pickled vegetables on the side makes a meal that sings. Don’t overlook the Sriracha when picking up your order — fill a plastic container to the brim with the spicy red sauce and take it to go.
NuVegan Café To Go
Carnivores of the world, don’t dismiss this one straight out of hand. The food that comes from the inside of the NuVegan truck could addict anyone (even if you don’t plan on forgoing meat forever — or the rest of the day, for that matter). NuVegan takes soul food to another level, and diners are the better for it.
First things first: See whether the fried “chik’n” sandwich is on the menu for the day, and if it is, order it immediately. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, this sandwich will surely knock your socks off. The breading is crispy, the faux meat is juicy and rich with flavor — put this in a bun and you’ve got a full lunch already. But don’t stop there: You’ll want to try a side, and the vegan mac and cheese will have you questioning the ingredient list. The creaminess of the cheese sauce makes it hard to believe that there’s no dairy in this meal, and combined with the al dente elbow macaroni, it’s comfort food at its finest.
The Big Cheese
Sometimes, all you really want in life is a grilled-cheese sandwich. And when that craving strikes, the Big Cheese food truck is at the ready.
Admittedly, some food trucks can be too cute by half — they can offer too many frilly, fancy items that are big on style but low on substance. The Big Cheese doesn’t fall prey to such pitfalls; instead, it offers variations on a theme, and gives diners something interesting to taste along the way. To wit: The Irish stout sandwich, a hearty helping of Irish stout cheddar on sourdough bread. Also in style at the moment: The lemon fig, a chevre combined with lemon fig preserves served between slices of multigrain bread. It’s springtime on a sandwich.
Keep an eye on these trucks’ whereabouts via their Twitter accounts, which are updated often, and bring your appetite when they wheel into the neighborhood.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.