The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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April 8, 2024

Washingtonians turn to food trucks as a tasty alternative

The side of the road is normally the last place to look for gourmet snacks, but food trucks’ rising popularity is leading many people to rethink the best options for a meal on the go.

Customers mill around the Far East Taco Grille. “It’s authentic because its straight from the source,” junior Julia Squeri said. Photo by Abigail Cutler.

Sick of high prices and crowds, Washingtonians have increasingly turned to roadside restaurants. According to an IBIS World U.S. market research report, the number of street vendors has grown annually at a rate of 8.4%. Food trucks, with their widespread presence, are attracting both tourists and residents looking for a quick lunch.

Junior Jack Puglisi credits reasonable prices, a modest presentation and tasty food as attractive qualities in the food truck business.

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“The food is like fast food of a higher standard,” he said. “Even something as simple as grilled cheese can be gourmet.”

The food media has also picked up on this trend. A Travel Channel feature on food trucks documents people in cities around the country expressing their enjoyment of food trucks and their different styles of food.

One of the trucks featured was D.C.’s Fojol Brothers, which serves its self-described “Merlindian” cuisine. It serves curries and other Indian foods, but with an American twist. The owners even wear turbans and fake mustaches, which attract attention as they make laps around the city.

Junior Julia Squeri likes the access she has to the food while it’s being made, she said.

“It’s authentic because its straight from the source,” she said. “Often you can see them making it right in front of you.”

Those seeking quality food trucks often enjoy popular D.C. trucks like Curbside Cupcakes, DC Slices and DCPieTruck. Companies tweet daily locations so customers can easily find nearby food trucks, eliminating a potential problem with this on-the-go kitchen style.

Doug Povich, owner of the D.C. Red Hook Lobster Pound truck, said that social media is vital to the company’s success.

“Without social media we would have no customers,” he said. “You get a Twitter following and you tweet your location and you’ll have 40 to 50 people waiting for you.”

Povich said that the social aspect of food trucks sets them apart from traditional restaurants.

“Street food is more social than being in a restaurant because you’re meeting people as you stand in line,” he said.

Food trucks have an appealing, low-key atmosphere, senior Ryan Brand said.

“They are often family-run businesses and the people who work at them are always so friendly and nice and provide an awesome ambiance,” he said.

Brand said the uniqueness of eating at food trucks is one reason he returns to eat their food.

“It provides a new, unusual and exciting dining experience,” he said. “It’s something you don’t get to do every day.”

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