Food Trucks

It’s Foodie Tuesday!

Queue at a food truck

Image by Renee Alfonso

A while back the Food Network had a reality show called The Great Food Truck Race, where food trucks from around the US competed week to week serving up new dishes that responded to challenges all the while traveling across the country. While the idea behind the show seemed great in the beginning, it gradually became clear that this show was clearly banking on a food fad.

I’m not entirely sure if the show itself is still running, but I am certain however, that Food Trucks are still running about many cities, and in fact, doing fairly well. Here in Washington, DC Food Trucks make regular appearances around popular lunch spots in the downtown area, like Farragut Square and Union Station.

A row of parked food trucks

Image by Renee Alfonso

Apart from serving up their signature specialties, Food Trucks are also great examples of self-contained retail and branding enterprises that ingeniously use their environment to make a unique statement, while tapping social media to communicate with their audience. Most food trucks communicate using Twitter and Facebook to announce their routes for the day or week.

Creating an effective and memorable Food Truck concept proves to be tough however, because if executed poorly it could border on kitsch or easily get lost amongst the other three hundred out there. There are a few around however that I’ve found to be quite memorable, not to mention delicious-looking as well.



Image from Sweet Designs

Coolhaus is the creation of former architect and takes its name and specialties from of course, architectural puns. Its food of choice is ice cream sandwiches, each combination named after an “starchitect,” like Frank Behry (after Frank Gehry), and Mies Vanilla Rohe (after Mies Van Der Rohe). The truck emulates its logo, which is an ice cream sandwich-house. If you didn’t guess it already, the truck’s namesake it self is architect Rem Koolhas.

Rickshaw Dumplings (@RickshawTruck on Twitter)

Rickshaw Dumplings Truck

Image by Jordan Provost

The Rickshaw Dumpling truck is the mobile counterpart of a restaurant in New York City. While their fare is fairly simple, the design of their truck is layered with loads of enticing typography, including a sign for “Dumplings” on the front of the truck that is backwards – so that driver can read the sign in their rear-view mirror.

DC Pie Truck

DC Pie Truck

Image from We Love DC

The Dangerously Delicious Pies shop is a local DC Neighborhood hotspot, serving vegan pies all day and into the wee hours of the morning. Thanks to their new truck, however, not only can we have vegan pies all day, but in multiple locations too! The pies themelves are dangerously delicious indeed, and the shop’s logo warns you with some crossbones on a heavy dark background.

The Big Cheese

Big Cheese

Image from Vox Populi

Sometimes simple comfort is just what we need – and the Big Cheese is one food truck that does simple and delicious pretty well. The truck serves spruced up versions of grilled cheese sandwiches, and you can even grab a cup of homemade tomato soup to go with it. The truck itself, which is embellished with yellow stars, is refreshing and delightful – spreading some delight and warmth with every grilled cheese they make.


TaKorean Truck

Image from Tiffatookie Eats

The first time I heard about the Korean taco truck I admit I was skeptical about the concept, but it seems to have gotten a good reception here in DC, and a couple of other similar trucks in other cities have popped up as well. I’ve yet to try it but their offerings certainly seems enticing. The truck’s branding and design could use a little more work to reflect the unique fusion fare.

Fusing food, design, and mobility, food trucks are definitely an exciting way to liven up your lunchbreak!

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