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New Street Cart Vendors to hit DC

botnot Aug 29, 2007 09:58 AM

Korean BBQ Food Cart on 14th & L???? What??? Has anyone been to it or that new halal cart?


  1. ktmoomau Aug 29, 2007 01:10 PM

    No, but looks good. Too bad none are very close to my office. I would love to hit up one of the kebab places. I like the map feature they put on the article very convenient.

    1. j
      Jeserf Aug 29, 2007 05:45 PM

      i've seen it before....or, maybe it was one at 13th and L...it was L though!

      1. f
        Filthy Lucre Aug 29, 2007 05:53 PM

        I think they mean the new cart that serves only beef bulgogi or chicken teriyaki (southeast corner of 14th & L). I've had the beef bulgogi (both plates are $6.75). There is a grill in the cart but the bulgogi I was served (I visited last week and got there just before noon) was from a steam tray. Styrofoam trays are served with rice, a little salad, and a little kim chee. Portions are not huge but certainly enough to fill you up at lunch. Bulgogi was tasty, kim chee was bland, salad dressing looked like it was from scratch. Overall : good for a change, but nothing special.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Filthy Lucre
          botnot Aug 30, 2007 07:03 AM

          That sounds pretty promising. It's too bad it's a bit too far from where I work to check out. But, hey there's going to be a kebab cart right next to my office building. Yay!

        2. l
          lmnopeas Aug 29, 2007 06:18 PM

          Had the bulgogi for lunch. Pretty tasty and nice to have more cart options in town.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lmnopeas
            monkeyrotica Aug 30, 2007 06:14 AM

            I really wish the Sterling doner kebab people would bring their van downtown.


            1. re: monkeyrotica
              Streyeder Apr 21, 2008 10:35 PM

              It's in Leesburg the old Mighty Midget Kitchen now. I really wish they hadn't run off the BBQ joint. Best in the area.

          2. e
            Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 07:42 AM

            I was really excited to read this article! There was an article discussing this awhile back but I hadn't heard anything about the actual types of food that would be served. This sounds very promising.

            For a long time I was pretty skeptical about purchasing food from street cart vendors. But then I talked to a bunch of friends in Philly and NYC where street carts have some of the best cheap eats in town and was reassured that this is certainly the way to go.

            I don't work nearby any of the carts but I sometimes go to meetings in that section of town (and am currently applying to jobs near the carts) so I'm hoping to check some of them out.

            I think the more diversity the better. Right now the only exciting eat seems to be that amazing burrito dude that everyone is always talking about but I've never tried.

            Soul food, Korean BBQ etc all sound excellent. I would love some sort of Yakittori or better Asian eats...since this city is lacking in that of thing.

            I hope the post updates that map when all the vendors show up. That would certainly be something I would folk up and keep in my wallet just in case I find myself in that area with a growling stomach.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa
              Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 07:43 AM

              Also, as a crossover to the gelato/ice cream thread: there seems to be a number of vendors selling some sort of gelato!

              I wonder what "Frozen Desserts" means exactly though. Is it just another ice cream truck? Or something different and delicious?

              1. re: Elyssa
                monavano Aug 30, 2007 08:02 AM

                I'm from Philly and can testify to the greatness of the foodcart. I NEVER heard the term "roach coach" until I moved out of the city!. This is definitely a misconception. Foods are delicious and varied. And heavens knows cheap too. Some of the best trucks were in W. Philly all around U. of PA Hospital, were I used to work.
                I can tell you I had one of the best cheesesteaks from a truck run by 2 lovely Korean women, the best burrito at another and one more with fantastic vegetarian chili. Oh, and the fruit carts! DC should definitely get some of them...


                1. re: monavano
                  Jeserf Aug 30, 2007 08:09 AM

                  best food cart ever - chinese food outside the library at U of Pittsburgh - tofu and green beans. the best.

                  But philly does have great street food.

                2. re: Elyssa
                  MikeR Aug 30, 2007 05:43 PM

                  I always thought that street vendors were cheap eats, and in NYC, they still are, sort of. But the prices in the Washington Post article made me think that I pay about the same in the not too fancy restaurants where I have lunch around home in Falls Gulch and get the food brought to me, I have a place to sit, air conditioning and heat, and the food's pretty decent. I understand that street vendors have to buy their carts (and a "DC cart" is a special enough design to warrant its own name among manufacturers) and pay for a license, but it just seems like I should pay less to a street vendor who doesn't have the overhead of a building or rent or property taxes or utility bills . . .

                  What this town needs is a good fifty cent felafel. <g>

                3. j
                  Jeserf Aug 30, 2007 07:58 AM

                  what's with 'wings and waffles'?
                  anyone been?

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Jeserf
                    Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 08:04 AM

                    That cart isn't open yet. From the article it seems like only the schwarma and Korean BBQ are open already.

                    But wings and waffles is a tradional soul food type meal. I've had it in NYC before. It's really tasty. It's basically fried chicken served on top of waffles with syrup. If this cart does it right, it will be a major hit! In my opinion its also the perfect drunken late night meal.

                    1. re: Elyssa
                      Jeserf Aug 30, 2007 08:10 AM

                      i won't eat the fried chicken, but i could have a waffle at lunch and be pretty happy :)

                      1. re: Jeserf
                        Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 08:12 AM

                        Mmmmmm chicken and waffles!!!


                        Btw this Wikipedia article said there was 1 chicken and waffles restaurant in Washington, DC. Anyone know where?

                        1. re: Elyssa
                          mjf827 Aug 30, 2007 08:53 AM

                          Best Chicken and Waffle place ever is Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in LA. The nearest one around here is in Largo where the old Cap Center was. http://www.gladysandron.com/locations...

                          Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles
                          860-ECapital Centre Boulevard
                          Largo, Maryland 20774
                          Phone: 301-808-6402
                          Fax: 301-808-6405

                          Hours of Operation:
                          Monday-Thursday: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
                          Friday & Saturday: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM
                          Sunday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

                          1. re: mjf827
                            Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 09:02 AM

                            Ya I've heard of Roscoe's and really want to go there. Pretty much Roscoes and In-n-Out are the only reasons I can think of to return to LA. (Not my favorite city in the world).

                          2. re: Elyssa
                            monkeyrotica Aug 30, 2007 09:56 AM

                            That would be Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles in Largo.


                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                              nickdanger Aug 30, 2007 10:17 AM

                              When I was at the MD MVA in Gaithersburg in July, there was a chicken and waffles cart. The owner said he was bringing it to K street, and this must be him. The chicken he had there were strips, but tasty, and the waffles were fresh. Not the same scene as Roscoe's, but we're not in W. Hollywood either.

                              1. re: nickdanger
                                LaceyB522 Aug 30, 2007 12:13 PM

                                Do you have to get the chicken and waffles together or can you just get chicken?

                                Do they put syrup on the chicken and waffles?

                                Sorry - I'm confused.

                                1. re: LaceyB522
                                  Elyssa Aug 30, 2007 12:22 PM

                                  The chicken and waffles cart is not open yet so for this particular spot I don't think anyone will have the answer to that question.

                                  But in general I usually put syrup on the waffles and then eat the chicken with my hands...occasionally dipping it in the syrup. I've also eaten them together depending on the piece of chicken I've gotten. But I'm far from an expert. Only had this meal 2-3 times.

                                  1. re: Elyssa
                                    Jeserf Aug 30, 2007 07:20 PM

                                    the paper moon in baltimore sells a breakfast sandwich that's bacon or sausage between french toast with cheese and a fried egg...add syrup....

                                    salty, sweet, salty, sweet.

                                    that's the reason chicken and waffles are good. salty, sweet...salty, sweet!

                            2. re: Elyssa
                              Culocho Jun 23, 2008 10:33 AM

                              You can get chicken and waffles at Creme on U Street, and it's the after-hours crowd meal at Oohhs and Aahhs, also on U.

                        2. re: Jeserf
                          MikeR Aug 30, 2007 05:45 PM

                          Chicken and waffles is some culture's standard combination. Sounds Southern to me, but I first encountered it in Los Angeles.

                          1. re: Jeserf
                            Big T Sep 18, 2007 10:52 AM

                            I love chicken and waffles, Roscoe's is easily one of my top five favorite places to go. Anyone know if that wings and waffles cart (near K and 11th according to the Post map) is open yet??

                          2. w
                            WestIndianArchie Aug 30, 2007 09:24 PM

                            Went to the Halal place today @ ~2:00.
                            The sign said that they were out of food, and to come back tomorrow.

                            I'm so tired of ABP/Cosi/Potbelly (not that I have anything against chains, I love chains actually)

                            1. c
                              capitulatenow Aug 31, 2007 08:08 AM

                              I got the bulgogi on Wednesday! The mom/son (I assume) team was so friendly. They're from Kunsan, and they said they're planning to add more items to the menu -- maybe bibimbap. I'll be back to check that out, for sure.

                              Anyway, the bulgogi was solid and cooked to order on the griddle. And dude, I have to disagree about the "bland" kimchi -- it wasn't eye-wateringly spicy, but it was tasty and transported me right back to my ESL teaching days in Suwon. And it's homemade! Can't beat that.

                              1. jrsmoltz Aug 31, 2007 11:02 AM

                                I just got back from the Halal cart on 14th (1:30 on Friday). It seems like this thread has had quite an impact on the size of their crowd (it could be the Post article, but I'm sure everyone in line saw it here first).

                                Well I waited for 45 minutes. At least half the people in front of me left the line because of the wait. the two people who work the cart couldn't have been nicer, though. They announced that they had to start a new batch of chicken for the shwarmas and it would take 15 to 20 minutes longer. Fifteen minutes later, I was near the front of the line, but they said it would be another 10-15 minutes. They were very apologetic and said that this was the most people that have shown up and that they were still ironing out the kinks.

                                I got two merguez sausage pitas ($3 each), because I had to get back to work and couldn't wait any longer. They were really well seasoned. I think I saw a pine nut in one of them. I'll definitely go back to try the chicken shwarmas, but I don't think I'll wait that long again. Once their operation is smoothed out and the novelty of the new street carts has worn off, I hope the lines will be much more efficient.

                                1. 1
                                  12th and ny Sep 14, 2007 09:41 AM

                                  I can confirm that on Monday (Sept. 17) the Korean bulgogi cart will begin serving bimbimbap and california rolls.

                                  I just visited it for lunch today and think it's a wonderful alternative to Cosi and all the overpriced fancy sandwiches in the area. The kimchee is great--not too hot, not too dull. And the rice is perfectly steamed. Even my co-worker, an admitted meat-and-potatoes kid of person, was salivating when I bought the container back into the office. The aroma of the bulgogi drew many people in.

                                  Tom Sietsema has a review of the cart coming in Sunday's magazine (last third of his article) so I suspect they will be crowded on Monday.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: 12th and ny
                                    Jeserf Sep 14, 2007 09:48 AM

                                    ...seems like it might be somewhat easier to go on Fridays....many, many feds work 5-4-9, so a the population of downtown workers shrinks a bit on Fridays...

                                    just a tip, maybe that'll help everyone get in line for the carts easier!

                                  2. j
                                    Jeserf Sep 19, 2007 06:05 AM

                                    do they have chicken on the Korean cart? or anything vegetarian?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jeserf
                                      12th and ny Sep 20, 2007 10:40 AM

                                      yes, the Korean cart has teriyaki chicken, and now does have vegetarian bimbimbap (rice bowl with vegetables) and California rolls. Everything is $6.75. The line yesterday around 12:30 was about 15 people long, but seemed to be moving okay.

                                    2. h
                                      hungry.hungry.hippo Sep 25, 2007 12:06 PM

                                      i wonder when there would be any new stands opening up or is that it?

                                      1. j
                                        Jeserf Sep 28, 2007 09:55 AM

                                        I got the Korean today...

                                        it's spicy, the sauce is good, but (even though I should have known) I am disappointed with the fact that my meal is pretty much all dark meat chicken. I don't dig dark meat chicken, so I don't foresee myself ordering this ever again. I also didn't see anything remotely vegetarian. If they had veggies tossed in this sauce over rice, I'd probably go all the time.

                                        I haven't seen the Delle and Campbells cart in a long time at 14th and G- did they move? I went down to try it the other day, and didnt see them...

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Jeserf
                                          food.fiend Oct 1, 2007 05:57 AM

                                          the bibimbap at the korean kart is vegetarian and has the vegetables over rice...

                                          1. re: food.fiend
                                            Jeserf Oct 1, 2007 06:26 AM

                                            I'm not really familiar with Korean food...what type of vegetables and is the sauce similar to the others?

                                            other than the fact that it was dark meat chicken, the food was good and the service was friendly...so if the veggie dish is worth it, i'd go back.

                                            thanks in advance :)

                                          2. re: Jeserf
                                            hungry.hungry.hippo Oct 12, 2007 11:45 AM

                                            yea they are still there... looks like they are struggling tho. they dont look busy at all.

                                            1. re: Jeserf
                                              NoVaDog Oct 12, 2007 03:28 PM

                                              They were there today. Food is fine, but they're awfully SLOW. I was actually going to try out the Soul Food cart nearby at H and NY, but that does not appear to be there yet. Wonder if it ever was...

                                            2. t
                                              takajin Nov 2, 2007 10:37 AM

                                              Visited Korean food cart today for the first time. Will definitely go back.

                                              Only 2 people in line when we arrived around 12:30. Sounds like business is moderate recently. You can also call your order ahead for pickup. They have biz cards on their cart counter.

                                              I had bulgolgi with regular beef. Friend had bibimbap with spicy beef (choice of regular or spicy beef or chicken; and a veggie option with bibimbap). I would describe kimchee as mild to moderate spicy. And the spicy beef as moderately spicy. I can handle foods typically described as moderately spicy, but not much more, to give a frame of reference.

                                              Bulgolgi: Generous serving of rice, Kimchee, and some lettuce with a little oil/vinegar. Not regular sized pieces of lettuce that you can wrap the bulgogi in, but more of a "side salad', palate cleanser, whatever. Pretty tasty.

                                              Bibimbap: This is what I'll go back for. Friend chose the spicy beef. Great flavor; Served with a hard fried egg, wilted spinach, shredded carrots and bean sprouts. Not only was the flavor good, but the veggies were fresh and had good color. It was the most appetizing-looking dish in styrofoam container that I've ever had :-)

                                              They also give you an extra portion of the spicy sauce to mix into the bibimbap if you like. Friend did not mix it in since he already got the spicy beef.

                                              I suspect if you get the veggie portion of bibimbap that they just give you extra of the spinach, carrots, and bean sprouts.

                                              Now that the lines are dying down a bit, but the weather is still nice, I'd recommend venturing out to it (and making sure they stay in business until I can make another field trip to their location!)

                                              1. f
                                                foodplow Dec 2, 2007 05:13 AM

                                                Not quite DC but the new Neapolitan food cart in Ballston is amazing and cheap. Perfect for me since I work right there and need a quick bite to go. They serve $5 pizzas and have a daily special that range from 5-8 dollars. They also sell neat European candies and I saw Brasilian guarana drinks the other day. Delicious.


                                                1. h
                                                  hoosierinva Dec 4, 2007 04:33 PM

                                                  Delle & Campbell's cart - shwarma, doner kebabs, merguez showed up at the corner of Mass Ave. & N. Capitol St. yesterday and today.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: hoosierinva
                                                    4X4 Dec 5, 2007 06:29 AM

                                                    I saw that on Monday - walked by it when I left work early. I'm going to check and see if they're still there today.

                                                    1. re: hoosierinva
                                                      botnot Dec 5, 2007 06:33 AM

                                                      Sweet! Going there for lunch today. Will report back.

                                                      1. re: botnot
                                                        botnot Dec 5, 2007 08:00 AM

                                                        They weren't there today. I'm guessing because of the snow. :(

                                                      2. re: hoosierinva
                                                        4X4 Dec 6, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                        I had a doner kebab from that cart today for lunch. It was pretty good and the price was right ($6.00 for the kebab and a bag of chips). The kebab is chicken on a pita, with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and chili sauce. The sauce is very spicey (looked like a bottle of some Carribean style sauce to me), which is how I like it.

                                                        It looks like instead of a yogurt-based sauce they put ranch dressing on the shawarmas. Or maybe it's a yogurt sauce in a ranch dressing bottle. I plan to try the shawarma soon, so I'll find out.

                                                        There were about 4 people ahead of me and it took about 8-10 minutes to get my order. There's only one guy working the cart, so the wait wasn't bad.

                                                        They have a sort of honor system for paying - put your money in a pirtcher on the cart and take your change. The kebab man encouraged everyone to take free cough drops he had in a jar since it's a cold day.

                                                        I'll definitely go back, mainly because it's a cheap alternative to the local sandwich shops and it's very close to work.

                                                      3. a
                                                        AndrewF Feb 8, 2008 06:33 AM

                                                        Is the Korean cart still open for business? Was going to make the walk over today if it is still there.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: AndrewF
                                                          brettashley01 Feb 8, 2008 08:12 AM

                                                          Yeah it is, haven't been outside today but they've been there.

                                                          1. re: brettashley01
                                                            AndrewF Feb 8, 2008 09:11 AM

                                                            I left just before this was posted! Indeed, they were there.

                                                            For a first-timer, I have to say I was very pleased. I had the spicy bulgogi, which wasn't particularly spicy. However, it was tender, sweet (but not too sweet), and overall pretty flavorful. Small salad and small helping of kimchi, which was good. I could eat kimchi all day long...wish it was a larger portion.

                                                            Glad I made the walk.

                                                            1. re: AndrewF
                                                              DanielK Feb 8, 2008 12:23 PM

                                                              If you ask for it extra-spicy, they are happy to oblige. And I've seen them pile on the kimchi when requested to as well!

                                                              1. re: DanielK
                                                                AndrewF Feb 8, 2008 02:36 PM

                                                                Very good to know.

                                                                Also forgot to mention the portion size...great value. That was a nice-sized lunch.

                                                                I'm a fan.

                                                          2. re: AndrewF
                                                            nekst Jun 23, 2008 10:07 AM

                                                            Is the Korean cart open in the early evening? (6:00ish?)

                                                            1. re: nekst
                                                              skiwebster Jun 23, 2008 06:29 PM

                                                              nope. it usually closes around 2 or 3 pm.

                                                          3. s
                                                            sir cooksalot Apr 15, 2008 06:23 PM

                                                            so has the Chicken and Waffle cart opened up yet?

                                                            1. a
                                                              adoptakiwi Apr 16, 2008 09:24 AM

                                                              I work right around the corner of 15 & L, a regular to the korean BBQ vendors. I'm suggesting (fingers crossed) that they'll one day serve soondubu (korean spicy tofu soup)!

                                                              it's bimbimbap in the photo

                                                              1. p
                                                                pakbaltimore Apr 21, 2008 03:13 AM

                                                                There used to be a souvlaki vender across the street from Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore on the corner of Monuement, that was absolutely delicious. At lunch time he would have lines of people, taking at about 10minutes to get a souvlaki. I moved away in 2005, so I'm not sure if he's still there.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  CerealKiller May 6, 2008 01:32 PM

                                                                  Here's a fun, helpful write-up of the Korean cart on SeriousEats.com with yummy PHOTOS>


                                                                  1. a
                                                                    aletnes Jan 5, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                                    Wanted to revive this thread and see if anyone knew of any new food carts out there. Also please post either where they can be found or (if they travel) where you can keep up with them.

                                                                    Fojol Brothers of Merlindia (aka Curry Cart) -- http://twitter.com/fojolbros
                                                                    Curbside Cupcakes -- http://curbsidecupcakes.com

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: aletnes
                                                                      chaofun Jan 5, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                      Sweetflow Mobile - http://twitter.com/SweetflowMobile
                                                                      District Taco - http://twitter.com/districttaco

                                                                      Curbside Cupcake's twitter is: http://twitter.com/CurbsideCupcake

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