Triangleside Kickoff

Wheaton Curbside Kickoff, view from the port-o-potties

Wheaton Curbside Kickoff, view from the port-o-potties

I counted fourteen (out of an advertised nineteen) food trucks in and around the Wheaton Triangle on Saturday for the Curbside Kickoff event.  Were the other five kicked off?  Did they show up later in the day?  Decided they had better places to be?  Between noon and 1:00 the crowds weren’t exactly overwhelming, anyway.  More people later?

Borinquen pork, rice, yum

Borinquen pork, rice, yum

I think DC Ballers, whose falafel was recommended to me, was among the missing trucks, although maybe I just overlooked them.  No falafel in sight, as far as I could tell.  The longest line by far was at Borinquen Lunch Box Puerto Rican truck, so I hopped in line assuming people knew what they were doing.  People did!  Borinquen’s roast pork with onions over “arroz con gandulez” (rice and beans) was flavorful if a bit salty, with plenty of pork, a huge portion overall, solid value at $10.  The empanada de carne ($3.50) was above-average, with a crisp blistered exterior holding the standard beef-pepper mixture. Also, impressive customer service from the superfriendly proprietors, and while I spent probably 20 minutes in line, which I would never do during the workweek downtown, once my order was placed it was ready in just a couple of minutes.

I also tried Lemongrasstruck, which was not among the trucks listed on the Curbside Kickoff website.*  When at Lemongrasstruck, go with the lemongrass chicken, right? It wasn’t particularly redolent of lemongrass, but the chicken was surprisingly moist and tender, with pliant rice noodles and a nice side salad/slaw/pickles.  Another big portion, and this one for $8, excellent value.  Short line, and food here also ready in a hurry.  Another Vietnamese truck, Pho Wheels, was also on site and people were raving about their banh mi, but even I can only eat so much.

Lemongrasstruck lemongrasschicken

Lemongrasstruck lemongrasschicken

* the website also lists one truck as “Danderously Delicious Pies” which might be nice if I were a cat but is perhaps suggestive that sufficient attention to detail has not been paid, by someone.

As I walked to the event I passed numerous Wheaton brick-and-mortar restaurants that did not have many (or any) patrons at noonish on a Saturday.  The one exception was IHOP, whose waiting area was packed.  There is a time for IHOP, and that time is between the hours of one and four a.m., not lunchtime on a Saturday in a town rife with great affordable interesting restaurants AND a food truck gathering.  Get with the ferally urbane program, people.

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4 responses to “Triangleside Kickoff

  1. Nice to see you posting again

  2. I was quite disappointed as well. I eat at food trucks on a daily basis, but I went more in support of the community then to sample new trucks and found less than 100 people there around 4pm on Saturday.

    The “beer tent” had a sad five or six people enjoying beverages. Poor Wheaton.

  3. I think the poor turnout was due to a lack of publicity. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a food truck event in Wheaton, so people aren’t on the lookout for this type of event in this location. Because this was the first time, the organizers needed to make an effort to draw people. Sure they had a website, but no Facebook page that I saw (one should have been linked from the website since liking things online is a good way to spread the word among friends). Other food truck festivals put ads in Express, signs on Metro, and hang fliers around DC. They could have at least hung or handed out fliers at the nearby metro stations. I didn’t see any publicity for this one except for blog posts — so it is not surprising that not many people went. People just didn’t know about it.

    Personally, I didn’t go because I already had plans to attend the annual Free Museum Day that took place that day and then events in DC in the evening. I hope they try this event again and advertise it better so more people attend. Maybe they could have it together with some other Wheaton event like the Exchange or Safeway grand opening, something at the mall, or at Brookside Gardens. If people who don’t live in Wheaton have more than one reason to come there on a Saturday, they will be more likely to do so.

  4. Totally agree – not well advertised at all. Even so, I wasn’t disappointed in the event — some good options were there, and the lines would have been a lot longer had it been better advertised! My only disappointment was seeing IHOP so crowded…

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