Eat Wonky is the self-described “Best Food Truck Ever.” You have to give it to ‘em — they’re a confident bunch. And judging by the line I see most days when they come to Farragut Square, I thought they might just bump my personal favorite, Cap Mac, off its’ mighty perch.
But alas, alack, no. Cap Mac is safe, high up on the Mount Food Truck Olympus.
I came across a Wonky truck with no line on a recent Thursday when it was pissing down rain and I was running an errand. Seems no one wanted to venture out. The bright blue and orange truck was parked across the street from Farragut Square and directly in my path. So, even though I was juggling a very large, framed wedding gift and an umbrella, the lure of no line at one of the most popular food trucks was too much to resist.
Now, not only was I a Wonky virgin, but I had never had poutine. Or this “squeaky cheese” business. But I know a lot of good folks from Wisconsin, land of the squeaky cheese, so I had pretty high hopes. For those who don’t know, poutine is a dish that originated in Quebec and consists of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
The menu was quite varied in price and range, and hit all the culinary highlights: they had Wonky dogs (all-beef frank on a warm toasted roll topped with fries, squeaky cheese and gravy), Poutine fries (natural cut French fries topped with squeaky cheese and gravy), regular fries, grilled cheese (squeaky cheese with crushed red pepper and basil on a Panini-grilled hoagie roll). For dessert this day, there were two types of whoopee pies – traditional chocolate or lemon raspberry.
The grilled cheese sounded delightful on a blustery day; and of course I had to go for their signature dish, the poutine fries.
My total for poutine fries ($5.50), a grilled cheese ($5.50), a chocolate whoopee pie ($3) and drink was $15.50. It was a tiny bit expensive, I think. No matter, I handed over my rain-sodden money and waited expectantly.
The fries were assembled right away, but the grilled cheese was cooked to order. Still, I had to wait only a few minutes for my grilled cheese. The transporting system was a bit dodgy. It was comprised of little cardboard food boats covered with foil. Could be a big problem if you had your hands full, which mine were. Nevertheless, I got back to the office safely and tucked in.
My initial thought was: hmmm, this sandwich doesn’t seem very warm. And yet, the bread is kinda soggy. Not the toasty hoagie roll I had envisioned. Maybe the foil trapped in the moisture? But keep in mind, I walked about 3 blocks back to my office with my lunch. Hardly a marathon.
The cheese was definitely melted, just not hot. But most disappointing was the fact that there was no sign of either basil or red pepper, which I had been excited about. It looked like there might have been a scattering of some kind of seasoning mix, which I’m guessing is the Wonky version of basil and red pepper? Very disappointing. It’s rare that I think, “I should have had the food cart hotdog,” but that was my sentiment upon ingesting this sad sandwich.
The fries on the other hand were a wonder, and appeared to come out of an entirely different kitchen. A regional classic of hearty golden fries, layered with a complex and pungent cheese and finished with a silken brown gravy to offset the creamy cheese and earthy potatoes, the poutine left me wanting more.
Another slight culinary miscue was the whoopee pie. When I opened it, I noticed it had that lovely sheen that well-crafted and moist cakes often have. But when I bit into it, it was a little crumbly (ie: dry), making it very difficult to eat at one’s desk without wearing it on one’s professional attire.
The cream filling was light and plentiful, good cake to filling ratio. All in all, still satisfying, if a bit large. I couldn’t finish it. You can’t hate on a whoopee pie: it just didn’t overwhelm this reviewer. I know it might get guffawed, but I wouldn’t mind a half whoopee. Then I might also have the option of trying more than one, as an added bonus.
As I said, Eat Wonky had a lot of menu choices, including different sizes, and they had all the standard Coke drinks. Drink options are huge in my book. And, they had a dessert option which was very, very smart. They’re also big supporters of the community, including the DC Roller Derby and lots of local bands, which I respect.
Overall a mixed bag. I’d give them 3 out of 4 wheels, and I’d definitely try the hot dog the next time. And bring lots of cash.