Hey, you know what we haven’t done in a long time? A Totally Pretentious Food Truck Review!
Don’t get me wrong….I haven’t stopped eating at food trucks. Don’t be silly. Of course I have been. I’ve just been writing about other things.
But, I’m in Puerto Rico this week, swimming with fishies (mmmm, fish tacos from Surfside. A future TPFTR, for sure).
So, this seems like a perfect time to bring back TPFTR and do a review of my very, very favorite, hands down food truck: CapMacDC.
I love these guys. I love these guys like Jessica Simpson loves being pregnant. I love CapMacDC like Kardashians love attention. I love CapMac like Real Housewives love bling, wine and cat fighting. I want to marry them, divorce them and then marry them again.
Yeah, I’m kinda obsessed with CapMac.
Let’s just think about this: It’s macaroni and cheese. I mean. Come. On! Who doesn’t have memories of making macaroni and cheese. My sister and I loaded it with butter, a tiny splash of milk and that wonderful orange cheese powder, fighting over who got to lick the inside of the packet. And these guys are doing that childhood favorite and making it all fancy, huh?
It’s fancy because the chef is straight up official – Chef Arnoff worked at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak at the Four Season’s DC and for James Beard Award winning chef, Barbara Lynch.
I’ve eaten at CapMacDC a number of times, over a variety of seasons. I’ve stood impatiently in many, many lines, under blazing sunshine and in cold temps, and as a result I’ve sampled many of the delectable items on the menu. Because the lines are always so, so long, I usually order two items and then eat them over several days.
And I’ve discovered that CapMacDC is good fresh. And they’re good leftover. They would be good off the damn sidewalk, probably.
We’ll start with the obvious: the $6 Classic CapMac’n Cheese. You can get it one of three ways, plain (as if anything from CapMac could be considered “plain”) with cheddar, pimento and Cheez-It crumbs on top; “sloppy” with a meat sauce for $2 extra; or “balls out” with meat balls for $2 extra. We’re not talking side portions either. These are nice, large brown cardboard containers of delicious, cheesy, gooey goodness.
The macaroni is al dente, topped with a gooey orange mass of cheese and topped with crushed Cheez-Its. I get mine sloppy, and the texture of the meat, Cheez-Its, and pasta is rich and satisfying.
I’ve had the Chicken Parm Meat Balls ($9), a revelation of house ground chicken and parmesan meat balls, rigatoni in red sauce, topped in provolone béchamel . The quattro of tiny meat balls gets a nice boost from its tart-sweet tomato sauce and the creamy bechamel.
This last summer, I was quite disappointed by the menu (they actually didn’t have the classic, I think) but I went ahead and tried the Weiner Mac ($9). Oh. My. Sausages. It’s basically the classic CapMac’n Cheese topped w/ locally made all beef brat and caramelized onions and crushed Lays potato chips. And it was served cold. The pasta was soft and creamy, the brats were plump, and the entire entrée was complemented by a tantalizing cheese sauce. I did not think I would even like it. Now I’m starting a one-person Occupy CapMac Movement to try to get it back on the menu.
My most recent visit I got the Classic CapMac and the Marco Bolo ($8), a traditional Italian beef Bolognese with fresh herbs, parmesan and a touch of cream. The pasta was excellent – smooth al dente ribbons in a portion that was just the right size. I enjoyed the spiciness of the Bolognese sauce and could see all the fresh herbs in the dish. And despite the cold weather (it was mid-November), the pasta was still piping hot when I got it back to the office.
There are still a few things I haven’t tried, such as the goat cheese mac. I also regret not trying the rice pudding when it was on the menu last summer. I think having a desert option (which they don’t currently have) is a very smart move.
Couple of other things: Bring cash, they don’t take card. Soda/water selection is basic and limited.
And the lines are generally long. That’s just the way it is. Don’t expect to just walk up to the window. Don’t go there if you have an important conference call in 15 minutes. But once you put your order in (and I do suggest you order multiple items), things move along pretty quickly.
I have to give CapMacDC a resounding four out of four wheels. Hell, I might bump them up to a Doolie and give them six out of six wheels.
NOTE: I wrote this review right around the time of CapMacDC’s first anniversary (November – hence the sweet CapMacDC tote bag you see in the pictures).
But I have recently been contacted by CapMac’s Chef Vicky, who says she’s a fan of the blog and has offered me a free lunch. I have not taken her up on it yet (but you bet your sweet ass I will), but I just wanted to disclose that so no one thinks that influenced my review at all.
My love for CapMac is well documented throughout the blog here and here, for example. But I still wanted to publish my review without the graft influence. Not that I’m above some graft, wink, wink. OK. I will shut up now.
Happy eating fools! Hopefully I’m on a beach in Puerto Rico somewhere eating some lechon!