Totally Pretentious Food Truck Review: Sol Mexican Grill

This was supposed to be for last Friday, but my brain-eating amoeba fear took precedent. I’m still here, thank goodness.

Sol Mexican Grill has been described repeatedly as “Chipotle on wheels.” This is pretty accurate. The distinctive black truck with the red and yellow flame design began rolling in March and was at Farragut Park last Thursday. I went out in search of sustenance at 12:25. The line was fairly long, but not super long. Probably about 8-10 people in front of me.

The menu is simple: tacos, burrito or a bowl, all for $7 each. I went with the bowl. There were four protein options: chicken, steak, carnitas or veggies. I went with the carnitas. There were tons of toppings – sour cream, lettuce, corn, rice, beans, cheese, pico, green (medium) or red (hot) salsa, all free. The guacamole was $1.50 extra. There were no chips, however, a bit of a disappointment. They also had Jarritos sodas for $1.50. Bonus points for opening the drink for me. Theres’ nothing worse than getting back to work and realizing you need an opener.

The wait went fast: I had ordered, paid, picked up, and was on my way by about 12:35.

Upon first presentation, I worried that my carnitas bowl woudl be too small, but it actually turned out to be quite filling. In part because there was quite a bit of rice, which was not very flavorful at all. The carnitas were good and smoky, but it was kinda clumped on the side. I prefer a bit more even distribution. Overall, the bowl was good, if a bit watery toward the bottom. I would have liked a bit more cheese as well. And the salsa was a bit unremarkable. It wasn’t exactly bland, but it wasn’t life-changing either.

I give it 2 out of 4 wheels. It did the job, but I’m not sure I’d go back anytime soon. Areas of improvement – How about some chips? Also, better straining of the liquid toppings. Better, more careful distribution . Also: would a little cumbia music hurt? Maybe a second bean option – not everyone is into black beans. And maybe a dessert option, like a churro. Man, I totally would have bought a churro.

Any DC folks out there with recommendations for Totally Pretentious Food Review? Is there a truck you’ve been curious about? Folks from outside DC: are food trucks popular in your town? Any unique ones? Tell me about it!

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Food Porn: Eating South of the Border in Old Town

I was going to do a Food Porn post on my brunch at the Breslin in New York last weekend, but the food that XFE has churned out over this past weekend, has put that post on hold. I’ll probably write up the Breslin tomorrow, but today, it’s all XFE all the time.

We’re actually celebrating the end of a major work project for XFE. Basically, over the last month, thanks to our travel and work schedules, we have not seen each other. He was gone by the time I got back from my morning run at 6:30, and came home after I went to bed at 10:30 or so. Weekends included.

Since XFE is the big chef around these parts, home-cooked meals were pretty scarce over the last month. So, I’m very glad to have my personal chef for eternity back in the saddle. And his return was quite triumphant.

It started on Friday with a simple dinner. We tend to rely on this a lot. Peel and eat shrimp boiled in Old Bay, french bread and Irish butter, and a side salad. Since we’ve got tomatoes and basil growing in the front, we go with caprese this time of year.

A little caprese and prosecco to kick things off.
 
We went shell-less this time. Made the eatin' easier.
On Saturday, XFE went big and ambitious — pork carnitas. Only, he wanted to smoke em on the Big Green Egg. And, if you’re going to do carnitas, you need pico de gallo and guacamole. So we did. It was a full day of cooking, with a few cocktails interspersed, including a cucumber-basil cocktail I came up with that, unfortunately, sucked. I was pretty disappointed. It was too sour and not at all refreshing.
 
Pork marinating in orange juice and garlic.
 
Soaking our pecan and mesquite wood chips.
 
Mixing a rub of coriander, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, black pepper, salt.
 
Big Green Egg time - for six hours. Drink time.
 
A little pico time. Where's that drink??
 
Ah, there it is! Annnnd, it sucked. So not as tasty and refreshing as I envisioned. Back to the drawing board.
 
Guacamole on my toe. Maybe that drink was better than I thought......
 
Six hours later, smoked carnitas. XFE stoking the fire.
 
Look how well everybody gets along! So, so amazing.
  
Then, to top it off, we had some awesome chorizo, cheese and egg breakfast tacos this morning. Does anything make me happier than a breakfast taco? I don’t think so.
 
Chorizo breakfast tacos. Yes, XFE styled and shot that while I was waiting upstairs in bed for my breakfast. He kills me.
 
So that’s it! A weekend of eatin’. We’re having leftovers tonight and for once, I’m excited for leftovers. Did you eat anything good this weekend?
 
Yeah, I don’t know what the hell is going on with my formatting. So weird.