At first I didn't think I would make it to A Taste of Two Cities, the Baltimore-Washington food truck rally at Westport Waterfront. I was able to get there right at the start of it, and was a little surprised (only a little) to see so many people there already!
My first choice was DC's El Floridiano (Twitter: @ElFloridianoDC), which proudly announces that it is the only solar powered food truck on the East Coast. El Floridiano, obviously, is bringing some Miami heat (not that Miami Heat) to the Nation's Capitol. And on Saturday they brought some to Westport too. I got the small version of their Pan de Lechón ($4): juicy pork on a roll with a creamy spicy sauce. El Floridiano also has a little tent covering a table of other hot sauces for all your heat needs.
Next it was food from the hometown. I followed up my pan de lechón with sushi. Noodlerolla (Twitter: @noodlerolla) has Japanese and Korean favorites, from bibimbap to miso soup to several types of maki rolls. I got their simple, fresh and juicy salmon avocado roll for all of five bucks. The little packet of soy sauce decided to explode all over me, but that's not the food truck's fault.
Quite full already and worrying that I would not get the chance to try anything else. I got something to drink instead. I chose a Maine Root Soda from the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck (Twitter: @RedHookLobsterTruckDC). I've eaten there before, getting the buttery Connecticut version of their wondrous lobster roll ($15 when I got it). But due to lack of money, time and room in my belly - plus a desire to try as many new things as possible - I held off on the lobster. They have a self-serve soda dispenser with various Maine Root Soda products. I got the standard root berr, which is rich and tingly and has none of that weird "fountain drink funk". One root beer was just $2.
Again it was Baltimore's turn. I crossed the food truck pavilion and after deliberating over many Charm City food trucks peddling everything from South Carolina barbecue to chicken and waffles to grilled cheese to all of the Gypsy Queen's offerings (the eventual winner of the day's festivities), I finally made it over to Miss Shirley's (Twitter: @MissShirleys) which I have never visited before (honest, just haven't been able). Among the many offerings on their menu was a seemingly simple dollop of mascarpone grits with bacon and tomato bits. Probably this was my favorite thing to eat in a day where I enjoyed everything ate or drank.
To finish off, I had dessert. There were many choices in this category as well, with lots of trucks peddling ice cream, cupcakes, even popcorn. I decided to go for two cupcakes. The first came from Curbside Cupcakes (Twitter: @CurbsideCupcake), DC's first mobile cupcake truck. The variety from this gleaming pink truck included one that sounded particularly interesting: the H Street cupcake, a swirl of marble cake and marble-ized frosting for all of three bucks. It was a soft cupcake with rich frosting that capped off a good morning of eating.
But this wasn't all: I had to make a stop at Icedgems Baking cupcake truck (Twitter: @IcedGemsBaking), a truck I visit when I can. This time I chose their Jubilee cupcake, made in honor of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee: a yellow cupcake with raspberry jelly under the top, flecked throughout with bits of orange rind, and topped with a pink rosewater frosting. I was too full to eat this at Westport, so I just took it with me in the hopes that I would have room for it soon. I found some.
My final assessment of the Taste of Two Cities: I've only been to Baltimore's first food truck rally, which was, honestly, a mess: food ran out and people (read: me) stood in line for the better part of half an hour just find this out. I'm sure these events have improved since then. This food truck event is proof of that, as this was quite an orderly and well-organized event. Granted, I got there early, but for me at least it went well. And hopefully for all of our local and visiting food trucks the case was the same. But I just couldn't tell who had the best food truck. The only way to actually figure this out: have another one of these events. In fact, they should probably do this a few times a year, alternating between either ends of the BW Parkway. I mean, that's the only way we'll truly find out whose food trucks are better. And if not, at least we get to eat at them more often.