Jump to content

Korean Food Cart (Yellow), Now A Food Truck Centered at McPherson Square - Closed in Late 2014


Recommended Posts

It's a rather open looking yellow cart. I'm not sure how it's going to handle the winter weather. There are two food options - bulgogi and chicken teriyaki. Both are made on the spot in woks. All choices come on rice with a side of iceberg lettuce with a soy sauce-based dressing and kimchee. You can also ask for sriracha if you want.

The bulgogi was decent - not anything spectacular, but compared to a lot of what I've had within DC pretty good and a good deal at $6.75. The kimchee wasn't too fermented, so the cabbage was still light and crisp. I'm not sure if that will change the longer they're in business. They have some sundries - chips, Doritos, sodas and Gatorade. I wish they would have more Korean-type sundries, but at the same time I don't know how successful that would be for the area.

But for a first foray into ethnic food cart, I'm pretty satisfied. It will certainly satisfy the Korean BBQ jones when I don't feel like driving out of the city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So ... where exactly is this cart? I walked down to 14th and L a little after noon and only saw two carts at that corner, both of the standard hot dog variety, one at the NE and one SW corner. No other carts in sight up and down the block in all four directions. While I was down there I decided to head over to the burrito cart instead, but he wasn't there today either. Damn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So ... where exactly is this cart? I walked down to 14th and L a little after noon and only saw two carts at that corner, both of the standard hot dog variety, one at the NE and one SW corner. No other carts in sight up and down the block in all four directions. While I was down there I decided to head over to the burrito cart instead, but he wasn't there today either. Damn.

It's on the SE corner. It's yellow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So ... where exactly is this cart? I walked down to 14th and L a little after noon and only saw two carts at that corner, both of the standard hot dog variety, one at the NE and one SW corner. No other carts in sight up and down the block in all four directions. While I was down there I decided to head over to the burrito cart instead, but he wasn't there today either. Damn.

They were right on the SE corner yesterday and seemed to be getting good traffic.

I tried the bulgogi, and - while I wasn't blown away - it made for a nice change of pace. The free sample of chicken teriyaki seemed like a decent rendition of the standard, food-court variety. The kimchi was better than I expected, as I like a bit of crunch in mine.

Only complaint: I think they'd be wise cut back the portion size and price by 20%. I had trouble finishing mine, and $6.75 (while cheap for the amount of food) is a touch steep for a "street meat".

Cheers,

Owen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's on the SE corner. It's yellow.

Hmm, well either I've developed selective blindness or they weren't out there at 12:15 today. 50/50 chance for either. I've walked right by my car several times in a parking garage before :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only complaint: I think they'd be wise cut back the portion size and price by 20%. I had trouble finishing mine, and $6.75 (while cheap for the amount of food) is a touch steep for a "street meat".

Given that how much it costs for a burrito of "street beans", I wouldn't say it's terribly steep. Bulgogi and Korean BBQ in general is on the pricier side when compared to a hot dog at a regular restaurant ($12-18). As far as the street version versus say Korean Korner supermarket version, the quality of the meat is relatively the same.

As for portion size, all three of us who ate there yesterday finished. And we're all little Asian kids. But maybe staggered sizing is called for.

BTW, the rice was real Korean rice. None of that dried out carryout rice from most other Asian restaurants (ICK!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, well either I've developed selective blindness or they weren't out there at 12:15 today. 50/50 chance for either. I've walked right by my car several times in a parking garage before :angry:

I was there for lunch today at around 1 PM, and they were going strong. Business seemed pretty good, though nothing like the kebab place down on 14th and G.

I had the Bulgogi. I agree with Owen above, the bulgogi was nothing earth-shakingly great, but more than acceptable for street food (especially considering the competition). The bulgogi sauce was sweet but not cloyingly so. The sample of Teriyaki was a bit too bland for my tastes. Everybody in the line in front of me was doing half bulgogi/half chicken teriyaki.

As far as portion size/price, the portions are big and it is definitely quite filling. If I'm hungry in my office, this is definitely a place that I would come to, and at $6.75 it competes favorably with Naan & Beyond for price/portion. I don't know if they could get a half-size container, but that would be another option. I also think that they could do a good business of Asian sweets--something beyond the anemic collection of American candy bars would be a big plus (maybe Pocky or those chocolate-filled Koala's?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just stopped by and got the bulgogi for an early lunch. This is a gianormous portion for $6.95. Yesterday's lunch at Delle and Campbell was kinda pawltry for the same price. Bulgogi is decent as stated by earlier posters. Kim chee is starting to wither. Definitely blow your head off hot, but pretty nice. I think they were surprised I asked for extra sriracha.

Not a terrible walk from 13th and F, so it will be added to the rotation. Very nice mom/son (by the looks of it) owners. Very enthusiastic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got back from my first outing. I'm not sure why they painted the cart yellow. When they first started out, it was a shiny chrome and looked like the most high tech cart in the city.

There is nothing wrong with the food to price ratio, but as was hinted above, $6.75 is kinda pricy for food you get on a street cart. This will definitely keep me from going back on a regular basis.

But the quality of food was fine. The rice was definitely outstanding. And I came after the lunch rush, so I got some freshly cooked bulgogi meat. The salad is just nondescript iceberg lettuce, but the kimchee was great for those who don't like theirs terribly spicy (me). The beef was nothing to complain about.

I'll go back, but only when I have a real appetite for it. The lure of inferior-quality-but-cheaper-priced options nearby (eg City Buffet of China around the corner) is strong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tried the half bulgogi/half teriyaki today. The bulgogi can't compare to anything in Annandale but it's about as good as you can get in DC and at $6.75 it's a pretty good deal. All that food would probably add up to $9-10 at Soho and it tastes a lot better than the oily mess that passes for food there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally got back over there today and actually found the cart this time, or at least managed to not not see it :angry: . As said before $6.75 for bulgogi, rice, and kimchee is a pretty good deal and a filling lunch. They were just firing up a fresh batch of meat when I walked up and I had to gladly wait for it to be done. Others haven't mentioned it, but they are also offering the bulgogi and teriyaki chicken in sandwich form for $5 (at least I think that's what the lady in front of me paid). Basically just the meat on a sub roll with lettuce and some other veg, plus a squirt of sriracha if you want it. I'll be back, but I don't see making the 5 block trek once it gets truly cold out; the food probably wouldn't survive the return trip too well. I hope that their cart converts into something a little more weatherproof for the same reason!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the addition of the sandwiches, I don't know if those were their initial plans or if these were suggestions they received. Because the subs remind me of the bulgogi subs from Sugar's in G-town. I haven't really conversed with them, but I'm just pondering if they were open to suggestions... spam, egg and kimchee breakfast sandwich would be pretty awesome. Or some pajun or jap chae... I wonder how they would appeal to a wider market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just returned from 14th and L and have begun to dig into my 1/2 and 1/2 (figured I should give both a fair shot on the first trip). Full disclosure, I think I've only had Korean maybe once or twice before, but this is good so far. I don't know how often I'll make the 4 block trek since there are literally 15+ places within 2 blocks of me, but I'd definitely go back and bring friends at least ocassionally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several items for discussion today:

The cart now advertises bibimbap and california rolls! Lines were considerably longer today, about 8 deep at 1 pm.

But this isn't the most interesting development -- as I walked past L and Vermont, basically a half block away, I spotted another Korean BBQ cart! This one was white and had the word "BBQ" painted on the side. I was too stunned to investigate further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the bibimbap today. They now have spicy bulgogi with sriracha and hot pepper powder. It seems a little... overwhelming the usual nice sweet flavors of bulgogi though.

I'm glad that they do give you gochujang for the bibimbap instead of sriracha. The bibimbap has the sprouts, spinach and carrots along with the fried egg with the runny yolk for the top. Pretty tasty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parked right near the cart today and couldn't resist giving it a try... got the spicy 1/2 and 1/2. Have to say, this was very satisfying - both the spicy chicken and the spicy bulgogi are very tasty - good flavor and some heat, just like I like it actually. Didn't even want for sriracha which is unusual for me. And the rice was great - surprisingly so. Agree that $6.75 is steep for "street meat", but this is truly a heaping pile of tasty beef, chicken and rice - it's a lot of food. Definitely get your money's worth, and then some. Only weak spots are the lettuce and kimchee. If I'm back in that area I will definitely try the Bibimbap. Didn't see anyone ordering it and was wondering how it would fare. I like how the cart's yellow (just thought I'd add that in).

Sigh, if only we could get some good options like this in the Union Station wasteland... :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does smell so good! I am guessing Soy Sauce is a component too, but it is not a large flavoring factor - if it was just soy flavored meat I wouldn't be interested. If you're asking b/c of allergies, then you should definitely ask to find out, but if it's a taste question - it doesn't taste like straight-up soy, and to be honest soy-sauce hadn't really entered my mind when I was eating, and I had both the spicy chicken and the spicy beef. I think there's some sriracha and red pepper flakes involved in both the chicken and the beef. Other than that, I don't know - but I do think the cart is worth trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

had spicy bulgogi. Definitely enjoyed this. Spicy, but not overly, and with a good savory beefiness behind. The lettuce could go, and i wasnt a huge fan of the kimchee, but i thought the portion size and price were perfect. And it held up quite well on the 5-block walk to the office. I'll be back for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And spicy bulgogi was exactly what the doctor ordered today. Especially with double kimchi, no salad (which they are totally fine with doing).

Great minds think alike. Except for the whole spicy bulgogi thing. Asking for gochujang on the side is really the way to go rather than the sriracha that comes with the spicy. The flavor is a little bit more complementary. Although I found the meat a bit tougher than usual today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No line today. Even lukewarm (it took me quite a while to get back my cubicle near Union Station) the spicy bulgogi is really good. I found the Kimchee to be hit or miss, one piece was really good while another tasted like a salt lick. A nice change from the culinary wasteland around my office.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is still a steal. I don't care if it comes from a cart, a carry-out, or a fine dining establishment, this is some good stuff for not a lot of money. Just think of all of the crappy sandwiches you can get without sides that will run you $6 or $7.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is still a steal. I don't care if it comes from a cart, a carry-out, or a fine dining establishment, this is some good stuff for not a lot of money. Just think of all of the crappy sandwiches you can get without sides that will run you $6 or $7.

Took the words right out of my mouth. They could run these prices up to $9-10 and I would still be there any day of the week over 95% of the carryout places in Penn Quarter/Thomas Circle/Dupont.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I. Love. Their. Kimchi. I haven't had such good kimchi in a long time. Not limpy, good chew, right flavor of spiciness to it and stomach will be paying for it later. The Vegetarian Bibimbap ($6.75) had a nice runny yolk, just right carrots, with sprouts and spinach. Agree with synaesthesia about the Korean rice. I really like the sauce that comes with it.

The cart is still yellow and there was no line at 1:30pm. The beef and chicken are now $7 and a "meal combo" (with soda) is $8. No sandwiches that I could see. Very yummy and it's enough to split into 2 meals for me, so the price is worth it (esp. compared to SoHo or Lawson's or any of those by the pound places).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I. Love. Their. Kimchi. I haven't had such good kimchi in a long time.

As a side issue, I've always assumed that pretty much all kimchi served by restaurants in the DC area comes from a jar. Gamasot's is scissor-cut and different in texture, but that doesn't mean it's homemade - all you need to do is walk into El Grande market (in the same shopping center), and you're staring down giant tubs of the stuff. Correct assumption or no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Spicy Beef really hit the spot on this freezing day. It was so good that it overshadowed the god awful kimchi accompaniment.

Still only $7 for a huge plate of good, honest food. I wish we could have more places like this around the city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, JimCo said:

Sucks. I worked across the corner there for five years and was a regular, but that was four years ago and now I'm in Alexandria. I'm sure the proliferation of food trucks at Franklin Square played a big role. For a long while, Pedro & Vinny's and the Yellow Food Truck (Korean) were the only options in that area and they were both superior to what came afterwards. But now they're both gone. Such is progress I guess, but I wish we could have better supported the stalwarts while enjoying the new ones. 

Do you know when the Yellow Korean Food Truck went away?

Their last tweet was in Oct, 2014.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Do you know when the Yellow Korean Food Truck went away?

Their last tweet was in Oct, 2014.

I left the area in 2013, but friends who work nearby say they've been gone for a few years. I heard they sold the truck. It's a shame. They were the first place I had bulgogi, and I've never found a place since where I thought it was as good. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen them in a long time.  They were the first food truck I ever ate at, in Farragut Square.

I always really enjoyed their little salad of tasteless iceberg lettuce (but I repeat myself) and vinegary dressing.  Great crunch and tang.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...