Washingtonian Food Truck Superlatives 2014

In the spirit of the Oscars—or at least a high-school yearbook—we present our very first Wheelie Awards.

Best shtick: The Pho Junkies truck.

Best bang for your buck: The massive Thai/Laotian combo platters ($11 to $13)—a mess of skewers, drunken noodles, spring rolls, and papaya salad—at Sang on Wheels. They could double as dinner.

Best (but hardest-to-find) barbecue: The vinegary, smoky pulled-pork sandwich at the Woodshed, a Twitterless, Facebook-free truck that pops up at Truckeroo events and before games, in the Bullpen outside Nationals Park.

Oddest cuisine mash-up: Native American tacos with fry bread, borscht with cilantro, and shawarma with bánh mì accents. You’ll find them all at Urban Bumpkin BBQ, which bills itself as Asian/Alaskan/Russian. Oh, and it also has Vietnamese coffee.

Strangest pairing: The (really good) ropa vieja-topped hot dogs served alongside gym-bunny cups of açai, blueberries, and granola at MightyDog and Acai.

Best snack to eat on the run: Elote—cobs of sweet corn rolled in mayo, chili powder, and queso fresco—at La Tingeria.

Best bread: Freshly made naan at Indian Flavors (no Twitter).

Best fries: Crunchy Cajun-seasoned spuds at Crab Cab.

Best shtick: The Walking Dead-like Pho Junkies truck, covered in zombie warning signs and offering a “survivor menu.” Its slogan: “Better Than Brains!”

Best finishing touch: The crunchy, crumbled Cheez-Its sprinkled on the mac and cheese at CapMac.

Most ambitious expansion plans: Captain Cookie & the Milkman, which plans to bring its sweets to Raleigh-Durham . . . and Paris.

Most overrepresented dish: Tacos. More than 20 local trucks serve them in some form.

Best afternoon snacks: Maine Avenue Popcorn—a mix of salty-sweet kettle corn, Old Bay-spiced popcorn, and buttered kernels—from Popped! Republic. And the chewy Nutella cookies from Captain Cookie.

Best truck spinoff of a brick-and-mortar business: Dangerously Delicious, because all lunches should end with a slice of its pecan pie.

Most derivative idea: All the Korean taco trucks that take after LA’s scene-starting Kogi truck.

Oddest career path: Peruvian Brothers co-owner Giuseppe Lanzone, who rowed in the Beijing and London Olympics.

Most prestigious credential: The Wharton MBA held by Stephen Adelson of Carnivore BBQ.

Biggest Twitter presence: Red Hook Lobster Pound, with more than 26,000 followers.

Truck grub we miss the most: The wonderfully messy triple-decker patties from Dorothy Moon’s Gourmet Burgers. The truck is moving to Charlottesville.

Want more food trucks? Check out our 25 local favorites.

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