Beware of glitz and glam, is pretty much what Tyler Cowen warns in his book, An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies.
It is especially common to see good ethnic restaurants grouped with mid-level or junky retail outlets. When it comes to a restaurant run by immigrants, look around at the street scene. Do you see something ugly? Poor construction? Broken plastic signage? A five-and-dime store? Maybe an abandoned car? If so, crack a quiet smile, walk through the door, and order. Welcome to the glamorous world of good food.
Corollary: The food truck is your friend.
So this Monday I took the advice of Tyler and looked for the most authentic looking food truck at Union Station. Which is not to say the 1st Yellow Vendor truck is messy or in disrepair, it’s straight and to the point –A bright yellow truck with red lettering that reads:
Korean Food, Bulgogi (Beef), Chicken, Teriyaki, Bibimbab
Nothing against Tasty Kabob or DC Shawarma, but First Yellow Vendor could give no less than two shits about glitz and glam marketing. Even their name befuddles this marketing major. That said, it would appear that the owners of this fine truck have poured their marketing budget into just making excellent food and a thorough menu.
I ordered the number 9, the beef and spicy chicken combo. I did not ask for the lettuce of sides (sorry Mom).
The beef was amazing, albeit slightly fatty in parts, though I expect it’s necessary to keep the flavor. The rice was well cooked, and soaked with the beef and chicken seasoning. The spicy chicken was very good, though, I preferred the beef.
On the whole, I give First Yellow Vendor four stars, a very good rating. They do accept credit cards.
Interesting to note was that none of the trucks at Union Station seemed to be giving bags, probably due to the city’s stupid bag tax.