WASHINGTON DC – With the mercury in the mid-90s, the line between food and “foodie” was decidedly blurred this afternoon. I couldn’t say for certain which one had been cooked more, particularly if you were a mere mortal walking the sidewalks around Farragut Square, which felt like a concrete griddle turned up high. Way high.
However, the hottest bodies — and I don’t mean that in the People magazine sense — were those sweaty souls working the trucks today. I decided to find out how, if at all, some of the trucks were dealing with the heat. The first thing I learned: The trucks that park on the shady side of Farragut Square have won half the battle.
The first vehicle I approached was the Amorini Panini truck, which had some sort of white-box contraption installed in its front cab. It had a hose snaking from it, venting into the street. I couldn’t tell if the thing was an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
Jose Gonzalez set me straight: It’s an air conditioner: an AC unit, I should note, that was losing its battle with the summer heat, even though Amorini Panini was parked on the shady side of the square. Gonzalez said the temperature in his truck was still in the 90s. I placed my hand over the AC vents and felt nothing but semi-warm air streaming out.
That’s the thing to remember about food trucks: They’re not only small and metal — essentially prison-yard hot boxes — but they’re loaded with griddles and deep-fryers and grills and even heat-producing generators. The temperature must easily reach triple digits in those rolling tin cans.
Just ask Kelly Willis at the Big Cheese truck. All she and her co-workers had to combat the heat were a pair of fans. They provided little comfort. Despite having her hair pinned back and despite wearing shorts and a T-shirt, Willis was glistening like a cold can of Pepsi in the August sun.
Find the entire article by Tim Carman at the Washington Post <here>