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3 Catt. 6: In re International Grill

2011 November 23

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

International Grill is a nondescript food truck. The only clue to its cuisine is a line painted on the door: “con sabor Latino.” It does not have a website, a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed. It does not even have a menu. It parks near a construction site in the Clarendon neighborhood (by the Herndon and 13th Street Park), and it feeds long lines of men in hard hats.

International Grill

I got in line with the construction workers, who seemed amused to be joined by someone who was not working on the site. They were incredibly patient as I slowed down their line. While they were all regulars who knew exactly what they wanted (carne asada, from what I overheard), I had no clue how to order from a truck that didn’t have a menu. Plus, my Spanish-speaking skills were very rusty.

I need not have worried. The proprietor of the truck looked at me, switched from Spanish to English, and said, “I’ll make something you’ll like.” She reminded me of my mother, who sits me down at her kitchen table whenever I go back home and just feeds me. I was handed a very heavy platter of food: a stew of beef, potatoes, carrots, peppers and onions served over rice, with side dishes of beans and a salad, plus a fresh tortilla. (The truck had just run out of carne asada. I may have to return one day for that.)

Sitting down to this dish was like being invited to someone’s table for a home-cooked meal. The beef was slow-cooked and tender. The tortilla was pillowy. The beans were silky and sweet. Even though I took the meal back to my chambers, I was sure that the cook would know—and would be insulted—if I didn’t eat it all, so I ate and ate and ate until I was stuffed and ready for an afternoon nap.

Bottom line: International Grill’s beef stew was warm, filling, and a steal at $5.

I affirm. It is so ordered.

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