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Restaurants & Bars 2

Pepe (J. Andres food truck); Jaleo D.C.; Banh Mi D.C.

Marty L. | May 7, 2012 09:53 AM

Just had the tenderloin sandwich from the Pepe food truck, which was as good as one would expect it to be from an Andres outfit, i.e., a very fine sandwich, indeed.

But it was $14, which is about twice what a good food truck lunch should be. By contrast, I finally got around to trying Banh Mi D.C. on Route 50 in Arlington last week, and got six -- count 'em, six -- absolutely delicious sandwiches (various pork combos as well as a really good sardine sandwich) for $17 and change. And they were each twice the size of the Pepe sandwich. Now, I know that there's likely a substantial difference in food costs as between the two, but still, the price and value differential is dramatic.

Also tried the renovated Jaleo in D.C. last week. The sprucing up looks very good, and the kitchen correspondingly seems to be at the top of its game -- a lot of dishes that had previously become hit-or-miss, or a bit tired after all these years, were spot on, much fresher and more flavorful than in recent memory. And even a handful of new desserts, something that hasn't happened in recent memory there! The prices are, however, creeping up, perhaps a function of watching what the market will bear for small dishes at Estadio, Boqueria, Graffiato, Cork, etc.

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