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A Moveable Feast: Popular Loudoun restaurants taking their fare on the road

Mokomandy is consistently recognized as one of the best restaurants in the county.
Loudoun foodies have enjoyed a new trend in the dining scene recently -- restaurants taking their fare on the road in food trucks.

The popular Sterling-based, Cajun-Korean restaurant, Mokomandy, opened their brick-and-mortar restaurant seven years ago. After receiving a great response from patrons, the owners began exploring the idea of creating another similar restaurant in the region.

“I came to the conclusion that we have a surplus of restaurants and there is too much competition and not enough traffic to build another space,” said Mokomandy’s owner Thaddeus Kim.

Kim had a lot of requests for catering, events, and weddings and thought, “maybe we should bring Mokomandy to them.”

Kim researched the food truck concept and had a company begin building the truck late last year.

“It gives us flexibility and we have the ability to be creative and change the menu often. We plan to mimic the same quality but on a truck with a fully functioning kitchen,” Kim said.

Some of the menu items will include Mokomandy classics such as jambalaya, poutine, bulgogi, pot roast sliders and lettuce wraps, served in to-go packaging.

The chef will be developing a “surprise” menu as well, Kim said.

Kim wants to be slow-growth oriented in order to do things right, and he wants popular menu items which can be made on the truck.

The interior of the truck was recently completed, with inspections and permits in the final stages. The “wrap” is of a Korean landscape, with mountains, trees and a stream during twilight.

Kim said he hopes to be “rolling” by the end of May.

Jason Bursey, owner of Parallel Wine and Whiskey Bar in Ashburn, said he experienced similar thoughts about expanding his restaurant.

“We got to the point where we are as busy as we can be, and the next step is expansion. I have explored the idea of a second location many times,” Bursey said.

Parallel also does a lot of off-site catering and events, and Bursey said their new food truck will allow him to go mobile.

“This was an idea where I could expand what we are doing in a fun way. We can be at the wineries, breweries, distilleries and other events and it made complete sense. We have brand recognition after seven years of being in business which will give us an upper hand,” Bursey said.

The menu will include Parallel’s signature items, such as shrimp and grits, duck fat fries, and hog heaven burgers.
“We will design the menu depending on the location and clientele of the event,” Bursey said.

Bursey said he has not publicized the new food truck, yet he has already booked 14 events in the coming weeks. Parallel was at Broadlands Live May 12, and he is ready to roll for “food truck season.”

Pitsburgh Rick's has shifted all of its operations to a food truck.

Rick Allison, owner of Pittsburg Rick’s and King Street Oyster Bar, has food trucks for both of his restaurants.

“The food trucks are definitely good for us. It is more lucrative because there is no rent – you pull in, set up shop, and leave. We also offer a smaller menu for the ease of the truck,” Allison said.

The Pittsburgh Rick’s truck normally covers D. C., Reston and Tysons Corner, as well as Jiffy Lube Live concerts.

King Street’s truck will be hitting the road in the coming weeks – and will likely be out and about at Twilight Polo, vineyards, and breweries.

“The truck season is ramping up and now is a good time to be out there,” Allison said.


Thanks…I drive up to Erie a few times a year, I’ll have to stop for the real deal to scratch this itch it sounds like.

CMU grad here. It’s definitely better than an 8 hour roundtrip but I would say each component ingredient of the classic Pastrami w/cheese is not up to the Primanti’s level. On the other hand, I’ve heard all the new branches aren’t up to the level of the Strip District or Pitt locations. Still bummed out Rick closed the brick & morter location.

Is Pittsburgh Rick’s worth it?  I’m from Western PA and every now and then have an urge for Primanti Bros. or something similar…

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