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All We Can Eat
Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 07/25/2012

Mike Isabella’s traveling self-promotion exhibit

Isabella's roving promotional machine was branded within an inch of its life. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
As far as food truck design goes, Mike Isabella’s ride is pretty radical: see-through glass on three sides, a sweet granite-top workstation, three hanging trouble lights, enough logo branding to rival Times Square and lots of expensive kitchen gadgetry (all of which, alas, is for show or giveaway).

Yes, the Graffiato vehicle is a strange phenomenon: a food truck that’s not a food truck, but calls itself a food truck and parks in the same high-traffic squares as other, real-life food trucks. People even line up for it, but for ...what? Free T-shirts? Small samples of a single dish that’s not even on the Graffiato menu? A tasting contest? A chance to tap on the glass and gawk at the celebrity chef, like a visit to the Small Mammal House at the National Zoo?

All of the above, I suspect.

Whatever you call Isabella’s ceremonial parade around the city today, it attracted a lot of attention. Check out some photos after the jump.

Isabella: a man alone with his thoughts and his brands. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

The only food available at Franklin Square was a small serving of couscous salad, which is not even on the Graffiato menu. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Four young women were selected to take part in the "Challenge Your Palate" contest, in which they were asked to identify the four ingredients in a chocolate mousse. The winner, at right, was Kate Londen, a communications manager at a non-profit. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Isabella explained the "Challenge Your Palate" rules to the players: They had to list the four ingredients in the chocolate mousse, one of which was mentioned in the name. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

For winning the contest, Londen earned a pricy stand mixer from Breville. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Further reading:

* Isabella’s food truck, or the Popemobile?

* Isabella launches a food truck — for a day

By  |  05:15 PM ET, 07/25/2012

Categories:  Chefs | Tags:  Tim Carman

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