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All We Can Eat
Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 03/02/2012

PORC truck to open a restaurant in Columbia Heights


The PORC guys: Josh Saltzman, left, and Trent Allen are rolling into a brick-and-mortar space in Columbia Heights. (James M. Thresher/The Washington Post)
The partners behind the PORC (Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine) truck officially signed a lease Thursday for a small, 50-seat space in Columbia Heights, confirming the news that Chris Shott broke on Young and Hungry: The mobile vendors will soon have a stationary location, too.

The name of the place is still TBD, says co-owner Josh Saltzman, although he notes via e-mail: “We joked that we should call it POSC: Purveyors Of Stationary Cuisine.”

Despite the larger digs at 3410 11th St. NW, in the former Acuario space next to Meridian Pint, Saltzman says that PORC will continue to rely on the small Southern Pride smoker that the team has been using from the start. They’re just going to add a second unit, which also burns wood chips and requires hours of dogged maintenance to produce smoky meats.

“We’ve become very familiar with this model,” Saltzman said in a phone interview, “and we already had a back up unit if [the first one] went out.”

The menu will feature the usual PORC items from the truck, “with lots of additional items,” which Saltzman declined to name at this time. He notes that they’re aiming for entrees under $12. Saltzman and co-founder Trent Allen will also have a full bar, with beer, wine and cocktails. No tap beer, however.

“Obviously, shooting for 40 taps is not possible in a small place like that,” Saltzman says. “It would be doubly stupid with a great place like Meridian Pint next door.”

Saltzman and Allen have taken on a couple of partners for the brick-and-mortar project, including Peyton Sherwood of Solly’s U Street Tavern. The founders say they have no problem moving into the restaurant world despite the fact that food trucks and brick and mortars have been bickering for years now over the use of roadways and public spaces.

“The end game for 95 percent of food truck owners is to have a brick and mortar,” Saltzman says. Until now, he adds, “We couldn’t get a single dime to start a restaurant. I would have loved to start a restaurant” earlier.

The owners plan to continue operating the truck even after the restaurant opens sometime this spring.What they don’t plan on is joining the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, a perceived enemy of food trucks.

By  |  06:00 PM ET, 03/02/2012

Tags:  Tim Carman, food trucks

 
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