Austin Grill to Launch a Food Truck March 1st

Food Truck Fiesta reports:

Austin Grill just contacted me to let everyone know that they are launching a DC food truck, expected to start serving by March 1, 2011! Austin Grill is the 2nd brick and mortar restaurant to announce plans to open up a food truck, with District of Pi being the first.”

Austin Grill’s DC location is located in Penn Quarter at 750 E Street, NW.

Do you think it makes sense for brick and mortar restaurants to launch food trucks?  At what point, if any, do you think the food truck scene will be over-saturated?

24 Comment

  • It’s already somewhat over saturated because all the trucks go to same few places — Franklin, Farragut, Metro Center, DCRA, DOT, GWU. They need to branch out to other parts of the city.

  • Why. Why? Their food is terrible!

  • Dangerously Delicious also has a truck, so that’s at least three b&ms that have launched trucks. I think it’s great — let ’em keep coming; the market will work out when there are too many.

    More trucks will also force folks to branch out a bit more, I would think, and hit some of the less-visited parts of the city to compete.

  • I dunno . . . about the same time that the designer cupcake, designer burger, and/or designer pizza markets get over-saturated?
    Seems to me that the issue is not whether an Austin Grill (or any other company) food truck will saturate the market, it’s whether there is a demand for whatever food that particular truck is selling. I like Austin Grill well enough as a place to grab a decent faux Tex-Mex meal on occasion but I can’t think of anything on their menu that I would go out of my way to find their lunch food truck.

    • ah

      I can’t think of any items on their menu that would do very well heated up in a small truck. Chips and salsa perhaps?

      but they’re not about to grill me a fajita, and I’m not too excited about carrying a cheese-covered enchilada back to my desk.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    There’s an Austin Grill here in the gov’t building where I work and I only go there on Friday’s when they are running a special taco salad. Otherwise, the food is IMO overpriced for lunch. Everything is fresh, but I prefer to walk about 1/2 mile to get to the other cafeteria. So, no, I wouldn’t vote for a food truck. I would vote for the lobster truck to come out here sometime!

  • saf

    Ew. I don’t like their food. They have not a single menu item without cilantro.

    Also, they would be the third – as stated above, the pie folks, rather than the Pi folks, were first.

    Finally, I don’t know about saturated. I like many of the trucks, and am enjoying the winter’s shorter lines. I’ll miss them when the lines get longer in summer.

  • I agree that Austin Grill is gross.

  • I saw the photo first and got all excited that it was going out of business.

  • As my 13 minute wait to get a sandwich from Sauca at L’Enfant Plaza today would appear to demonstrate, there is still lots of room for additional food trucks — particularly in areas of the city with lots of office workers but few brick and mortar outposts. (Sorry, Franklin and Farragut Squares, you really do not qualify.)

    I can see numerous brick and mortar establishments providing good food truck offerings. Austin Grill is not among them. As prior comments have noted, their fare is decidedly mediocre or worse.

    • You raise an interesting point. This seems to indicate a need for the more popular food truck vendors to have more than one truck at a location (or to expand preparation beyond the confines of their truck), as opposed to a need for more food trucks generally. At least that’s true in my area, where there are tons of brick and mortar places to get food.
      I spent 20 minutes on line for Fojol Bros once and it was very good, but it was not 20 minutes waiting in line (plus 20 minutes total walking time there and back) good. I tried again a few months later but walked away when I saw a ridiculously long line. I guess the core base of the more popular vendors consists of people with endless lunch hours or who can bolt from their offices to be the first in line once the truck tweets its location.

  • Not the second. Dangerously Delicios Pies has a food truck.

  • The beginning of the end of the food truck fad has just arrived.

  • Not saying I love their food, but since restaurants are the ones moaning over food trucks, I guess they felt that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” might be something to try.

  • What’s next, a TGI Friday’s Food Truck?

  • How about a McDonald’s food truck and let’s just get it over with?

  • Sweetgreen has had a truck for quite a long time now, since perhaps summer 2009?

  • I remember that was a point that food carts were at the point of extinction. It took hell and high water to keep them in business back then.

    Now food trucks are the new ‘darlings’ of street food. While I do appreciate the efforts of the food trucks and the additional options they provide – the competition is heating up. This time next year, 25% of them will not be here. Some of the trucks charge too much, or provide a crappy level of food. Let the ‘food battle’ begin!


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