When I first saw the silver but colorful 60's looking van gliding down 18th Street on Saturday afternoon, 6 June 2009 I presumed that it was an ice cream truck.
And then when the very next day that I saw it for the second time turning onto P from 14th Street, presuming it to be an ice cream truck but noticing the 'circus' resembling logo on the side of van while it brought to mind the Milkmachine band who I captured a fews before at Artomatic Opening ... I wondered if it had any connections to the Showbar Presents the Palace of Wonders on H Street in NE Washington DC.
Well, I got my answer yester evening when during my ritual Sunday walk along P Street that I happened upon the fojol bros. of Merlindia Traveling Culinary Carnival at the corner of 15th and P Streets in NW Washington DC.
After first asking if they sold ice cream I mentioned that as a freelance blogger I like to bring attention to interesting and provocative entrepeneurs. And wondered if they had a website that I could learn more about then.
Saying that they had just sold out of their popcicles the friendly man under the ORDER HERE window who goes by kipoto explained that born and raised in Washington DC that he and his family wanted to bring food to the streets in a new and an exciting way.
First hitting the streets on 20 January 2009 as a test run, the Fojol Bros. of Merlindia Traveling Culinary Carnival food van officially began operation on 24 April 2009.
While most street vendors are tied to specific intersections or pockets of the Mall, the Fojol Brothers of Merlindia usually take a lap around the city before settling on a vacant parking spot and announcing the location on Twitter.
A truck with flavor, the Fojol Bros from Merlindia their intriguying looking truck, according to Carlos in DC, can be found in neighborhoods throughout Washington DC.
Serving what they call Merlindian food—popular Indian dishes such as chicken masala served with big smiles and a few winks—the Fojols have quickly become an after-work favorite in Dupont and the late-night snack of choice for bar-hopping crowds at the intersection of 14th and U streets, NW.
The outlandish truck supposedly belongs to the fojol brothers of Merlindia, known to their customers as Dingo, Ababa-du and Kipoto. But the men behind the masks are actually a group of twentysomething guys, mostly D.C. natives, with a passion for cuisine, community and carnivals.
With a philosophy such as this and menu that serves these offerings the fojol brothers of Merlindia has proven to be relatively successful in DC's new and emerging street-food scene.
To learn more about them visit their website. But, if you're into Twittering (which I am not) you can find them here.
Click the image above to view my ongoing fojol brothers of Merlindia album.