“We’re doing pretty well so far just by Twittering,” co-owner Tan Nguyen said, shortly after an all-out assault on the truck by hungry office workers.
She said she got the idea for a Banh Mi truck a decade ago but didn’t decide to actually go for it until last year, when food trucks began enjoying a surge in publicity and commercial success.
Planning began last fall. Today the truck served its first customers.
“Vietnamese is perfect for food trucks… [and] spring is the perfect time to have a food truck,” Nguyen said.
Rebel Heroes lets patrons customize their sandwiches by checking boxes on a small paper order form. Nguyen said the food’s Latin flare, and the ingredient options, make her Banh Mi-style sandwiches more accessible than similar fare from Northern Virginia’s numerous brick-and-mortar Vietnamese restaurants.
Nguyen claims culinary inspiration from her mother, who provided some of the recipes, and from her friend Josie Smith-Malave, a contestant on Top Chef season two. Smith-Malave is not formally affiliated with the truck.
Rebel Heroes will be exclusively serving Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor until this summer, when Nguyen hopes to secure the necessary permits to operate in the District. She says it’s easier to operate a food truck in Arlington due to the District’s heavily bureaucratic permitting process.
Eventually, Nguyen hopes to establish a schedule that will take the truck to points in D.C. and Arlington on a regular basis.
Rebel Heroes will be serving both breakfast (including coffee) and lunch (including chips and Mexican fruit sodas), starting as early as 7:30 a.m.
This week only, they’re offering a coupon for a free sandwich with the purchase of a drink or a bag of chips.
More photos, after the jump.