Food Trucks & Willie’s Po’ Boy

These days food trucks are nothing short of a movement across the country and Arlington, VA is getting its share of attention.  I have started following some local food trucks on twitter.  It’s like a treasure hunt!

Willie’s Po’ Boy, Arlington, VA

It’s also an interesting dilemma between the food trucks and the restaurants.  The food trucks operate without the overhead of rent, seating, wait staff, and air-conditioning.  While the restaurants argue a valid point, the diners are voting with their appetites and wallets to make room for the food trucks.  I feel I can see both sides of the issue but all over the world the most exciting cities to visit offer a vibrant street food scene.  I believe it will ultimately bring more people to the area, many of whom will eat in the restaurants!

One neighborhood of Arlington recently struck a compromise by declaring the Thursday lunch hour “Food Truck Thursday”  It appears this agreement has the food trucks parking elsewhere the rest of the week.

This being inside the beltway, I’m sure before it’s resolved there will be lobbyists, lawyers, restraining orders, advocacy groups and protests.  In the meantime, I suggest you tune into the local scene and enjoy them!

My first visit was to Willie’s Po’ Boy  (@williespoboy).  These guys are great, doing as much to educate customers on the history of the Po’ Boy as they are serving up the classic sandwich.

It seems the humidity in New Orleans made most breads go bad overnight.  Along came German baker George Leidenheimer with his German-style French bread and a recipe that proved resistant to the Louisiana humidity.  Willie’s gets a supply of this bread flown up and uses it on all their sandwiches.

The name comes from the 1920’s during a streetcar strike when a New Orleans sandwich shop vowed to feed the striking operators.  As they would approach the shop the owner would yell out “here comes another Po’ Boy!”

Thus, this sandwich, traditionally made with fried oysters has its roots in organized labor (I love stirring the political pot!)

Willie’s offers the traditional oysters but also shrimp, catfish, crawfish, and alligator!  My 15 year old daughter went for a less exotic blackened chicken and I had the traditional oyster. 

The traditional oyster Po’ Boy from Willie’s Po’ Boy, Arlington, VA

What more does one need to say about a flawlessly executed southern classic served up in your neighborhood by friendly owner operators?  It was great!

The Blackened Chicken Po’ Boy

I hope the restaurants and the food trucks resolve their “turf war” but in the meantime, seek out Willies and treat yourself.  Yes it’s fried food but this is where the calorie splurge is well worth it!  I have now been twice!

If you want to find the trucks, there are lots of options ranging from an app on your iPhone, google searches, and each has their own website.  I find twitter great because you get up to the minute updates on where they are and for how long. 

I plan to seek them all out and will review the best ones!



  1. Why do you and I seem to be blogging about similar stuff? I guess great minds think alike! I haven’t done the post yet on this but I mentioned it on my blog post today that I went to the very first DC and Baltimore Food truck face off! I was surprised not many people heard about it but we had 20 trucks from Baltimore and 20 from DC competing! it was pretty cool walking around and looking at all the options! They are planning to make this an annual thing!

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