Qui Qui, a Caribbean fusion food truck and catering company, will bring its smashed plantains, tostones, and chimichurri-coated meats to Barracks Row this summer.
Its first pop-up inside a restaurant begins Sunday, June 16, at Valor Brewpub (723 8th Street SE). Qui Qui plans to offer dinner there every Sunday and Monday from 5 to 10 p.m. through the end of August.
Qui Qui’s menu integrates lots of Mexican and Puerto Rican flavors. Popular orders from the food truck coming to the restaurant include mofongo, or smashed plantain; kan kan, a slow-roasted and fried tomahawk pork chop with rice and beans; and churrasco, seared skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, white rice, and pink beans. Valor Brewpub executive chef Ryan Hackney will also collaborate on new dishes, and the full Valor menu will be available as well.
Veteran-run Valor Brewpub slid into the 2,500-square-foot space under The Ugly Mug last fall and is pro pop-up, with a temporary Valor stand inside Union Market currently running through early July.
Barracks Row recently got a permanent destination for Caribbean cuisine and mofongo with the arrival of Tortuga this spring.
Here’s a look at the Qui Qui menu:
Qui Qui Valor Menu_6.12.19 by on Scribd
Qui Qui comes chef Ismael Mendez and business partner Yorman Sanchez, who started the roving enterprise two years ago.
Mendez ditched a D.C. finance job to study at L’Academie de Cuisine, going on to work alongside top D.C. chefs Frank Ruta, Johanna Hellrigl, Nicholas Stefanelli, and Opie Crooks. His passion to pursue cooking came at an early age while watching his mom cook traditional Mexican cuisine. Mendez’s father is from Puerto Rico, and the Qui Qui food truck is an ode to his childhood nickname.
Venezuela-born Sanchez bulked up a catering career at Miami’s Joy Wallace Catering, and also held positions at D.C.’s Osteria Morini and A Rake’s Progress.