The Fare : Eclectic
The Stop : With a>"/>
The Truck: Dora's Island, Broadway between Pike St. and Union St., 253-334-0907.
The Fare: Eclectic
The Stop: With a wraparound decal of welded steel patterning, bomber jets and blonde ladies in hot pants, Dora's Island seems like a transplant from the county fairgrounds, landing obscurely in a parking lot on the south end of Broadway on Capitol Hill. Open every day from 9 AM - 9 PM or later (although it was closed in the midday the first two times I attempted to patronize it), Dora's Island offers a spread of familiar concession items as would be found at a fair or high school sporting event, but also offer a couple of unexpected gems that make this Island on a hill something to seek out.
Jordan Nicholson ...and more...
It must first be noted that despite having hot food, there are no grilling surfaces or otherwise within the tiny trailer; everything is either kept warm or heated up. Dora's hot dogs, which come with all the standard fixings as well as chili jalapeño, are inexplicably expensive: $5 for a regular beef dog and $6 for a Polish, German, Italian & "Red Hot" sausage, which twirl about on a warmer akin to those of gas stations. Each hot dog order does, however, come with a bag of chips. The $4 1/3 lb hamburgers are similarly unspectacular: with a warmed-up patty and an unmelted slice of American cheese, it's worth the five minute walk up to Dick's for a burger prepared hot for half the price.
Jordan Nicholson The spread.
But Dora's is worth the trip for the Pollo Asado: a sizable piece of supremely tender chicken breast that fell easily off the bone. The potato salad and accompanying "vegetables" (aka a pile of hamburger toppings) were rather unnecessary, but $4 for such a succulent piece of chicken was a price I happily paid. A similar bang-for-one's-buck was the Chicken Tamale for $3.50: roughly 180% the size of your standard tamale, it was a tasty meal unto itself, avoiding the dryness that is the pitfall of most tamales. I lament that Dora's salsa wasn't more appropriate for the tamale: they have the chunky salsa more appropriate for tortilla chip scoopers than hot food. BYOS.
Dora's placement-- in a parking lot not precisely within the foot traffic routes of Capitol Hill-- is slightly awkward, but therein lies the charm. And frankly, with its novelty decor, this truck is pretty hipster. With all-day hours and, if anything, a variety, perhaps hill cruisers will come a-flocking, and a more populist eatery on wheels can find success in a neighborhood known for its highbrow truck stops.