Bethesda, MD: New Food Truck Replaces Ali Baba’s Falafel

Steve Markham, the owner of One3Five Cuisine

BY CAROLE SUGARMAN | Bethesda Magazine

Steve Markham, the owner of One3Five Cuisine

So what does a 57-year-old chef laid off from his job do for his next gig? In the case of Steve Markham—a Chevy Chase resident who last worked as general manager of the Arts Club of Washington—it was to open a food truck called One3Five Cuisine.

After a year of planning, Markham just set up shop Wednesday, December 7, in the space vacated by the former Ali Baba’s Falafel in the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative parking lot on Wisconsin Avenue.

There’s no falafel being served up from Markham’s truck—but there are other appealing offerings. The name of his business (One3Five) comes from what’s on the menu—one soup and one appetizer, three salads and three “famous city” sandwiches, plus five specialty sandwiches and five side dishes.

It’s a bit lame as far as concepts go (and what if he wants to add an item or two?), but as far as the cooking goes, Markham seems to be on to something good.

The one appetizer, a satay of beef or chicken (I had both), is marinated overnight in a blend of coconut milk and spices and served with two sauces: a vinegary mixture with slices of Asian cucumber and red onion, and a creamy peanut dip with a kick.

I’d opt for the chicken over the beef, but both meats are assertively seasoned and accompanied with lots of fresh cilantro, lettuce and spring onions. Either would make for a nice light lunch.

I also tried the banh mi, the Vietnamese sub that Markham packs with marinated pork loin, daikon radishes, shredded carrots, cucumber spears, cilantro, scallions, red onion and sliced jalapenos.

Mine was sparse on the promised lime/garlic/ginger aioli and fish sauce—which it needed for lubrication—but the ingredients were all top-notch.

In fact, Steve Lorberbaum, who works across the street at MCM Capital, was so enamored with the banh mi he had on Wednesday, the miserably rainy day Markham opened, that he was back again today for lunch—this time for the Turkeylicious, consisting of roast turkey, bacon, Swiss, cucumber, romaine, avocado and cranberry mayonnaise on a brioche roll.

One3Five also sells a lobster roll, burger, cheese steak and muffuletta, as well as a sandwich I’d like to try next called “Gaucho’s Delight,”—marinated flank steak on a ciabatta roll with a potato and onion mixture, tomato and olive salsa and chimichurri sauce.

The Knot Kosher also sounds interesting—challah layered with thin slices of roast pork, pepper jack cheese, red onion, house slaw and chipotle mayo.

Prices for the salads and sandwiches range from $5.99 to $14.99, with most being $6.99 or $7.99. For $9.99, you can get a combo meal, which includes a beverage, any sandwich, plus your choice of soup, side dish or a small house salad.

The truck will be open a lot—Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I told my wife, I’d see her in the spring,” joked Markham. 301-801-2823.

Addendum: Jimmy John’s, a chain sub shop a short distance from One3Five at 4710 Bethesda Avenue, is also now open. I peeked my head inside, intrigued by a neon sign on the window that said “Free Smells.” The only thing it smelled like was a new store. But at least it was free…