Andy Rayford holds crab and artichoke dip Photo by James Dickinson
Popping Mealies is one of the new food trucks on the block, but it's operating outside of the usual RVA Street Foodies grid. Only a few months old, this truck offers traditional American cuisine with Creole and French influences within its changing menu. I found the truck parked outside of the Richmond SPCA on Hermitage Road one afternoon in the last days of summer. Although I thought it fitting to order the roasted summer squash wrap with smoked Gouda, Sriracha-basil cream sauce and lettuce, tomato and onions, there were other options to weigh: a tuna melt, a mac 'n' cheese wrap and Polish kielbasa. When I took my first bite into the wrap, I knew I was going to like it. The squash was cooked to a tender finish, neither soggy nor undercooked, and lightly flavored with garlic, olive oil and butter. The herb wrap was a warm complement to the creaminess of the Gouda, which paired well with the ripe tomatoes. The Sriracha-basil sauce could have contributed a more complex flavor statement if the spice level were slightly boosted and if fresh basil were added to the recipe. Nonetheless, overall, the meal was both filling and tasty — and only $7.