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1063 Lıcensed Food Traılers ın Austın and I Ate at Each One

Someone suggested we start thıs post so here ıt ıs.

Lets be methodıcal-vısıt each one and wrıte a detaıled report complete wıth google map lınk to locatıon

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  1. I started that thread! Awesome! To start things off, I'd like to direct you to my review of Man Bites Dog hot dog trailer: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668138

    Google Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

    Seeing as how I love trailer food, I hope to be a frequent contributor to this list. I've eaten at Flip Happy Crepes, the Texas Cuban place, the cake balls place near the man bites dog, the chicken and waffles... But now I must return to each one to give a proper evaluation.

    There will be times when the journey will seem not to be worth the effort, my friends. But stay true, fellow eaters. This is a project we undertake not for ourselves, but for our children. And our children's children. Well, not so much for our children's children. They are on their own. Come to think of it, I don't have any children. So, perhaps I've not made a terribly well-reasoned argument for this task. But it would be cool. So get out there and eat some food prepared in a structure that has wheels!

    1. Little bit off the mark, I too love trailer food, what type of cuisine are we missing at our trailers?

      6 Replies
      1. re: whoalilponie

        now there is an interesting question. i have taken a look at austinfoodcarts.com and we have quite a bit covered. what i would really like to see is either a dumpling or an egg roll cart.

        1. re: whoalilponie

          Interesting question. I think in the WSJ article they mentioned the Korean taco place in Los Angeles, which sounds amazing to me.

          1. re: whoalilponie

            Drive-thru coffee! (Why is that? As a mom of toddler, I NEED drive thrus, Seattle style!)

            1. re: mizznicole

              I think Brevita - on South Lamar, in the same lot as Gourdough's and Odd Duck - is a drive thru.

              1. re: mizznicole

                Not only Brevia is drive thru, but Sorrento's near Shoal Creek and Anderson is drive thru as well.

                1. re: mizznicole

                  Emerald City Press on Lamar (near 9th street) isn't a trailer, but they have a walk-up window and a drive-thru. I think they get ther coffee from Katz (the roaster, not the deli). They are a little pricey. One plus - they are absoultely the friendliest, nicest staff in town.

              2. Warning: Long-overdue rant

                Leave it to Austinites to f*ck up something as simple and straightforward as trailer food.

                Trailer food, no matter where you are, has always been synonymous with CHEAP, VALUE GOOD food, no more, no less.

                Sorry - but when you start charging $7 for a 'cone' (read: rolled-up taco), $8 for an egg crepe, $4 for a small taco, $4 for hot chocolate, or $2.50 for one oily, inedible cupcake (trust me, I'm not just talking about the taste - have you ever simply tried just *holding* the cupcake in your hand? It's physically impossible) - it's no longer called 'Trailer Food.' It's called a 'Rip Off.'

                Only in Austin, can something as simple and straightforward as trailer food be turned into sheer Novelty and Kitsch. Just witness the disgusting 'Pudding-on-a-Waffle-Wrapped-in-a-Cone-Topped-with-Ice-Cream-Served-on-top-a-Fried-Chicken' trend that's popping up all over South Congress and South Austin.

                Of course, I will be more than happy if someone can enlighten me to an exception or two to this. Until then, I'll gladly keep supporting our local waiters and waitresses.

                15 Replies
                1. re: conquer

                  One internet high-five to you, dearest Sir or Madam.

                  1. re: conquer

                    I mostly agree with you, conquer.

                    There is something that this trailer outbreak is demonstrative of though. The city of Austin has made it so difficult, expensive and cumbersome to open a proper storefront that these trailers are an easier and less expensive way for some of these folks to cook and sell their food. As a result, I think we are seeing the trailer thing go from what should be an inexpensive outlet for street food into something else all together.

                    not a defense so much as a discussion worth having.

                    I'd be interested in knowing who is providing all the commissary services for all these new trailers. As of 6 months ago, there weren't that many options. I wonder if they are all following that rule? not to say its a good rule, i just don't think our health inspectors mess with trailers like they hassle store front restaurants.

                    1. re: ieathereforeiam

                      i guess i am confused. is it written somewhere that trailers are required to be "inexpensive food outlets"? personally i like good food where i can get it, and am willing to pay what it is worth. I have found that some are good and worth the money, and some are not. if i don't like the price or the food, i don't eat there, kind of like any restaurant. I am not claiming that all the street food is worth the money, but I think it's pretty narrow to decide that just because it is out of a trailer it has to fit into someones definition of cheap.

                      1. re: conquer

                        Hey conquer
                        run on over to candys tacos at shady and e.7th and grab some homemade chorızo and beans tacos-then make your way to tacos el rıco at 809 vargas ın montopolıs for a couple tostadas.you wıll spend under 10 bucks-there wont be a ''chowhound'' ın sıte(unless mph comes back from the nether or carter b happens to be around) and you wıll have the best mexıcan food you ever put ın your mouth.

                        the south austın food carts are pıtıful-expensıve and desıgned not to feed the workers but to separate you from as much cash as ıs possıble for the least possıble effort

                        the lads over at tacojournalısm are doıng good work documentıng the good carts-check out theır sıte and get on out there and start houndıng ıt down

                        1. re: conquer

                          i disagree that food from a trailer has to be cheap, and i can assure you that the trend of having varied food from trailers, from cheap to upscale, from typical to inventive, from terrible to incredible is not unique to Austin.

                          the food trailer scene has been busting in NYmetro for years now.

                          yes, a traditional trailer/food cart serving medicore burgers or tacos or whatever is the common denominator for the region should probably be pretty cheap. most people don't go to those types of trailers with high expectations. some are terrible, some are OK, and a few hit a few distinct notes of great flavor. these are typically locale-oriented trailers, serving the neighborhood or the office, or whatever.

                          then there's the "new" trailer scene. some of it is hip, kitchey and/or terrible. these are entrepueners who may not have much to starting capital and/or investors. some will make a name for themselves (good or bad). others will tire of it and go out of business.

                          but it's a way to break out on your own, try your vision on a small scale with a more doable investment.

                          i will say that i agree that The Mighty Cone is a terrible ripoff. a poor attempt at making haute cuisine / streetfood hybrid at a high price. it carries it's Hudson's association like an endorsement brand. which makes me uncertain whether or not i should ever try Hudson's.

                          a lot of the trailers have been overly ambitious and disappointing.
                          but i can say the same for 90+% of the brick and mortar restaurants i've tried in Austin.

                          i'm excited to try some of the new ones and i hope not to be disappointed. if i am, i'm unlikely to repeat. if i enjoy it, i'll be back. same philosophy with the restaurants.

                          and, of course, there are the taco trailers, which do tend to be cheap. a lot of them suck. but there are gems out there of two types "good if in the neighborhood" and "worth a trip".

                          if cheap is an important criteria, then one should not even bother to try the hip or haute cuisine trailers. if trying new things is important, then you should try whatever sounds good to you.

                          if you are impressed, post about it -- talk about what was was good or bad.
                          if you thought it was mediocre -- talk about that too.
                          if it just wasn't your thing, well, then maybe those words won't help someone else.


                          1. re: charlie_b

                            $4.25 for a DONUT?

                            Holy f--k. I don't care if it *IS* the singlemost, divine, revelatory, ambrosial morsel of a bite of food one's ever had.

                            I'm a firm believer that value is as important a criterion when judging good eats. It is a part of the whole experience of food.

                            Seriously though, does this even look remotely appetizing to you? It looks like something either my 3-year-old niece would make, or that I would when I'm high as a kite on pot.

                            1. re: conquer

                              Just gonna throw my two cents in here and say that the Sailor Jerry (specifically) at the Gordough's Doughnut trailer (which is clearly the establishment referenced above) is, in my opinion, totally freaking delicious. I love homemade doughnuts, but it's a huge pain to mess with a giant frying pan of oil, and making the batter, when you just want one doughnut. The Sailor Jerry is about as big as my face, is made to order, and is soaked in delicious booze and butter, topped with nice crunchy walnuts, all for $3.25. AND it's big enough to share. I am a native Austinite, born and raised, and yes, I occasionally get disgusted with the some of the trendy, overpriced spots that spring up around town (I'm looking at you Hey, Cupcake & Cake Balls), but if a trailer has good food, I will pay. Anyway, I am happy that now, when I get out of a movie at Alamo South Lamar, I can hop across the street and indulge in a freshly fried snack with a friend.

                              1. re: femmenikita

                                Yeah, I've only ever had the Flying Pig, but it's totally big enough to share (actually, it's big enough for our family of four) and it's outrageously good.

                                1. re: addlepated

                                  Yep, Gourdough's is a winner. I was expecting an overpriced Voodoo knock-off when I first heard it was opening, but it's so much better than that.

                          2. re: conquer

                            A hip cluster of trailers are slapping patrons with sticker shock. They're either justified by the market, or they'll go out of business, or they'll reduce their prices. If the owner-operators have found rubes who enjoy chalky oil bombs from a blinky trailer, more power to them. They're filling some sort of niche, else the market forces would overturn their "applecart". Some comeuppances have already occurred, I wouldn't sweat it. Just continue to vote with your dollar.

                            Austin has many delicious carts, trailers, and sheds. Explore! Seek adventure on the high seas of chow. White whale! Holy grail!

                            I think I'll kill a brace of tacos from the wacky joint by the Citgo (Teri Rd) on the way to work tomorrow. At this place, five dollars will get you three heaping fajita tacos, fixins, and change. Let me know what you think when you make it down there!

                            1. re: tom in austin

                              If Tony really covers the upscale food cart movement on his show, I may owe Conquer an apology for my contradictory language.

                            2. re: conquer

                              youre overlooking the aspect that these trailers have become a middle ground for folks cooking out of their kitchens who would like to take it to the next level and those who are connected (or funded) enough to start a restaurant. Ive meddled with the challenge of starting a food biz here in austin (preservation bacocn) and let me report it is no small task to open an eating establishment. these folks making cupcakes out of trailers are not trying to put the taco carts out of business. completely different audience. this argument to me is like those who complain about Playboy at the 711. If you dont like em then dont buy em.

                              1. re: conquer

                                I couldn't disagree more. I think it is fun, is a great outlet for smaller businesses that can't afford a storefront and allows for creativity and risk taking. I think they are great.

                                1. re: conquer

                                  With all due respect , Bobby Flay couldn't produce a crepe better then an Austin trailer crepe...so I would have to say that is some good food...

                                2. so i went by franklin bbq, a relatively new cart that has sprung up off of concordia and i-35, shortly before 38 and a half. ill be honest, i was surprised that it was a young white guy... usually i find its older black men who run barbecue joints/trailers around these parts. i got the brisket plate. truthfully, i was not exactly impressed by the standard sides of potato salad and cole slaw which came with it, but the brisket... man, that stuff was good! hes got three sauces and i only tried the sweet one, although theres an espresso sauce as well that i shoulda tried, but i was too hungry to notice! the brisket was obviously just-cooked, hes got the smoker in another trailer out back. a bunch of old white guys who seemed to work around there came by for lunch so he hopefully should make a few bucks. the guy workin there was chill and knew his stuff plus gave me a free piece of lean brisket which was just as juicy as the fat cuts, so all yall tryin to get up on your local bbq game should visit the man and pass your own judgment!

                                  also, while it is not a trailer, i finally visited mi ranchito. let me say god bless those mexicans, good call scrumptious!

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: glorpisgod

                                    The pit at Franklin BBQ is the old pit from John Mueller's BBQ. Aaron has been refining his BBQ for years. I think it's the best BBQ in Austin. He's getting so much word of mouth that he said he may have to hire someone to help him out. I went there yesterday and it was a 20 minute wait at lunchtime.

                                    1. re: The Tres Leches

                                      Finally tried this place on Saturday. Hands down the best brisket I've had in Austin...I'd put it up there with any of the Lockhart 3. Opted for the moist brisket and it was melt in your mouth tender with a nice bark on it. The ribs were also very good but almost too much black pepper for me. The sausage was ok, nothing special IMO. I tried the sweet sauce and the espresso sauce and preferred the espresso, the sweet one was too sweet for me. Ordered by the pound and it came with the standard pickles, onions, and white bread.

                                      The prices were a little high, brisket was $13/lb. He said he had recently increased the prices...and as long as he's doing a good business I imagine they will continue to go up. There were only 4 or 5 people ahead of us in line but with only one person cutting meat that equated to a 20 minute wait. With a little hired help the line would be much quicker.

                                      1. re: Madcap

                                        I just went for lunch today and am absolutely going to be a repeat customer. Very short wait and the two men inside were hi-lariously friendly. They let me get a taste-portion of everything I wanted and gave all of us a piece of burnt-end.

                                        I got one pork rib, three slices of brisket and a pinch of pulled pork (husband is the judge of sausage, so I passed on that). I got all three sauces and although I ordered slaw, I got potato salad. That was partially my fault because I switched choices. I took it all to go to really challenge the brisket. Whole cost was $7.

                                        Brisket was up there with the better ones in Central Texas. Not quite as peppery as Coopers and very close in flavor and texture to Muellers in Taylor. I'd say I even liked it better as it had a wonderful black crunchy crust and held up to travel much better. Pork rib was moist and fall off the bone tender, but I wish it had more seasoning. It was still quite good, especially with the espresso sauce (I'll get to that in a sec). Pulled pork was also quite moist, even with the travel time and went best with the vinegar-based sauce and would have made an excellent pulled-pork sandwich, if they're slaw is good.

                                        Sauces were the espresso, a sweet sauce and a vinegar sauce. Espresso was deep and satisfying and hit all portions of the palette. Yum. Sweet sauce was a mild, non-peppery version of Rudy's meets County Line. Vinegar sauce was somewhere between regular bbq sauce and Mueller's. Not quite as wet or zingy.

                                        Potato salad was very mustardy and half creamy, half chunky; similar to Coopers, but without the obvious chunks of veggies. I like Coopers better.

                                        Final opinion: While it's not quite as good overall to the Kings outside of town, I think it blows away anything within the city limits by a long shot, and since it's not 45 minutes away, will probably get much more repeat business and has taken away from trips to the others.

                                        1. re: amysuehere

                                          I'm pretty much with everyone else here -- delicious brisket and sauces, good sausage, plus pulled pork & coleslaw sandwiches. Love this place so far. The ribs were sold out when I went, so I didn't get to try them, but I'll be heading back soon.

                                          1. re: hlk

                                            I went this afternoon around 1:30 and he was sold out! He was able to put together a pulled pork sandwich for me (sans slaw because he was out) and it was really tasty: moist, nicely seasoned, and complemented nicely with the pork sauce (in a bottle on one of the picnic tables). Really delicious, and next time I'm getting there when they open at 11.

                                            1. re: bookgrrl72

                                              Ditto on all the comments. We went today at noon. Not terribly crowded (3 minute wait) had all brisket, pork, and ribs. They are not smoking their meats at noon so they definitely will run out early on busy days.

                                              Ribs were pretty good, pulled pork was better (the best in Central Texa--though that says nothing), and brisket was best. Great smokey intensity and even our lean brisket was still not too dry. Very much in the Lockhart/Taylor approach of meats. I'd give them an A and if they are always this consistent with their quality the only reason to go to Taylor/Lockhart is for atmosphere or the hopes you get lucky and get an A+ experience (one in three times I get A+ at Smitty's or Louie's).

                                              My only question is this the Street Fighting Man's (aka John Mueller's) rumored joint/cart or is his still to come? Things are looking great for barbecue in Austin this year.

                                              1. re: Carter B.

                                                I can't add much that hasn't been said, but I've been three times now to Franklin's and found it to be some of the best brisket in central Texas. The new issue of Texas Monthly gives a glowing blurb in the restaurants section. So I recommend paying a visit before the place gets mobbed.

                                                1. re: Carter B.

                                                  I had Franklin's today. Had both fatty and lean brisket - you are right...the lean brisket was very moist. I preferred that to the fatty because of that. We did get there at 11 today (Sat), so the briskets were newly cut and just off the smoker. I think that he may brine the briskets or something, but I might be dead wrong. There's actually a fourth hot sauce in addition to those already reported. I really like the espresso sauce, although I didn't expect that I would like it at all.

                                    2. I used my Groupon for Sushi-a-Go-Go today and I've gotta say: I'm hooked. I got the Crunchy Dynamite roll and the Trio roll and inhaled nearly all of it before I even gave a second thought to wasabi, soy sauce, or ginger. Holy wow -- the Dynamite roll is tempura crunchies, spicy tuna mix, and avocado, sprinkled with red sesame seeds. It's not too spicy and has a mellow smokiness to it that just sings. The Trio is tuna, yellowtail, and salmon and the fish is so fresh and buttery it melts in your mouth. The rice was just right and before my $10 coupon, the two rolls were $12. Highly recommended.

                                      They're in Rosedale now, though.

                                      1. Gotta check out East Side King! These are guys from Uchi. You've got to go through the Liberty Bar on E. 6th to get to the trailer in the back. The Thai Chicken Karaage was delicious! We also had the Beet Fries, which are beets, sliced and quartered, dredged in cornstarch and deep fried. Served with kewpie mayo. We also had the Curry Buns. Everything was so good, I can't wait to go back to try the rest of the menu. I think they are only open Thurs-Sat., 7-2 am.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: nibs

                                          A group of us ate there about a month ago. Fantastic. We walked up and ordered 2 of everything on the menu. The beet fries were great and I'm not even a fan of beets. It was a really cold night and they gave us all large complimentary styrofoam cups of off-the-menu tom yum soup to keep us warm while we waited. Can't wait to go back. Had never been to Liberty Bar before. We stayed for some beers. Nice little dive bar that is friendly to the late-30 somethings.

                                          1. re: LazyMF

                                            tried East Side King tonight, it was delicious!!!! liberty bar was pretty cool, cheap drinks (double bourbon on rocks + pint of guiness = $10...not too shabby). anyway, ESK's fried chicken pieces had wonderful flavor. not much of a battered/fried fan, but this was great....had a tangy/sweet sauce, basil, mint, cilantro, jalapenos. good stuff. brussels sprouts was pretty much a cold version of the same sauce/veggies with cabbage - again, loved the flavor. the pork belly buns were pretty good too, bit more tolerable than the pork belly slider from Odd Duck which was crazy fatty. downside is that they were out of beet fries which was my biggest draw. thinking of going tomorrow to try em.

                                        2. i know we all get annoyed with yelp but...
                                          their weekly publication features carts:


                                          there were shout-outs to both franklin BBQ, odd duck, plus a few others.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. I tried tacos from both the Chi'Lantro BBQ truck in Austin and one of the original Kogi BBQ trucks in Los Angeles last week. Chi'Lantro is pretty new. They're parked at 2nd & Congress at lunchtime and 5th & Colorado at night. Service was extremely friendly when I visited. They were offering free hot tea because it was so cold out. Their tacos are available in beef, pork, chicken, and tofu and are served on two corn tortillas for $2 each. I tried all three meats and got some kimchi on the side which I ended up adding to most of my tacos. Kogi in L.A. serves its tacos with a large helping of Korean-inspired "slaw" that is tangy, sweet, and spicy with strong flavors of ginger, chile, and (I believe) fish sauce. Chi'Lantro's tacos were pretty tasty, but they were much less distinctive than the Kogi fare that I assume they are attempting to mimic. My tacos from Chi'Lantro came topped with shredded lettuce, onions, cilantro, and cheese, along with some type of chile/vinegar sauce that was good, but not as flavorful as Kogi's version and overall the tacos were not as different from regular Mexican style tacos as I was hoping they would be. Still, I would go back and try them again; it was a pleasant experience and since they haven't been around long I wouldn't be surprised if they are still adjusting their recipes/menu.

                                            I also noticed that they already have some competition in town. A new truck calling itself TaKorea just popped up.

                                            Chi'Lantro: http://www.chilantrobbq.com/
                                            Kogi (L.A. only): http://www.kogibbq.com/
                                            TaKorea: http://www.eastmeetsmex.com/

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: hlk

                                              did you get the kimchi on the tacos at Chi'Lantro? i added that last time i was there and it made the taco a much more interesting dish.

                                              1. re: mkfoodie

                                                Yep; I got it on the side, but ended up adding it to my tacos after the first bite or two.

                                              2. re: hlk

                                                I ate there today and had a pork taco and a tofu taco with kim chi. The service is so friendly and not at all hipster pretentious like I find at so many places. And my tacos were outstanding. I'd like a little more heat, but still fantastic.

                                                Also tried East Side King a couple of weeks ago. The fried chicken, the brussels sprout salad, the beet fries and the pork bun. The pork bun is pretty much exactly like Momofuku in NYC (I think one of the guys might have staged with Chang) and makes me wish the place were open all the time. I don't go out too much at night any more so the hours don't jive with mine, but I think I'll find a way to make myself get there more often because it's totally worth it.

                                                1. re: hlk

                                                  Chi'Lantro - We got one each of the meat tacos (bulgogi, spicy pork and chicken) and agreed - it is good, interesting, tasty....but not mind-blowing and not destination worthy. A little sweet, and I know I'm not "getting it" but corn tortillas were just weird. If I worked or lived near one of their spots I might be a semi-regular because they are tasty, fresh and a pretty good deal, but it is no longer on the list. Oh - my husband neglected the kimchi, but I usually eat that on the side of my korean food, not as salsa...I can imagine that they would be more interesting with that, but not worth seeking out to try.

                                                2. ate at takorea, it was pretty good. got a (what i assume is) bulgogi taco, spicy beef. it was good (tho somewhat expensive at 2.50), was doublewrapped on corn with lots of cabbage. put some sriracha on that sucker and it was spicy as all getout! the dudes running the cart are cool tho.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                          It's easy to miss. Do you remember where the outdoor/kayak place on the same side of the highway as Fiesta (Dreamers was next door to the kayak place if that helps)? The trailer is behind their old fenced yard that housed the kayaks.

                                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                                            Amysue, I think you're describing the location of Franklin BBQ. TT's question is in regards to TaKorea, which is on the southeastern corner of the I-35/290 interchange. There's a Thundercloud Subs in that shopping center, a heavy-machinery rental place, and Ciao Chow catering (in the old Pyramids restaurant space).

                                                            1. re: bookgrrl72

                                                              You're right. Thought he was looking for Franklins. My bad.

                                                    1. re: glorpisgod

                                                      Finally ate at TaKorea for the first time last night, at their newish evening location at 6th and Waller. Everything was fantastic. I suggest you forego the plain corn tortilla-wrapped tacos (their plain tortillas are a bit dry and nothing to write home about) and get your stuff wrapped in cabbage leaf, or get it on the piping hot fried-to-order tostada round. I asked for everything "extra hot" and the dude (owner?) working the cart chopped up some red chiles and grilled it/mixed into the filling. Between the BF and I, we tried the beef, tofu, and pork. Sesame seeds gave nice depth of flavor, cabbage a nice crunch, everything loaded with garlic. Be warned that if you order your stuff on a tostada, they use a slightly sweeter sauce, but it still retains a spiciness and depth of flavor. The food will give you dragon breath even after brushing twice but you won't care. Oh, and I did not try the hot dog, but my companion did and he said it was his favorite item... Likened it to having his favorite filling from tam deli placed on top of a delicious hot dog on a grilled bun. The tacos are small-ish. I'm 100 lbs and I ate 3. I know some people have complained about the price of the tacos in relation to size, but frankly, I think if you can eat delicious dinner out for under $10, you've gotten a good deal. Oh, and if you ask, they'll give you a bottle of Sriracha to take to your table. Didn't _really_ need it in the end, though-- this is some hot and flavorful food.

                                                      All this after I finally discovered some delicious menu items at East Side King. Option paralysis.

                                                      1. re: femmenikita

                                                        Addendum: Went back to the Waller food cart area last Saturday night... First stopped by the Liberty bar for some curry buns at East Side King. I paid, and the dude working the register said, "Don't sit down-- if you wait one second, your curry bun will be right out..." I should have been suspicious but I was starved and just thrilled to have my grub out so fast. In a flash, my food appeared. Sat down, took a bite: the buns were thoroughly drenched in oil. As in, they had clearly just been sitting there in the fry oil for god knows how long. I am not one of those people who dabs grease off of pizza or fried food in general, but you couldn't dab the grease off this if you wanted to; it was soaked through. Thanks for wasting my $4 East Side King. Just when I thought we were friends.

                                                        Went back to Takorea. Everything was mouthwatering just as described above, so I won't say anymore on the subject. My friends ate sausage on croissants at the cart next door (the name escapes me) and loved them. They put a weird tzatziki-like sauce on the over-sized Texas style (read: big, not terribly flakey) croissant, but it works, particularly as "hangover food." Also: if you're eating in that area: a shout out for the Earl Grey infused Chocolate Mousse/pot de creme thing at the Good Knight Bar. For dessert in the area, it is definitely Old Faithful.

                                                    2. so i went to la gueras off s lamar today on the way back from the y on town lake... rather disappointed. the dude from tacojournalism said they had good al pastor, but the mexican friend i had with me almost had a seizure when i said i heard they were supposed to have better al pastor than rositas. yeah, not so sure about that... the barbacoa was good tho, cant front. but its kinda hard to screw barbacoa up (which unfortunately ive also eaten...wayyy too salty; cant remember where tho).

                                                      i think i really should do this riverside thing, i just gotta figure out what geographic area it should cover... from 35 to 183/71 on riverside/oltorf? obv gotta throw montopolis area in it, what about burleson? decisions decisions....

                                                      how is the texas cuban place, btw? i see it at the whip in sometimes, but its so expensive...

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: glorpisgod

                                                        So you were with a Mexican National eating pastor? Where is that person from in Mexico?

                                                        I've never been to or heard of la gueras off of S Lamar.

                                                        1. re: glorpisgod

                                                          You should just start blowing off class at ACC and ride around eating tacos and writing about it. Riverside proper would be the corridor between I-35 and Hwy71.

                                                          No need to do Burleson or Montopolis. You'll have all you can handle with the 50 or so Mexican restaurants and food carts along the corridor.

                                                          When you finish that project you can branch out and do some other off shoots. When MPH was stil with us I believe she got all the way up to part 14 or so of her series.

                                                          Can't wait to see part one of yours.

                                                        2. for anyone who cares, the iphone app "food trucker" has austin as a featured city.
                                                          it parses all the twitters into one easy to read stream of info.
                                                          since i don't use twitter, but so many local food trucks rely on it, i find it helpful.

                                                          1. while my full report on east riverside/oltorf has only yet begun, thought i would break down what ive got so far

                                                            first off, my main studies so far have been on oltorf. there are four major taco carts on oltorf; going east of 35, they are glorietas florangel, el super taco, tacos gigantes, and tacos el rico. gigantes and super taco are only open on weekends (maybe friday night too). el super taco seems like it has the most potential bc it seems packed every weekend night, but i am always not in the mood when i pass by (what??? die). gigantes ive only seen open once. tacos el rico is always open (i wont say 24/7 but its open a lot) but i never see too many people there, which i take as a bad sign.

                                                            so far, i have only hit up glorietas florangel, next to the major brand next to the prince of peace church. there are multiple florangel carts around town, with one on riverside and the main one on n lamar. they serve honduran food, and having heard good things about honduran chicken, i forwent the tacos (what was i thinking???) and tried the torta. the torta was good, chicken was great, but there was too little in the way of extra ingredients. just a small layer of bean spread and a few tomatoes between chicken and bread does not a quality sandwich make. ive also tried the platanos with chicken, and again, the chicken was good, but the fried plantain chips with the salad didnt inspire me much. at this point i might go there again to try the tacos but i dont think this cart is a great representation of honduran food (seems more like honduran/mexican fusion)

                                                            on montopolis, ive gone to tacos balderrama, which is a bit before club terrace, i think (might be mistaken). its next to a gas station and a bunch of construction, and you can often see its cook lounging around on the seats by the side. i grabbed a pastor taco and a bacon/egg taco (out of cheese... you broke my heart, amigo) which were pretty good - nothing exceptional, but it gives me hope that there may yet be something else. further review may be warranted.

                                                            up on mlk and chicon, a new bbq cart has opened - stinkys bbq, so you know i had to check out new spots in the hood. i roll up and its a cool scene; brothers lounging playing bones, the smoker going, extraordinarily loud and shrill black chick talkin bout god knows what - to a 23er like me its music to my ears! unfortunately they had no ribs when i got there, so i decide to get a pork chop and sausage plate.i thought the meat was a bit dry, but maybe its cause i forgot to ask for sauce (what good is meat if its not drizzled with extraneous fluids?). the sides were what youd expect from a bbq joint, nothing great but not inedible. so overall not impressed, though the gentleman who ordered ahead of me was raving about the ribs, so curiosity is piqued there.

                                                            mi palacio on east manor - while this is not a cart, i had seen this empty mexican restaurant for sixth months without ever going in or seeing cars. so when i see the open sign flashing and a little girl standing in the doorway i figure this is my best chance. i go in and the scene looks good - owners daughter doing homework, a few mexicans off work drinkin bud light and playing pool. i grab two tacos (carnitas and barbacoa) and not only are they two dollars, but theyre small! not really that great, either. i curse the mexican taco gods and storm away.

                                                            oltorf/riverside guide hopefully coming soon!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: glorpisgod

                                                              Great report. Maybe throw some physical addresses in with all the info so those who follow can vector in on your finds.

                                                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                                while i have no addresses because im a lazy son of a batch, i do have a story to tell from tonight. while driving down oltorf, i noticed that both tacos gigantes and el super taco were open. i parked in a nearby parking lot and gathered up my change, which unfortunately was only 1.25. im like 'theres no way i can buy a taco, but i might as well try' (which is pretty depressing). i decide to limp (fractured foot, i want to die) to el super taco, seeing as how there were more people around there (and it was on the right when i was going). as i wait in what i assume is the line and stare at the mexican lady in the trailer, a somewhat pale mexican guy comes up to me with a notepad. i find this a huge surprise cause seriously, who expects a taco trailer with a waiter. so im like 'listen... i only got a buck twenty five.' the pregnant pause afterward made me like 'okay... how do i say that in spanish?' but then he slowly says 'a buck twenty five... maybe one taco?' i would have shook him in happiness, but i was afraid that the language barrier would render this a big insult. so im like 'yes, one taco de barbacoa please!' after a bit, i sit down and slather some salsa on the taco. it is freakin great. will try again.

                                                            2. So I finally had the time, finances, and inclination to do a minor run on some trailer food. Here's a few takes on some places you guys might've tried already:

                                                              Last night I finally hit kebabalicious. I had been searching for freitkot, and found them both together, right on 7th street. I ordered a little sumthin sumthin from both.

                                                              Long story short: Both were delicious.

                                                              Long story long: I ordered the regular sized beef/lamb kebab, spicy, with feta cheese. Wow. Perhaps it was my slightly altered states, or perhaps my foodie inexperience, but this took its place as one of the finer kebabs I have ever eaten in my life. All the flavors came together brilliantly. I was a picky eater as a child. I didn't like my flavors mixed. So, as you can presume, I didn't really start eating things like kebabs until I got over that issue. To that end, my mark of a good sammich of this type is how well the flavors combine and make a new flavor. And folks, the flavors melded together so well. I didn't realize there were radishes in the kebab until after I was finished and noticed a radish slice had fallen out. I wish I could give more details about the ingredients, but things went together so well that I didn't really take notice of a particular aspect of the sandwich. The meat wasn't dominate, but was noticeable. The feta added a certain "feta-ness" to the overall experience.

                                                              A note about the spiciness. After the first jolt of spice I thought it might be overly spicy. Yes, I know I ordered the spicy version, but, to me, spiciness is almost an art form. I ain't interested in causing myself pain, but I do want to feel some heat. Two hours after I had finished my kebab, lying in bed, I could still feel a pleasant warmth in my mouth from the spices. That made me smile. To me, that is exactly what I want from a spicy dish. Just warmth. And for a few hours after? Bonus.

                                                              While waiting for my kebab, I checked out freitkot as well. Another excellent choice made by me, I must say. I ordered a regular size with the bacon aioli. It came to me hot and ready for devouring. My intent orginally was to go home and eat my feast, but I had eaten part of the kebab while waiting for my fries, and realized that the aioli would destry the crispiness of the fries by the time I got home. So I sat in my car for a bit eating the fries. And they were terrific.

                                                              I am not a french fry man. I'm usually done with my fries after one or two mouthfuls. I do not care for McDonald's fries, and almost always order something else if I have the option at a restaurant. I am not a conniesieur (or however you spell that word :) ). But those first fries I ate reminded my of something I read years and years ago about what a proper french fry was.
                                                              In college I read a lot of Lewis Grizzard, who wrote a humor column for southern newspapers. He died in the early 90s or late 80s. Anywho, in one of his books of his columns, he was deriding the modern french fry. He explained that a fry was supposed to be crisp on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside. And not a thin stick of potato, as found in McDonalds. And above all, they should taste like potatoes.

                                                              The fries at freitkot did this, and wonderfully so. An outside that was browned perfectly and crisp, with a fluffy inside.

                                                              The bacon aioli seemed decent enough. I was neither impressed or turned off by it. Since I am not a "fry guy" I have rarely ventured beyond the world of ketchup on my 'taters. I didn't notice a particularly strong note of bacon, which would have been nice.

                                                              I'm glad I ate a good portion before going home. The time it took to get home was enough time to start to soften the chips doused in the aioli. Before I could finish them, the remaining fries and aioli had turned into a grease bomb I was simply not willing to put into my belly.

                                                              But as walking around food, or the end to a cheap date, the fries were great.

                                                              Both of these places are worthy of further investigation by you guys. I am curious to see what others think.

                                                              This afternoon I decided to hit a few more places, this time on the hipster portion of South Congress avenue. My first stop was Crepes Mille. My crepe experience is largely tied to a banana crepe in Delaware about 12 years ago and Flip Happy Crepes. I love Flip Happy crepes, so I was curious about expanding my horizons. I had some other eating plans so I wimped out and only ordered a lemon sugar crepe. This is not a large enough sample size to make a fair judgement on any trailer. It was certainly a tasty crepe. Not overly lemony and not sickeningly sweet with sugar. The crepes had a very slight eggy taste, which I considered a positive.

                                                              A couple other notes about Crepes Mille: They have a larger selection of crepes than Flip Happy. I am a sincere and devoted carnivore so I have never noticed the Flip Happy Vegetarian options. But since my best friend IS a vegetarian, I try and take notice of these things when I can, so we can eat at the same joints. Crepes Mille had quite a few vegetarian options. The other important thing to note about Crepes Mille was the lack of a line. There was none. I looked at the menu, ordered, paid and was eating my crepe in the time it takes me to move 3 feet at Flip Happy Crepes. Look, folks, I love Flip Happy Crepes to death. But that line is just re-damned-diculous. My suggestion to you is that if you have a jones for Flip Happy, by all means go there. But if it is just a crepe you desire, hit up Crepes Mille.

                                                              On the way to the BBQ place near the Hudson's Cone and the Cupcake trailer, I was hit by an irresistable urge to eat pizza. I really like Home Slice. So I betrayed my original mission and had a slice and a beer at Home Slice. Good eatin' in my book.

                                                              So I skipped the BBQ joint. There were a lot of people eating there as I walked by, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themself. I got a good whiff of smokey meat (and not just smoke) which almost guarantees I will be back.

                                                              I stopped by the pie queen, that little hut next to the cupcake place. The first thing the woman says to me is that she is out of the buttermilk pies. DAMN! She was out of some other flavor, but I cannot recall what it was. It turns out that Southern Living magazine has featured the pie queen in its July issue, proclaiming her buttermilk pies to be the best in the entire south. Seriously. Not the best in Austin, or Texas. Apparently, there is no better buttermilk pie below the mason-dixon line. I got to chatting with the woman and another customer. She is just a delightful person. Very friendly. I was just another customer, and she treated me like a regular. I know that I was treated like a regular because one or two came by while we chatted. She called them by name as she turned them away. They were after the buttermilk pie, you see, and she had sold out of them ages ago, thanks to a huge increase in business, inspired by Southern Living magazine. I couldn't decide between the lemon ice box and the coconut cream. But she was such a nice woman (and I'm a fairly charming dude, at times) that when I mentioned I couldn't decide, she gave me a coconut cream pie for free! To be fair, though, she had dropped the pie and the whipped cream had smeared on the top of the plastic container it was safely esconced in. It no longer looked pretty, but that ain't nuthin' but a thang.

                                                              The pies are in my fridge right now. I'll try and post later about their quality. But if the Southern Living food editor has tried her pies and thinks they are the best in the south, then surely her little pies are worth a shot. But get there before 2 in the afternoon, at least until the next issue of Southern Living comes out.

                                                              She mentioned she is looking to open another trailer someplace up north. I selfishly suggested she consider the neighborhood around Burnet and Anderson, so keep your fingers crossed, my Allandale and Crestview neighborinos.

                                                              And just between you and me, she volunteered the information that she was unable to confirm or deny that she had been contacted by a television network that broadcasts programs exclusively related to food. She didn't have any information about what this theoretical "food network" might be interested in, but I immediately started wondering if Bobby Flay would put ancho chile's in a buttermilk pie.

                                                              One interesting (to me) note was the lack of customers at the Cupcake trailer. It has always had 3 or 4 people in line there. Today, no one. The pie queen had 3 or 4 customers while we talked and I didn't see anyone at the cupcake joint. Maybe it was closed, I don't know, but I wondered if maybe the cupcake bubble in Austin has burst.

                                                              Whew. That was a long report. If you are still reading, thank you for sticking with it for so long! I had hoped to hit up Bananarchy on the way home. I thought they were on Barton Springs, but it turns out they are on So. Lamar, near Barton Springs. Ah well, some other time mayhaps.

                                                              Flip Happy Crepes
                                                              400 Jessie St, Austin, TX 78704

                                                              1. Tried out Max Parfait yesterday--new burger trailer on SoCo in the park with Mighty Cone, Hey Cupcake and more.

                                                                The burger was decent. I liked the bun (potato roll with a dab on butter on the outside and toasted) but the meat wasn't amazing--needed more seasoning. The fries were are quite good. Dark, golden brown bursting of potato flavor. Well salted--perhaps even too much.

                                                                If this trailer were in a different part of town, I'd definitely frequent it more but being that I try and avoid South Congress, we'll see if I get back.

                                                                Limited menu right now, burger, fries and a portabella sandwich.

                                                                1. Tried the newly opened Bavarian Bistro trailer yesterday for lunch. It is at 3rd & Congress just north of Austonian. Limited menu that no doubt will expand, I had a veal brautwurst sandwich with half sauerkraut and half red cabbage. The sausage and toppings were pretty good but the mini bagutte was not to my liking. I'll be back to try their schnitzel some time.


                                                                  1. Kate's Southern Comfort on Barton Springs just east of Zilker has Natchitoches Meat Pies and variations of the traditional meat pie....holy smokes good! The meat pies are not large, think empanadas, so order two. I hope this trailer survives the economy because I haven't had an authentic Natchitoches Meat Pie since, well, since I was in Louisiana in the 70's & 80's. Check 'em out!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Kaya_n_Austin

                                                                      mmmm.....meat-pies. Now there's a memory. That and those wonderful ham sammiches on real french bread.

                                                                    2. A Californian we can all welcome is in Austin now, CoolHaus Ice Cream Sandwiches!