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May 1, 2010 06:34 PM

Food Cart Crawl

Doing a food cart crawl with friends this Saturday, big van and designated driver. We would like to do about 5, East Side Kings, Odd Duck and Gourdough's are on the list. We want to end at Odd Duck and Gourdough's. I would like to add tacos for sure and perhaps BBQ. Would have love to add Franklins, but went by today and they were sold out at 1:30 and we won't even be starting till about 4:00. Give me some suggestions please!!!!

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  1. East Side King doesn't open until about 7PM I think.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodiegal71

      We will be hitting them later in the evening, we thinking tacos el rico early, since I think they close earlier than most.

      1. re: whoalilponie

        Avoid hitting Tacos el Rico first on a crawl.

        The last couple times we did so we never made it past Yolanda's delicious home cooking. Our best laid plans were destroyed due to the intense deliciousness coming out of the tiny cart on Vargas.

        Best to go to other, lesser, carts first or you'll just keep on ordering from El Rico til it's all you can do to walk much less go to another venue.

        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          Chef, I'll have you know we did early recon this past Saturday and we each had only 1, it was tough but I fight the good fight, I guess I was sticking them first so we know the standard to judge by and I thought they close around 8ish and all the other carts stay open later????

    2. don't even know where to start. How many places? What kind of food? ESK does open at 7, but they are open late so can do them later. I would consider the following. Check out Chi'lantro, they are usually at 5th and Colorado at night and an excellent Korean taco for $2. Highly recommended. Also G'raj Mahal is unique for it's food and environment. Good indian, locally sourced and fresh, but they also have table service. While there you can check out the Oaxacan cuisine at el naranjo. I would also add I jones for fries so if you do too, try Frietkot for awesome twice cooked fries.

      1. I'd highly consider doing Izzoz Tacos ( on South First for your taco hit. Everybody knows about Torchy's, but Izzoz's (similar because they are minutes away from each other and both have tacos) is a more unique Tex-Mex stop. Plus their tacos are insanely good.

        Also, I partly agree and partly don't agree with making Odd Duck and Gordough's your last stop. I am very partial to Odd Duck (fantastic food), but the stuff I have gotten there was heavy. Good for your first stop? No because you don't want to fill up there. Good for your last stop? No because it might really push you over your limit and you wouldn't fully appreciate what you're eating then. Regardless, Gordough's is probably perfect for a last stop. But note that their stuff is heavy, heavy, heavy. If you are at all feeling like you might not be able to handle when you get there, then you're right - you won't be able to handle it. They manage to make one donut equal to about six.

        2 Replies
        1. re: italyvespa

          I agree with Izzoz's, we've been eating them forever, we love John the owner, but in this situation I am looking for smaller portions and his tacos are just to big!!! As far as ending, at Duck and Gordough's we plan on splitting things, so portions are very tiny, including the donuts, taking cutting board and knife.....tiny tiny portions!!!

          1. re: whoalilponie

            whoalilponie i have lead a bunch of folks on trailer tours here and you have to end on Gordough's, it's just not right otherwise. If you go to Izzoz as long as you are in the area if you want to add something you could walk a block to the South Austin Trailer Park and do Holy Cacao (cake balls are unique) and Man Bites Dog who serves a very respectable dog.

        2. I have been wanting to try El Naranjo down on Rainie street (sp?) Interior mexican food. Oaxacan moles and other treats. Some mixed reviews, but most have been flattering.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Homero

            i have been there a few times. The food is good and somewhat different, but nothing has yet blown me away. Worth at least one visit though

            1. re: Homero

              well let me chime in with a review that is mostly negative, having tried it 24 hours ago--mainly about the bad value--I'm still kind of astonished we got so little food for $14 from a taco truck, albeit one that is upscale--we tried the Moletes (?) fried cigar shaped pieces of masa "stuffed with potatoes and chorizo"--these were about the size of two vienna sausages attached end to end--you get three of these appetizers with each order, and I doubt there was even one gram of chorizo in all three combined--the salsa that came with it was good and fresh, and the crispy fried outer layer of the masa was nice though pretty much flavorless, but for just over $4 it was a huge ripoff to us--then we got three tacos from the lunch menu (3 for $6.50)--the beef taco was probably the best, with the most flavor of anything we tried--it was likely marinated in chilis and traditional spices--the chicken breast in the chicken taco had good flavor (possibly free range?), but it seemed skimpy, not even an ounce of meant, and just that tiny bit of meat in a fried corn tortilla for $2?!--the vegetarian one was better with melted goat cheese and parsley (!)--again, the salsa that came with this was outstanding
              Obviously, trailers like these are geared towards yuppies and monied hipsters--I tried to go to Tacos El Rico the other day, but it was closed at 2:30pm...I sure hope it's not a casualty of the taco truck wars, that would be a huge travesty...

              1. re: taliesin15

                More on Iliana de la Vegas' cuisine here


                Not a bad effort but corn tortillas from Fiesta?

                Come on.

                The first tier of carts in town all produce homemade tortillas. You don't have to have long pigtails and spend all day on the comal to make your tortillas from scratch.

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  I have a feeling she's really going to wratchet that place into an upscale restaurant when they move inside the house--one thing she's got going for her--what a perfect location for this kind of place, yuppies and monied hipsters! As I was just saying on FB, the food's good though the value is poor, but most of all, what a great place to show off yr new piercings/tattoos or Jaguar--seriously! I do think that this chowpapi review is a bit too kind--"the pricing is fair"?!?!

                  BTW--I tried to go to Tacos El Rico on Tuesday afternoon, and it was closed--I'm hoping that was just a blip on the radar...

                  1. re: taliesin15

                    We dined lavishly at Tacos el Rico on Sunday afternoon so I think you may have just caught Yolanda away for a bit.

                    El Naranjo will flat clean up when it moves into the house and can offer margaritas, totopos y salsa etc.

                    While the guacamole was egregiously overpriced I thought everything else was pretty fair. Obviously she can't hang with Yolanda on either pricing or quality of food but who can?

                    If you skip the guac, two people can get out for well under 20 bucks and be reasonably well fed.

                    El Naranjo Mobile is the leader of the second-tier Mexican carts; the ones who apparently have neither the time nor inclination to make everything from scratch.

                    I would hazard a guess that the skill is there and hopefully we'll find out when the brick and mortar version opens.

                2. re: taliesin15

                  I agree with everything above. I was completely underwhelmed with El Naranjo. But, I don't think anything had much flavor at all. We got an order of 3 tacos and 3 dorados (basically flautas) and the fried plantains to split. The tinga tacos was tinga in my book. I've only had tinga a couple of times but both times it was chicken, chorizo and potatoes all cooked together. This version was shredded chicken in a tomatillo sauce. The dorados come covered in a green sauce. If it wasn't for that they'd be complete flavorless. We didn't think even the beef had any flavor on its own.

                  One other thing, this is the only place using store bought corn tortillas that cheaps out and only uses one per taco.

              2. you know, while i was driving down chicon this morning i saw reggies is open again (at least, there will people in the yard and the trailer door was open). yall might wanna try it out if hes open. 12th and chicon!