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Oct 28, 2010 09:17 AM

gypsy picnic: trailer food festival on 11/06

the gypsy picnic trailer food festival is "a gathering of austin's best trailer food nomads for a day of tasty treats, tunes & more".

11/06 from 11am to 8pm at auditorium shores.

free to the public
30+ eclectic trailers
sample portions for $3 or less
live music all day
presented by the health alliance for austin musicians
brought to you by ziegenbock

more information here:

who is going, and what are you looking forward to trying?

who went, and what did you eat?

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  1. I'm a bit disappointed to see some major players in the Austin Food Cart scene missing from the lineup. But nonetheless, will definitely go and check it out.

    3 Replies
    1. re: donnaaries

      yeah, i think maybe due to the size/traffic and the requirement of the sample sizes for $3, certain food trucks just couldn't swing it.
      for instance, i don't see odd duck or franklin bbq being able to do that.
      but i could be wrong.

      1. re: dinaofdoom

        It seems like many of the vendors listed have more "portable" trailers. Some "trailers" often have utility hookus and porches added on, and that would make them difficult to move.

      2. re: donnaaries

        This should be fun! I'm looking forward to Gourdough's, Flying Carpet, 86 This, and Kabobalicious. And hanging out with awesome CH people of course.

      3. I'm trying to talk our gang into it. Living on the north(ish) side of town, we just never make it down to try all these trailers. We finally tried Odd Duck and loved it, but still haven't been back because of the drive. So, if I can talk them into it, I'm going.

        Isso's and Flying Carpet are probably my stand-outs.

        1. I try and avoid these kinds of things because usually you end up paying an arm and a leg and leave a sour taste in my mouth. They're supposed to be promotional events, but they only serve to warn me how overly priced they may be if I were to visit their real establishment, which in many cases probably isn't the case. But $3 samples sounds pretty scary. It sounds like a toothpick and a 1oz paper cup. nd I know these aren't high-margain restaurants with big marketing budgets.

          -sw (AKA Sourpuss the Pessimist)

          1. My only complaint is I wish there was an "all you can eat" admission, one because I plan on eating a lot, and secondly because I am just lazy and don't want to find an atm beforehand :)

            I'm excited-I haven't tried Mmmpanada's or Hat Creek, and would probably go just because Coolhaus is there, which is currently my favorite dessert trailer.

            2 Replies
              1. re: NWLarry

                Your lucky this was not an option. There owuld have been no way to split up your party and wait in different lines - at an hour and a half for each line. The lines were just woo too long to eat anything. Even at Whataburger and Sandy's up the street.

              2. Bummer. I was hoping Izzo's was going to do their sandwich, which I've heard great things about. Looks like I have about $30 worth of places I'd like to try, though.

                • Bananarchy: Halfsie frozen banana
                • The Best Wurst: Grilled bratwurst half-sandwich
                • Chi’Lantro BBQ: Beef, pork or chicken bulgogi taco
                • Colibri Cuisine: Chipotle chicken nacho-dillas
                • Conscious Cravings: Pan-seared tofu wrap
                • Coolhaus: Bacon-on-chocolate-chip mini-ice cream sandwich
                • Cutie Pies: Buttermilk pie
                • 86 This: Smoked brisket and cheesy mashed potato sandwich
                • Elixer Coffee: Cappuccinno for $3, or iced coffee and scones for $2 each
                • The Flying Carpet: Lentils and chicken
                • Gourdough’s: Naughty & Nice doughnut with cinnamon and sugar
                • Hat Creek Burger Co.: Turkey burger
                • Holy Cacao: Chocolate-dipped cake ball ($2)
                • Izzoz Tacos: Three vegetarian tamales
                • The Jalopy Rotisserie and Press: Chicken sandwich with onion marmalade
                • Juan Pelota Coffee Truck: Cold-brewed toddy coffee
                • Kate’s Southern Comfort: Red beans and rice ($2)
                • Kronic Krave Arepas: Chicken arepa with guacamole and Jack cheese
                • Man Bites Dog: Earl Campbell hot link with sriracha mayo
                • The Mighty Cone: Hot and crunchy chicken, shrimp or avocado cones
                • Mmmpanadas: Soy chorizo with brie empanada ($1)
                • Patika Coffee: French press coffee ($2)
                • The Peached Tortilla: Braised pork belly banh mi taco
                • Pick Up Stix: Lamb kebab
                • Royito’s Hot Sauce Streamer: Migas taco with chips and salsa
                • Short Bus Subs: The Bully with Italian meats and cheese
                • Sugar Shack BBQ: JJ’s Dynomite Pulled Pork Wrap
                • Torchy’s Tacos: Green chili pork taco
                • Turf N Surf Po’ Boy: Crawfish etouffee po’ boy
                • The ZubikHouse: Braised lamb with herbed goat cheese kolache

                900 N Austin Ave, Georgetown, TX 78626

                30 Replies
                1. re: amysuehere

                  Do y'all think that this thing will be sparsely attended, well attended but not crazy, or a complete and utter madhouse? I'm trying to decide whether to cart my whole family down there.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    My feeling is that it's heading toward the crazy to utter madhouse. They have thousands of twitter/facebook followers already....

                    ....but isn't that the way of anything now with all the godzilla condos down there? I haven't been to anything lately that wasn't a crush of people...

                    1. re: amysuehere

                      Given the weather I think it will be quite crowded. The most well known places will have long lines (just like ACL festival). But I think crowds can be fun. We'll be there.

                  2. re: amysuehere

                    I got to try Chi'Lantro last weekend when they came up to Dallas and the one item I'd strongly recommend there are the kimchi fries, with beef bulgogi. That stuff is addictive.

                    1. re: amysuehere

                      Okay, I've mapped out my plan of attack:

                      Turf & Surf - Crawfish Etoufee
                      The Jalopy - chicken sammich w/ demi /onion marmalade
                      Best Wurst - jalapeno sausage onion, hot sauerkraut, mustard and curry katsup
                      Pik Up Stix - lamb kabob
                      Kate's Southern Comfort - crawfish pie
                      Peached Tortilla - bbq brisket slider w/ creamy jalapeno slaw
                      86 This - smoked brisket and cheesy mashed potato sammich
                      MAYBE Mighty Cone - shrimp cone
                      Coolhous - Ice cream sandwich

                      Sharing everything, we should be able to get to most of these if given enough time I would think.

                      1. re: amysuehere

                        Whatta friggin' JOKE...a bad one at that. Wasn't bad enough that traffic coming from all directions was so bad that it took half an hour to get close enough to realize that there was NO available parking for miles around. Whatta suckers' game...I walked from Whole Foods on 6th down to Aud Shores, to witness half of the trailers out of food (at 2:30!), with a half hour wait in line at the ones that had food. Great idea, poorly executed. Trailer food has jumped the shark. I walked BACK to my car at 6th & Lamar, hastily retreated to La Pulga on Pleasant Valley & comfortably ate a wonderful trailer food meal. Could have saved myself 2 hours lost time if I'd have made the sane decision to start there in the first place. Austin has gotten to be too crowded, with everything being too expensive +/or too much of a freakin' hassle. East is best!

                        1. re: stellawine

                          I had an amazing time at the Gypsy Picnic. Based on the boards, we knew it was going to be crowded so we got there right at 11 when the doors opened. We parked over by city hall and walked over. It only took about 10 minutes. We tried the food at Chi'lantro, Coolhaus, Holy Cacao, the peached tortilla, and mmmpandas before we were so full we couldn't eat more. I didn't wait more than 15 minutes in any one line.

                          I think it was alot (as in vastly more) more crowded than anticipated because of the weather and interest.
                          The basic problem was many of the stands were trying to prep to order and there were too many people there to easily do that. I don't really blame them though... no one knew what to expect since it was the first time.
                          The peached tortilla had the best bite of the entire day. Their slider and tacos were AMAZING.
                          Chi'lantro's pork bulgogi taco was also exceptionally good and definitely worth trying. I had their kimchi fries with beef bulgogi, but I actually thought the pork was better.

                          The ice cream in the Coolhaus sandwiches was top notch... especially the lemon ice cream with the ginger cookie.

                          When we left at 1:30 the lines were getting pretty insane and we were thrilled we came early and tried every place we really wanted to go.

                          When I saw the crowds, I figured a bunch of the places would run out of food because there was no way they had food prepped for 6-7,000 people (at least).

                          1. re: shan

                            Lucky Shan. FYI, this was the SECOND year for this event, not the first. I'm glad you had a satisfying experience.

                          2. re: stellawine

                            I had a wonderful experience at the picnic today. I went right at 11am when it opened and parked at the Hooters on Riverside and 1st Street (I believe), which it right across from Auditorium Shores. Several of the trailers had no line at all and the most I waited for food was about 5 minutes. The only downer was Izzoz Tacos had some issues (with their grill I think) and therefore did not have any food available at all while I was there. Thoughts about what I did have:

                            Peached Tortilla: Pork Belly Bahn Mi Taco was delicious. I ordered it on the double corn tortillas. The pork belly was great, well cook and not chewy with good flavor. The daikon and carrot slaw was also flavorful. All around, this was my favorite bite of the picnic.

                            Kate's Southern Comfort: Crawfish Etouffee pie was good. It was a slightly small pie filled with the crawfish etouffee. I thought the pastry was really good. Flaky and crispy all around. The prominent flavor in the etouffee was crawfish and you could see large chunks of the meat throughout. It did get a little messy eating because of the liquidness of the filling.

                            Mmmpanada: I ordered the green chili chicken empanada. There was a line at this trailer which I took as a good indication. I had also heard several positive reviews of the food but unfortunately I was underwhelmed. The crust of the empanada I did not find crispy or flaky although it had good color to it. The filling was okay, but I felt it lacked the punch that I am accustomed to with green chili dishes. I felt there was a generous amount of chicken in the empanada, but the other flavors just fell a little flat.

                            Holy Cacao: I was really excited for this trailer after reading so many positive things about people's experiences. I ordered one cake ball (carrot cake, forget the name) and a frozen hot chocolate. The cake ball was good but I felt it was a tad dense. I also would have liked a little more of the cream cheese frosting incorporated into the cake. The frozen hot chocolate was really good. I was expecting something much sweeter, more along the lines of a traditional milkshake, but instead it tastes like you are drinking really thick, cold, hot chocolate like you would get in spain that you dip churros in. I really enjoyed it, but could see where others might want something sweeter. Also, props to the trailer for having real whipped cream top it with.

                            Overall, I really liked the event. I think there are kinks that can be worked on for next year but I hope it does become a tradition. There were lots of families and kids, the music was good and couldn't have asked for a beautiful day. Props to those who put this event together.

                            1. re: austineatsworld

                              This event was scheduled to go until 8pm. I'd love to hear other opinions from not-as-savvy folks who lacked the foresight to be there when the gates opened. I can't imagine what sort of expectations these vendors were provided with, because when I was there at only 2:30 it was an untenable disaster. Better luck next year!

                              1. re: stellawine

                                I know from my facebook fan page of Cutie Pies that she was prepped with 4000 servings. My guess is that is what she was told to prepare for (though its just a guess) and she thought it was a huge amount. My guess is it was a drop in the bucket compared to what the event could have handled.

                                1. re: shan

                                  Cutie Pies was out of fudge pie when we hit it a little after 2pm, but she had added pumpkin which wasn't listed on her sign. We sampled buttermilk, white chocolate coconut, and pumpkin. They were all good.

                                  We were there from 1:30 - 4:30 and only tried three trailers. It took over an hour to get our first bite. The worst part was just finding the end of a line. We didn't get what we wanted because those were the longest lines, so we went for the fastest moving line. We got Best Wurst (very good), Cutie Pies (yum) and a ZubikHouse kolache (not the one we wanted). ZubikHouse was sold out when we arrived. They opened back up later, we waited in line only to find out they had one kind. (I wanted the lamb/goat cheese or the duck/sweet potato, but they only had the bacon/brie/apple). It was good enough, but not special.

                                  We ended up having fun, only because we ran into some old friends and just gave up waiting in lines. The first hour or so we were miserable. I was really sorry I dragged my husband there. He hates traffic, crowds, and lines. This was the trifecta.

                            2. re: stellawine

                              My daughter and I had a good time. We arrived around noon and there was still plenty of parking in the free City Hall parking garage. By the way when we left around 2:00 there was still plenty of parking in this garage. After the first half hour wait in line we employed the divide and conquer method. We would each wait in lines to diferent trailers and whoever got their food first joined the other to share their bounty. Doing this we were able to sample more trailers in less time. Since we live in Leander and have little or no reason to come downtown this was a great way to sample the trailers we've been reading about on this board. Our favorites were the Son Hong sandwich from The Jalopy Rotissserie and Press and the Lemon & Ginger ice cream sandwich from Coolhaus. We hope this becomes a yearly event and look forward to going again.

                              1. re: stellawine

                                We got down town about 1:45pm and waited in traffic about 15 minutes and when we saw the massive crowds, decided to give up. Went to the Celtic Festival instead.

                                I really like the idea, but they will have to prepare for much larger crowds next time.

                                1. re: stellawine

                                  Yeah, we got there around 12:30 and the place was already in total chaos. We walked in, saw that mess, and walked right back out to check out the chili cookoff at Draught House. Five dollars for all the chili you can handle and no lines or crowds!

                                  This is the problem with free events in Austin, imho. Everyone in a 50 mile radius with nothing better to do will show up. Why not temper the crowds a little bit by charging a $5 - $10 per person entry fee, give that all to charity, and have a much more enjoyable setup?

                                  1. re: jwynne2000

                                    Yeah you right! Even a token, say, $3 entrance fee culls the herd.

                                2. re: amysuehere

                                  Ok, luckily I read the Chow first and got Amy Sue's heads up that it would be a madhouse and got there at 11. At first Gordough's and Chilantro were the only ones going down, and you expected that with Gordough's. By 12:15 I was telling friends to turn around. If you were there to drink beer, and hang out with friends on a nice day it was fine, if you were there to try multiple trailers after 12, it was a disaster. I blame the trailers. Even early on, they weren't moving the lines very well.

                                  But hey, it worked great for me. Here are my samples, and all I was hoping for was a pleasant surprise, a revelation, and Coolhaus. Here's what I had in order of joy:

                                  Mmmpanadas-this was a revelation. I couldn't believe how wonderful the crust was. Freakin' amazing.
                                  Patika Coffee-probably one of the smoothest french press coffee's I've had in a while
                                  Man Bites Dog-The sriracha mayo wasn't so hot, but the Earl Campbell hot link was so yummy.
                                  Coolhaus-I love Coolhaus. Although the bacon chocolate chip was toned down for mass consumption, kind of like the Sopranos on A&E.

                                  Kate’s Southern Comfort-I am southern, so with trepidation, I ordered the red beans and rice. I figure it's a staple, if they do that right, I'll be back for more. I had 3 bites and threw it away. The beans weren't done.

                                  1. re: NWLarry

                                    We got there at 11:30, luckily. By the time we left at 1:30, there were thousands of people coming in. We had the lamb/goat cheese and the duck/sweet potato kolache at ZubikHouse, and the etoufee sandwich and the pork/mango taco at some other place. The Zubik house stuff was just OK, but the etoufee sandwich and pork taco were excellent. The etoufee sandwich on wheat bread was excellent - field greens and pickles with loads of crawfish for $3.

                                    I commend the vendors for thier effort - can you imagine waking up on Saturday morning to prepare for this event?

                                    StephanieH and I should hook up, because my wife was ready to go when we got there.

                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                      Ha! I like the way you think rudeboy.

                                      Sounds like you got the ZubikHouse kolaches I was wanting. Were they good?

                                      1. re: stephanieh

                                        They were mostly slightly sweet bread with a bit of meat-porridge filling . They tasted good, but neither one blew me away. It could have been the long wait combined with the small portion - we all shared it, so I only had one bite.....

                                        I'd go back to their trailer, though, wherever it is.

                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                          That was how I felt about the bacon/brie/apple kolache. They used a good smoked bacon, but I wasn't blown away. I looked up the address for their trailer, but I still don't know where it is.

                                          1. re: stephanieh

                                            They are usually at the downtown farmers' market on Saturday mornings. I haven't yet tried them because I am allergic to paying $4-5 for a kolache.

                                            1. re: bookgrrl72

                                              LOL! I can certainly understand that! But, I'm allergic to driving downtown, so it will probably be awhile before I try the full size offering.

                                      2. re: rudeboy

                                        During the week ZubikHouse lives at 2222 & Parkcrest, in the parking lot of the Clark gas station. Haven't tried them, though. I think they're closed on Mondays.

                                        1. re: magicbus

                                          and they're missing and/or dark when I drive by in the morning at 7.

                                      3. re: NWLarry

                                        We got there right after 11 and parked in the garage (first space no less) and immediately went to my first choice, Surf & Turf, and were turned away, as they wouldn't be ready for 10 minutes. It was hit and miss for me too. I should have kept to my game plan, but here's the run-down:

                                        The Jalopy: First stop and he had the sandwiches pre-prepared. Left the bread a little lacking, but he was very personable and it was a fine sandwich.

                                        Kate's Southern Comfort - My favorite of what I did try. Crawfish pie had lots of fat crawfish in it and the etoufee was spicy (said she toned it down for the masses) and crust was buttery and flakey. I'll go back for a "real" pie.

                                        Best Wurst - Jalapeno sausage was pop-toothsome and had lots of flavor, really liked his warm sauerkraut and onions (wish there had been more of it) and didn't taste any mustard or curry ketchup. Bread kinda dominated. Seeing how he's only open on 6th Street at night, it's probably my first and last.

                                        86 This - Multi-tasker - too sweet bbq sauce and with the potato (sounded good in theory) was just too carbo-riffic for my taste.

                                        The Peached Tortilla - On my must list, but once I looked at the line by this time, decided I'd already had one pulled pork bbq and didn't do it....dang it, now I wish I had reading my most trusted chowhounder reviews. Maybe I'll talk husband into making a special trip but I doubt it.

                                        Went back by Surf & Turf, but the line there was even longer than T.P.T.

                                        Because of another couple's rec that Chi-Lantro was worth ANY wait time, we got in that line and that was our longest wait (about 15 - 20 minutes). Got the pork taco, and while unique and tasty, probably not something I'd drive across town to eat.

                                        Last stop at about 1 was the Coolhous - good ending. Got the sampler and got the bacon (thank you for confirming my suspicions) which was kind of a slight tickle flavor at the end. However, the mint-chocolate was a perfect ending.

                                        By the time we left a little after 1, the place was a madhouse and huge throngs of humanity passed us all the way up to Oltorf. If we had arrived at 1, we would have blown it off too.

                                        1. re: amysuehere

                                          "huge throngs of humanity." I saw them, too!

                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            I kept looking for you, hoping I'd get to say hi, but obviously, the throngs got in the way...

                                            1. re: amysuehere

                                              guess that's better than "thongs," at least in some cases!

                                              I looked out for you, too. (We had our two kids, though.) Surprisingly, we did run into three sets of friends, but got the hell out of there fast in the end.

                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                Oh well. Yeah, we high-tailed it when the lines started to snake around. Looks like we got luckier than most, though...