Monday, February 27, 2012

South Austin Food Trailers

Welcome to the South Austin Food Trailer Guide, part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance 2012 City Guide! Whether you're an Austinite or in town visiting, surely by now you've heard of Austin's incredible food trailer culture. I've tried to make this as comprehensive as possible, but surely I have missed some trailers that are south of the river/Town Lake, and for that I apologize. Please feel free to comment below if you know of ones I've missed. (I've used Town Lake as my northern boundary, IH-35 to the east, Lamar Blvd. to the west, and Ben White to the south.)

The thing about trailers, is they do move! Something that was there last week, might have moved to a new location this week. Some trailers are REALLY REALLY good about using social media to update their status, and hence their whereabouts -- thus it makes them easy to find. There are also a couple local resources that you might find handy: Austin Food Carts, Food Trailers Austin, and Trailer Food Diaries, but still, I think the best way to determine if a trailer is still open is to find them on social media, and see how recent their posts are. If you are visitor to Austin without your own transportation, here's a link to Capital Metro, our public transit system.

Buen provecho! 

801 Barton Springs Road, across from the Long Center/Palmer Auditorium parking garage, map
-- This used to be a booming spot for trailers, but presently, there are just two: MamboBerry (frozen yogurt, sandwiches) and Sno Beach snow cones (closed November thru February).

Just west of Lamar, by Zach Scott Theatre, map
-- Flip Happy Crepes, one of the original trailers in town, and they survived a Bobby Flay smack down! My post on them.
-- A trailer park at the other end of the block from Flip Happy, Jessie Street Eats, currently has mostly sweet/dessert places --  Ice Cream Social has some fabulous flavors including peanut butter mole which has some heat to it, ChocoSutra, and Mister Fruit Cup, and the current savory member is Fatback Boucherie.

Cruising south on South Lamar (from Barton Springs Road to Panther Lane), map
-- Trey's Cuisine at 600 S. Lamar
-- Luke's Inside Out at 1109 S. Lamar (my previous post here) which serves yummy sandwiches, such as The Pig, which I've eaten. Plus, they're next to Gibson Bar, so they're open late.
-- La Boite (The MOST AMAZING sweet goods! Love their sausage brioche, almond croissants and macaroon. Plus, their building is an old shipping container!) and Texas Cuban at 1700 S. Lamar (previous post from a food trailer tour).
 -- LuLu B's at 2113 S. Lamar, under the oak tree, next to Office Depot, daytime hours only. Great bahn mi, and other Vietnamese items. Not as dirt cheap as if you were at a Vietnamese place, but their BBQ pork is killer. One of my very first blog posts!
-- Bella Cucina at 3600 S. Lamar, in the lot south of Red's Porch. I just went for the first time (post here)! Great sandwiches, Niman Ranch meats, and a super nice owner, named Dominic.

Along South First Street, map
-- Bouldin Creek Food Park at 1209 S. 1st, which currently houses:
              -- Wasota, a west African spot. Amazing hospitality. You pay at the end of your meal, and they make sure you are satisfied with everything! We tried the jollof rice, black eye peas, and fried plantains with a spicy tomato sauce and the black eyed pea fritters, which were dense (and delicious), like hush puppies.
              -- SoCo to Go, a southern comfort foods place that also delivers. There was some nice black pepper in the fried chicken batter, and that's a hash brown casserole on the side, gravy too.
                -- Little Thai Food (previous post).

-- Torchy's Trailer Park at 1311 S. 1st
             -- Torchy's, the one trailer in the chain of taco houses (there's brick and mortar restaurants all over town now), previous post. They are damn fine tacos, but they are not the only taco place in town!
             -- Holy Cacao, darn good cake balls, previous post
             -- Conscious Cravings,  a vegetarian spot

--  Monroe Street Trailers at 1503 S. 1st (next to Elizabeth Street Cafe)
             -- Izzoz, in many ways, I think Izzoz's surpasses Torchy's, though it doesn't have nearly the recognition; previous post. Go try Izzoz!!!
             -- Gourdough's, the mother of all hedonistic donuts! They've recently moved to South First, and seem quite at home. The names of their donuts alone will make you laugh. Flying Pig? Funky Monkey? Yes, there's a donut somewhere under that PB and J pictured below! Previous post.
             -- Dock and Roll, the newest member at this corner, featuring lobster rolls. It was good, but not as great as we wanted it to be. Very unique to ATX, and very nice people working there. According to Trailer Food Diaries, they use a combo of fresh caught lobster, and some purchased at Quality Seafood.
             -- Directly across the street, is the finery that is J Mueller BBQ. Back after a hiatus from their previous restaurant on Manor Road, Mueller's has quite the following. Get there early if you want to be assured of some awesome peppery brisket and other melt in your mouth meats; previous post. 
-- SoFi Food Court, South 1st @ Live Oak
             -- Osaka Soul. Do you know what okonomiyake are? I'll tell you what they are: tasty and delicious! And unusual! It's a savory Japanese pancake with your choice of fillings on the underside. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the bacon and kimchi which it was loaded with, but it was great. And how can you not love something with bonito fish flakes on top? 

              -- Grill Haven, Middle Eastern inspired sandwiches.
              -- Blue Dog Pizza, for people, not dogs.
              -- Buffalo Bob's Chalupa Wagon, offering healthier chalupas, vegetarian ones too.
              -- Verts Kebap, the smallest food truck you'll find, as it's a tiny smart car with a
              pop-up tent attached to the back. They've just taken up residence here (like last
             week!), and I am dying to try!
             -- El Primo, catty-corner across the street. Tacos, and rumored to be quite good. (I
             can't locate a web or Facebook page, so the link is to their Yelp reviews.)

Along South Congress, map
-- Ms P's Electric Cock, at 1101 S. Congress. Well the name alone stands out, right?! Fried chickeny goodness. I got the 2 piece and a side of slaw, which they rotate the slaw varieties. If you have any food allergies, ask (duh); this turned out to be a blue cheese dressing on it, which I liked, but I have a friend who's allergic to blues. The chicken had a nice crust, and was super-juicy!

-- SoCo @ Gibson Street, 1318 S. Congress, currently houses:
               -- Hey You Gonna Eat or What,  serving up tasty looking sandwiches with a side of snarkiness.
              -- Fat Cactus, specializing in southwestern fry breads
                -- Crepes Mille, with, YES, crepes!

--  SoCo @ Monroe/Milton -- the granddaddy of them all, a WHOLE block of trailers!
             -- The Original New Orleans Po-Boy Gumbo Shop, I think the name says it all!
             -- The Mighty Cone, in part known for their fried avocado....previous post.
            -- Wurst Tex, is it the best wurst?
             -- Chipotle..... yeah, THAT Chipotle.... kinda weird...
             -- Coat and Thai, catchy name!
             -- Short Bus, IS everything better baked? (That's what the side of the bus says!)
             -- Pitalicious, is surely delicious.
             -- Cutie Pie Wagon, the iconic pink trailer with feather boas is back in SoCo after a hiatus. The owner opened a storefront up north on Burnet Road, but I am not sure if it's still open. Glad to have some representation back south!
             -- Star Company Coffee, an off-shoot of a Round Rock coffee shop.
             -- Fry Baby, I'd say it's safe to assume nothing here is baked.
             -- Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice (closed November thru March...I'd imagine they'll be open soon)
             -- Hey Cupcake, the original of their now several locations!

This is sorta a typical shot (below) of life in South Austin -- gorgeous February day (it hit 92 degrees on Feb 23, the day I took this shot.... cold front blew in that night, and the next day's high was only in mid 60s...that's "winter" in ATX for you!), musician playing, people standing in line at a food trailer...
And hey, no one really wants to talk about trailer trash! Please help keep Austin beautiful!
Along the fringes
-- All City Subs, 3808 S. Congress by Krebs Lane, two blocks before 290/Ben White Blvd.
-- Ah La Carte, 4418 Packsaddle Pass, at 290/Ben White
-- Double Trouble BBQ, 5300 S. Congress at Ramble Lane, three blocks before Stassney Lane

In Memoriam (I know there are many more who have gone to the great trailer park in the sky, but I miss these two, from the SoFi food court, RIP.)
-- Arancini -- living up to their name, their arancini balls were some of the best ever.
-- Fried Green Tomato -- pimento and fried green tomato sandwich? Yes, please! 

-- The Flying Carpet -- A unique Moroccan trailer, owners Maria and Abdu have transitioned to a brick and mortar place! Visit them at 504 W. Oltorf, about 2 blocks east of South 1st Street. I haven't been to the new spot yet, but they are some of my favorite people, and make amazing Moroccan burgers! My original post, and another I wrote as a guest post for a Moroccan blogger.
-- Odd Duck --  This trailer from Bryce Gilmore was a hands-down favorite of local food bloggers in an annual restaurant/trailer poll. Fortunately, the foods live on at Barley Swine, where Gilmore has been nationally recognized for his works.

So there you have it! Go forth, and conquer some trailer food -- there's LOTS of eating to be done!

PS -- The Downtown Trailer guide is here, and the East Austin one, here.