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Foodie in training. Currently focusing on my senior year curriculum, so there have not been recent posts. Please peruse previous posts for recommendations!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trading Spaces, Trading Places

Returning to Austin after a three-month hiatus in Dallas has been like a breath of fresh air. It may be really hot, humid air, but it's good to be back nonetheless.

This fall I'll be balancing a healthy diet with exploring new food trucks (and visiting my old faves, of course!), so that means you'll get a balance of healthy and indulgent options from the trucks. This stricter diet is a goal of mine because I'm planning for a trip to Europe this summer! I want to be able to eat all the cheese and drink all the wine I want with a guilt free conscious. Annnd that's the last time you'll be getting a diet update from me!

Since I've been gone, not only have a few food truck lots shut down, but there've been other relocations and food trucks that have become (or at least plan to be) full blown brick and mortars:

Brick and Mortar:
Prepare your pallet for the sweetness that is to be served up at Gourdough's Public House! The king of Big. Fat. Donuts. is going brick and mortar this fall, Relish Austin reports. I can't wait to see what kind of over the top cocktail recipes they come up with.
From the new Gourdough's Pub website.
Keep updated on the grand opening here.

Yumé Burger
Eater Austin reported a couple of weeks ago that our beloved Yumé Burger was closing permanently. Fans across the interwebz collectively mourned the loss of such a deliciously unique food truck.
From the YB Facebook page.
On the bright side, The Peached Tortilla & Yumé Burger may be opening as a brick and mortar restaurant. As soon as I learn more information, you'll hear about it.

East Side King
Paul Qui has been especially busy in the last year and a half, and he's not slowing down anytime soon. Qui told Eater Austin in August that he'll be opening a brick and mortar of ESK around March 2013. 
If you can't wait that long to eat some fried Brussels sprouts in the luxury of AC, then just hold out a little longer for the East Side King menu to take over the kitchen at Hole in the Wall off Guad. 
The caption says it all.
A review of ESK and more details coming soon!

Leaving Austin:
Star Co. Mobile Coffee House
The trailer is putting in a bid to move to the potential new "food trailer park" in Roundrock. Because Roundrockers want all the good Austin grub up North too.

Back in Austin:
Fresh Off the Truck 
They've been serving troops stationed in Fort Hood for the last month or so, but returned to Mueller Trailer Eats this week.
A happy customer from Ft. Hood! From FOT Facebook page.
Grab a Char-Sieu BBQ Pork Baguette this weekend and thank them for supporting our troops!
*Note: the truck is closed if it's raining.

Which brick and mortar are you most excited for? How bummed are you that Yumé Burger closed? Tell me whatcha think in the comments below!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Portland Food Carts - A Food Truck Foodie's Dream

I've long heard that Portland's food truck cart scene was something to drool over. What I didn't realize is that the city of Portland is the MECCA of food carts (especially for a mobile food fan like yourselves).

My first Portland food cart siting!
Let me paint a picture.

In Austin, you've hit the jackpot if you've found a lot with more than 5 trailers (not including the atypical, large lot on South Congress). Now in Portland, if you're on a food cart block, you're lucky to find less than 15. I say "lucky" because it makes it so incredibly difficult to make a decision on what cart you want to try.

The Grilled Cheese Grill. "Come by or a taste of your childhood. Unless your childhood sucked, then we'll share a taste of ours."
The variety of cuisines is incredible. I saw the traditional taco, pizza and corn dog carts, but there was also cart after cart of Asian Cuisine, ranging from sushi to thai to chinese, Indian carts, Cuban carts, Grilled Cheese carts-- need I go on?

Just a few more options...
I ultimately decided to sample a Thai dish because the abundance of Thai carts made it feel like Thai was a sort of cultural staple that has grown into the typical Portland-area lunch.

straight to the point.
The smell coming from the cart, let me know I made the right choice. I heard several people at this cart and another one nearby ordering the Pad Kee Mow, so it must be a hit. I wasn't in the mood for noodles, so I went for the Cashew Nuts with chicken--an odd name for a Thai dish, but I love me some cashews and spicy chilis.

While I waited, I chatted with the bearded, archetypal Portland server (which sort of made me feel like I was right back in Austin). He said I Like Thai Food is rated among the best food carts in Portland on some list that I wasn't able to verify online...let's just take his word for it. He told me it wasn't his truck, that he just married the cook, so he could eat the delicious grub everyday of his life. Something tells me he may not have been kidding. We got to talking about our mutual love for chocolate somehow and he drew me a map to place famous for its DRINKING CHOCOLATE, but we'll get to that later.

I walked down the street and sat on a bench across from Powell's Books and enjoyed my meal while listening to the blues player on the corner. I may or may not have been an extra in Portlandia at that very moment.
Cashew Nut with chicken, brown rice, extra side of chili flakes
The Cashew Nut was a great choice; there were so many cashews! The chicken was tender and all white meat and was swimming in the delish sauce. It wasn't quite spicy enough, so I added about half of the chili pepper flakes my cart friend recommended. The veggies were crisp (not soggy like some take out can be) and the rice was cooked just right. I recommend the place!

After my lunch, I toured Powell's where I watched a book binding and bought two new ones. I wandered down the street and got lost twice found the chocolate shop Mr. I Like Thai Food told me about, Cacao. Holy Willy Wonka geek out moment. If you're a big fan of chocolate you need to visit this place. I had the shot size of the dark chocolate drinking chocolate. Pure bliss.

My new love.
I was disappointed I couldn't try more carts, but on such a short trip I didn't have the time. I'm going to go back though and try one of every type of cuisine. And finish every meal off with some drinking chocolate while I'm at it.

If you've been to Portland and tried a food cart, tell me about it below! I'd love to hear about your experience!

I'm sure they don't hold a candle to Hill Country Pierogi.

"Fried Egg, I'm in love." --On my bucket list.
Powell's Books <3 td="td">
The Magic is in the Hole!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Trailers Around Town

This post may be a little un-kosher because I've never been to these trailers, but it's more of a "to-eat" list of mine. I thought I'd share it with you, so you can add them to your ever growing list of Austin places to visit. Let me know if you have a favorite menu item or recommendation. I can't wait...

Urban Cowboy
We've got another fusion truck on our hands. And I'm completely fine with that.
Cuisine: "Southern Fusion/Tex-Mex Fusion with Urban influences."
Open: Grand Opening TOMORROW - July 20 at 3 p.m.
LocationJessie Street Eats lot.
Mouth-watering menu items:

  • Smoky Chopped Chicken Taco- Mesquite Caramelized Onions, Avocado, Sweet Potato Straws, Cotija $3.75
  • The Kind Cowboy Burger (vegetarian)- Our signature Soychorizo & Black Bean Burger, Roasted Corn, Peppadew Relish, Green Leaf, Go Texan Tomato, Tomatillo Sour Cream $6
  • Cowboy Fries with Citrus Garlic Oil- Season Salt, Cilantro . Cotija $3
I love tapas and the outdoor atmosphere somehow seems more fitting than a regular indoor tapas bar. Also their food comes from a lot of my favorite vendors in Austin: Antonelli's, Easy Tiger and Countryside Farms, to name a few.

Cuisine: "Authentic Spanish tapas" - basically small little plates of delicious Spanish food. You'll probably want to go with a friend or two (bring along your Sangria) and share several tapas, so you can try everything on the menu!
Open: Opened July 11
Location75 Rainey St..a couple blocks down from Lustre Pearl & Bar 96
Mouth-watering menu items:

  • Cantimpalito de la Sidra - Pan-fried mini chorizos in cider glaze $6
  • Albondigas (one of my favorite palabras en español) - Pork meatballs in a tomato brandy sauce $5
  • Crema Catalana - Catalonian crème brûlée
Be More Pacific - Disclaimer: They're new to me, but have been around since at least February 2011
I don't think I've ever had, or heard of, Filipino Comfort Food. I'm down to try just about anything! (No pig intestines please.)

Cuisine: "Filipino-American Cuisine" or "Filipino Comfort Food"
Open: According to when their Facebook was created, around February 2011.
Location: Traveling trailer, but they seem to hang around 5th & Colorado quite a bit. Check their Twitter updates for their current location.
Mouth-watering menu items:

  • Adobo- sautéed  chicken or tofu in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce and oyster sauce .
  • Sweet Garlic Fried Rice- Chicken or Tofu (Vegetarian) with scrambled egg, garlic, carrots, bean sprouts, onions sweetened with hoisin and garnished with green onion.  Add a fried egg or a longanisa pork patty for a $1.00.
  • Traditional Filipino fried eggroll- (Vegetarian) stuffed with cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, tofu rolled in a thin crispy wrapper served with sweet chili sauce

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