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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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Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm back! - Cazamance Mini-Review

Hello mobile-food lovers!

I've been MIA for a couple of months due to my summer travels. I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica for seven weeks this summer and food trucks are unheard of there. My host family actually seemed a little offended at the idea of buying food out of a truck (which is odd to me because señors walk around the little pueblos with food in freezer packs and sell out all the time).

Needless to say, no food-truck updates writing opps there. Here's a pic of my favorite meal my mama tica (host mom) made for me though. It's basically shredded chicken with lots of vegetables, but made with that Tica style of real butter and lots of spices. Oh, and don't forget the 'platanos maduros,' overripe plantains sauteed with butter and brown sugar. Delicioso.

Following my Costa Rica trip was my second summer stay in New Orleans with my family. The food-truck business is growing there, but Lucky Dog Hot Dogs has a Rotolo's Pizza-like monopoly on the French Quarter.


When I'm bartending there, I pretty much don't make it out of that .66 square miles to get to the food-trucks uptown. I did get to have a tasting of gourmet appetizers at one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants: NOLA. A friend of mine's sister, Tina, is the sous chef and is one talented young cook. Let's just agree that I was on vacation from venturing out to do my mobile food research.

But, now I'm back in Austin and have no more excuses! It seems like over the last few months tons of new food-trucks have rolled out and I can't wait to try them all (within my college-student budget, of course).

My first mobile-food tastings this semester, were not at food-trailers per se, but at an outdoor, catered, American Red Cross fundraiser: A Taste for Something Good, sponsored by The Cupcake Bar, CTC Garden Venue and Texas Belles.

The event featured donation-based tastings, raffles, and a silent auction that benefited the people of Central Texas who lost their possessions and homes in the recent fires. The fundraiser was at this cool place off Cesar Chavez, the CTC Garden Venue. CTC is known for hosting charity events and as the hangout spot for Food Network star, Rachael Ray, during SXSW 2011. The event was a success and raised over $2,000 to be donated to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.


The CTC Garden Venue
I don't know any better excuse to indulge in some delicious food than for charity- especially one for fellow Texans. I sampled the nachos from Tacodeli first. The Puerco Borracho, pork braised in tequila and sherry, was little a heavy, but delicious nonetheless. The Queso Fresco required second-helpings from all my girlfriends and me. But really, it was some good stuff.

Tacodeli has a couple of locations (all brick and mortar restaurants) in South, North, and Central Austin. I called two locations to double check that they were not a food-trailer and the staff were super friendly and both people that answered the phone told me to come by ASAP for some "freaking awesome" and "totally good" breakfast tacos. I think I will be visiting soon not just to try what I expect to be some delicious breakfast tacos, but for the energetic atmosphere as well.

I also sampled Kellie's Kandies and Cookies - which have a unique flavor of spicy shortbread with a creamy fondant topping; Objects of Confection Double Chocolate and Irish Cream truffles that would've been a lot better if it hadn't been so hot outside; the enticing build-your-own cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar and some tasty mini-endive appetizer from the onsite-trailer Cazamance. Unfortunately, by the time I realized there was an actual food-trailer in the back I was full and only had room for the endive. I want to go back and sample more from the Cazamance West African menu.

Overall, the event was a good way for me to donate to a good cause, eat and get back into the swing of blogging.

I'll be at ACL manaña and have so many trailers I want to sample I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to watch any live music. I'll make it work. The post will probably be up next weekend, so look out!

If you went to ACL yesterday and have a recommendation of a trailer I should sample please let me know in a comment below!

By the way, here is the updated link for my feature on social media and Austin food-trucks. The other link brings you to an error page now and I know all of you want to be able to read it over and over again!
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