When it comes to the cuisine in Austin, Texas, many travel advertisements for this great metropolis proudly tout the abundance and high quality of Tex-Mex and Barbecue (BBQ). The recent hardships many are suffering due to our compromised economy have led chefs to create food trailers in order to keep their businesses afloat; thus, it is not uncommon to see many promos for BBQ and Tex-Mex food trucks in Austin.
While I have family and friends from out-of-town who “hyperfocus” on these genres of food during their stay here, I am of a different variety—I flock to this cosmopolitan to venture into more “exotic” fare. Yes, as a native Texan, I will always have a place in my heart for Tex-Mex and BBQ (they’re my soul foods), but there is also room for tastes from Spain, England, and Germany, to name a few. That being said, here is a list of food carts you must try while in Austin. And, yes, I would be criminally insane if I didn’t throw in a taco trailer or two…
415 Jessie Street
Wow. Just, wow! I am a proud American of Spanish descent (three cheers for Spaniards!), and we need more eateries of our culture in the USA, especially ones serving lip-smackingly good food. Enter Latasca, a dark, sexy, Spanish tapas truck inspired by eco-friendly Texas ingredients. Tapas can be ordered temperature hot or cold; I strongly prefer the former. For a whirlwind of tastes across the Spanish peninsula, combine albóndigas (organic grass-fed beef meatballs, olives, and red wine sauce) with champiñones al ajillo (vegan, garlic mushrooms) and patatas bravas (griddled potatoes with caramelized onions in a spiced tomato sauce). Everything is served with warm pan de horno real (oven-baked Spanish bread). BYOB, and cash only.
1503 S. 1st Street
First of all, for all you non-Spanish speakers out there, this business is pronounced “E-zoes,” but don’t fret too much about the pronunciation; fret about whether or not you will have a big enough appetite to down the delicious offerings. Health-conscious advocates will enjoy the Del Mar Taco (blackened tilapia, slaw, pickled red onion, and chipotle aioli), but the best-tasting tacos are—of course—unhealthier: the Padre Taco (braised carnitas, avocado, pineapple, and tomatillo salsa) and the Slowrider Taco (braised machaca beef, caramelized onion, cotija cheese, and cilantro). No trip to a taco cart would be complete without washing everything down with Topo Chico (Mexican mineral water) or Jarritos (Mexican soda). BYOB.
BITS & DRUTHERS
1001 E. 6th Street
God shouldn’t just bless the Queen, God should also bless the creator of fish & chips. Who would have thought that slathering haddock fillets in a beer batter, deep frying them to a crisp, and serving them with French fries would result in groans of culinary appreciation? The British, that’s who! If you are blessed with a superhuman stomach as I am, then the Fish Supper is for you (said fish, said fries, tartar sauce, cole slaw, and a cornichon pickle). Cheers! Cash only.
6th Street & Nueces
No, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. Usually a trip to 6th Street means bar/club hopping until 3a followed by a haphazard excursion to a crowded 24-hour fast food joint somewhere else. I’m here to assure you that those days are over (well, at least those Saturday nights)! OneTaco is the satellite taco trailer that forms a symbiotic relationship with the bar Little Woodrow’s. Although they are two independent businesses, you can order from OneTaco, take your number to Little Woodrow’s, and the servers will bring your food to you. The Al Pastor taco (spicy marinated pork with onions, pineapple, and cilantro within flour or corn tortillas) pairs perfectly with a side order of their guacamole and Austin’s own Citrus Green Sweet Leaf Tea.
600 S. Lamar Boulevard
Compared to the majority of the food trailers on this list, this truck is not flashy at all—by all means, no. Fortunately, it’s not the décor that brings people here; it’s the food—by all means, yes! World dishes are Trey’s specialty, with kabobs (skewers of meat and/or veggies), croquettes (small fried rolls with various fillings), and pierogi (unleavened dough dumplings). Don’t overlook the chef-recommended daily specials! On one visit, the lamb Salisbury Steak (with spinach, mushroom, spätzle, and grilled bread) proved exemplary.
Know of any other food trucks in Austin that Freddie should try? Let us know in the comments sections or hit him up at email@example.com. Don’t forget to add us on Facebook and Twitter, too!