Spilling the (Cocoa) Beans
How the unlikely use of a barbecue pit creates the best artisanal chocolate in Texas.
How the unlikely use of a barbecue pit creates the best artisanal chocolate in Texas.
I had never thought about my identity as both a Jew and a Texan until my grandparents told me their stories about growing up in South Dallas in the forties.
Well, folks, it’s been almost a year and half since I braved a sushi trailer in June and lived to tell about it. In that time, I’ve circled Texas’ cities in search of the best trailer food. I’ve binged on bulgogi-and-kimchee tacos, bogarted some
This week I thought I’d take a cue from Jared Fogle, of acclaimed Subway fame, and start my own sub sandwich diet. But rather than jump on the Subway bandwagon a decade too late, I decided to support Austin’s neighborhood trailer sub shop, Short
As a barbecue trailer in Texas, the Smoke Shack, in San Antonio, has quite a reputation to live up to. Franklin Barbecue has changed the game for all of us, and even Hitler is into their ‘cue. While no one can
Dear Kitchen Window, It’s been less than a week since we met, but I knew it was true love as soon as I picked up one of your delicate, deep-fried wings with a sweet chili-sesame glaze and habanero peppers and took a big bite. Name one other
Let’s face it. Vegetables aren’t usually a part of the trailer experience. So I was pleasantly surprised to find grilled veggies on the menu at Trey’s Cuisine, the newest trailer next to Odd Duck and Gourdough’s, on South Lamar. Despite the truck’s unfortunate and puzzling Celtic logo,
It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re eating at a place with a silly-fun name like “Yummy Bowl.” Of course, I’ve always been a big supporter of such onomatopoeic interjections and have been known to order sushi rolls solely because they came with “yum-yum” on top. I’m
Clever puns are to Austinites what baker’s yeast is to bread: an essential ingredient that never fails to get a rise out of the crowd. (For example, the annual O. Henry Pun-Off, in May.) But sometimes, the puns go a little sour. That seems to be the
You know you’ve lived in the southern part of the country for too long when you’re seriously disturbed by a lack of cream gravy. Now, don’t get me wrong, SoCo to Go’s Southern comfort trailer food did exactly that: It comforted. But when I uncovered my chicken-fried
Picture this: It’s one of those brutally hot days, when the Texas air is as still and thick as homespun cream. Far in a South Austin field, behind a row of trailers, there’s a girl. She’s standing in a tiny patch of shade, holding something in each hand. Closer, closer
If you’ve been to half as many trailers as I have, you know one sad little fact: Many of them are never open. Oh, all right—maybe “never” is an exaggeration. But many times, finding a truck that sticks faithfully to its hours is almost as tricky as gracefully eating
La Tasca may not be the most original name for a Spanish tapas locale, but the Texas-inspired, absolutely decadent, and beautifully presented food at this Central Austin station is a refreshing surprise. No longer do you have to travel to a certain odd spot
One of the best things about food trailers is that they’re on wheels. So if they want to pick up from, say, San Antonio and truck all the way to, oh, I don’t know, Jasper, Missouri, they can say the word and get on the road. That’s exactly what
Forget pop-up restaurants. That’s so two months ago. The new hot spot this week isn’t popping up but rather traveling into town in an Airstream trailer, and it’s got a warm, gooey center. This Friday, all the way from NYC, culinary guru Dorie Greenspan and her
For years, trailers were the ugly ducking of the culinary scene, with spotty service, slim variety, and the constant specter of food poisoning. Enter a new era, the age of the concept truck, when innovative chefs, cooks, and just plain ordinary folks started opening up quirky, fun food trailers to serve
Look out, Lucky’s Puccias. Enoteca, Vespaio—you’d be wise to watch your step as well, brick and mortar though you may be. There’s a new Italian trailer in Austin that can juggle circles around you. And by circles, I mean the perfect fried risotto orbs
Well, well. It looks like the quirkiest little city in Texas might have to have a showdown with its big brother. (Cue tumbleweed and some Western whistling.) Austin has long been the food truck king in this state, but Houston is quickly gaining ground. Last week I sampled some amazingly
Dear Froot-Loops-Milk Crème Brulée, A year ago, Houston hardly had any food trailers. The few that did exist were only open seasonally, and at strange hours. Now the scene is growing faster than ironic mustaches in 2002. Hip trailers are Tweeting their locations and serving eclectic items to more-eclectic customers
If I were the goat at the Giggling Goat gastro-trailer, I don’t know if I’d be giggling or grieving. On the one hand, the gourmet offerings, such as Japanese sweet potato fries and a lamb loin Greek salad, are mouth-wateringly delicious. On the other, the cabrito (i.e., goat) burger is
Awesome Tomatoes Feature: Fried Green TomatoCritics 83% Audience 91%Movie InfoGenre: Southern, Comfort Food, ComedySynopsis: The Whistle Stop Café it ain’t, but the Fried Green Tomato, on the corner of South First and
There’s no wolf at Raymond Tatum’s new dining venture, Three Little Pigs, but the food will certainly blow your house down. The renowned chef, formerly of Austin institutions such as Jeffrey’s and Jean-Pierre’s Upstairs, has finally opened his own trailer, with the help of his son,
Most of the time, comfort food from a trailer translates to french fries. Forget mashed potatoes, chicken-fried steak, or anything else that requires a fork and a knife. Instead, your choices are hand-cut, frozen, Belgian, waffled, chili cheese. But once in a while, you come across a truck that has
(scroll over the photos to see captions; click to see full photos) Imagine a farmers market on steroids. Now add alcohol. Hey! You’ve got the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival’s sold-out Sunday fair. Despite the scorching 85-degree weather, everyone had a grand time at this large gathering of
There’s something deliciously naughty about attending a beef grilling event at an exotic game ranch in Texas. Add celebrity chefs, the open flame, and a corridor of wine purveyors to that mix and you’ve got yourself a party. In other words, the Texas Hill Country Wine and
You don’t have to be a posh Londoner to try the latest ice cream craze. The Icecreamists shop in the U.K. may be selling their infamous “Baby Gaga” flavor, made with breast milk, vanilla, and lemon zest, but D Cup, a hip new spot here in
Last time I tried a sushi trailer, it was mid-June. The air undulated with heat waves, sweat beaded on my forehead, and even clocks melted onto the ground. “Uh-oh,” you say. “Food poisoning?” Surprisingly, no. Sushi A-Go-Go’s rolls were solid then and are now. But before the
Fat Tuesday may have already flashed across Sixth Street this year, but you don’t need a holiday excuse to eat at Lee’s Hurricane Party, at the Longhorn Food Court, in West Campus. This Cajun trailer serves up some of the best gumbo and grub in town, year-round.
SXSW is not just about the music. Let’s be realistic: It’s about waiting in line. But anyone can wait in line, anywhere. The doctor’s office, H-E-B, Six Flags. Oh, but how to cozy into the cool queue rather than trail in the terminal tier! Don’t worry. With a
Who cares how the sausage gets made? We’re back in Austin this week, and Man Bites Dog’s beef franks, brats, and sausages are so scrumptious that you’ll soon find yourself shoveling them in as if you’re part of a one-man hot dog eating contest. The front-runner was
Last week we took a little road trip to a place called Bizarro Austin, otherwise known as Portland. While we’re out on the highway, let’s meander down to San Antonio and see what they’ve got going on in the world of trailers. Word on the street is that the new
You’re walking through the east side. In front of you dashes a flannel-clad hipster, carrying recycling on the back of his bike. Suddenly he pulls over, to a food trailer park brimming with trucks featuring quirky names and colorful, kitschy exteriors. You’re in Austin, right? Not so fast.
One, two, three, four. I declare a food truck war! Spotted: The Coreanos guy grinning sly while saying, “We tried what Chi’Lantro had to offer, and we thought we could do better.” Them’s L.A. fightin’ words! He wasn’t just blowing smoke from the grill,
The United Kingdom isn’t exactly known for its culinary choices. Toad-in-the-hole, bangers and mash, spotted dick: Foods you might eat for dinner, alternative names for a heart attack, or the titles of the porno flicks your creepy neighbor watched last night? Continuing in that nominal tradition, we have
Little Thai Food rocks it old-school. Not in the Old School BBQ & Grill kind of way, with a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. Or in the elementary school way, like the Local Yolk, which serves only one type of
Vegetarian Eating, Course Syllabus Discipline: Trailer Food Upper Division Spring 2011 Course Description It’s hard to believe, but a new semester has started, and students are sweeping in from across the state like surreptitious swallows (or, if you’re on
I already know what some of you are thinking. “Cake balls,” you scoff. “That’s so 2009.” Well, it’s 2011, and Holy Cacao’s cake balls are here to stay, for a good reason. These beauties are moist, fluffy, and served in perfect little portions. If you’re a peanut
When the temperature drops a few degrees and it’s “winter” in Austin, I start craving pizza. There’s something about robust red sauce, crisp crust, and stringy mozzarella that recalls the warmth of summer and instant comfort. I started out my evening with Spartan by holding
I never thought anything good could come from Taco Bell. The Mexican pizza, the Enchirito, the cheesy gorditas: No thanks. But I underestimated the power of their slogan, Think Outside the Bun. The new Tenderland trailer, on Manor Road, has appropriated that idea in the most literal
S. Matt Read on hiking around Texas.
Where to find our favorite breakfast tacos, fajitas, rigatoni with spicy lamb meatballs, and lakeside views.
Patricia Sharpe writes a regular restaurant column, Pat’s Pick, for Texas Monthly.
Oh, Kebabalicious, how I love you. Let me count the ways. Your falafel is crisp on the outside and fall-apart tender on the inside. You slather your wraps with cool tzatziki sauce and a fiery red concoction. You bring new meaning to the word “pun.” And you’ve
Pig Vicious has refined drunk food to a science. The science of bacon, that is. I started with a light hors d’oeuvre, the fried bacon-wrapped pickle spear. Never before has the calorie-full been so close to the calorie-less, and with your daily amount of
When I was five, I brainstormed the best business model: My mom would open a restaurant drive-up window, through the backyard to our kitchen, so that the world (or at least Dallas) could experience her awesome cooking. I like to think that I was ahead of my time, since in
I can think of so many ways to repurpose an 8-foot-by-20-foot shipping container. Use it as a place to store your discarded lamps, books, folding chairs, and husband’s hideous red leather sofa from his “wild and crazy” days. Hang a disco ball, invite some bell-bottomed friends, and party like
Pop quiz: What’s brown and stuffed and smoking all over? If you answered a Cuban cigar, then you lose. Forget the cigars. Cuban-pressed sandwiches from the Texas Cuban are where it’s at. But before diving into sandwiches so good they should be illegal, try a real cigar-shaped treat:
Poor Snoopy. He concocted the best Thanksgiving dinner he could, but Peppermint Patty flew into a rage when she saw the spread: buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, ice cream sundaes, and jelly beans. I’ve never understood why Patty got so angry at Charlie Brown about that assortment of carbs and
Oh, how downtown Austin’s Rainey Street has changed. This quiet little neighborhood used to be the last refuge of cute houses in the area, and its inhabitants probably never imagined such a transformation. It started with a modest influx of hula hoopers and beer-pong players at the trendy
In Texas you can’t lift a fork without brisket raining down on you, à la Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. In the trailer scene, slap a bun around that baby and you’ve got the ubiquitously uniform brisket sandwich, ready to be eaten on your way to the bar, stumbling
She may not have been a lady who lunches in the traditional sense, but she sure knew how to lunch: The woman standing in front of me at the Peached Tortilla ordered Belgian fries and peach poppers. Granted, the hand-cut fries rocketed out of this world when combined with