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 round-up of the best, hippest trailers in Austin, you’ll look as good waiting for your lunch, dinner, or two a.m. snack as you did rocking at that secret show and afterparty last night. 1. East Side King. The Uchi chefs who started their own trailer in the back of Liberty bar know what they’re doing (according to certain sources, Anthony Bourdain thinks so too). My favorite dish? I can’t ever decide between the Thai Chicken Karaage (crunchy fried chicken nuggets in a sweet-spicy sauce, with fresh herbs and onions) or the “fried” brussels sprout salad (a bed of purple cabbage, fresh cilantro, basil, and jalapeños topped with crispy brussels sprouts and a sweet and spicy sauce). The fried beets and steamed buns will blow your mind even more than that last band blew your eardrums. At the Liberty bar. 1618 E. 6th. Open 7 days a week, 7 p.m.–1:45 a.m. 2. Old School BBQ and Grill. The brisket smoked in this yellow schoolbus may be more Southern than Texan, but the style they’re sporting tastes lip-smackingly delicious. They have a special South By menu, so you may not get to try the macaroni-and-cheese wedge or pork ribs, but you can bite into a juicy steak burger or a chopped brisket sandwich stacked higher than Joan Holloway from Mad Men. Be warned, though: Their sausage tastes overwhelmingly smoky, and their barbecue sauce is way too sweet. So ask for your sammy virgin and lay off the sauce. At least until your friend hands you another Lone Star. E. 6th and Waller. Check Facebook and Twitter for hours. 3. #19 Bus. You can’t get much more punk rock than this. The #19 Bus is a blindingly red double-decker monstrosity straight from the U.K. whose name hails from the Clash song “Rudie Can’t Fail.” No one there is named Rudie, but it’s true that this food could never fail. The enormous, plush eight-ounce burgers with all the fixins; famous cheesesteaks, loaded with zesty beef straight from Philly and roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese; and simply delicious hot dogs, served on a sweet bun, would satisfy a bear. Or anyone who’s been partying for ten hours straight. E. 6th and San Marcos. Tues & Wed 12–4 & 7–10. Thurs, Fri, & Sat 12–4, 7–2:30. Sun 11–4. 4. Counter Culture. Sick of all that downtown noise? Tired of eating hamburger after hamburger? Check out this vegan and raw foods trailer on North Loop for a tasty meal that might even do your body some good. I lust after the PacMan Caesar salad, with kale and carrots. For a hearty sandwich, look no further than the garbanzo “tuna,” with chickpeas, lettuce, and tomato on a nice wheat bun, or the Philly seitan, with a big hunk of seitan, creamy cashew cheeze, onions, and peppers. Much better than the cheesy indie rockers who were hitting on you at that day party yesterday. 120 E. North Loop (at Avenue F). Wed–Sat 12–8. Sun 12–6. 5. Lucky’s Puccias. Are you ready for the most mouth-watering Italian sandwich you’ve ever had in your life? Lucky, who hails from the Puglia region of Italy, has brought the best sandwich bread to America. Called a “puccia,” it’s like pizza dough in the shape of a pita, but better. Did I mention that Lucky bakes it in the back of his trailer, in a special wood-firing oven, on the spot? Prepare to be amazed by the Puccia Arrostita, with roast beef, arugula, tomato, mozzarella, and walnut spread, or the Lucky’s Puccia, with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, tomato, and basil oil. Complete your meal with the peanut-butter-and-Nutella dessert puccia. It may be St. Patrick’s Day, but you’ll have forgotten all about the leprechaun, his pot of gold, and the Sixth Street parade of frat boys drinking green beer by the time you bite into one of Lucky’s golden sandwiches. At the Tiniest Bar in Texas, 817 W. 5th. Special SXSW schedule: 7 days a week, noon–midnight. Posted by Megan Giller
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