Odd Couple: A Hot Double-Date at Austin Trailers

On a bright hot early summer day, the redhead and I had the pleasure of dining with our friends Jason and Jenny who were in town visiting family and trailers. J&J aren't just any friends. They are foodie friends. They were foodies before it was cool. I mean, they got engaged at WHOLE FOODS after all...

In addition to agreeing to marry a man in an avocado aisle, Jenny blogs about eats and the making thereof at Spoonraider.

They wanted to enjoy the trailer part of the trip with us (thanks guys!). This particular Friday trailer excursion included the near-South Lamar two-step: Odd Duck and Gourdough's.

Man was it tasty. I ate my way through an heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad and a broccoli rice pilaf at Odd Duck and moved onto a Gourdough's donut so sweet that it gave me a sort of amnesia - I can't remember which one I had; there are no photos documenting the donut. Maybe there was an extended Hangover-like episode where what happened was so good it had to be deleted.

Jenny and Jason were so excited and, with their mouths full of trailer food, they explained Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill doesn't have much of a food trailer scene.


Jenny and her well-documented Porky's donut.

East Side King Austin Food Trailer

photo by Tina Phan

East Side King is getting to be my favorite food trailer these days. Now don't get me wrong, I still love Chilantro and have posted about it multiple times.

That said, East Side King's semi-permanent locations are conveniently close to a couple of things I also love, Austin's East side and gin and tonics. Also alluring is that each location offers different food selection.

At the Liberty, the beet fries and veggie meshi are must. I like to mix sriracha and soy sauce together and pre-dip the beet fries before quickly dunking them in the kewpie mayo. (Liberty Menu)

At The Grackle, I have to get the grilled romaine with tom yum mayo dressing and the mushroom rice. I've eaten the eggplant, which was good, but I can't seem to wean myself from the mushroom rice. (Grackle Menu)

photo by Tina Phan

The other weekend, East Side King happened to be at Book People at the food truck event coinciding with the Food Trailers book signing. Here I quickly ate the brussels sprout salad (pictured above) which was was quite good. I added some sriracha for an extra kick and looking back I think it was probably too much of a kick. Might I add, this was the quickest East Side King experience I'd ever had. Because of ESK's deliciousness, they often have a long wait for food.

I found this picture of me (in the giant hat - no not that one, the one on the left) on East Side King's Facebook after they'd added me as a friend.

"East Side King has requested to add you as a friend?" Yes, please. Does that come with a side of tom yum mayo dressing?

At this event I also heard whispers that the newest East Side King may end up at Shangri-la.

I'm lucky to have partaken in ESK a number of times. Here are pictures from multiple adventures:

Coreanos Korean Mexican Food Trailer

via kathyphantastic flickr.com

Coreanos food trailer is the new go-to escape-the-office lunch spot for me and my work partner-in-crime, Meagan. Feeling royally tired (Meagan woke up at 4:00 am to watch William, Kate, and most importantly, Princess Beatrice's hat), Meagan decided we needed to go to lunch.

Located a short walk away from the office a few times each week, eating at Coreanos provides a great way to leave the windowless office for a relaxing lunch outside.

As expected, Coreanos offers a fusion of Korean and Mexican food specializing in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fries (which are neither Korean nor Mexican), and tostadas (which they have renamed the Kingstada). I had the tofu Kingstada which had a fresh crispy tostada shell that tasted good, but was kind of small - and therefore expensive - at over $4.00. I'd say it should have been $2.75 - $3.00 Kingstada.

Meagan had one regular style taco and an el scorcho. Fearing fatty meat, she veered away from pork belly. She said both tacos were good but that they were still fatty. Something about the the texture creeps her out. I'm sure fatty meat lovers would have had a field day.

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich

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via Tina Phan

I tried an ice cream sandwich from the Austin Coolhaus.

Blog followers know that I can't resist a dessert truck. This fairly new ice cream truck hails from Los Angeles. The Austin incarnation of Coolhaus is tucked away in East Austin, in the East Austin Trailer (E.A.T.) Park and Eatery across the park from The WonderCraft. Y'all know I love Wonder Craft. Check out my WonderCraft posts.

The treat: Mint ice cream with chocolate cookies.
The verdict: Yummy, but expensive at $4. Also, too much ice cream sandwich for one kathyphantastic.

This made me wish they offered half portions for $2.

Next time, I'll be getting the lemon ice cream with ginger cookies. This is what Tina Phan got. It's not that mine wasn't good, it was. It's that hers was amazing. Maybe we'll be able to share?

Chilantro Korean BBQ Tacos at the Domain

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One lovely Spring Wednesday, the coworkers and I met the redhead and his coworkers at the Chilantro truck at the Domain.

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I've talked about Chilantro before in my Lunar New Year post - they're my favorite food trailer. So, in fact, I talk about them a lot.

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I had never seen so many people waiting for Jae and his crew, not even during SXSW. Crazy. The Domain loves its Korean BBQ Taco trailer truck. Being a super sweet entrepreneur, Jae gave me 4 tofu tacos because of the long wait. Being non morbidly obese, I could only finish 2 of those tacos. I ended up leaving these in the work fridge for lunch the next day. (note: unfortunately Chilantro day 2 is subpar)

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One bizarre thing was with the location - we could buy food in front of the building but if we tried to take even a single bite a security guard, with presumably not much better to do, would come yell at us. Also, we weren't even allowed to sit down and wait for the food. Standing room only? (note: fortunately they've moved to the parking lot adjacent for their Domain visits and it's much more pleasant)

PS I stopped by Chilantro again last weekend after Pixel Pop they now have kimchi french fries. I shared the tofu version with the redhead, Micah, and her husband. Amazing. You MUST eat them. This is an order.

For their daily whereabouts, follow them on Twitter (@ChiLantroBBQ).

Flip Happy Birthday Crepes

Vanilla pastry cream & berries crepe from Flip Happy

I took two days off of work to celebrate my birthday this year. I started off the two days of fun at Flip Happy Crepes.

Flip Happy menu

I went with the three cheese savory crepe. Most bites were pretty good. A few bites were like cheesy spinach-y caramelized onion heaven. I wished all the bites were so magical. The three cheese didn't photograph so well.

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The redhead took two days off to celebrate my birthday, too.

Flip Happy Crepes Berry Dessert Crepe

He ordered the berries and pastry cream dessert crepe. It tasted like a fresh fruit tart. He hates fresh fruit tarts; I love them. I think he should have stuck with chocolate. Since he didn't, I got to finish up his crepe.

Flip Happy finish

I've heard tons of great reviews of Flip Happy, the only complaints are usually the long wait. If you go to Flip Happy Crepes on an overcast Thursday around 11:00am when it it looks it's going to rain, there's almost no wait. I need to go back and try something Nutella-filled.

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Lunar New Year Chilantro BBQ Korean Tacos

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Last weekend, Austin's Chinatown Center and Red Velvet Events put on a two-day celebration to ring in the Lunar New Year. They had lion dancers (among others), Taiko drummers, musicians, a fashion show, special appearances from TxTag and the 2010 Census bureau, and Chi'lantro Korean BBQ tacos.

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I had the tofu taco (pictured on right) and spicy fries. The tacos are both tasty and affordable at $2. Some bites were so spicy I felt like Florent eating habaneros.

Chi'lantro is a nomadic food truck, so it might not be where you left it last. Check out their schedule to see the week's locations.

I might be tempted to have one tonight. With Fries.

Pre-Tasty Up Tour: Texas Cuban with Colin Walsh

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The day before Austin's Tasty Up Trailer Tour I went not to just Franklin Barbecue, but also The Texas Cuban Hot-Pressed Sandwiches. Though I do love my trailer food, I must admit this Cuban sandwich dinner was planned before I knew about Tasty Up.

The South Austin Veggie Soul sandwich at Texas Cuban was moderately tasty, but the plantain chips were where it's at. We didn't get the thin, crispy chips. Ours were latke-esque and deliciously and salty. I'm allergic to bananas, but not plantains. Could this be because they're more potato-y?

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I had a great warm sandwich and plantain latke dinner in the cold with one of my favorite people, Colin Walsh. We met in Creative advertising class at UT. He was my favorite copywriter to work with--we worked really well together. He's one of those people who I don't see enough, but know that we're still close.

It was a successful Friday evening in my book.

Tasty Up Tour Part 2: Spartan Pizza

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After the initial Austin Tasty Up Trailer Tour meet up at La Boîte, a few coworkers, friends of coworkers, lil Phan, and I made the long trek to Spartan Pizza on south south south Congress. It was quite a drive from the other trailers. We really just wanted to go here to kill some time before Odd Duck opened at 2:00.

8 slices please

Lauren, Alex, Lil Phan, and I shared a half Spartan/half Helen. The Helen (garlic olive oil, fresh roma tomato, sundried tomato, basil, and mozzarella) was okay, and the Spartan (tomato sauce, green bell pepper, garlic, red pepper and parmesan) was good. I am a lover of greasy New York style pizza, but I may have to make that journey again for some more Spartan.

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P.S. The company that makes the trailer is called Spartan. Hence, the name.

Pre-Tasty Up Tour: Franklin Barbecue Farewell Lunch

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Last Friday aka the day before Tasty Up Trailer Tour, I went to a Franklin Barbecue during lunch. Yes, I'm still vegetarian. No, I'm not crazy, and no, I didn't eat. I just had a Sweet Leaf half and half and enjoyed the company.

Topo Chico and group photo with me by Cody Jenkins, others by kathyphantastic

Why did I go? Because I had to. It was my boss' last day at the company and it was camaraderie. In the same way that guys will often need an activity to hang out and talk. I knew I needed to go to Franklin Barbecue Trailer Lunch, and that afternoon I was one of the guys.

As a second-hand barbecue eater, I thought the food was great. I heard lots of satisfied grunts and was happy to see that no one put down their food until they were finished.

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I looked around and took pictures. The grounds are decorated to look like a 1950s trailer park complete with tiki string lights and retro tulip chairs. I spied some pink flamingos, a lawn gnome, and the best speaker housing I've ever seen.

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photo by Cody Jenkins

Later after some more Franklin BBQ research I discovered that they serve Tempeh Frito Pie. I didn't see this on the chalkboard menu, but I wasn't really looking. This means I can go with my coworkers and eat something next time. Sadly, it will be without Brian. I hope Franklin's tempeh Frito pie is as tasty as Billy's on Burnet's veggie Frito pie.

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Brian Wulfe left to start his own company where he'll be managing online advertising for small business. Congratulations to him. I am so proud of him.

Brian is a leader with great business sense and common sense, someone who would really listen and cared about our lives. He plays well with others and after a slew of terrible managers, his outstanding leadership will be missed. His leaving is both a huge loss for appliances and a huge win for himself.

The next few months will be hard.

My heart is heavy.

Wulfe Pop
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