I have never been so happy, in all my life, to see a city chock full of trailer parks. This city is full of vintage airstream trailers dishing up some of the most creative food we had in Austin. It was 40 degrees when we were in Austin last week, but I was more than happy to sit outside bundled in my winter scarf, hat and gloves munching on a pork chop filled crepe, a barbacoa taco, a whip cream filled cupcake or a donut covered in caramel, chocolate & bananas.
I was in heaven. I am obsessed with street food and markets. One of my main gripes about Chicago is that we have neither. (Don’t get me started that is another post all together.) There are a ton of food trucks in Austin and it seems the most successful ones are the most creative ones. These are not just nondescript trailers with a hand painted sign saying “elotes” on the side. These are full blown creatively concepted mini restaurants with professionally painted signage, well thought out menus & delicious food.
When we got into Austin we headed straight to South Congress to start looking for food. That’s when we started seeing the trailers, cupcakes, crepes, snowcones…where to start?
We decided to start our trailer tour at Crêpes Mille, since crepes are my first love. I have made many a crepe in my day, but this trailer had me and any random crepe cart in Paris, beat, hands down! This was the best crepe I have ever had, seriously. The rectangular folded crepe was filled with mesquite marinated pork chop, which was cooked to order on a panini grill (so cool), grilled onions, asparagus, Monterey jack cheese & a chipotle cream sauce. It was then topped with grilled red and orange peppers. It was fresh. It was hot. It was flavorful. It was $6.95. What was there to not like about it?
After a short coffee break to warm up, sort of, (more about that later), we were still hungry. After all, we only split a crepe. We headed to Torchy’s Taco Truck right up the street at the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery. This trailer park was complete with picnic tables, a stoked fire pit, which we sat by to keep warm, and two other cool trailers. We ordered The Democrat, corn tortillas stuffed with tasty tender shredded beef barbacoa, onions, avocado, cilantro and queso fresco. Much better choice than The Republican, I think! I thought the taco was a little pricey at $3.75 compared to my $6.95 pork chop crepe.
On the bright side, it left us room for cake balls from Holy Cacao. I get very excited when I see things I have never seen before. And I have never seen cake balls before (that I know of). You know the cupcake craze, well, these were even cuter. And they came on a stick, instant points right there. Cake & frosting rolled together into a ball, plopped on a popsicle stick & dipped in a chocolate coating. Genius….and tasty! Holy Cacao also serves hot chocolate and cake shakes, which is exactly what it sounds like, a shake blended with cake! How could that be bad? The cake balls were 3 for $5, so we had to get three, of course. Brass Balls was my favorite made with peanut butter cake, peanut butter, dipped in chocolate & topped with crushed peanuts. Charlie Brown’s Balls were just as good and Diablo Balls had a nice spicy kick.
I really wish we had room to visit Man Bites Dog in the same park. They just opened a few weeks ago, but we were finally full. Next time…and there will be a next time.
It just amazes me that the best places to eat in Austin don’t even have bathrooms!
We hit two more trailers in our time in Austin. “Hey Cupcake” was on South Congress, too. We had a Michael Jackson, which was a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Of course we made it a whipper snapper by having whip cream injected into the center for free. Why wouldn’t you? That made it super messy, but who cares? It was fun.
I have been saving the best for last…. Gordoughs. Big. Fat. Donuts. I was so excited by this trailer; I was talking a mile a minute. My husband had to calm me down. No, it wasn’t the sugar! Well, maybe… First, What a name! I know how hard it is to name a business…I’ve named three already. You want to be clever, witty, catchy, not too literal, something easy to remember…….. Gordoughs. Perfect. Perfect in that gordo means fat in Spanish and these donuts certainly were fat. Perfect in that it could be a combo of gourmet and doughnut which these certainly were. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. This business was perfect…and I hadn’t even tasted the donuts yet! There were about two dozen combos, all cleverly named, The Mother Clucker; fried chicken strip with honey butter icing. The Dirty Berry; fudge icing and grilled strawberries. Flying Pig; bacon a nd maple syrup icing. You can also make your own. I did not know what to expect, how were they going to get all those flavors into my donut? And it was $3.25 to boot. It better be good. They fried each donut to order, so it took a little time. The suspense was killing me…. I was never so excited in my life when they handed me my cardboard boat with my donut in it. It was absolutely obscene! That’s the only way to describe it! The donut served as a base for all the toppings. And they piled them on, caramel, bananas, graham crackers and pecans for the Granny’s Pie, which we ordered. (I couldn’t resist adding chocolate. It’s not dessert until there is chocolate involved.) You could barely see the donut underneath. And forget about picking it up, this was fork food! There is no way you can finish one by yourself, or if you could, talk about a tummy ache. That is one tummy ache I would be happy to have. Gordoughs got my vote for the Best Little Trailer in Texas!
www.crepesmille.com 1318 S. Congress
www.theholycacao.com 1311 S. 1st St.
www.torchystacos.com 1311 S. 1st St.
www.manbitesdogaustin.com 1311 S 1st St.
www.heycupcake.com 4 locations
www.facebook.com/pages/Austin-TX/Gordoughs 1219 S. Lamar