Sunday, 20 March 2011

Food trucks in Austin

A visit to Austin is never complete without a visit to the “Hey Cupcake” food truck. The yummiest cupcakes from the cutest trailer on South Congress Ave.; the mecca of all that is trendy and hip in Austin. On a recent trip we discovered that the Hey Cupcake trailer now has a few new friends and having just returned from a food truck filled weekend in Austin I can confirm that the food truck explosion in Austin is a great thing!
We sampled the following:
G’raj Mahal: Okay technically this is not just a food truck. It is a food truck with lots of sheltered seating, you have to be seated and you are served by one of the wonderful wait staff. We went at 8 pm on a Saturday night and we had a 45 minute wait, but we waited at the nicest bar across the street, Clive Bar. The bar was quiet, softly lit and we noticed many people at the bar had ordered in food from across the street, yup the G’raj Mahal! The G’raj Mahal does not have a liquor license and so you can bring your own wine and beer or do what our fellow drinkers at the bar did! We waited to be seated, and I am really glad we did. The ambience at the G’raj Mahal was perfect, all candlelight’s and soft lights, the live music  was perfect Austin laid back folksy and the food was so good and we were so full we really enjoyed the walk back to hotel.
G'raj Mahal
The following late morning /early afternoon we made our way to South Congress Ave. and decided to try out some of the different food trucks, we grabbed coffee/chai at a friendly coffee truck and we split a Mighty Cone. I had thought this was a slushie place, but it is not! Special recipe breaded, (including sesame seeds, almonds, arbol chili flakes, sea salt, sugar and corn flakes) chicken, shrimp or avocados or a combination thereof in a tortilla in a cone with a mango and and jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce mmmmmm! We then walked down to Crepe Mille and sampled a savory omelet crepe which was green (different for a crepe) but delicious. Fed and watered we ended our food truck adventure wandering around the random market stalls and window shopping and just basking in the artsy funkiness that is South Congress Ave.

Crepe Mille

The Mighty Cone
Why did we love the food trucks so much, sure the novelty was fun! But the food really was very good, which is probably the most important factor, it is not just a bunch of hot dog and donought/donut stands; there were plenty of choices and healthy and vegetarian options too. But for urban dwellers it is a joy to see vacant unused sad parcels of land suddenly fill up with colourful trucks and trailers serving delicious food to crowds of people on foot. This is another major factor, the foot traffic, brings the community outside, you no longer drive from home to restaurant and back again you walk around, you mingle you may stop by one of the stores and buy something and everyone is a winner. Finally all of those food truck owners and employees are able to develop a business with few overheads and from what we witnessed soaring profits.

5 comments:

Ola&Boris said...

Jigs, I love this post! I am also very jealous! I want to go to Austin and eat at Garaj Mahal!!!

Jigna said...

Next time you are in Texas, we should plan a trip!

Dhara said...

jealous!!! I want a food truck explosion in London. keep reading about how popular they are across the US!

Jigna said...

We were thinking about food carts in London, and thought that the weather may be a hindrance, but seasonal ones could work?!

roopa said...

Love this blog! i loved the cupcake one when I was there, so much fun!