May 31, 2010

Cafe Racer

A cafĂ© racer is a type of bike as well as a type of biker. Both references were established in the 1960s English counterculture.  Owner Russell Walters based the concept of his bike-friendly sandwich trailer off of the historically popular Ace Cafe in London.  The Ace Cafe was originally opened in 1938 and because it was open 24 hours a day, it attracted the younger motorcycle crowd who was starting to listen to that rebellious new sound of rock and roll.  Russ is no poser, he drives a Royal Enfield.  He started his trailer during SXSW of 2010 and would like to expand his business to a brick and mortar model in the future. 

Before diving into the world of food trailers, Russ was doing interior design.  He also had some experience working with his family in the food industry.  His wife's family have established several restaurants here in town, and his father and grandfather were chefs on a freight ship to Hawaii.  Working for himself was a large motivator in starting Cafe Racer, and his favorite item on the menu is a delicious grilled cheese with bacon and pear that he calls 'the Cooper'.  When he's not chowing on one of his own creations, Russ gives props to the #19 bus, an English double decker bus close to his current location on East 6th that serves up cheesesteaks as long as your arm. For all new trailer vendors out there, Russ' advice is to have a good accountant. 

May 12, 2010

The Mighty Cone

- Location: SoCo Trailer Eateries - 1603 South Congress Av. - @Monroe
- Hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 11 AM - 9PM 
              Friday & Saturday: 11 AM - 11 PM  
              Sunday: 11 AM - 9 PM
- Telephone: 512-383-9609
- Website: / Facebook: The Mighty Cone / Twitter: The Mighty Cone

- Cuisine: Upscale trailer food - sliders and fried (cone-shaped) items

Jeff Blank owned Hudsons on the Bend for over 25 years here in Austin before making a debut in the street food scene. Having mad success at the Austin City Limits Music Festival for 8 consecutive years with the 'Mighty Cone', he thought he would do a trailer to see how it was accepted. And accepted it was. People like the Hudsons' quality with the low price. In fact, they have reported seeing people in Hudsons' on a Friday night and then at the Mighty Cone on a Saturday lunch (in the same dress). We don't blame her - some folks just can't stay away from a Hudsons' prepped meal.

Jeff's favorite part about the business? "We have Low Brow Fun with a High Brow Attitude". The chicken and avocado cone is his personal favorite and a best-seller. But what exactly is a Mighty Cone? This street food concept was developed for festival goers to have a tasty yet inexpensive food option. Jeff teamed up with Executive Chef Robert Rhoades to create a unique batter for the chicken, which they wrapped in a tortilla and dropped into a paper drink cone. While they have a variety of toppings, the original Hot 'n' Crunchy Chicken Cone comes with a mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce. How could you refuse the fusion of southern fried goodness, mexican flare, and ease on the pocket book for a hefty meal you can walk around with?