July 26, 2010

Lulu b's

- Location: Southside - 2101 South Lamar
- Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 11 AM – 4 PM
              Saturday: 11 AM - 5 PM
- Telephone: 512-921-4828
- Website: www.lulubssandwiches.com / Facebook: Lulu B's Sandwiches / Twitter: lulub0107
- Cuisine: Vietnamese Sandwiches

Laura Bayer was teaching elementary school before opening her Vietnamese trailer food business in January of 2008.  In comparison to teaching, Laura says about the trailer food industry,  “When it was new, it was completely different.  I got out of teaching because it was emotionally and physically draining.  But now that we are busy, it’s just as demanding just in a different way.”  Her mother is the beacon of Vietnamese cooking in Laura’s eyes.  In fact, when Laura was in elementary school it was well known among the teachers that her mother’s egg rolls were highly sought after.  Laura says, “Every teacher in every school we went to would ask if mom was making egg rolls.”   

A lot of her lemon grass recipes were learned from her mother including her fish sauce and summer rolls.  The grilled pork sandwich and the summer rolls are her favorite items on the Lulu b’s menu, but the Chinese BBQ pork sandwich takes the win for the crowd favorite.  One of Laura’s favorite things about the business is serving repeat customers and having the satisfaction of people who really love and appreciate our food.  Having done no advertising, all of her customers have come from word of mouth, including Jake Gillinhall and a lot of famous local musicians.  One of her customers is a dog trainer who brings dog treats for lulu b’s to give away. 

In addition to Vietnamese fare, Laura used to sell Vietnamese smoothies.  She remembers, “I went to Vietnam when I was 31.  My aunt actually had a little coffee stand outside her house where she sold smoothies, coconuts, coffee – that’s where I learned to do those items but the trailer is too small to accompany that now.”  What makes a Vietnamese smoothie different?  It is a refreshing combination fresh fruit, condensed milk, sugar, lime and ice. 

Originally from California, Laura moved to Austin in July of 1999 with her best friend at the time, whose father had recently passed away and her mother was moving back to Texas.  Initially, Laura said no, but she found herself falling in love with Austin and agreed to go only if Austin was the city her friend would choose.  When asked what inspires her, Laura says, “My love of food – I get excited when I have good food.”