December 29, 2011

Your in Luck! Ms. P's has black eyed peas for new years!

 Today I had lunch at Ms P's Electric Cock on South Congress in Austin, Texas with Ms.P-regular Don Dickson, and my fun foodie cousin Brooke Heller, in from Vancouver.  This beautiful shiny trailer with a flashing yellow and red neon "CHICKEN" sign sets between a China Berry tree and a Spanish Oak on the 1100 block of South Congress.  You can park in a

spacious lot behind Doc's close to the music row, or bike over from the trail. Regarding Perry's (Ms. P) menu I think Don put it best: "She figured out that the art of Southern Cooking is to take something that is good for you, and make it bad for you."  When you take chicken and fry it, or take blue cheese to cole slaw, or just straight up order the mac and cheese you shouldn't count calories, just friends to share it with.

Although fried chicken is her specialty, the black eyed peas were what brought us to this popular chicken trailer.  For those new to southerly traditions, we here south of the mason dixon dish up black eye peas on New Years day.  Matter of fact, my mother always told me it had to be the first thing in my mouth in order to get the good luck it is purported to project.  We make our family's version of hot water (fried) cornbread, serve black eye peas on top and grill some sausage for the side dish.  And voila: Happy New Year.  Perry grew up in West Texas with the same Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas on new years day.  In her words, "We spent New Years losing the worst part of the last year instead of making resolutions.  That's how it should be - remember the good parts and leave the rest."  

You can order your black eyed peas through Ms. P's through tomorrow, 12/30

Get your order in to avoid bad luck in 2012.   Call her up: 512-912-7778 A big heaping helping will serve two folks for $5 and comes garnished with sour cream, bacon and chives.  Whether you're curing a hangover, or looking for luck, it would be good to have these in the fridge ready for you when you wake up on New Years Day.  Migas are for every other day of the year.

Side note for when you go for your next fried chicken meal: Although she won't disclose the secret ingredients that create chicken-addicts out of her fans, she did say  she gets her organic chickens from Holmes Foods in Gonzales, Texas.  Thanks Ms. P for keeping it local!  

December 26, 2011

How Portland's Pods stack up

It's true! The next city in the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook series is (drumroll).... Portland, Oregon!  More stories coming soon - but until then, check out this review I wrote on Culture Map about this very cool city and how they do 'trailer food'.  I'm excited about all their contributions - from Viking Soul Food, to Pig Cone (waffles), Vegan BBQ to Banana Puddin', Aligator Jambalya to Chai Tea and home brew - we have a lot to blog about in the new year.

December 20, 2011

Battle on Burnet

Allow me to introduce guest-blogger Kelly Beener, who was able to attend the Battle on Burnet while I was in Portland collecting food cartopia recipes for the Portland edition of the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook.  Thank you Kelly! I know it was a tough assignment :) ~ Tiffany Harelik

Battle on Burnet
~Guest-blogger Kelly Beener

Bacon lovers flocked to last night's Battle on Burnet, for a showdown between Peached Tortilla and Roll On Sushi. Participants were pigging out to a 3 round tasting course featuring the salty meat of bacon and casting their votes for the favorite dish of the night.

Why bacon? "It's a great anytime kind of meat, and it improves the flavor of almost any dish" was a common theme amongst tasters. Eyes lit up and mouths dropped in eagerness to get the first tasty bites.

Chef, and owner Eric Silverstein of Peached Tortilla knocked it out of the park with pork belly and shrimp stuffed wonton's. A classic dish prepared by his mother growing up, known as "Mom's Wonton's".

I'm a total bacon snob, and I was truly excited to see what else unique was going to come out of the kitchen using the traditional ingredients from both Peached Tortilla and Roll On Sushi.

And there it came… the B.L.T.G. A take on the traditional Bacon Lettuce Tomato sammie, but rolled up sushi style. The fried green tomato and avocado encased in bacon, nori, and sushi rice was a clear winner for me. Koodos to Chip and Chad Reed, owners of Roll on Sushi. 

The 3rd round did a pork number on us! Roll On Sushi brought out "The Elvis"… peanut butter, bacon, banana, wrapped in a crispy egg roll wrap. Served with a duel of chocolate and ancho chili dust.

The pig product boared it's way into our culture last night.  Think P.I.G.

The mobile food truck Peached Tortilla serving up Asian and Southern influenced cuisines. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter for there roaming locations:

Roll On Sushi aims to provide a unique, affordable sushi fusion experience. Check them out here:

Look for more Battle on Burnet events! Support local, community, and charities. Flatwater Foundation was a special guest of the evening. Half of ticket sales were donated to this important cancer cause.

December 6, 2011

Gifting: a Cookbook with food truck recipes from Austin!

ABIA airport in Austin, TX

It's that time of year, and I'd love to recommend the first cookbook in the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook Series. This is the Austin edition, and it is full of recipes and factoids about their street food culture.  In addition to the great secrets about food that are shared, there is an entrepreneurial story behind each food cart that is featured along with their recipe.  

It was released at the second annual Gypsy Picnic, of which I am a co-founder.  We had nearly 30,000 festival-goers come to the picnic this year, who enjoyed everything we love about Austin: live music and trailer food, on the lake in a family- and fido- friendly environment.  

The Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook: Austin Edition can be purchased and shipped easily for great holiday gifts.  Here is where you can find them:

Shop online (it's in a soft cover or ebook format):

Shop locally: 
     Book People
     Austin Airport (ABIA)
     Waterloo Records     
     Crofts Original             
     Progress Coffee
     South Congress Books
     Party Cat
     Tarrytown Pharmacy
     Pink West (Dripping Springs)
     Wanderland (both locations)
     All 10 Torchy's locations 
     La Boite
     Way South Philly
     Lucky J's (Burnet Rd. location)     
     Cutie Pies 
     La Travassa Boutique
     Austin Land and Cattle
     Mercedes Flowers


November 29, 2011

Lizzie's Lunchbox: Texas-Mediterranean

Lizzie's BOGO Special - TODAY ONLY: Buy one entree, get one 1/2 off 11/29.

I admit, I had a proud pat-yourself-on-the-back kind of smile on my face when a fellow blogger gave me props for my sweet tea brine which is part of a two-step process I have for soaking my chicken before frying.  So when I heard about the Cherry Dr. Pepper marinated lamb Pita at the Texas-Mediterranean "Lizzie's Lunchbox" trailer, I knew I was going to like her style.  If lamb isn't your favorite, she marinades her chicken in chile-lime for another Tex-Med Pita option.

The concept for Lizzie's was born in Marfa, Texas during a girl's weekend.  "I think the best food we had on this weekend came out of a truck - we sat around saying 'this is so good: it's delicious, it's affordable.  So my friends said 'Lisa, you should open a food truck!' and we mulled it over on the eight hour drive back to Austin."  (Clarification: Lizzie's name is Lisa / Lizzie is the youngest of four and that is her nickname.)

Recently Lizzie's was filmed on Eat Street, a national TV series that airs on the Cooking Channel via Food Network Canada.  Some of the producers mentioned to me they were most interested in Lizzie's trailer because it was the first interview they had conducted on a suburban mom trailer-owner.  Something I love about this Mom-owned trailer is that she offers a kids menu! (grilled cheese or pbj with chips for $4).

Best seller: Tex-Med Pita Wrap (you'll want to add tabbouleh, hummus, and pita chips to your wrap for $2)
Other favorites: 1. Cedar Plank Salmon (wild Alaskan salmon encrusted with crushed peppercorns, herbs and spices, brushed with honey glad and smoked on a cedar plank.  Served with tabbouleh and a small tex-med salad.  2. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Big chunky chocolate chips with salt on the chunks.

Julia Child is another source of inspiration for Lizzie.  "I grew up in the Midwest with limited exposure to worldly food, but every Sunday I would sit down and watch Julia Child on PBS.  I remember making 'puff pastry' when I was 12 years old.  I didn't even know what puff pastry was, but since Julia made it - I wanted to, and it was interesting to me.  She opened this whole new world of cooking things I never had.  I remember her cooking duck.  I didn't know people ate duck.  She was funny.  I liked her style and the world she opened up to me."

Lizzie's trailer is unique in that she is located in a non-traditional food truck location: 10401 Jollyville Road (78759) in the parking lot of the Arbor Car Wash and next to Manuel's.  As her name states, she is open for lunch Monday-Saturday from 11a-2p.  They also do lunch catering to your location.

Stay tuned on their Facebook and twitter (@lizzieslunchbx) for daily specials.

November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Trailer Story

I wrote a special piece for Culture Map Austin about a trailer that based their concept right at their Thanksgiving table.  Imagine one heaping dinner roll stuffed with everything on the table, and call it a favorite menu item.  That's what founders Ricardo and Jacob did when they opened the Rockin Rolls food trailer.  Check out the full story on Culture Map (link pending), which includes a recipe for my own father's Thanksgiving dinner rolls that is better than anything Sister Schubert ever put out (wink).

More trailers with Thanksgiving specials:

  • Trey's Cuisine will be serving Prime Rib, Savory Bread Pudding , Demi Glaze , and Broccoli for a cool $11 today (11/23).  And on 11/25, he's got 
    Roasted wild boar ( from Countryside Farms ) , Pan Gravy , & Roasted Pumpkin Hash until it's goneski.  1219 South Lamar Blvd.
  •  Torchy's Tacos has their famous Turkey Mole taco every November.  It's a Texas-fried Turkey taco which has Oaxacan mole sauce, Mexican rice, avocado, queso fresco and fresh cilantro.  1311 S. 1st St. for the trailer location.  
  • Kate's Southern Comfort will take care of your turkey needs - she's got cajun fried turkey's priced at $55 for a bird, or $30 for a half.  Find them posted up at their new location by Giddyups: 12010 Manchaca Rd.

November 17, 2011

Portland - here we come!

The launch of the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook: Austin Edition has been fun to say the least.  All the TV, print, radio and social media buzz (and sales) have powered us up to continue our national-quest to provide you with the best street food recipes, and we are heading to PDX!  You can look for your copy of the Trailer Food Diaries Austin Edition online or in stores now, and the Portland edition will be launched next April.  Now we are on assignment to find the best of the best trailer food, in the trailer food capitol of the world.  Email Tiffany ( with any suggestions, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.  Stay tuned for posts coming up about Thanksgiving specials from the ATX trailers, as well as a special feature on which trailers have been promoted to brick and mortar.

November 6, 2011

Ni Haowdy! "Fresh off the Truck" is fresh off the hook

I spent the day with Fresh off the Truck (FOT) owners Paul and Tova while Eat Street (Food Network Canada) filmed us demonstrating how to make traditional Asian Street Food.  With Tova's Chinese heritage and Paul hailing from Vietnam, FOT prides themselves on serving authentic Asian food (no fusion fare).  Their tagline, Ni Haowdy is a play on the Mandarin 'Ni Hao' (meaning hello), and the Texan 'Howdy' (for hi y'all). 

They currently are open for lunch Monday-Friday and are located on the University of Texas at Austin's longhorn campus just behind the Castilian dorm on 23rd.  With her background in culinary school, Tova is well educated in flavor and makes all of their sauces fresh daily.   My personal favorite is their Crispy Scallion Pancake in Dumpling Dipping Sauce and like a good friend would do, Tova had one ready for me before I could order.  This is the kind of great customer service you can expect if you decide to become a FOT-er. 

I also had a chance to try their Daikon Omelet which was equally impressive.  What other brunch do you get to use chop sticks to eat?  Their banh-mi's are only $4 and definitely a meal for two.  In fact, while we were there, two girls came up and ordered the Pho to share ($6 total for two meals ain't bad in my book). 

October 31, 2011

Busy week in trailer land

This week we have a fun schedule - join us for any or all of it:

  • Monday: 10/31: KTBC news spot 
  • Tuesday: 11/1: KEYE news spot
  • ***Wednesday: 11/2: Torchy's Guac and Talk - join us for a book signing, cake ball giveaway, guacamole eating night at Torchy's trailer park location: 1311 South 1st St. at 7pm - RSVP on facebook
  • Thursday: 11/3: We have a booth at First Thursdays - come snag some holiday gifts ATX style
  • Friday 11/4: I'll be selling the cookbook at the Holiday Collectibles Show 9:30a-6p
  • Saturday 11/5: Again at Holiday Collectibles: 9:30a-3p and at noon filming with Eat Street
Normal trailer reviews will resume shortly thereafter.  

Trick or Trailer - Happy Halloween!

The Austin food trailers are doing their part to make sure you play up Halloween today.  Here is an article I wrote about some of Austin's SWEETEST TRAILERS (via  Additionally, here are some fun options for hallowinners at the trailer parks:
  • Way South Philly - CANDY for kids in costumes
  • Chi'Lantro - Participate in our costume contest downtown tonight and tomorrow for a chance to win a $20 ChiLantro giftcard
  • Blenders & Bowls - The Pumpkin Bowl: açaí topped with pumpkin granola, bananas, dried cranberries, cacao nibs, and cinnamon pumpkin spice.
  • Rockin Rolls - $5.00 rolls with costume.. Best female costume wins free RR t-shirt
  • Hill Country Pierogi Truck - Bring your kid or pet to the truck in costume for $2 off an order of sweet pierogi
  • Spartan Pizza - All day Fri & Sat, $3 off 14" / $2 off 10" pizzas when you're in costume! We <3 Halloween
  • Mambo Berry - Bring us a pumpkin for a free frozen yogurt. Carve it first to be a part of our pumpkin carving contest. The berry best pumpkin wins a MamboBerry gift certificate.  Also make sure to stop by while trick or treating.
  • Kat's Ice Cream - Free ice cream if you bring a pumpkin
  • Hey Cupcake - has BooCakes!


October 24, 2011

Gypsy Picnic Cook-off Winners

East Side King
 The 2nd annual Gypsy Picnic held a unique trailer food cook-off prior to gates opening. 

After a few hours of sampling the top trailer entries the judges' concluded the following trailers will have bragging rights, at least until the next Gypsy Picnic:
Trailer food fans also had the opportunity to text their votes in for their personal favorites.  The winners receive an extensive media marketing package courtesy of KGSR.  This year's fan favorite?

Tiffany Harelik & Bryan Beck post-judging
 Thank you to our judges, who included:

  • Stephanie Keller – Food and Music writer at the Huffington Post 
  • Bryan Beck – Radio personality at KGSR
  • Paula Forbes - Food editor and writer at
  • Mick Vann - Food writer, blogger, and critic, cookbook author, chef, restaurant consultant
  • Todd Boatwright – Morning Anchor at YNN
  • Courtney Bond - Food editor and writer at Texas Monthly
  • Cathy Cochran-Lewis - Senior Global Program Leader, Whole Foods Market/President of Austin Food & Wine Alliance
  • Chef Ethan Holmes, Chef de Cuisine – Second Bar + Kitchen
  • Chef Philip Speer - Executive Pastry Chef at Uchiko
  • and one uest judge/Winner/Blogger via a Culturemap contest

Follow the festival:

October 16, 2011

GYPSY PICNIC - this weekend! October 22nd

Bring yourself down to the best trailer food festival in the nation taking place in Austin, Texas this weekend.

Date: October 22nd

Time: 11a-8p

Location: Auditorium Shores, Austin

What: 2nd annual Trailer Food Festival

Benefitting the Sustainable Food Center

FREE ADMISSION! Come on down!

I met with C3 Presents in May of 2010 about an idea to turn this very blog into a festival for Austinites.  By November of that year, we had attracted nearly 20,000 people and 30 trailers down to the first annual Gypsy Picnic trailer food festival.  We are serving up another helping at the second annual Gypsy Picnic held this coming weekend. We have made a few changes to expand the park (but hopefully not your girlish figure), which entails more space, more trailers, more stages and more fun.  Auditorium Shores is a dog park by nature, and that won't change for the festival.  Bring you dogs, just please be courteous of other festival goers and have something on hand to clean up.  Here are some of the details: 

  • Carless:  Walk/Jog on the hike and bike trail, take your bike (Mellow Johnny's will be there), take a cab or pedi-cab, or ride the Capitol Metro.
  • Parking a car: C3 has put together a list of five area parking garages.  They aren't free, but the festival is! 
  • 11:50-12:30: BOY
  • 1:15-2:15: Alabama Shakes
  • 3:00-4:00: Dale Watson
  • 4:45-5:45: Hacienda
  • 6:30-8:00: Delta Spirit

LIST OF TRAILERS:  Over thirty trailers will be offering both full size and sample size portions from a limited menu for festival attendees.  Subject for last minute changes, but here is who made the cut:
86 This!
Be More Pacific
Blenders and Bowls
Chi'Lantro BBQ
Colibrí Cuisine
Conscious Cravings
East Side King
FireFly Pies
Fresh Off the Truck
Gourdough's Big. Fat. Donuts.
Hey Cupcake!
Holy Cacao
Hog Wild BBQ
Irie Bean
JuJu's Kaboose
La Fantabulous
Lee's Hurricane Party
Man Bites Dog
Rockin Rolls
Sabor Colombiano On Wheels
Short Bus Subs
Snarkys Moo Bawk Oink
Spartan Pizza
The Jalopy
the peached tortilla
The Zubikhouse
Torchy's Tacos
Trey's cuisine

October 11, 2011

Book Signing at Book People - Wednesday 10/12: 7pm

The cookbooks are here!  Please join me for a fun evening at Book People in Austin, Texas:

What: Book Signing at Book People
When: Wednesday 10/12: 7pm-9pm
Food: the Peached Tortilla & Holy Cacao
Drinks: Thank you to the Onion for providing complimentary St. Arnold's brew

Come get the first copies off the press for your holiday gifts.

October 10, 2011

Bubba's BBQ in Cross Plains, TX

It isn’t uncommon for me to find myself lost, even in my hometown.  Even in very small towns.  So it wasn’t that big of a surprise that I missed my turn to my parent’s ranch and found myself approaching Cross Plains.  I usually can scoot through the country avoiding many of the main roads, so it had been awhile since I had been through ‘town’.  Just as I picked up my phone to let Mom know I was going to be a little late, I noticed a trailer off the side of the highway and hung up. 
Bubba’s BBQ was situated in a red trailer just off highway 36.  I left Levi in the car (with the windows down) and got out my camera to snap a few pics.  Since they were open and it wasn’t high feeding time, they welcomed the opportunity to chat.  Turns out, Bubba is a 22-year old entrepreneur who started his trailer food business when he was 18.  His grand-dad Sam had just gotten done plowing and was there to do most of the answering.

Bubba’s best seller at this location is his pork ribs.  He has a second location in San Angelo that does pretty well by their standards.  The family worked together to build the trailer in about 90 days and are fully certified through the Abilene health department.  Sam mentioned they use Oak to smoke their meats instead of Mesquite, which has been a source of food allergies for some.  When I asked what the difference in taste was, Bubba told me the Oak-smoked had a deeper, heavier flavor. 

Their rubs have no preservatives and they are proud of the quality and freshness of their foods.    While they raise Limousin cattle for auction, they do not slaughter their own beef.  They are building a little brick and mortar spot next door to the trailer and hope to move in soon.

October 3, 2011

Art's BBQ in Port O'Connor

Recently I took a trip to the South Texas coast with my dog not looking for anything other than waves.  So when I drove into Port O'Connor and found trailer food (of all things) I was pleasantly surprised.  I'll be honest.  I drove past it and straight to the real estate office to get the scoop.  They vouched for the brisket, which they said was hard to beat.  Since I have dual citizenship in BBQ country, I know brisket.  From Franklin's in Austin, to the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Perini's in Buffalo Gap to Joe Allen's in Abilene, I've had good brisket.

I raised a suspicious eyebrow and drove back down the street to give it a go.  Afterall, when you're at the coast, you tend to find yourself in the mood for shrimp, crab, snapper or anything edible under the sea.  But not BBQ.  Anyhow, Levi stayed in the backseat with the windows rolled down as I approached the impressive BBQ trailer.

 Art himself wasn't there, but his lovely wife and the daughter "they wished they'd never had" rolled down the window and handed me a slice of brisket.  Like any good South Texas hostess would, they lit a cigarette, poured some coffee and came out to sit down with me for a spell.  I learned the stuffed baked potato (weighing in at 2.5-3 lbs/tater) was their best seller, and that people drive from miles around for their mouth-watering chicken they cook on Sunday's only.
With over 17 years in the restaurant business, Art retired his brick and mortar only to put his culinary expertise to the test in a new version of restaurants in Port O'Connor.  Getting back to the brisket, Levi and I both approve.  It was tender, smoky and lean - everything a good brisket should be.  I hope to put them in my next chapter of adventures in a series I'm writing called "Coastal Dives".  Meanwhile, I hope to squeeze a recipe or two out of Art the next time I'm down there fishing.

September 24, 2011

Bufalo Bob's & Bananarchy

I'm in Port O'Connor checking out their version of trailer food.  It's good! Real good.  While you're waiting for the mouth-watering write ups, check out this new article on Culture Map about my friends on the 600 Block of South Lamar:

Bufalo Bob's & Bananarchy

September 13, 2011


We are giving away:
All you have to do for your chance to win some goodies are these little things that mean so much:
We will announce the winners on Thursday 9/15 via facebook and twitter.

August 31, 2011

Municipal Taste: Don't Mind if I Do

Location: 1817 S. Lamar Austin, TX 78704
Phone: 512-788-1517

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11a-7p

I'm going to go out on a limb here and coin their genre of food as "South Austin Bistro".  Their menu equals the quirkiness of 78704 plus industrial trailer with tight cuisine.  Although their pulled pork sandwich and lamb burgers came highly recommended, I went for the "Velvet Elvis": sliced bananas served on grilled sourdough with bacon, peanut butter, and habanero jelly.  Every bite was amazing.  It came out exactly as I would have made it if I were to have prepared it at home.  Crispy bacon.  Crispy toasted sourdough.  Fresh nanners.  The right amount of pb and j.  The habanero jelly makes it just Texas enough without wearing out it's welcome. 

So who are the guys behind the trailer?  Meet Keegan Archer and Philip Evans (thats one L, get it straight).  Formerly both in real estate, they found themselves 'gainfully unemployed', as Keegan tells the story.  They were cooking lunch socially one day when they decided to go into business for themselves with the Municipal Taste Trailer.  "We created low paying jobs for ourselves in comparison to what we were doing before, and we've never been happier.  Working in the trailer really helps you see the lack of value of money."  Well said, K-Arch.

They grow their own herbs, which you can see in an aluminum container in front of their trailer and are excited about the anticipated "Crossroads" bar opening up across the parking lot from them.  They give a nod to Odd Duck and East Side Kings as successful trailers that have proven models and eventually hope to open a brick and mortar version of their trailer.  

August 26, 2011

Trailer Food Under 500 Calories

Yes, it's possible to eat trailer food and stay slim - check out this article I wrote for Culture Map Austin and find some healthy choices at:
  • Sun Farm Kitchens
  • Mmmpanadas
  • Counter Culture
  • Holy Cacao
  • La Boite Cafe
  • Blenders and Bowls
  • Conscious Cravings
  • Mambo Berry
  • Fresh off the Truck

August 19, 2011

Back to school! Find the best trailer food on campus

Here is an article I recently wrote for on where to find trailer food if you're on campus in Austin, Texas.
Kate's Southern Comfort Gumbo - photo by Bill Lanier

August 13, 2011

Torchy's 5th bday / Scavenger Hunt Party TODAY

...Well, technically the birthday was Saturday, the 6th, but we can all pretend. Happy 5th Birthday, Torchy!

The first Torchy’s Birthday Crawl began at 8am on Saturday, the 13th. Thus far, we have 87 teams (of 2) registered and Crawlin'!   The 'Crawl' is a scavenger-hunt style competition across all of the 8 Torchy’s Tacos locations.

******The winning team is awarded 1-year of free tacos, a Torchy’s tee, bottle of Diablo Hot Sauce and official bragging rights. (Estimated Retail Value: $876.95/ea).   I'll report back with who you can congratulate (and hit up for tacos!)

August 6, 2011


Luis & Rachael are the only juicers in town using a special Cactus in their creations at the JuiceOver trailer.   Their original intent was to market this special variety of cactus (juice) as an all-natural hangover cure, but they soon transitioned out of the night life market and into the health market.  Their best seller is their original formula (and trailer's namesake).  It contains cactus with green apple, lemon, ginger and orange.  It is a wonderful detox drink and has a light, tart, citrus flavor.   Cactus, Luis tells me, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and the only plant that has all twenty-four anti-oxidants in it.  Their original formula has helped alleviate joint and arthritis issues for Luis, who is able to work in the trailer for 12-14 hours/day.  The JuiceOver trailer is in a newly developing park on West 5th, close to Black Swan Yoga.  So after you get your Om on, head over to the JuiceOver for some added detox.

July 29, 2011

Get Excited about the Gypsy Picnic!

Woohoo!  The *Gyspy Picnic is coming back to Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas this coming October 22nd.  This 2nd annual trailer food festival will attract about 40 vendors all in one spot for you to come sample their best-selling food selections that won't hurt the pocket book at $3/item or less.  We are taking over an even bigger footprint in the park, so there will be plenty of room to romp and chew this year.  We are also better prepared to move the lines more quickly for the masses, so you won't have to spend your time at the park in line.  Mark your calendar to come to this free, foodie, dog-friendly event with live music on a beautiful Saturday in October (that doesn't conflict with a UT game!).  There is still time for vendors to apply online through August 11th; we can't wait to reveal who is coming!

VENDORS APPLY HERE NOW! don't miss the biggest trailer food festival of the year in your own backyard! We want to see you there!

*The Gypsy Picnic is produced by C3 Presents (bringing you such festivals as ACL and Lollapalooza) along with Trailer Food Diaries (bringing you all things trailer-food: cookbook, magazine, TV, exclusive Gypsy Picnic coverage).

July 22, 2011

Soco To Go

Sam Rhodes started the SoCo To Go concept as a lunch catering business in July of 2010 and grew into their beautiful blue trailer a few months ago last May.  With a background in the Finance, Sam's heart was always to have her own business.  Now she is providing home cooked meals to those sitting behind the desks that used to be her world when she worked in real estate accounting.  Her personal favorite item on the menu is the chicken fried chicken, which also happens to be a fan favorite.  Other best-sellers include her fried pickles, fish tacos, and jalapeno mac n cheese.  For a vegetarian modification to the fish tacos, try the fried avocado tacos with all the same fixin's instead.  Sam's menu is inspired by home cooked meals from her mother and grandmother in Victoria, Texas.  As such, everything from the SoCo To Go trailer is hand made from scratch, daily.  She still has a thriving lunch delivery business and is capable of providing large orders to downtown business groups - so give her a call and tell her Trailer Food Diaries sent ya!

July 11, 2011

Summer in a Cup - part 4 in the snow cone series

 To the left, we have.... summer in a cup! There are many sounds that remind me of summer: the locusts, the hum of the pool cleaner, the neighbors' lawnmower.  There are many flavors that remind me of summer too - and South Austin Sno has put all of the special flavors of summer in one radical snow cone that they are calling "Summer in a Cup".  This is their best-seller during summer, and contains mango, pineapple, and tiger's blood (which is a blend of strawberry and coconut flavors).  Then, they add a squeeze of fresh lime that really makes it a unique cup of snow.  Yum!

South Austin Sno is in their 7th season this summer.  The business started as a St. Ed's economic project, and has now expanded to two snow cone trailers.

July 9, 2011

License to Chill .... kolache snow cones! (part 3 in the snow cone series)

On my way to Taste of Dallas, we saw a cool trailer by the Czech Stop in West, Texas.  Naturally, I stopped in to get the story.  License to Chill was built from the ground up by three enterprising friends who recently graduated from West High School.  They opened this May (2011) with some pretty creative flavors.  Taking advantage of their heritage and what West is most popularly known for, License to Chill's best seller is the kolache-flavored snow cone.  Pick any flavor you want, and make it kolache-style by adding the sticky gooey sweet cream that they make in a criss-cross pattern over your snow cone, and sprinkle with posipka (Czech sugary froo froo).  The owners have their own suggestions for what to get under the kolache topping: red velvet cake, mango, and creamsicle rank among their favorites.

June 30, 2011

Snow Cones! part 2: Sweet Caroline's

Let me tell you about David Mebane, born eating snow balls in New Orleans, who's love for fluffy Southern ice has turned into a full-fledged fleet of trailers you'll be able to find sprinkled throughout Austin in the near future.  It's a family affair that started when his grandparents would walk with him up to the snow ball stand on Roosevelt Avenue after dinner.  One of the recipes for chocolate cream was contributed by David's aunt, who found the recipe in the rubble after she lost her home in the wake of Katrina.  A special recipe no doubt, she received it from a friend who had worked at Hansen's (popular snow ball shop in Nawlins').  Sweet Caroline's namesake is David's daughter (Caroline), and the Wild Weston snow ball is named after his son (Weston).  Since kids like to order by color (as opposed to flavor), Weston's preference is rainbow - therefore, the Wild Weston has Red (strawberry), Yellow (pineapple), and Blue (blue raspberry). 

The 'Pink Lady' is David's favorite - which utilizes a special nectar cream flavor.  In fact, the cream drizzled on top of flavored ice is what makes a New Orleans snow ball a little different than the snow cones we grew up with here in Texas.  Another interesting menu item from Sweet Caroline's that migrated it's way to Austin is the stuffed snow ball.  It starts with ice and syrup in the bottom, followed by a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream, and then topped with more fluffy ice and flavor-dy goodness-sakes!

Eco-conscious, these guys do not use styrofoam.  Rather, you can carry your treat out in a chinese paper to go square container.  Now thats what I call Sno-Ballin'.  Check them out:

June 19, 2011

Snow Cones! .... Part 1

It's hot here in the capitol city and one of our favorite summer past times is to stop for a snow cone to cool off.  In efforts to provide you with the city's best snow cone, I took a quick text-poll to see what my friends' favorite flavors and trailers were.  The results?  Everyone loves the watermelon snow cone at Sno-Beach on Barton Springs Road. 

Jared Tennant Photography:
Now I'll be honest.  I've never ordered a watermelon snow cone.  The thought hadn't crossed my mind.  But now that friends from all walks of life are telling me it's their favorite, I'll be on a mission to find the best watermelon snow cone of the season.  My personal favorite has always been the creamsicle, and I can be found ordering it at the little stand in Tarrytown.  If your snow cone trailer doesn't have creamsicle, don't worry - you can create it using half orange and half vanilla flavors.  Here are some more of the local favorites:
  • Fan favorite:  Watermelon from Sno-Beach
  • Other Sno-Beach favorites: Blueberry, Tiger's Blood, Cherry, Mango, Blue Coconut, sugar-free Grapefruit, Strawberry
  • Jim Jim's: Strawberry Lemonade, Mango, Watermelon, 
  • Kasey's New Orleans Sno Balls:Strawberry & Banana with cream
  • South Austin Sno: Sour Grape
  • Moonieburger in Pflugerville: Watermelon
  • Disch-Falk Field: Dreamsicle (that's from my UT-baseball-lovin' Aunt Tootie!)
Go ahead, sing it - 'The Heat is ON! The Heat is ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-on, the heat is.... ON!" 

June 12, 2011

Catch the Peached Tortilla at Films for the Forest: June 16th

Eric & Tiffany during SXSW
If you haven't tried the Peached Tortilla at their regular locations, here is an opportunity to try gourmet trailer food at a swanky street party in the Rainey District.  The Peached Tortilla truck will be posted outside of local NPO, Rainforest Partnership, during their annual event: Films for the Forest.  This film festival, free to the public, showcases international short films.  This year's theme is Breath of the Planet.  Entries are judged by film professionals Rick Linklater, Ed Begley Jr., Paul Steckler, & Elizabeth Avellan.  In addition to great food and films, guests will experience music, art, panel discussions and more - all in the street!  This event supports local efforts to protect rainforests in Peru and Ecuador. 

When: June 16th  6p-10p
Where: 505 Willow St. ATX/78701
Web: or
It's FREE, but RSVP here:

More on the food - the Peached Tortilla is a fusion concept that blends Asian food and Southern Comfort Cuisine.  Owner Eric Silverstein spent his youth in both Japan and Georgia.  As such, his food concept was born.  His delectable sliders are served on Hawaiian sweet rolls ($2.50).  My current favorite is the Pad Thai taco ($2.25) which includes chicken or tofu sauteed in traditional pad thai sauce, bean sprouts, peanuts and a lime wedge.  Check out the menu online:

Hungry for more? Here is a recent Trailer Food Diaries review in the Austin Man.


June 2, 2011

Peruvian Street Food: Comida de Paso

I had a wonderful week in Peru discovering some of the country's most beautiful food and adventures with one of my good friends Maurine, who works to save the Amazonian Rainforest in that neck of the woods.  From boat tours to the sea lions and penguins in Paracas, sand-boarding in Huacachina, hiking on the Incan trail up to Machu Picchu, flying over the Nazca lines - it was the Amazing Race meets the History Channel, in Spanish - Trailer Food Diaries style.  We had street food ("trailer food") at each point of interest and I gathered some recipes along the way.

Our first street food effort was made here in Lima.  We had avocado ("palta") sandwiches and apple-quinoa soup for breakfast before boarding the bus to Pisco.  Quinoa, along with corn and potatoes are the country's staple food.  Traditional plates also include Cuy (guinea pig), and alpaca (llama).  The Avocado sammies were an instant hit and we made them a bunch throughout the trip for snacks.  Just fresh baked rolls, sliced avocados and salt. 

And here is where we bought the fresh avocados and rolls from street food vendors at the market in Pisco:


Fresh fruit was a common thing for street food vendors to sell in each town.  I was surprised to learn that many of the vendors were not growing their own fruit, but shipping it in from other parts of Peru.  One of the ladies in this market was making fresh pestos.  Some were from aji (their version of the jalapeno - yum!), another was cilantro-based.  She suggested using them with a little milk to make a creamy sauce for chicken.

The purple corn in the middle/top of this photo is what is used to make "Chicha Morada" - a corn-based purple juice/drink that is served hot.  It is typically non-alcoholic, although, you can ferment it I'm told.  Another popular Peruvian drink is the Pisco Sour. Pisco is an alcohol made from a white grape, but not the same grapes used for wine.  We flew over some of the Pisco vinyards on the Nazca tour, but I didn't have enough time to go explore the grape up close.

Confession: my favorite meal during the Peruvian adventure was not street food.  This was breakfast in Nazca. Potatoes with cheese and herbs and coca tea.  Coca leaves are used widely in Peru for tea, or to chew (tobacco-style).  The intent when using coca is to clear your head or to remove pain.  Indeed...
 Award: Coolest Place to get Street Food - at the base of the mountain at the Pisac ruins. This chick makes a mean fresh OJ!

Look! A mobile food vendor, who's a little more than the average Peruvian-street-food-bear.  This guy sets up in Cusco ("the belly-button of the world" to the Inca's) and fires up his oven inside the truck to cook pizzas and hamburgers for the tourists.

Among other foodie interests, this area is also known for it's Ceviche and Salt.  We passed the main salt island mine in Paracas, which is a major export for Peru along with - um - guano... different islands but remarkably close.  Funny quote from the tour: "Guano was used in the 1800's for explosives.  Now it's used for agriculture."

Stay tuned for the recipes!

TFD and Gypsy Picnic representin'!