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).