January 16, 2012

Trailer Food Tour on Rocket Electrics bikes

As you might know, the initial funding for my cookbook came from creating a kickstarter account.  One of my kickstarter investor angels had the idea to combine two of his favorite companies (Rocket Electrics + Trailer Food Diaries) to create a trailer food tour on electric bikes.  I must say, I used the 'electric' on the hills which means I didn't burn off quite as many calories as I might have hoped.  On the tour, we had a musician in from Chicago who later played at Ego's, an Opera Singer who sang a scale for us in a parking garage, a photographer, and a few entrepreneurs. 

First, we had the good fortune to have planned it on a gorgeous weather day here in Austin.  It was about 70 degrees, with a cool sunny breezes.  We took a practice run up to a point that had a view of the city and town lake for some photo ops, then hit our first trailer: That's Amore.  There, we chowed down on their newest addition to the menu, which is the meatball panini.  Although that was my personal favorite, everyone else voted the roast beef as the crowd favorite.  We polished off Angela's house salad (one of my favorite salads in Austin), and a few cannoli and peligrino to wash it all down.  Next time you are there, try the cherry-pistachio.  Holy OMG.  Angela comes from a large Italian family and she makes you feel right at home from the get go.  She'll take your order, take pride in making it for you, and get it to you real timely with a big hug for the regulars.  Although she doesn't cache her menu as 'comfort food' (it's authentic Iatalian), it's one of the first places I think of when I want someone to cook for me.  You know the feeling.  She gave up the basil lemonade and olive tapenade recipes in the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook.

We then hopped on our bikes and toured the hike and bike trail, stopping to soak in views at various points along our way to Luke's Inside Out.  If you haven't been to Luke's yet, you're bound to be curious.  He's one of the ones I talk about a lot when people ask me who my favorite trailers are.  Why? He's creative and is the master of his kitchen, serving things like Korean BBQ rabbit, and frog legs.  My 'Luke's' favorite? The Shrimp.  He somehow made a shrimp patty to use as the base of his sandwich, and tops it with spinach, red onion, apple, blue cheese, honey and other goods to make one of the most satisfying sandwiches in trailerdom.  He contributed the watermelon wedge salad in my cookbook and it has some surprise ingredients (like orange flavored pop rocks!) You'll want to try the Love sauce too.  Luke will tell you they make Love twice a day in the kitchen :).

And about the bikes we were riding.  Rocket Electrics is situated at 1608 E. Riverside Dr. (78741).  The daily rate for an electric bike rental is $25 or $40 for overnight (24 hour rental). Straight from their site, here's a little more about what they do and some FAQ's about the bikes: 

"Rocket Electrics carries only carefully selected electric bikes with the best components, batteries, and warranties, in many colors and frame styles. How fast and how far can an electric bike go? Depending on your size, the hills on your ride, and how much you pedal, the brands that we carry can travel about 20 miles at speeds up to 20mph. Plus, unlike a moped, you can ride it and park it just about anywhere. As an added bonus, Austin Energy customers can enjoy a $100-150 rebate on an electric bike purchase."

There is still time to buy a raffle ticket ($10/ea) to win a $1900 electric bike.  Proceeds go to "please be kind to cyclists" and the drawing will be made on February 15th.  PS - Stay tuned for the foodie tours they are putting together.