February 16, 2012

Austin City Guide: East Austin Food Trailers

What some are calling the last bastion of iconic food trailers, the "East Side" offers more than twenty classic food trailers, housing everything from original classics to up and coming street food chefs.   As part of the 2012 Austin City Guide compiled by the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, this article aims to feature some of the best of the best of the East Austin food trailers.

Although there are ample really good trailers to choose from, the Austin Food Blogger Alliance (AFBA) has spoken.  East Side King reigns supreme, taking home the most votes in the 'East Austin Trailer' category from a recent annual survey.  True to the popular trailer's slogan "So good, make your eye roll back," the Brussels sprouts are what does it for me personally... but you don't have to take my word for it.  At the second annual Gypsy Picnic trailer food festival they won both the fan favorite as an overall festival favorite award, and the critics choice award for best item on a bun with their roasted pork belly buns.   Making appearances on popular chef series such as Bourdain's No Reservations, as well as Eat Street, this trailer is surely one you won't want to miss.

Bits and Druthers came in second in the survey, best known for their fish and chips, but if you ask Eat Street this trailer takes the cake with another special dish.  Eat Street Producers were in Austin last Fall filming for season four of their popular street food show which airs on the Cooking Channel via Food Network Canada.  They waxed poetic regarding the Wednesday special Bits and Druthers puts on, naming their Beef Wellington one of their favorite meals in the country.  This trailer is located at 1001 East 6th.  Other yummy trailers in this pod include Mati Greek trailer, Pig Vicious, Pueblo Viejo, Firefly Pies, Love Balls,  and please forgive me if someone has moved since I last biked by.

Other honorable mentions from the AFBA survey include shout outs for Love Balls, Three Little Pigs, Arlo's, Way South Philly, Ice Queens, and Purple Bean. All really good, noteworthy trailers.

Japanese Pancake from Yoko Ono's
Ceviche from Pachamama's
1/2 chicken: el Pollo Rey
The majority of East Side trailers are located on East 6th in two major pods, but there is one group of trailers on East 1st (Cesar Chavez) that offer a world tour of tastes.  If you find yourself down this way, stop at the East Side Food Park at 2209 E. Cesar Chavez for some unexpected gems.  El Pollo Rey is doing chicken justice with their char-grillin' goodness.  I unwrapped the 'half chicken' to find a luscious charcoal-kissed onion and some yummy green sauce along with the package.  There's also Yoko Ono Miyaki, serving up Japanese pancakes.  I had the vegetable based one, but there are delectable versions that include brisket or pork belly and served with bonito flakes.  Pachamama's Peruvian Creole Cuisine has a large menu full of wonderful South American traditional favorites, but his ceviche is the dish to die for.  Last but not least, the Coffee Spot offers you guessed it - coffee, smoothies, and generally speaking good drinks.

One of the popular new-comers to the trailer scene, Via 313 Pizza is dishing out authentic Detroit style square pizza right outside the Violet Crown Social Club on East 6th and Waller.  They deliver in the '02 zip code if you can't make it out for the full trailer experience.

Right across the street is one of the more famous East Side trailer parks that has housed a variety of trailers over the years.  It's home to Way South Philly Authentic Cheesesteaks, where you can get hitched with your meal of two philly cheesesteaks for under $40.  Currently in the lot with Way South Philly sits Lucky J's Chicken and Waffles CoolHaus Ice Cream SandwichesVeracruz All Natural Tacos5th and Chips, Spartan Pizza, and Evil Weiner.

Kate's Gumbo and Meat Pie
Regal Ravioli
A little further East of this lot you can find Kate's Southern Comfort dishing up Cajun meat fried pies next to Regal Ravioli where it's Pasta la Vista baby.  They sit at 1602 East 6th in a lot across from Cisco's.

Also on the East side, be sure to visit Hill Country Pierogi, on the corner of 11th and Lydia across from the Longbranch Inn.  Known for their pierogi's, they also have a weekend brunch from 11a-2p.  They also deliver to downtown and East side areas.   Last but certainly not least, don't forget East 12th, with Hoover's Soular Foods Trailer with his garden to table Southern classics at 1110 East 12th Street with additional trailers joining him at the lot.

Stay tuned to this blog for more updates in trailer land across the US: www.trailerfooddiaries.com