Sitting in a trailer park under giant oak trees and relishing gourmet bites from food trucks is exactly what food in Austin is all about. It’s casual, fun and there’s never a dull moment chatting with the amazing food truck chefs, who bring their vision and food from the truck to your plate. Truck by Truckwest is a six-day food truck taste-a-thon; 60 trucks participate to compete for a $10,000 cash prize. Good news for us ‘Austinites’ is that we get the pleasure to sample food from 60 food trucks and in return vote for the truck that blew our socks off! How awesome is that!
We got a 2 day pass and started our food truck scavenger hunt on the first day of the event. It was like “The Amazing Race” – hunting down the food trucks around the city, devouring our prizes aka food samples and zooming out on the streets of Austin to find our next tasty bite. Our mission was to hit as many food trucks as possible in 2 days, and by the end of the second day we were 50 food trucks down, 5 lbs heavier and suffered from an inevitable state of food coma.
Here is a list of our favorite Truck by Truckwest food trucks and why we love them:
Surf N Turf Po Boy is high on our list for their Blackned Ahi Tuna tacos. We are always looking for fresh seafood options in the city and this food truck does not disappoint. The ingredients are super fresh and each bite has the perfect balance of flavors. The truck looks adorable and transports you to a surfer shack on a beach. Try any of their fish tacos/po boys with a side of their jalapeño hush puppies … Yum!
Who doesn’t love brunch! Brunch Haus dishes out some classic brunch favorites at the South Austin Social food park. We got the grits with a sunny side egg and some yummy toppings. The original dish comes with pork but since we don’t eat Mr. Piggy, the chef created a special version for us, which was awesome. We loved the dish and are pretty sure it tastes better with meat. Our mission is to convince them to create a permanent variation of the dish with chicken or beef. Brunch Haus are you listening?
Spanish tapas from a trailer … Yes please! Boca Food Truck serves fresh bocadillos (traditional Spanish sandwiches) and tapas at the South Austin Social food park. We tried the Teres Major beef pressed Bocadillo. The bread was crispy and the meat was tender and juicy mixed with onions and peppers and a flavorful sauce. It also came with Patatas Bravas, fried potatoes with a spicy sauce and creamy aioli. These guys were super generous with their portions and served us a complete entree, maybe they didn’t get the memo that everyone else was doing half portions or tiny samples. We love their food and hospitality and cannot wait to return to the park to enjoy some live music and free red wine sangria every Saturday. Can you really ask for more?
Meet the new kid on the block. Mark just started his food truck business and knows how to bake a mean PIE. Who doesn’t like a guy who bakes Pie right! Pie Plante is tucked away behind Flying carpet (which is awesome too) in the South First district. We love food trucks that are unconventional; getting fresh baked pie from a truck is pretty awesome. We devoured the coconut cream pie and cannot wait to try all the other flavors.
Austin has a ton of taco trucks but we are a fan of this new authentic mexican food truck called Chekes Takos. It’s located right by Pie Plante and is a small family owned business. We got a sample of the Oxaca cheese Tlagoyos topped with cilantro, radish, cactus and queso fresco – when you can’t pronounce the name of the dish you know it’s gotta be authentic. We absolutely loved this dish and all the 3 sauces that came with it. The ancho chili sauce was so good! They make their tortillas fresh in-house everyday and have a great choice of Agua Frescas; I tried the pineapple – Delicious!
An Austin food list is incomplete without BBQ. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in the Warehouse District is our new favorite BBQ joint. We sampled the smoked brisket taco which came with a sea-salt lime guacamole and tomato serrano salsa. They also gave us a bag of chips and queso. It was truly divine! You just have to try it….Have to!!
Angry Eggroll specializes in Cantonese style eggrolls. They only serve 2 types of rolls – The Drunken Master (pork) and the Grasshopper (caramelized garlic and roasted cashew). We tried the Grasshopper and enjoyed it. What we like about this truck is its wacky character, uniqueness, and of course the food. Having only two items on the menu is risky and we like their guts for believing in their food and doing what they love!
Upscale Italian dining at a food truck fits into our date night perfectly. Regal Ravioli specializes in hand-made pastas and is located in the south first district. Bring your favorite wine, sit under the oak tress and enjoy a delightful Italian meal. We sampled the 3 cheese ravioli and were blown away by the complex flavors. The subtle hints of lemon zest and nutmeg in each bite is a pleasant surprise. We are big fans of this food truck and cannot wait to go back for an official date night.
Mellizos tacos is another south first district jewel who have mastered making the perfect taco. Fresh ingredients with a punch of flavor is just how we like our tacos. We got to sample their beef and vegetarian taco which came with a slurp of hot tortilla soup. Simple and delicious!
T Loc’s Sonoran Style Hot Dogs are unlike any hotdog you’ve had at your poolside party. We love the southwestern twist on the all american favorite and dig this new combination of flavors we just got hit with. The Sonoran dog is a Mexican street food loved by locals in Tucson Arizona hence the name T Loc (T for Tucson and LOC for local). The Sonoran dog is a bacon wrapped hot dog grilled to perfection, enveloped in a soft doughy roll. It’s served with delicious toppings of onions, tomatoes, pinto beans, jalapenos and a dollop of mayonnaise and mustard. What we like about this place is their commitment to serving authentic food, the owner Mike Kaiser FedEx’s the rolls and tortillas everyday from Arizona … For real! Now that’s someone who is passionate about serving the food he loves.
We enjoyed Truck by Truckwest and are excited to see the results on Monday. The festival ends on Sunday October 22. It’s not too late, get your tickets to the festival here and partake in all the madness. We wish all the participants good luck and thank them for their hospitality and enthusiasm.
The culinary scene in Austin has never been better, so what are you waiting for? Take your appetite and hit the streets, we will see you at the food trucks.