Barbecue boss Tom Micklethwait achieved culinary glory and a small amount of viral fame about three years ago when he recreated the massive Tex-Mex meal from the inside cover of Texas ZZ Top’s 1973 album "Tres Hombres," ate the entire thing and videotaped the monument to the legends of Texas food and rock.
The owner of Micklethwait Craft Meats, one of Austin’s Top 10 barbecue spots, also stumbled upon inspiration. The cover art homage, along with the former Hex Dispenser guitar player’s love of vintage rodeo postcards featuring bucking broncos and airborne cowboys, planted a seed for a taco truck centered around smoked meats. The idea simmered on the back burner until earlier this year when Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches co-owners and Micklethwait’s longtime friends Joshua and Noah Litt approached him about opening a dinner trailer that would coincide with the opening of their new brewery on Manor Road.
The Texas-born partners will open Tex-Mex food trailer Taco Bronco (tacobroncotx.com) in January on the tree-covered backyard of the Batch location at 3220 Manor Road. The trailer, which will focus on dinner hours Thursday-Sunday and offer on-site and to-go dining, will serve a variety of tacos, including brisket with chopped nopales, crispy smoked carnitas with mesquite-roasted pecans, spicy South Texas boar sausage with sweet pepper relish and escabeche, smoked housemade seitan and more, all served with a selection of four housemade sauces.
Taco Bronco will also serve tortas and barbecue sandwiches and platters of smoked meats for two to five people, featuring brisket, smoked pork carnitas, pit roasted pollo asado, South Texas boar sausage and pork ribs served with Spanish rice and spicy red beans, fresh flour or corn tortillas, avocado, cilantro, onion, lime and choice of house-made sauce. Additional offerings will include a rotating menu of specialty tacos such as lamb birria, mesquite-roasted poblano queso and vegetarian specialties.
Micklethwait is opening the trailer with partners Ren Garcia, a former co-worker of Micklethwait’s at Vespaio, and former longtime Ruby’s BBQ pitmaster Javier Montesinos, both of whom have worked with Micklethwait for years. The crew will smoke the meat on site using a mixture of mesquite and post oak coals.
Taco Bronco will be the third food operation from Micklethwait, who also owns and operates Micklethwait Market & Grocery in Smithville.