25 trailers: A sampler
Bee Caves BBQ.The Waldrop family's smoky repertoire includes country-style pork ribs, pork loin and Taylor sausage, plus Sherry Waldrop's sweet blackberry cobbler. 8414 W. Bee Cave Road. 306-9040.
The Best Wurst. The little cart with buzz-satisfying grilled brats, onions and sauerkraut drew a big audience for its turf war with the upscale Parkside. After the sound and the fury and Facebook, Best Wurst moved 40 feet east. Two locations on East Sixth Street, one near San Jacinto Boulevard, one at Red River Street. www.thebestwurst.com .
Cazamance. A softly lit courtyard oasis in the Rainey Street crush. African-influenced food, including stir-fried chicken with peppers and olives in a bread bowl and whole, frosty coconuts. 90 Rainey St. 844-4414, www.facebook.com/Cazamance .
Chi'Lantro. This is an idea that sounds good on paper: Mexican food with a Korean streak, a kimchee-and-cilantro mix-tape. It comes off more like everyday tacos and wraps with a little sesame and ginger. Locations vary. Check at twitter.com/ChilantroBBQ .
Chris' Little Chicago. There are dog people and then there are ‘Chicago Dog' people. This is their little red trailer. The relish is greener, the sport peppers bigger, the Vienna beef ... Vienna-er. Poppyseeds will dot your smile. 3600 S. Lamar Blvd. 300-1791, www.chrislittlechicago.com .
Counter Culture. Like learning a new language, vegan jackfruit barbecue works best once you stop looking for the translation. It's spicy, fresh and filling, like the other sandwiches and salads from this vegan oasis in a gas-station parking lot. 120 E. North Loop Blvd. www.countercultureaustin.com .
East Side King.The brainchild of three cooks at Uchi. What do you call a place with pork belly and kimchee on steamed buns? Or deep-fried beets with kewpie mayo? Call it Asian-eclectic, delicious and about $4 to $8 per dish, because it's all those things, plus Thai fried chicken. Behind the Liberty bar at 1618 1/2 E. Sixth St. www.eastsidekingaustin.com .
Flip Happy Crepes. The cool aunt of all mobile Austin crêpe operations isn't afraid to blast your fillings out with flavor, like with the garlicky kick of a crêpe stuffed with moist roasted chicken, goat cheese and sweet caramelized onions. Be prepared to wait. 401 Jessie St. 552-9034, www.fliphappycrepes.com . (Last visit April 2010: 7.9 out of 10)
Frietkot. Start with Belgian-style hand-cut fries, served wow-that's-hot in a paper cone. Then dust with spicy salt (Madras curry, dill pickle) and dip into housemade sauces (creamy bacon, ancho barbecue, curry ketchup). Weekends at Seventh and Neches streets.
G'Raj Mahal Cafe. Part trailer, part Indian pavilion, part backlit mirage when the serpentine bicycle dragon glows at night. A full Indian menu, with curries, biryanis, tandoori meats and Goan specialties. Need a nightcap? Take the short walk to Rainey Street. 91 Red River St. 480-2255.
Holy Cacao. The cakeball picked up the baton when the cupcake stumbled. These golfball-size sugar bombs are part cake, part truffle, with bases of red velvet, white wedding cake, peanut butter and more. In the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery at 1311 S. First St. 851-2253, www.theholycacao.com .
Hot Dog King.Thousands of staggering Red River rockers can't be wrong. The king's playlist reels from Elgin jalapeño-and cheese sausage to smoked venison to a classic Chicago dog. Weekends at Eighth and Red River streets.
Izzoz Tacos.The dream team of trailer tacos: avocado tempura, fresh-fried corn-shell Tex-Mex and slow-braised pork with pineapple. Steakhouse veteran John Galindo also does breakfast tacos and one of the city's best sandwiches: the Lone Star beef torta. 1207 S. First St. 326-4996, www.izzoztacos.com .
Kebabalicious. Hot, crisp and fresh, it's good food regardless of your Sixth Street state of mind. The falafel wrap starts with soft, steaming pita, then adds fried nuggets of spiced garbanzo beans, lettuce, tomato, tangy tzatziki sauce and, because this is Austin, jalapeño hummus. East Seventh and Trinity streets. Also at 211 Congress Ave. 468-1065, www.austinkebab.com .
La Boite Cafe. French pastries, sandwiches and deep-thinking coffee smuggled to South Austin in a plain white shipping container. The almond croissant carries the lush factor of an entire coffee cake. 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. 377-6198, www.laboitecafe.com .
Lulu B's.There's a convivial, al fresco joy if you have the time, a book or like several of our fellow trailer travelers, a dog. The banh mi starts with a chewy baguette and a shower of crunch and color: carrot, daikon, cucumber, cilantro. It ends with grilled, barbecued or lemongrass-style pork or chicken, with avocado and tofu options. Plus vermicelli bowls, summer rolls and Vietnamese coffee. 2113 S. Lamar Blvd. 921-4828, www.myspace.com/lulubssandwiches .
Man Bites Dog. A leash-free park for the insatiable dog lover. The Bird Dog is a fat chicken sausage with corn relish and herbed mayo. The Cuban packs pork sausage wrapped in ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. In the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery at 1311 S. First St. 445-5591, www.manbitesdogaustin.com .
The Mighty Cone. A steady destination for the king of Austin City Limits Festival food: the flaky crunch of chicken, shrimp and avocado wrapped in a tortilla with slaw and a Hudson's on the Bend pedigree. 1603 S. Congress Ave. 383-9609, www.mightycone.com .
Not Your Mama's Food Truck. Ron Chadwick is a culinary school grad making sit-down quality Korean fried chicken, barbecued beef tongue and steak sliders with chicken-fried gravy (yes, gravy). 2209 E. Cesar Chavez St. in the East Side Food Park. on.fb.me/nymamas .
Odd Duck Farm to Trailer. Even TV food crank Anthony Bourdain raved about Bryce Gilmore's food, which might be Brussels sprouts and rabbit belly one day, pulled duck confit and grilled broccoli salad with feta another. 1219 S. Lamar Blvd. 695-6922, www.oddduckfarmtotrailer.com .
Old School BBQ & Grill. Barbecue as smoky as an electrical fire, if you're into that. Served from a converted yellow school bus. Primary spot on East Sixth and Waller streets. 947-6830, twitter.com/oldschoolbbq .
The Shed BBQ's Rolling Joint. Sweet and tender Mississippi-style pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni salad worth chasing. Weekends at the Mohawk, 912 Red River St. www.facebook.com/TheShedbbqAustin .
Sushi A-Go-Go. Raw fish from a trailer? Trust Kayo and Také Asazu to channel their New Orleans and Japanese roots to turn out respectable rolls (the Fat Samurai, with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp and avocado) and colorful surprises (seaweed salad, sushi balls). 4001 Medical Parkway. 560-1655. Also at 801 Barton Springs Road. 423-7170, www.sushi-a-go-go-austin.com.
The Texas Cuban.The signature Cubano sandwich brings together grilled pork, ham, two kinds of cheese, pickles and mustard, then broadens your horizons with fried plantain chips and a deep-fried ball of mashed potatoes stuffed with ground beef called a papa rellena. 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. 294-9259, www.texascuban.com .
Wurst Tex. With sausages ranging from pork to venison to rattlesnake, Wurst Tex is a project from Leslie Coffey and Sam Raver. Rock fans might recognize Raver from the band Oliver Future. ‘Where do you go from rock ‘n' roll? I guess grilled sausage is the best answer to that,' he said. 1603 S. Congress Ave. www.facebook.com/WurstTex .
Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival
Two of Austin's favorite pastimes — outdoor festivals and food trailers — will unite at Auditorium Shores from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday for the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival. Dozens of Austin mobile food vendors — from chicken wraps at the Mighty Cone to ice cream at Coolhaus to doughnuts-on-steroids at Gourdough's — will gather for stroll-around tastings and, of course, live music. Organizers are asking each vendor to offer two to three ‘signature' items, with at least one in a smaller ‘tasting' portion for no more than $3. Judges will crown winners in five categories, and the public will get to choose a fan favorite and best trailer. Free admission. Details at www.gypsypicnic.com .
— Mike Sutter