We’re Ba-ack!

After a several month-long hiatus, Sharmonica, Coot and I are back in action. We’ll start stuffing our faces and writing about the chow this weekend. In the meantime, feel free to email us at trailernosh@gmail.com with ideas of trailers you’d like to see reviewed.

Hold on to your hats, kiddos! Trailer Nosh is back!

- Post by Franzia // Contact us at trailernosh@gmail.com

Every Taco Shack Should Have an Octopus Merry-Go-Round

1207 First St. 512-326-4996

As we’ve travelled from trailer to trailer, we’ve noticed certain things that stand out: tremendous outdoor service and ambiance (G’Raj Mahal), outstanding dining selections (Odd Duck), and…in this case, cephalopaedic children’s rides.

...to the poison you just drank!

In the midst of noshing some handmade-three-minutes-ago guac, I (Sharmonica) got this great idea that we should make a recreation of the opening scene from “Temple of Doom” using children dressed appropriately and using the octopus spinny-mobile as the Lazy-Susan-like-thing that Jones and Lao Che negotiate with.  I’m brilliant; if you steal this idea, Kali will get you.

Moving on: Izzoz Tacos has been recommended on numerous occasions when we mention we blog trailers.  Franzia and I took a jaunt over to South First to check it out, as Coot was taking care of No Cancer Joe and therefore was unavailable.  The guacamole came highly lauded, as they make it fresh when you order it.  It is fresh, green, and highly garlicky.  I felt it could have used more lime.  Franzia informed me that Laura Bush makes terrible guac (she puts lemons in it.)   You can’t just assume one citrus fruit is as good as another!  You don’t squeeze grapefruit into your guac and call it a day!  Sheesh.

I'm still burping garlic and it's been, like, three hours.

The chips were awesome and served warm, which was really nice.  It took longer than usual for us to get our chips’n’guac because the first order didn’t meet the “boss man’s” expectations, so it’s nice there are standards set.  Actually, this boss man came out to check on all his patrons periodically to see how they were liking their food, and we found that appealing and congenial.  Or maybe he was just bored, I don’t know.

I ordered a fried avocado taco ($3) and a tempura shrimp taco ($4), and I now realize that I don’t think I like fried avocado because no matter where I try it, it’s a greasy, mushy, flavorless mess.  At least here, it was a more contained mess.  I didn’t really like it, but that’s not for lack of trying.  The shrimp was great: plump, sweet, and surrounded by crunchy veggies.  Franzia got the Old School Crispy ($2) which is the goodness of Friday night Taco Night at your house without all the Old El Paso crap, and the Bob Bowman ($3) which is roasted chicken and she not only ate both of them BUT she also ate almost the entire order of guacamole and I should have made the bitch walk home.

Notice both corn and flour tortillas, made in house!!

So, yeah, I’m nice and full and so is Franzia and our food was pretty good – a solid “meh.”  I perused a couple of other reviews, and apparently the Lone Star beef torta ($5.50) is to die for, so if I end up here again, I’m totally trying that;  this burping garlic thing is totally unsexy.

Pros: great places to sit, affordable fare, friendly proprietors, fresh guacamole, miniscule merry-go-round in the shape of an octopus

Cons: the fried stuff was too greasy, the guacamole really garlicky (and Franzia ate it all.  If you go, don’t take her.)

Location: 1207 First St.

Phone: 512-326-4996

G’Rock My Face Off

Due to the extreme Central Texas heat and, well, excessive laziness we haven’t blogged much recently. But now that summer’s coming to a close (it’s only gonna be hot for 3 or 4 more months, right?), our work reviewing trailers begins anew.

We decided to assess the Indian fare at G’Raj Mahal on Red River. Coot and Shar are both educators and had actually received G’Raj gift cards from thoughtful parents who read the blog.

Translucent gift cards! How cool is that?

My first thought about G’Raj Mahal is that it’s really less of a trailer eatery and more of an outdoor restaurant. White gauze hangs from the sides of a shady pavilion while waiters serve chow to patrons at small round tables. They also have misters to beat the heat! But don’t fret, trailer fans, there’s an Airstream-esque trailer where food is prepared.

The breezy pavilion at G'Raj.

Shar started things off right by ordering a rose-flavored Lassi. I was certain that an overprotective collie was going to show up at our table with her owner Timmy, but it turns out that Lassi is a traditional Pujabi yogurt-based drink. It was a little on the chalky side, but still cool and refreshing on a day with temperatures in the triple digits. Meanwhile, Coot and I stuck to the drink of champions: Topo Chico.

This is not the famous dog Lassie.

We enjoyed our libations with mouthwatering spiced potato and pea samosas. For the uninitiated, a samosa is a pastry that is stuffed and then deep fried – I ask you, what’s not to like? The samosas came with tamarind (holy yum!) and mint (meh.) chutneys.

Deep fried deliciousness? I think yes.

The samosas arrived at our table with a creation that I had never hear of: Papri Chaat. Papri Chaat is a chilled sweet and sour potato salad served with fried naan wafers and veggies. Shar ordered the chaat and reports that as a first-time experience it was interesting and quite tasty, but that it wouldn’t necessarily make her list of favorites.

Holy chaat! This was one unique little salad.

Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

Sharmonica ordered:

  • Lamb Kashmiri – Kashmiri is a creamy sauce with apples, raisins, cashews. Shar ordered the mild version and she commented that not unlike Papri Chaat, the Kashmiri wasn’t entirely attractive. But looking like baby poo does not necessarily mean that something will taste like baby poo (sometimes it does though, so watch out). In fact, the Kashmiri was quite appetizing.

Sweet and savory, yet aesthetically unappealing.

Coot ordered:

  • Beef Makhani – Makhani is a creamy butter and tomato sauce. Coot kicked his curry up a notch and ordered it the medium version.

Rice and curry. Simple pleasures.

I (Franzia) ordered:

  • Tikka Masala with Chicken – Tikka Masala is my go-to curry at new Indian restaurants. I order it frequently because a) it’s a flavorful party for your mouth and b) it’s a hard thing to screw up. I also chose the medium curry power. I like a little spice, but not so much that I sweat or feel ill afterwards. That’s what overeating is for.

Excuse the mess. Like a child, I didn't finish my peas.

The curries were served with heaping bowls of basmati rice. We also ordered plain naan (a popular Indian flatbread) and stuffed paneer (a type of cheese) naan. Both were sensationally good.

Blurry picture. I was too food-focused to focus my camera.

After our filling entrees, we decided it was time for dessert in the form of Indian Beignets. Beignets are my among my favorite desserts in the world (they join a long list that includes sopapillas, gelato from Perche No in Florence, dark chocolate, and Amy’s Mexican Vanilla ice cream). While the Indian Beignets were essentially identical to their Cajun cousins, I still found them to be nothing short of outstanding. The dough was fluffy and fried to perfection. I. Loved. It.

Indian Beignets could bring a lasting peace to the Middle East. We should let Barack and Hillary know.

In the end, our G’Raj Mahal experience proved to be a feast of magnificent proportions. The food was a bit pricey for trailer grub, but I’d say it’s totally worth it. The G’Raj website is under construction, but I suggest checking them out on Facebook or heading down to Red River! The folks at G’Raj stay open until midnight on weekdays and 3:00 a.m. on weekend nights. Oh, and did I mention that it’s BYOB?

- Post by Franzia // Contact us at trailernosh@gmail.com

ETA: Holy chaat! I forgot to tell y’all two very important things!

1) G’Raj Mahal is an easy walk from Lustre Pearl, where we’ll be gathering next Saturday for an afternoon of booze and tacos. For details, check Facebook.

2) One of the coolest things about G’Raj is that it’s where the Austin Bike Zoo stores some of it’s, ahem, larger animals. Check out the rattlesnake we found!

The venomous bike snake stalks its prey.

Feels Like Plastic, Tastes Like Corn*

*the title is in reference to the corn-based compostable cups, not at all to the food.

shaded and delightful!

Picking up where we left off: after we dined at LuLu B’s, Cooter and I, Sharmonica, were enticed by Hola Aloha! The list of flavors is mesmerizing, and what really bowled me over, 7-10 split style, was that all are homemade made fresh with actual fresh fruits, organic juices and sweetened with agave nectar.  Tweet the deets, people, you can taste the difference.

You know how there are some people who swear by organic everything and you’re like, “Shut the fuck up you pretentious douchebag, you’re only blathering on about this to make yourself feel better about having owned a big yellow Hummer for like three years, tanning yourself orange, wearing a lot of Axe and making a carbon footprint the size of Nebraska and now you’re driving a Prius and wearing bamboo clothing and acting like you invented the concept of composting.” but then you taste the difference between organic produce and regular, and you’re like, “Holy shit!  That pretentious asshole was right!”  I, for instance, will only buy organic grapes from now on because, guess what?  THEY TASTE LIKE GRAPES. Yeah, the H.E.B. grapes are a lot cheaper, and it pains me to pay out the wazoo for a damn grape, but it’s worth it because I don’t like eating crap.

With all that in mind, imagine a plain shave ice.  Now, think of the most attractive person you can fathom.  If they were a flavor, what would they taste like?  (Don’t be gross here, I’m asking you to expand your mind people, and if you tell me “hot dog flavored water” I’m going to knock you upside your head.)  Now, concentrate the deliciousness of your attractive person into a syrup and drizzle it over your shave ice.  *Poof!* You’ve got Hola Aloha! Simple as that.  I enjoyed the Ginger-Lime & Black Currant, and next time I shall try Mango-Pineapple & Basil and drizzle it with fresh coconut cream, cuz that’s how I roll.  Cooterella got himself an Aloha Soda which is Topo Chico water with Hola Aloha! flavoring added, and it was refreshing and tasted like real strawberries because that’s what it’s made from.

and this is the small!

This is a wonderful way to follow up a sandwich from LuLu B’s.  The flavor menu rotates daily, and this is a wonderful opportunity to try something new and exciting that doesn’t involve a needle, a bungee cord, or a trip to Forbidden Fruit.

Chrysanthemum iced tea! Who knew?!

lulu b*s

There’s a saying: third time’s the charm.  You know why it’s a saying?  Because nine times out of ten, the third times the charm, which means this charmingness happens, what…three goes into nine three times…okay, so I guess three times out of ten it’ll work out.  Franzia and I have tried to go to LuLu B’s on two separate occasions and been dismayed to find it closed.  Once was our fault, as the sign clearly said “CLOSED SUNDAY & MONDAY” but the second time we tried we were well within the confines of the time schedule, and so that pissed us off a little.

of course, they could have just run out of food...

Today, though, third time for us (second time for the Cootster) we were rewarded with good-sized, fresh, filling Banh Mi Thit – Vietnamese style sandwiches made fresh from lemongrass chicken or pork, Chinese barbeque chicken or pork, or the vegetarian options of avocado or lemongrass tofu.  For this blog post, we each had a carnivorous delight, with the intent of going back again to sample the vegetarian options, the Summer Rolls (which sound utterly delightful) or maybe one of the many styles of vermicelli bowls.Chinese BBQ Pork sandwich

Being the deep thinker that I am, I neglected to register the word “chili” in the ingredient list, and my first bite was more than my tender Yankee tongue enjoyed, although for a more seasoned palate, I’m sure it would be a walk in the park.  The veggies are crisp and refreshing, and the meat was cooked deliciously.  I think it’s interesting that a Vietnamese sandwich is served on a French baguette, but I’m not one to split hairs if it tastes FRIGGING WONDERFUL, right?

Complaints and Concerns: Erratic hours make me less apt to frequent you if I can’t be sure you’re going to be open when you say you’ll be open.  My suggestion is to be more consistent, because you’re food is good and people should go eat it, but they can’t if you’re closed.  Also: the flies were a menace, and one reason may be the proximity of the trash cans to the eating area.  Suggestion: move ‘em.

Congrats and Adulations: Great shade!  Bitchin’ food at a reasonable price!  Chrysanthemum iced tea!  I’m looking forward to going back to try something else…and visit Hola Aloha!, which shall be reviewed in an upcoming post.

Quote of the day: “I wish Barack Obama would stop texting me.” — Franzia

Location: Lamar & Oltorf, to the right of the Office Depot

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lulub0107

URL: www.lulubssandwiches.com

Call in an order!: 512-921-4828

smell you later,

Sharmonica

Martha Stewart Never Steers You Wrong

I wrote yesterday that my only complaint about trailers was the inconsistency in operating hours. This is not entirely true. I also wish more trailers took credit cards. It’s completely understandable why a trailer would choose to go cash only – heck, even some brick and mortar restaurants like the Salt Lick only take greenbacks – but it is still a bit of an inconvenience.

After our supper at Mighty Cone the other night (and a frantic search for a working ATM), we chose to top the evening off with something sweet and headed down the block to Cutie Pies. Jaynie Buckingham, the self-proclaimed Pie Queen owner of Cutie Pies has been heralded in Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living magazines as one sensational pie maker. And, boy, was Martha right.

The mini pies that Cutie Pies serves up for $4 a pop are excellent summer treats that reminded me of the Fourth of July, baseball, and barbecuing in my grandparent’s backyard. If a pastry from Jaynie’s kitchen doesn’t make you feel like celebrating summer, I don’t know what will.

Sharmonica ordered:

  • Cherry Berry (Blue) Pie – The filling in this pie was a little thin, but it was so scrumptious and really tasted homemade.

I (Franzia) ordered:

  • Key Lime Pie – This cool, custard-y confection was deliciously tart and perfect for a humid summer day.

Coot ordered:

  • White Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie – I have never been a fan of white chocolate, but even I had to admit that the combination of coconut and pecan pie was heaven-sent. Coot was feeling extra generous and bought an extra pie to take home with him.

The Pie Queen tells us that she is most famous for her Buttermilk Pie, which was sold out when we paid a visit to Cutie Pies. Go see Jaynie and try the pie if you’re in the neighborhood. You won’t regret it.

- Post by Franzia // Contact us at trailernosh@gmail.com

Everything’s in a Paper Cup!

Well, despite our plans, we did not eat Vietnamese sandwiches at Lulu B’s on South Lamar. We arrived bright-eyed, empty-bellied, with cameras in hand only to find the trailer closed. This is my only complaint about trailers in Austin – there seems to be inconsistency in operating hours.

Like good little food bloggers, we soldiered on in the face of disappointment and found ourselves at Mighty Cone at the corner of South Congress and Monroe. I have heard rumors of the Mighty Cone since Hudson’s on the Bend debuted it at Austin City Limits Festival a few years back. Friends and strangers were raving about these little tacos served in snow cone cups.

After trying the Cone for myself, I have to say that I don’t entirely get the hype. It was good, but not exceptional. The secret to the Mighty Cone is supposed to be the Hot ‘n’ Crunchy breading that coats either chicken, avocado or shrimp which is then wrapped in a tortilla with mango-jalepeno coleslaw and stuffed in a paper cone. I liked it, but the fried avocado tacos at Torchy’s are pretty similar and a whole lot tastier. The way I see it, the Hot ‘n’ Crunchy breading the Mighty Cone team prides themselves on is neither hot nor all that crunchy.

Anyway, here’s what we ordered.

Coot ordered:

  • The Hot ‘n’ Crunchy Shrimp and Avocado Cone

I (Franzia) ordered:

  • The Hot ‘n’ Crunchy Avocado Cone
  • A Dublin Dr. Pepper (after all of my whining, I have to say that you’ve gotta give a place credit for serving the world’s best soft drink made with real Imperial Sugar)

Sharmonica ordered:

  • A natural beef slider served with red onion, roma tomato, lettuce and Hudson’s secret ancho sauce
  • Chili-dusted french fries

Shar’s food looked pretty excellent. The sliders are made from grass-fed Angus beef and served on a fresh-baked bun. We all agreed that the fries tasted pre-made though – kind of like something you could buy in the frozen food aisle and coat with chili powder.

On the whole, the food was okay but not delicious. I’d probably pick up a Cone at ACL Fest, but skip the SoCo trailer in favor of another eatery.

Tune in tomorrow for a review of Cutie Pies (a pie company that is as adorable as it sounds).

- Post by Franzia // Contact us at trailernosh@gmail.com