Trailer Food Tuesdays

Ten trucks and trailers lined up on the Long Center terrace for the first Trailer Food Tuesday this week. Cuisines ranged from hot dogs to tacos to ice cream sandwiches. Some are well-known here: for example, Hey Cupcake! with their distinctive pink cupcakes on the roof has several trucks parked around Austin. But others like Evil Weiner (hotdogs) or Be More Pacific (Filipino) were not familiar to us. 

Bill and I decided on the lobster rolls from Dock & Roll Diner. The lobster/coleslaw combination was tasty but it seemed out-of-place to be eating lobster rolls in 100-degree heat in the center of Texas. We decided against getting ice cream sandwiches from Cool Haus because we didn’t want to deal with a melted gooey mess.

In spite of the heat, this initial Trailer Food Tuesday had a decent turnout. Most vendors offered limited menus which helped to keep the lines shorter. Tables and chairs were set up in the shade of the building but some people spread out their own blankets on the grass. 
Trailer Food Tuesdays are planned for the last Tuesday of every month through the end of the year. It’s not clear whether the same trucks will be at the Long Center each time. We’re hoping that different vendors will be invited to participate in the coming months so we can sample other menus…although we wouldn’t complain if that ice-cream sandwich truck came back again in a month or two.

A Taste of Health: Austin Chef Showdown

Today Bill and I walked over to the Taste of Health: Austin Chef Showdown at the Mexican American Cultural Center. The Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council sponsored this free event to promote local restaurants that serve healthy entrees. Fifteen chefs competed.
The Showdown rules included: no fake food, no trans-fat or hydrogenated oils, no added sugar or sweeteners, and use of lean, low-fat or reduced-fat protein. At least half of the entree had to be vegetables.   
Bill and I spent a half-hour wandering around the different tents and tasting the free samples. Several hundred people were there when we were, but the chefs were prepared and there were no long lines at any of the booths. Austinites usually come out in droves for free food so I suspect this wasn’t well-publicized. But I’d say the organizers met their goal since we now have a few more restaurants that we want to try.
Celebrity judges awarded prizes for Fast Food, Kid’s Food, Tex-Mex, Southern Cooking and Other. The public also voted to award Best In Show. Since we had arrived early, we  did not stay until the end to hear who won. Here’s the three restaurants that I voted for:
Judges’ Hill: Mesquite smoked pan seared salmon
 Galaxy Cafe: Asian seared tuna salad
Hoover’s: RawBella Platter (Black-eyed peas wrap)