By Hannah Fearheiley
Keeping Austin weird is the crux of the charm this capital city possesses as it balances legislators, college students and full time residents with an eclectic vibe. It’s the kind of city where you can dress up or dress down; in most cases, people prefer dressing down in a nice scarf, boots and jeans kind of way as they dine in establishments replete with exposed brick walls, metals stools nestled at a bar, water served in Mason jars and servers expressing their own personal style. With this embracing spirit of self expression it makes perfect sense that quirky, creative, breath-of-fresh-air Austin has become town where the word trailer connotes mouthwateringly innovative cuisine instead of transitory residents and long haul truckers.
It hasn’t been a long haul since diners felt the impact of the food trailer boom in 2009, but in a few short years the Austin food scene has been changed forever. When it started the locals had no idea how big it was really going to get. Trailers got people talking not only about the diversity of cuisine being produced out of a trailer but the sheer talent of the chefs who got their start producing delicious food with integrity and very little overhead. The recently James Beard nominated chef/owner of Barley Swine (www.barleyswine.com), Bryce Gilmore, received praises over his food trailer “ The Odd Duck” and is now one of the most talked about and respected chef’s in Austin. Aaron Franklin opened his small BBQ trailer on the side of a noisy frontage road in 2009 and by 2011 had a brick and mortar store front, selling out of some of the best, okay the best, BBQ in Texas every day.
Their commonality extends further than their trailer beginnings, they also support local farmers and keeping the Austin culinary industry thriving. It’s an industry producing food worthy of a five star restaurant rating. Chefs have created eateries, both mobile and brick & mortar, where people can enjoy well executed and well thought out dishes in a very comfortable and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.
Locals embrace this culinary boom with open arms but have not forgotten their roots- the alpha of the food scene- the simple breakfast taco. On any given Saturday morning Austinites, roused from their Rainey Street-induced slumber with growling stomachs, can be heard muttering, “Where should we get breakfast tacos?” A food staple that is the common denominator between Continue Reading…