One year in. It began, most appropriately, with smoked meat.
Sunday June 15th 2012 marked our entry in the, then-non-existent, world of Austin pop up restaurants. Barbecue roughneck RL Reeves Jr moved to show and prove that a backyard pit boss from Kentucky could put out estimable brisket and hot guts sausage links. Results were mixed on our rookie debut. Read a field report from the affair link with photography from Ryan Schierling of Foie Gras Hotdog.
We recruited Soul Food Scholar, Adrian Miller to write the menu for pop up number two. Mr. Miller knocked it out of the park, and once again, we had a mammoth crowd of eaters come out for heaping plates of smothered chicken and handmade sausage. Field report link
We tackled Tex Mex at Scrumptious Chef pop up number three. Under an absolute deluge, we fed a giant crowd of diners who huddled under umbrellas for San Antonio chili, tamales and our mystical queso. A report link
Pop up number four was our most successful to-date, food-wise. Cajun food is a straight shot into lead cook RL Reeves Jr’s wheelhouse and the chow showed it. A monster crowd of Louisiana food devotees came out and whaled on the menu. link
We welcomed Terlingua Chili champ George Odom into the fold with our 5th pop up. The Foods Of Terlingua Texas. Mr Odom put on a chili demo while we ladled out mammoth bowls of Texas Red to another enormous crowd of underground eaters. link
We left the comfy fold of 3 Little Pigs and went brick and mortar for our 6th pop up which was held at Tamale House East. Brisket and pork belly were on the menu and y’all went ape. A review of the affair link
We brought Broken Arrow Ranch on board for our 7th pop up. The Wild Foods Of Texas saw our team tackle wild boar, antelope and gator in front of a sold out Tamale House East. That was a wild one link
Pop up restaurant number eight could have been dubbed “night of the blogger” as this was the event that saw every food writer worth a damn in Austin come out. Heritage pork from Eden’s Cove was the backbone of the menu and we knocked this one stone cold. A review link
The humble turnip almost proved to be our undoing at pop up number 9: Big Beef Bonanza. We used Heartbrand Beef down in Yoakum to get in a truck load of Wagyu beef and averted disaster, narrowly link
Ramen pop up? Why not. Noodle king pins Sun Noodle Co. and Peeler Farms Natural chicken were the firmament on which we stood for our 10th pop up: Farm To Turntable. Tamale House East also hosted the first ever East Austin Salsa Shootout. A report link
“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten then he who continues the attack wins.”
— Ulysses S. Grant
Historical hamburgers of USA was the theme for Scrumptious Chef pop up number 11. RL’s Texas Hot Guts Bull Meat burger stepped onto the national stage for this event. Review link
For pop up number 12 we journeyed to Oaxaca Mexico via the kitchen of Diana Kennedy. A report link
Women are the backbone of the Great State. We celebrated them at our 13th pop up link
Feast On Exotic Meats was our 14th event link
It’s been a wild year since that first pop up food party. We predicted that Austin would see a surge of pop up restaurants in 2013 but that hasn’t happened. There are still a few fat cat concerns throwing supper clubs for folks who reckon $75 is a bargain for a meal but the everyday chowhound scrapping for a paycheck has been largely left out in the cold.