I love the good stern dowager manning the draft beer taps, and my dreams did come true this past Saturday at Draught House Pub in Central Austin.
I was judging the Mobile Food Throwdown, a food truck battle between Chi’Lantro Barbecue and The Peached Tortilla in an event organized by Food Trailers Austin, a website run by Tony Yamanaka; we featured him in one of our infrequent “Ten Austin Food Blogs You Should Be Reading Right Now” articles, it’s here.
I’ve been fortunate to serve as judge at a host of cook-offs over the past 10 years in Texas, and this was a good one, particularly considering that this was the first event Food Trailers Austin has organized.
The devil’s in the details.
The Scrumptious crew has been worn smooth for the past two years in Austin as we’ve produced a brace of pop up restaurants held at a variety of venues in town. It really makes you appreciate all the hard work that goes into successfully promoting a food event in a town rife with thousands of activities on any given Saturday.
The Mobile Food Throwdown ran good and smooth.
How was the chow? Largely forgettable, with the caveat that monstrous lines can make any kitchen, mobile or otherwise, go into sandbag mode to keep their heads above water. Hundreds of eaters flooded on to the Draught House grounds for the party with predictable results: The swamped-out kitchens had to just start banging out the food.
Chi’Lantro BBQ had the single best dish with their Drunken Korean Fried Chicken Wing Pops, a duo of chicken wings that had been expertly frenched, then battered and deep fried. I would happily drive across town for a plate of a dozen or so of these beauties.
When the dust had cleared, Chi’Lantro had scored a double upset: They were deemed champions by both the professional judges as well as the general attendees.
The judges were Jane Ko, Dan Gentile and Hungry Todd Rungy