Sifting through the mammoth back files on the Scrumptious Chef site it became obvious that we’ve written quite a bit about Austin Texas food trucks, but much of the coverage is buried and/or spread across numerous categories.

Your prayers have been answered. Brand new category is up now.

In the coming months we’ll be visiting a raft of our town’s finest food trucks and documenting the results in the above category.

Once the dust settles we’ll pen an article detailing: Top 10 Austin Texas food trucks

While there are plenty non-profit food trucks in Austin, they haven’t reached that status voluntarily. They’re trying as hard as they can to be for-profit, they’re just not making any money.

One of our most “popular” ones shuttered at the beginning of summer to move away from Texas. The owner told me the decision was easy. He worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and never netted more than 20k in his 3 years of work. It’s a tough way to earn a buck.

But now Austin has an officially, not for profit food truck. It’s called Texans Canteen and is parked at Brazos and 15th street. They might have a shot for success here as it’s a no-man’s land for other vendors.

Texans Canteen serves breakfast and lunch from 7am-2pm. Any monies generated go to Austin Can Academy, a local charter high school.

more info

September 22nd 2012 is a long ways off. That’s when Saigon Street announced they will re-open for business. But after seeing numerous other food trailers “go on hiatus” we’ve noticed one common factor: they never manage to re-open.

It’s a tough game to begin with. Competition is fierce with well over a thousand trucks vying for your dollar. Weather holds you hostage on a daily basis, the food trucks are cramped and you’re relying on the notoriously fickle public to earn your living. It’s tough.

We’ve enjoyed our meals at Saigon Street. The folks running the joint are friendly and the banh mi are good. It seems like they chose a good location as there are few other food trailers in their zone to compete with.

Summer comes to a grinding halt the third week of September this year. We’ll head up to Airport Blvd and report back on whether Saigon Street managed to re-open or not.

Buche is pig stomach. If that sounds appealing to you then continue reading. If you’re a less aggressive eater of offal and “the nasty bits” then turn the page to something less earthy. Buche is not a particularly common ingredient at taco stands in Austin.

When you do find it you often have to coax the taquera into selling you one {if you’re a gabacho}as they generally figure you’re not going to like it and they want your repeat visits-not easy to pull off if they sell you a taco that’s not to your liking. Growing up, my family raised hogs and we ate the entire creature. It wasn’t fashionable, nobody had invented the phrase “nose to tail” yet, we just didn’t want to let good meat go to waste.

So buche is nothing new to me. I grew up on the stuff. The meat is slightly chewy and in its raw form requires 2 washings prior to being cooked. Of course at Tacos Selene you just walk up and order it and she vends you a taco right through the window.

Selenes uses commercial tortilla shells as the base for their tacos. The salsas however are homemade and quite good. Unlike many food trucks in Austin Tacos Selene packs plenty chile peppers in her sauce. It bears mentioning that due to the wild popularity of the Grackle, the bar that hosts this food truck, Selenes is now also open for business on South First street just north of the John Mueller food truck and on the opposite side of the street.

further Austin Daily Photos

While Chef Victor Polanco will continue to do catering functions, his star chef caliber food trailer; Pachamama’s Peruvian Creole Cuisine operation has ceased. This is a loss on par with the closure of Odd Duck Farm To Trailer and hits with the same magnitude as when Arancini shuttered down in Bouldin Creek.

It’s unfathomable that such a delicious, beast of a food trailer could close in a town as hungry for good food as Austin, Texas. Unfathomable. We only ate at Pachamama’s a handful of times but were quite frankly blown away by the level of skill exhibited by the chef. Victor Polanco was putting out plates of food that easily could have sold for $30-40 in a brick and mortar and he was doing it for a third of that.

We’ll be following this talented chef as he continues his career in Austin. Maybe we’ll get wind of a catered function he’s doing and slip in quietly to gobble down some beef heart skewers before anyone’s the wiser. Those bloody, mineral-y bits of deliciousness are the stuff that make men into legends.

Now it’s time to just gaze off toward the little trailer yard down on Cesar Chavez and dream of those magical nights spent under the fairy lights with a bottle of cheap champagne and the purple dusk settling in while we hovered over plates of some of the finest cuisine Austin, Texas has ever been fortunate enough to savor.

backfiles: Is Pachamama’s The Best Food Trailer In Austin Texas?

and a knock out punch of a meal

real deal Austin food news and reviews:

Of all my harebrained schemes, I’d have to say breaking in a new {to me} smoker by throwing a hundred pounds of meat on it, and going for broke ranks right near the top.

As one might expect, some of the briskets came out like beefy butter and others, well, they did not come out like beefy butter. I noticed while I was slicing that some were just gorgeous and juicing like Hell when I was wielding my knife hand. Others, particularly the parts that folks who like the lean/dry side of the brisket, were less fortunate/wet. One of my favorite things to do in the whole world is to sit up all night next to a smoker filled with meat, drinking and wool gathering. Last night however, was a mite rough. I loaded the pit in a pounding rain storm, things cleared up, a second pounding rain storm ripped through and then finally at 4 am the mother of all thunder and lightning storms rolled over East Austin. It was quite the spectacle but definitely not conducive to pit management.

We’ll be taking the lay of the land over the next few days to see if pop up number 2 will happen. It was incredible to see dozens of people eating and socializing at the event. Many thanks, hope you got fed real good and had a good time doing it.

img courtesy of Ryan over at the

real deal Austin food news and reviews:

I like the gimmick. Fill up a couple fryolators {hopefully with leaf lard} then wrap all sorts of things in bacon and submerge everything you can get your hands on in boiling oil. Lard Have Mercy cooks deep fried Oreos, Twinkies, Pickle chips, Chili Balls and banana flavored corn dogs among other items.

Prudery is not the forte of the folks behind this business. The bacon bandwagon continues. Bacon nachos, chicken fried bacon and bacon flavored french fries are all featured on their menu.

Unfortunately, on my visit nobody was stirring in the little food trailer at the corner of Live Oak and south 1st street. I still get a little teared up when I’m in that little trailer food yard though. This is where Katrina O’Donnel put on Italian cooking clinics from her Arancini food trailer til a knee surgery curtailed the career of one of the most promising cooks Austin has seen in years.

Maybe that powerful, good cooking juju is still lingering on the property…wafting its way through the windows of Lard Have Mercy and settling onto the range or into the burbling oil in the fryers.

603 W. Live Oak St. at S 1st Street

Our Hours of Operations:

Thurs – Fri 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Saturday Noon – 10:00pm

Sunday Noon – 5:00pm

real deal Austin food news and reviews:

Brand new pop up restaurant Sunday August 5th 2012. details


We received some stunning news yesterday.

We’d planned on using the ancient brick pit at Three Little Pigs to smoke the briskets for the party on Sunday, but we got a better offer.

Back when Home Grown Catering had the touring contracts with ZZ Top and Willie Nelson, they had to be able to cook large amounts of brisket, sausage and ribs for the hungry musicians. They carted along a giant mobile pit so they could cook Texas-style barbecue for Willie, Billy Gibbons and the rest of the crew{s}. Chef Raymond Tatum inherited that pit when the former owner of Home Grown, Kent Hayner {RIP} passed away earlier this year.

We knocked out a batch of Walter Jetton’s, perhaps the most famous pit boss in the history of Texas, barbecue sauce yesterday.

Now we’re preparing to cook on the pit that fed the Willie Nelson Family Band and ZZ Top?

Texas forever.

We’ll be offering a 10% discount to holders of Drew Thornley’s {Man Up Texas BBQ} Q Card on Sunday as well. Details on how to get one

time: noon

date: Sunday July 15th 2012

place: Three Little Pigs/East End Wines

address: 1209 Rosewood Avenue Austin, TX 78702

cash only


previous Texas barbecue coverage

real deal Austin food news and reviews:

Brand new pop up restaurant. Sun Aug 5th 2012 details


More details to come, but this Sunday July 15th 2012 the scrumptious chef crew will be hosting a barbecue pop-up at Three Little Pigs in the parking lot of East End Wines. While Chef Raymond Tatum is resting and relaxing, we’ll have our team in the trailer vending brisket plates and peach cobbler. Come on out and say howdy y’all.

time: noon

date: Sunday July 15th 2012

place: Three Little Pigs/East End Wines

address: 1209 Rosewood Avenue Austin, TX 78702

cash only

contact point

Late breaking news: We’ve secured the use of the big mobile smoker that was on the Willie Nelson and ZZ Top tours back in the 70s!

real deal Austin food news and reviews:

The tale of Bananarchy has been narrated ably in such national publications as Huffington Post, The Onion and Serious Eats. The tie-in to Arrested Development, the long gone TV show, garnered the business some heavy publicity after local bloggers gave the business its first exposure. In an Austin that’s steadily losing its quirky appeal, it’s good to see Bananarchy thriving. Primos, the taco cart across the street, is doing booming business but the lazy bastards running Bananarchy are still in the bed. My visit is a dry run. No matter, I’ve had delicious bananas from these vendors before. I love that they’re puritans when it comes to sourcing their fair trade bananas. Importers getting rich off the backbreaking labor of South American peasants will have no congress with Bananarchy.

The little cart recently celebrated three years in business, which is lifetime in the transient world of food trailers. They’ve led a hobo life bouncing around from location to location before settling into their current spot where the legendary Arancini once stood.

Before Amado “Mayo” Pardo of nearby Jovita’s got dragged off to jail, you could’ve scored a bag of heroin to go with your frozen banana. Couple that with a pound of brisket from the John Mueller food trailer down the street and you’ve got a pure, old-school South Austin afternoon lined up.

previous Austin Daily Photos

real deal Austin food news and reviews: