Well known eater John T. Edge is slowly making his way to Austin on an eating, book-selling tour of the United States. His new volume: The Truck Food Cookbook is out, on shelves and hopefully raking in some serious money for the Mississippi author.

Mr. Edge had this to say about Austin food trucks { in an interview conducted by Andrea Weigl in the Raleigh New and Observer} “In Austin, there is haute truck food and there is traditional, old-guard truck food. It’s just as important and just as good. The taco trucks of Austin are wonderful. You buy a well-made open-faced taco on a freshly made corn tortilla at a great taco truck. You look at the composition on the plate. There’s a beautiful aesthetic at work: the shingle of the avocado slices across the top, the hash of cilantro, a carefulness and kind of discreetness about the toppings. I think a city like Austin is interesting because it covers the spectrum.”
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Edge speaks the truth. We eat from a lot of food trucks hereabouts. East Side King, La Canaria, Three Little Pigs, El Taco Rico…….we’ve got our favorites and some are as new school as you can get {circulators plugged into light poles} while others could not be more traditional {abuelitas rolling out fresh tortillas with ancient dowels}

We love the diversity in the Austin scene and we love that we can spend 5-10 dollars and eat food that would cost 3 times that in a brick and mortar. Tell us about your favorite food truck in Austin?

Details about Edge’s book party at Book People from his website:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 7:00pm

AUSTIN, TX

BookPeople

Talk, Q&A, Book Signing

603 North Lamar Blvd

Austin, TX 78703

**Free and open to the public.The Peached Tortilla truck and others will be parked outside.

more from Andrea Weigl http://www.newsobserver.com/tags/?tag=andrea+weigl

Update October 1st 2012 The food trailer park is now open with thirteen food trailers up and running.

Update 9/14/2012 Round Rock city council approved a measure allowing a food trailer court in their downtown.

Update 9/13/2012: Shawn Faulk, owner of Starcorp, Inc is putting his money where his mouth is. He’s willing to invest up to 20k if Round Rock city council gives the ok to his proposed food trailer court in the downtown area.

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I suspect the disdain Austinites feel toward Round Rock is largely based on the faceless sprawl that is the signature of our northern neighbor. Blasting through the city on I-35 you would be excused if you thought the city offered little more than an endless array of fast food chains, muffler repair shops and the occasional hundred acre asphalt parking lot.

It’s an ugly-ass town, there’s no getting around it. But if you venture into the old downtown portion of the city you could imagine a redemption of sorts. It’s quaint.

It’s also the scene of one of the most famous shootouts in Texas’ rich history of gun battles. Indiana native Sam Bass brought his gang to Round Rock in 1878 looking to rob a bank. Little did he know there was a Judas in his group’s midst.

Bass associate Jim Murphy was tired of the outlaw game. He hatched a plan to save his hide by going to the authorities and offering to lead Bass into an ambush in downtown Round Rock. In exchange for this betrayal he would be allowed to walk free from the outlaw life.

Things got tricky when a young Williamson County deputy; A.W Grimes approached Bass in a mercantile as the bandit was making a purchase. He’d noticed that Bass was strapped and since carrying a firearm was illegal in Round Rock he called him out on it.

He was shot 6 times.

All hell broke loose.

Witness accounts of the day describe the scene as pure chaos. Bass and his crew attempted to flee after gunning down Grimes. It was not to be. Sam Bass immediately caught a round from the gun of Travis County deputy Morris Moore. The wound was not fatal however. Bass hightailed it, lead was flying every which way, Moore caught a bullet that took him out of the firefight.

Bass and fellow outlaw Seaborn Barnes sprinted into a nearby alley where their horses were tethered. As they took off they were fired upon by pursuing Rangers and a citizen. Barnes toppled off his horse, dead with a bullet to the head. Bass, badly wounded, escaped but was captured the next morning. He would die two days later from his gunshot wounds.

It Makes Round Rock sound a whole lot more appealing when it’s looked upon from an historical perspective. Now that appeal could broaden even further as the folks from Planning and Development are considering allowing a food truck courtyard to be developed in the old downtown area.

Near where Sam Bass had his final shot of glory.

Shawn Faulk, the entrepreneurial owner of Round Rock’s Star Co. Coffee is attempting to “copycat” the success that Austin has had via our food truck scene, by duplicating our various food truck parks. but doing so on a “more grand scale.”

Faulk envisions a local park filled with vendors, food trucks and big crowds of celebrants.

We picture gangs of hard partying soccer moms, teens bored with the stultifying life of the suburbs and x-Austinites who moved to Round Rock so they could escape Travis County’s rich gang life and accompanying high property taxes.

Win.Win.

We’ll keep our Round Rock readership up to date on this topic as events warrant.

credit goes to http://www.statesman.com/news/local/plans-brewing-for-round-rocks-first-food-trailer-2402888.html

new piece: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/round-rock-council-to-vote-on-food-trailer-2456788.html

An idea whose time has come. On the final Tuesday of each month, starting in July, the Long Center for the Performing Arts will host an Austin Texas food truck party on their grounds.

It’ll be interesting to see which food trucks will be selected for this affair. Obviously, Peached Tortilla and the Seedling truck will be at the events, since they’re members of the team throwing the affair but who else will be vending? We’d love to see La Fogata’s taquera Lupita selling her divine barbacoa tacos on homemade tortillas http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/9/13/Austin-Daily-Photo-La-Fogata-Sunday-September-12th-2010

and we’re madly in love with taquera Maria of La Canaria. Scratch posole while watching over the thousands of hound dogs and children cavorting on the grounds? We could get behind that. http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/13/Austin-Daily-Photo-La-Canaria-Sunday-February-13th-2011

There can be only one queen of Austin Texas Mexican food and y’all know who that is http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/1/1/Austin-Daily-Photo-Yolanda-Sanchez-Cornejo-of-El-Taco-Rico-In-Montopolis-Neighborhood it’d be nice to Yolanda bringing home some west side money via selling the best tacos Austin Texas has ever seen.

Let’s hope that the words of Gustavo Arrelano don’t prove to be prophetic. Our piece from the archives titled “Gourmet trucks are hip and all the rage, but all of you are idiots.” Ask A Mexican! On Food Carts http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/6/27/Gourmet-trucks-are-hip-and-all-the-rage-but-all-of-you-are-idiots-Ask-A-Mexican-On-Food-Carts

This will be great opportunity for Austin to show and prove that we’re a step ahead of the rest of USA when it comes to being an inclusive community of food lovers. Let’s not leave the pioneers of the movement on the sideline for these events.

It’s Raymond Tatum’s birthday party tonight at the Three Little Pigs food trailer in the parking lot of East End Wines in East Austin, Texas. That’s plenty reason to break out of the house and eat a plate of food from one of the heaviest hitting kitchens in Texas but it’s also a benefit for Colleen Sommers of Pie Fixes Everything, one of the most talented bakers in Austin.

Sommers is battling cancer so every penny counts as she’s facing astronomical medical bills. Chef Tatum’s selling plates of high level cuisine that would go for $60-$70 dollars at a traditional brick and mortar restaurant for twenty bucks.

He’s in the trailer as we speak knocking out a long list of prep before service tonight. Event goes down at 5 pm and runs til 10-ish.

Austin’s famous for taking care of its own so let’s band together and all get the word out for this fundraiser.

hotlink http://www.facebook.com/events/314512748630387/

previous “can’t be categorized” http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Cant-Be-Categorized

There’s some serious culinary witchcraft happening down on Cesar Chavez in the little, secluded courtyard of East Side Food Park. For the past few weeks, we’ve been working our way through the menu at Pachamama’s Peruvian Creole Cuisine, probing for a weak link, drinking lots of wine smuggled in [http://www.eastendwinesatx.com/] and celebrating the potato-the shoulders of which the menu rests upon. Go at dusk. As the fairy lights strung up in the trees blink on, the glow over the nearby Austin skyline turns blue and there’s a ripple of electricity coursing through the air. The assembled throng gets ready to taste what Chef Victor has in store for his patrons, and the excitement is palpable.

This man is in the zone.

We’ve had two writers recently turn in reports that claim the ceviche served at Pachamama’s is the finest in Austin. These bold words hasten our most return visit.

Cold marinated fish is the opening salvo out of the kitchen. When the platter hits the table we marvel over what we initially think is a massive slice of golden tomato. It’s actually a perfectly-cooked, sweet potato; served as a cold, starchy side dish. As we work our way through the ceviche, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary spin on the classic. The fish is sweet enough to have been candied with discs of hot, red chile cutting through the sugar. Toasted crunchy kernels of hominy corn are tossed about the plate with elan. Along with the requisite lime juice, they provide needed contrast.

On a recent visit, we decided to give the good chef the ultimate test; we ordered the “vegetarian plate.” Certainly a bold move. By removing the bloody deliciousness that is meat, you’re taking away a potent weapon in the chef’s arsenal.

We needn’t have worried. If all vegetarian food tasted this good we could easily scale back from our nightly meat and go herbivore one night a week. We keep hearing the phrase “meatless Mondays”, maybe that could be the day.

The “vegetarian plate” is a heap of herbal rice served with a pool of utterly wonderful canary beans. The beans have been slowly simmered, cooked down, in the parlance of the Deep South. They’re rich as though they’ve been boiled in pork stock. Batons of yucca and sweet plantains complete the platter.

Another course we relish is papas rellenas de res, a hefty potato croquette stuffed with beef, olives, raisins and eggs. Imagine a Peruvian riff on the American hashbrown, quadruple its size and boost the normally bland dish with a superb green salsa and you’re just outside Lima, heading into the city for some home cooking.

The arc of the evening reaches crescendo with the lomo saltado, which could easily be added to the list of Texas’ official state dishes. Beef loin is carefully cut into tidbits, sauteed with onions and tomatoes, then served on a bed of french fries and white rice. A rich gravy is the byproduct of the cooking and it ties the dish together by soaking the starches and rendering them into a glorious melange of acid and jus jus.

Superb work on the range by the chef on this dish.

We’ve noted the crowds getting denser and denser at Pachamama’s. The word is slowly starting to get out. Four tops carrying bottles of wine are showing up to to rear back on the patio, get a little drunk, eat some soul food, have a smoke or two, listen to a Peruvian music sound track and enjoy Spring time in East Austin.

Pachamama’s, Swift’s Attic, John Mueller Barbecue, La Fruta Feliz and Al Sur are the hottest restaurants in Austin right now.

birth notice for Pachamama’s http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/1/20/Birth-Notice-Pachamamas-Peruvian-Creole-Cuisine-New-East-Austin-Food-Trailer

first report on the magnitude of Chef Victor’s cuisine http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/3/29/Is-Pachamamas-Peruvian-Creole-Cuisine-The-Best-Food-Trailer-In-Austin-Texas

Hours: Wednesday – Friday 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Saturday 11am-10pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

https://twitter.com/#!/RLReevesJr

Right as SXSW was grinding to a halt, one moment before the wheels would’ve come off and Austin would’ve imploded into a cloud of Texas-shaped stardust, we wandered by Raymond Tatum’s Three Little Pigs food trailer and lo and behold; he was open.

It being a Sunday this made for a very happy and surprised group of eaters [he’s normally closed on the Lord’s Day].

Despite SXSW having officially ended the evening before the streets of East Austin were teeming with people and we were quickly joined by 20 or so other happy eaters, all celebrating this stroke of good fortune.

Then it got weird. A blacked-out Chevy Suburban slowly rolled through the parking lot, the air became charged with an odd electrostatic vibe and it became evident that star power was afoot.

A man exited the truck and began sniffing around, making some roundabout queries, we quickly surmised that Anthony Bourdain was nearby but fearful.

Why? He’d been in town the past few days, [famously] stood in line at Franklin Barbecue, not so famously, eaten at John Mueller Barbecue that very morning and was probably interested in vectoring in on one of the hottest food trailers west of the Mississippi.

All for naught. Frightened like a little bunny, his little pink bunny nose sniffing danger, he instead retired to Contigo [reportedly] and thus leaving behind what could’ve been an epic telling of one of Austin’s great, multi-decades, long, food stories; the life and times of Raymond Tatum.

I ran by El Milagro to stock up on fresh spices and noticed the East Side Drive In food trailer park is starting to shut down. A couple of the food trucks are already missing and apparently the rest are set to follow.

Word has it that the lot on which the food trailers were parked has been sold and an apartment or condo tower will be constructed there. This property held numerous trailers including Pig Vicious, Bits and Druthers, Firefly Pies and Danny’s Barbecue among others.

The real estate could not be more prime so I’m not surprised to see the conversion from funky food cart courtyard to soaring I.M Pei inspired luxury living.

Here are a couple websites that do a good job of keeping up with all the comings and goings of Austin explosive food trailer scene: Tiffany Harelik held a stunningly successful food trailer party at Auditorium Shores last year. http://trailerfooddiaries.blogspot.com/ and http://austinfoodcarts.com/ also has tons of info on the scene. If you find your favorite food cart is missing from East Side Drive In these folks will be able to help you vector in.

There are thousands of them. They range from lousy commercial taco kitchens with owners who couldn’t make a tortilla from scratch if their life hung in the balance, all the way to exotic operations selling foods from southeast Asia, Iowa or even Louisiana.

They are Austin, Texas food trailers and we’ve been eating their food for well over a decade.

Back in the 90s you had one option: Loncheras serving Mexican food, primarily to working class Mexican cats and in the know regular folks who dug deep for their daily chow. Back then we loved the dollar tacos, we loved the handmade tortillas and we loved venturing deep into the barrio [back when that meant something] late at night to eat.

Days of being wild.

Nowadays things are a mite different. We can go nose to tail, farm to trailer and eat straight out of a circulator plugged into a light pole in far east Austin. It’s common-place now that professional chefs are vending heritage breed this and that from a sous vide-out of a food trailer in neighborhoods where hookers are now considered oddballs instead of just regular folks trying to earn a living.

Change has come.

Then, once every 50 or 60 meals, you come upon a restaurant that forces you to recalibrate your take on the current state of food in Austin Texas.

Like tonight at Pachamama’s Peruvian Creole Cuisine.

Chef Victor is breathing in some rarified air over here in East Austin.

“Everything is damn near perfectly balanced”

“He could be charging 35 dollars for this west of I-35”

“Technique and presentation are upper echelon”

“I’m literally trying to remember the last time I had food this good”

These were a few of the comments we were bandying about while we worked our way through 5 dishes off the menu at Pachamama’s tonight.

Papa a la Huincaina threw me off a little at first . I normally don’t eat potatoes served cold but after acclimating myself I foundered on them. Delicate, perfect texture and subtle flavors you have to reach for to fully appreciate.

Causa Limena comes out and it’s a sight to behold with presentation befitting an upper level fine dining restaurant. Layers of potatoes, chile sauce, chicken and cream arch toward the heavens. So pretty we’re loath to destroy it but destroy it we do. Achingly delicious.

Anticuchos is what got us here. There aren’t many places that serve beef heart skewers in Austin so we vectored in with extreme prejudice on this dish. Rich, bloody [as ordered] and perfectly salted, this was my favorite dish.

Bistec a lo pobre could be served in the best steakhouse in town for 3 times the 8.50 charged here and nobody would blink an eye. Perfectly grilled, medium rare sirloin,sliced and served over rice with deep fried plantains and a fried egg. Punch the egg with the fork, cream the rice with the hot yolk and then spear charred bloody strips of the steak through the whole affair.

Just a monster of a dish. An absolute monster.

We’re helpless at this point. Competely sated with zero room for any more food, yet we find ourselves walking, zombie-like back to the window where Chef Victor has us held powerless.

We order a pea soup and a flan to go. Unwilling to end this experience we do what we can to extend it to tomorrow.

As soon as the food runner brings us our final, to-go round, we immediately tear into the flan like ravenous hounds.

There may be no tomorrow so we eat now.

Finally satiated we make our way to the vehicle and burn out of the parking lot. Eyes bright, minds glowing, faith renewed in this modern Austin we find ourselves in.

NEW REPORT! http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/5/9/Field-Report-Pachamamas-Peruvian-Creole-Cuisine-Food-Trailer-Is-Killing-It-In-East-Austin?adminview=true

previous http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/1/20/Birth-Notice-Pachamamas-Peruvian-Creole-Cuisine-New-East-Austin-Food-Trailer

The old master continues to improve.

A recent visit to Three Little Pigs found subtle improvements across the board as we ran roughshod over the menu.

A porchetta was luscious and rich, tasting of local hog. The classic pork belly slider had our crew buzzing and reminiscing about the good old days of Odd Duck, while Chef Tatum’s homage to the Deep South; collards, grits and meatloaf stole honors as dish of the night. Looks like the word’s out too.

Formerly we could roll into Three Little Pigs in the late afternoon and have the place to ourselves but on this visit there was a line of 10 or so people in front of us and the former instant gratification of feeding within moments had been replaced by a solid half hour wait for the chow.

No matter. We sat quietly off to one side drinking champagne from solo cups and gazing off over the nearby cemetery as dusk settled in, a perfect tableau for one of the finest meals we’ve enjoyed in 2012.

previous Tatum coverage http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/1/25/Austin-Daily-Photo-Three-Little-Pigs-Tuesday-January-25th-2011

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/4/19/Three-Little-Pigs-Part-4-Raymond-Tatum-Hits-The-Big-Time-The-Statesman-Has-Come-Calling

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/10/28/Austin-Daily-Photo-Three-Little-Pigs-Friday-October-28th-2011

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/2/Austin-Daily-Photo-Three-Little-Pigs-Part-2-Wednesday-February-2nd-2011

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/9/i

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/8/2/Austin-Daily-Photo-Three-Little-Pigs-Tuesday-August-2nd-2011

Nice and rustic little coffee trailer for your morning cup. The Coffee Spot is the anchor for the Eastside Food Park, a food trailer lot that also includes El Pollo Rey, Yoko Ono Mikyaki and Pachamama’s Peruvian Cuisine.

There’s a fly by night barbecue trailer there as well but since the guy’s playing at being a food trailer owner and not actually serious he doesn’t bear mentioning.

The Coffee Spot has wi fi, some comfy tables, cheap coffee and a nice lady barista who’s more than happy to chat you up while you start your day.

We hear she’s carrying empanadas now too but have yet to sample them.

It takes a lot to wrestle us from our normal morning hang outs but we’ve wiggled this little trailer into our rotation over the past couple months.

all Austin Daily Photos http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Austin-Daily-Photo