This Saturday, the Gypsy Picnic takes over Auditorium Shores. The second annual event brings Austin's best trailer chefs together for a day of food, fun and discovery—all benefiting the Sustainable Food Center. In the past, the two biggest challenges to hosting a food festival downtown have been parking and trying to pack all the great food in one day. Well, loosen your belts folks: I’ve put together some solutions and strategies to ease your mind about both situations.
Your number one priority should be to enjoy as much of the food at the festival as you can. Here are four strategies for eating your way through the day.
Strategy 1: Divide and Conquer
This strategy involves getting a group of friends together and splitting up. Each friend stands in a separate line and orders enough from one trailer to feed the group. Hey! There are no rules, so this is not cheating. Order as much as you like, just be sensitive to the line behind you. We recommend ordering no more than five items per person in line. After each individual has made their purchases, the group meets up at a pre-planned spot to sit and have a picnic.
Strategy 2: Tortoise and the Hare
This strategy relies on Aesop’s wisdom: slow and steady wins the race. Pace yourself. Go early, stay late. You have all day. The festival starts at 11 am and ends at 8 pm. There are lots of fun activities spread across two stages on either end of the park to occupy your time between meals. Be sure to stop at the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook trailer in the middle of the park to pick up your copy (only $20).
Strategy 3: Location, Location, Location
This strategy involves eating at the trailers you don’t normally have the opportunity to frequent. Check out the list of vendors and circle the ones you haven’t tried yet. Then, try them.
Strategy 4: Support your favorite trailer
This strategy involves rallying friends and family to purchase from your favorite trailer. You can recruit your folks ahead of time and plan on meeting at your favorite trailer to support them at the festival. Note: just like last year there will be an opportunity for fans to text their votes for their most preferred vendor. Tweeters, bloggers, texters and Facebookers get ready—game on.
Ride your bike (Mellow Johnny’s will be there to keep an eye on things), or car pool if you can, it’s going to be a busy weekend in downtown Austin and you won’t want to miss a moment. In addition to walking there via the hike and bike trail, taking cabs, pedi-cabs or the capmetro bus, here are some parking options close to the festival:
- 301 Congress ($7)
- 300 San Antonio ($7)
- One Texas Center Garage at Barton Springs Rd. & S. 1st St. ($7)
- Austin Convention Center Parking Garage at 2nd & Brazos ($8)
- Austin City Hall at Cesar Chavez & Guadalupe (Free until 5pm; $5)
- Handicapped Parking is available at all of the above locations