With three prominent schools sprawling over multiple campuses, Austin’s college students can find a taste of home in the trailer food community closest to them.
The University of Texas at Austin
For the Longhorns coming to school this Fall, I’m recommending you take the short walk from the drag over to the Longhorn Food Court, located at MLK and Rio Grande. Try the chicken teriyaki with coconut flavored jasmine rice from Yummy Bowl, which recently opened last May with their Asian fusion concept.
Next door, vegetarians will appreciate anything on the Conscious Cravings menu including hot wraps, cold salads and healthy smoothies. You can’t go wrong with the Chimichurri Seitan and Rosemary Baked Fries. The third and final trailer in this park is Lee’s Hurricane Party, open 11a-8p or until you leave. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, Lee’s gumbo, fried catfish, or crawfish pistolettes are high on my list of favorites from this Cajun trailer.
Fresh off the Truck says “Ni Haowdy” to ya. This truck is located between 20th and 21st street and Whitis Avenue next to Dobie Mall. Their Asian comfort street food menu includes a delightful cast of characters. My next visit, I will be trying the Green Onion Pancake in a Soy dipping sauce. (You heard me).
Austin Community College
There are plenty of trailers to serve each of the eight ACC campuses. For now, I’d like to highlight the Riverside (1020 Grove Blvd) and Rio Grande (1212 Rio Grande St. 78701) campuses. If you’re studying at Riverside, you can find authentic Italian food at That’s Amore. You’ll for sure want to try a Panini or perhaps the pistachio/cherry/chocolate Cannoli, but first let me recommend the house salad: romaine and spring mix, celery, tomatoes, hearts of palm, cucumber, pepperoncini and kalamata and green pimento stuffed olives tossed in a creamy herb parmesan dressing. It’s a huge salad for $5.00. I also love ‘The Sicilian’ Panini which has Italian sausage with mixed bell peppers, fennel and mozzarella.
The trailer next to That’s Amore is Lil’ Mama’s Delicious Desserts ‘n More. Owner Heather Biagas has the experience of working in a Disney bakery and brings her passion for confections to the trailer world. She has cookies, Bundt cakes, brownies, muffins and breads. If you ask her what to get, she’ll tell you to try the strawberry swirl cheesecake.
Close to the Rio Grande campus is an eatery on 1120 West 5th St. Boss Hogs Kitchen boasts a stellar menu including a smoked turkey and gouda sandwich with red pepper jelly and bacon wasabi slaw. You’ll also want to try the Smoked Mac and Cheese Fritters that contain apple wood bacon and smoked cheddar fondue (*what). If you can’t take the calories, the Juice Over trailer (also in this park), provides healthy juices and smoothies featuring the cactus plant and it’s medicinal qualities to a few signature blends.
St. Edward’s University
Just down the street from St. Ed’s lies the iconic trailer park in Austin on the 1600 block of South Congress. This strip of trailers is home to both Hey Cupcake and the Mighty Cone, each of which played a major role in launching the trailer food scene in 2009. The Hot and Crunchy Cone is not to be missed, but you might also enjoy their avocado or shrimp cones. From Hey Cupcake I suggest the Michael Jackson, which is a chocolate cake with cream cheese top. It ties for first with the Red Velvet.
For an unusual and fun take at a sausage trailer, check out Wurst Tex. The 04 delight is a vegetarian sausage that involves Yukon potatoes with sweet apples and sage. In the same vein, the Veggiano is another veggie-sausage that has eggplant, red peppers and fennel with garlic. The Wurst Tex is best known, however, for their unique artisan meats. They use everything from elk to duck, as well as turkey and chicken. As a former Rattlesnake round up queen myself, I’m obligated to recommend the Predator and Prey which is rattlesnake and rabbit with a hint of jalapeno.
Also close to St. Ed’s is Kate’s Southern Comfort (8504 S Congress Ave), where you can feast on Cajun fried pies. The Bleudin Pie is my favorite. It has boudin sausage with a little bleu cheese for just $3. The Humble Pie is a great option too: sweet potato with tender collard and mustard greens. Top it off with some hibiscus tea and maybe a tomato and cucumber salad and call it a meal.