eating on the go
Food truck picks: Truly mobile fusion trailers that mix traditional tastes
Gourmet street food comes in many flavors, but most of the mobile food trucks in Austin remain fusion based, and many call Snappy Snacks home.
Recently, I took a tour at Snappy Snacks Mobile Catering in Pflugerville with owner Tom Ramsey, where I got a closer look at where all of Austin’s (truly) mobile food trucks are housed.
Snappy Snacks isn’t Tom’s first rodeo; he's run more than one hundred mobile units at college and university campuses in Northern California. He brought his experience and passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed to Austin in 1996 by opening Snappy Snacks, a full service commissary with sixty trucks in their catering department and nine in his gourmet truck department.
He moved their headquarters to Pflugerville in 1999 where he offers storage services for food truck entrepreneurs. His trucks cater as far north as Fort Hood and as far south as San Antonio. Tom has everything from truck washing basins to delis, even an outdoor food court for launch parties. For entrepreneurs, he offers truck maintenance, owner financing and leasing, advising and beyond.
These trucks, boasting fusion food with wheels, Tweet their location and post up regularly for fans to readily find, some with multiple trucks and locations. With an ever-growing population in a country founded by immigrants, we could have anticipated trucks that offer cross-cultural cuisine. Some of Austin’s favorite trailer food consists of a hybrid blend of multiple, distinct cultural flavors, with tastes of everything from nearby Mexico to Korea, the Phillipines and Hong Kong.
Chi’Lantro: Austinites will recognize Jae Kim’s Chi’Lantro truck as one of the first mobile gourmet food trucks. His Korean-Mexican fusion concept plays on two staples in these cultures: kimchi and cilantro. Keep your eyes peeled, Houston — Chi’Lantro is expanding.
Tiff’s pick: Kimchi Fries - you just have to taste it to understand.
Coreano’s: This Mexican-Korean food truck has bragging rights for being voted the best drunk food in the nation, according to college campuses. Coreano's, which is Spanish for "Korean's," mainly hovers around downtown and UT campus areas.
Tiff’s pick: The OG – marinated beef short ribs, french fries, Korean slaw, onion & cilantro, caramelized kimchi, sesame oil vinaigrette and garlic spread.
The Peached Tortilla: Voted best food truck of 2011 by Austin Eater, this truck boasts a strong menu where Asian street food meets southern comfort. In their words, “It’s time to join the flavor revolution and unzip your taste buds. Austin, allow yourself to get peached.”
Tiff’s Pick: I know everyone likes the pork, but the pad Thai tofu (don’t worry, you can get chicken) tacos are my favorite — tofu sautéed in traditional pad thai sauce, sliced mushrooms, eggs, peanuts, green onion, cilantro and lime wedge.
Be More Pacific: The Longanisa Tater tots are among the newest creations on this Filipino American truck and we’ll roll right into the description, since it also happens to be my pick.
Tiff’s Pick: Longanisa Tater Tots, as described by Be More Pacific: “Imagine the crispiest golden tots covered in melted gooey white cheese. Then imagine adding our garlicy sweet sizzling Longanisa sausage and covering it all with our spicy banana sauce and green onions.”
Tiff’s pick: Daikon Rice Cake. I sweet talked Tova into sharing with me how they are made, because I’m hosting a trailer food brunch and this is a must have. She explains: “The Daikon Rice Cake Omelet consists of steamed daikon rice cakes, made by first pureeing white rice and daikon radish together, strained, then steamed. Those are then cut up into squares which we pan fry and add egg to make a thin omelet. It’s served with our dumpling soy sauce."
For more all things trailer food, stay tuned to Trailer Food Diaries, Serving up the American Dream one plate at a time: www.trailerfooddiaries.com