Food Truck Fanfare
The food truck frenzy in Austin isn't slowing down — and everyone from the Food Network to The Daily Meal is taking note. Most recently, The Daily Meal released its list of the best food trucks in America, including two of Austin's perennial favorites in the mix.
Coming in at No. 11 on this year's list is East Side King, Paul Qui's uber successful cluster of trailers serving Japanese street food. "Chef Qui’s truck menus represent his spin on Japanese street food, the results of what Southern Living reported as two research-and-development trips to Japan after winning Top Chef," says the Daily Meal. The food truck, which ranked No. 6 on the 2013 list, is known for fusion fare like "fried potato noodles with pork and kimchi stew, mapo tofu chili, a pork melt and pork chop sandwich, and fried chicken fried rice." No stranger to accolades, Thai-Kun, East Side King's Wonderland trailer, just nabbed a spot on Bon Appetit's 2014 Best New Restaurant list.
Also making the list for the third year in a row is the Peached Tortilla, which dropped from its No. 34 spot to No. 89. The soon-to-be brick-and-mortar spot is championed for landing on Food & Wine's list of best sliders in America in 2012. The Daily Meal touts the rolling restaurant's "fairly long menu of tacos and burritos among other options including riffs on bánh mí, Chinese barbecue and pad Thai."
The Daily Meal started with an algorithm that factored in Twitter followers, Yelp reviews and Yelp stars for nearly 500 food trucks. An originality score — based on menu innovation, overall concept and geography — was then added to determine the rankings.
But don't fret if your favorite new trailer didn't make the cut — only trucks were considered for the list. "If it was a trailer or a cart, if it wasn’t on four wheels and couldn’t move on its own power from parking ticket to parking spot, it wasn’t considered," says the site.