Location, location, location
If you’ve driven down East 12th St. in the past couple of weeks (or days even... E.A.S.T., anyone?), you may have noticed a new trailer hotspot at the corner of 12th and Navasota. This pack of food trailers is led by Hoover’s “Soular Food Garden,” the newest project from Hoover Alexander (of Hoover’s fame) that takes an alternative “veggie-centric” approach to soul food. In this case, we say “leader” because Austinites have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the SFG trailer at the location since an April announcement—that, and you can’t miss its sign from the road. Just in time for the cooler fall temperatures, the park finally celebrated its grand opening on October 29th, and currently features five vendors.
In good company
This new huddle of trailers offers a much-needed dining locale along the otherwise nondescript stretch of East 12th. The fact that it’s a casual, al fresco option that features a range of cuisines—from Osmo’s hybrid Cajun/Italian menu to EAT’s inventive gourmet sandwiches—is certainly an added bonus.
Lauren Gustus, owner of EAT Trailer, says that business has been steady as each vendor establishes a set schedule in these early weeks of operation. Most are open daily for lunch and dinner, with Hoover's open for early birds in search of a quick coffee en route to the office. The locale’s designation as an official “East Austin Studio Tour Food Stop,” will also likely bring added exposure and a boost in weekend foot traffic.
For Gustus, the best part of the new location has been the people she’s met. “Everyone is super friendly here and introduces themselves when they come up to order. It actually feels like a neighborhood.” The local vibe coupled with the fact that “the owners are superchill and interested in developing a local food spot for the community” makes for yet another authentic, Austin experience.
With crisscrossing strands of multi-colored café lights, at least 10 picnic tables and a dedicated stage area for musical performances, it’s fair to say that this somewhat hidden East Side dining gem won’t remain a secret for much longer.