Tag Archives: barbecue

The best food comes from a truck

If I had one complaint about eating from trucks during my visit to Austin, TX, it is that these places assume you have a car. I know that the only reason why I’m getting such a good deal is because they don’t pay a lot of rent, and you eat in a parking lot, but since I didn’t have a car, I had to walk under the sun along insipid highways in search of their trucks.

But it was worth it. Oh, so worth it.

Eating from a truck in Austin is awesome — you get super-high-quality stuff, for a fraction of what it would cost at a sit-down restaurant.

If there was one unifying theme to my truck meals, it was smoke. The Odd Duck Farm trailer grills everything on hardwood, and just by the fumes coming off the chimney, I knew I was in for a treat. The pork belly sandwich was exactly as advertised — a huge chunk of fatty pork belly that was char-grilled at the last moment over an open flame…mmm. The monster sandwich came with a pickle to cut through all the fat. I also ordered a cold dish of buttermilk-poached chicken breast, with grilled rappini, and pine nuts. I was impressed at how moist the chicken was, and the rappini definitely can take some smoke.

I thought it was all over…I mean, who would want to eat more fat after chowing down on a massive pork-belly sandwich. But, as luck would have it, the truck next door specialized in made-to-order doughnuts. The menu definitely had a thing for pork, because I saw several recipes with caramelized bacon on them. In an attempt at healthy eating (ha!), I ordered the one doughnut that came with fresh fruit — a strawberry doughnut with cream cheese frosting.

The doughnut itself was a wonder to eat; crisp on the outside, fluffy and warm inside, with gooey cream cheese frosting, and token pieces of fruit. There goes my attempt at health.

The following day, I walked along a different highway to find Franklin’s barbecue.

I immediately knew I was in for a treat when they started carving a massive piece of brisket, and the guy just handed me over a chunk of meat to tease me. I was in brisket heaven. Behind the serving trailer, they have a second trailer where they slowly smoke and bake brisket and ribs. The ribs were good, but go for the brisket. It is fork-tender, juicy to the point of ridiculous, and so flavorful, you wonder what the hell happened to all the other meat you’ve eaten before. They have sauces, which are pretty good, but I was happy to just eat the damn thing…I thought there’d be leftovers, but no, there weren’t any.

At least I walked.