Seriously, I cannot get over that name change. Blech!
But on to more savory fare! Trucklanida is a food truck festival in Austin. Proceeds go to Keep Austin Fed and the winner chosen by public vote gets $10,000. Over the next six days The Murlocs who Dine will be taking a tour of Austin one bite at a time. We got a good start at The Midway food truck park.
First up is Stab It. These guys come from Houston. The Murlocs who Dine give it an average of 4.5 out of 5 Blargls. The beef was tender and the housemade sausage was mild but nice. They know their flavor profiles and the caramelized onion was a nice touch. Despite some tacky fun – their slogan is “Home of the little pricks” – they have set the bar for Trucklandia high right out of the gate.
Colin sez: The optional hot sauce has a nice kick. And it’s awesome presentation for a food truck.
Texas Ice Queens (picture to come) is the trailer I would be the most happy to see at a little league or soccer game. They have a wide variety of healthy pre-packaged snack bars and shaved ice. There are more syrups than you can shake a stick at including organic and sugar-free options. Colin had a Sugar Free Mango Margarita and I opted for a Hipcheck (rootbeer and black cherry). The Murlocs who Dine give it 3.5 out of 5 Blargls.
Next up was the loser for the evening: Revenge of the Pork. I wanted to like this veteran-owned business if only because BBQ pork is not something you see much of in Central Texas. But the sauce was from the grocery store shelves (Sweet Baby Ray’s if I had to guess. Colin saw the bottle but not the label). The Atomic Dog was atomic only in the sense that it was comprised of atoms. Even I couldn’t detect any heat. The Murlocs who Dine give it half a Blargl.
This two-bite grilled cheese from Emoji’s Classic Grilled Cheese is the kind of grilled cheese that makes your inner six year old happy. It was buttery and cheesy and garlicky. The cripsy veggie sticks on the side were a nice textural contrast but it was garlic after garlic and I thought that was a bit overkill. The Murlocs who Dine give this one 3.5 Blargls out of 5.
Emoji’s painted their trailer with chalkboard paint and keeps a bucket of sidewalk chalk handy for people who feel the urge to indulge in artistic impulses. They really do want to bring out the kid in you. It’s a well crafted and comprehensive (and totes adorbs!) identity.
Cloud 9 doesn’t seem to have a web presence. The “gluten free edamame spaghetti” seemed like the kind of meal that you make when you need to empty out the odds and ends in your fridge. It wasn’t bad, but not something I’d pay money for. The lights inside the trailer were off and it felt a little unwelcoming. The Murlocs who Dine give it 1.5 Blargls out of 5.
Handhelds ATX is last year’s winner. They call their sandwiches “sliders” but make no mistake – these are a full meal. That bad boy on the left is The Backyard – with smoked brisket (topped with homemade barbecue sauce), housemade pickles, housemade potato salad, and a veritable slab of fried macaroni and cheese. The more modest “slider” on the right is the Barnyard – pit smoked pork with housemade accouterments – pickles, sauces, and coleslaw. The barbecued pork in this sandwich is among the best I’ve had outside of Memphis. Handhelds is amazingly good and amazingly creative. The Murlocs who Dine give it 5 out of 5 Blargls (and would have been surprised if it were otherwise).
Colin sez: Can I give it a six?
Mighty Fine Burgers (picture to follow) is an unusual story. Food trucks often aspire to grow up to be brick and mortar restaurants. Mighty Fine began as a chain of restaurants owned by Rudy’s Barbecue. The truck is flashy, multimedia, and corporate. Most likely to make you wish you were eating at Wendy’s.
Load-a-Bowl is the final savory stop. Pick your region and pick your protein. Colin got the Korean “Gangnam Style” and I got the Masala with chicken. The Masala was flavorful and just the right amount of sweet. But the liberal portion of raw red onions killed my tastebuds. After the red onions the Murlocs who Dine give this 3.0 Blargls.
The Celia Jacobs Cheesecake Experience took third place last year. Hopefully this year the bridesmaid will be the bride because these little tasties are everything you want in a cheesecake. The proprietress even upgraded us to these two selections – caramel apple and winter spice. Colin normally gets “cookie dough” flavored anything, but he said the winter spice cheesecake (kind of like a snickerdoodle granted) was better than cookie dough. High praise indeed. If anything is going to put you in a holiday mood when it’s 88 degrees out it’s these little darlings. I was almost too full to finish my share of these rich desserts – almost. 5 out of 5 Blargls.
Colin sez: THEY GET ALL THE BLARGLS!
Not a bad start for the first two and a half hours of Trucklandia. Eight trucks down and scads to go.