Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trailers and Trends

Austin is fast becoming -- or perhaps already is -- one of the premiere trailer food purveyors. Trailers and food stands are popping up all over the city, offering up a range of options -- Mexican, Asian, Cuban, hot dogs, doughnuts, fancy foods, fusion, and the oh-so-popular (with me) roasted chicken food stand, for starters.

I'm working my way through these mobile marvels, but more often than not, I'm apt to fall back on my favorite: the Mexican taco trailer. These are the original taco stands that dot the east Austin landscape, the ones that have been around for years and years but were discovered by hipsters, college kids and food bloggers in the past 24 months or so. They were cool long before getting your food from a trailer became cool.

Like a lot of Austinites, I first began frequenting these trailers after midnight on the weekends, when the only other options were fast-food joints or Magnolia Cafe. I probably had my first trailer taco in 2005; they were still a novelty, at least to me. I had just moved to my current neighborhood in southeast Austin, and I remember fondly that first plate of mini corn tortillas topped with al pastor pork, fresh cilantro, chopped onion and a squeeze of lime juice and green salsa.

Austin is changing, trends coming and going faster than we can keep up. But I hope these original Mexican food trailers stay frozen in time.

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