Trailer food has come a long way from the days of my parents’ 1990s S&A Restaurant, a little Latin trailer, which like all food trailers at the time hung around factories and blue-collar workers’ break spots, serving up cheap, fast, and greasy comfort fare. On Saturday, the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival showcases the burgeoning street-food scene in Austin, when 30 food trucks from across the city gather at Auditorium Shores in Town Lake Park, giving patrons a one-stop taste of their eclectic menus. From bacon-topped donuts at Gourdoughs to duck-and-sweet potato Czech kolaches from The ZubikHouse, and all the ice-cream sandwiches, arepas, loaded hot dogs, and overstuffed tacos you can handle in between.
The picnic party runs from 11am to 8pm with live music from national artists like Junior Brown and local acts like the Noise Revival Orchestra; cooking demonstrations; and juried food competitions. The trailers will be mapped out to recreate the trucks’ usual parking spots across the city, with each truck offering sampler dishes for $3, along with its full menu. Though you’ll pay for your food and drinks; admission to event is free. Create your own custom menu for the day, and learn how you can win $50 Central Market gift card at gypsypicnic.com.
The food festival is part of a larger project created by trailer food guru Tiffany Harelik. Through the Trailer Food Diaries, Tiffany and her team deliver comprehensive guides on trailer joints across the city with a printed guide, blog, radio show, and TV series. To learn more about the Trailer Food Diaries visit trailerfooddiaries.com.
Read about five of our favorite Austin trailers in the November Texas Living story “Austin’s Top 5 Food Trailers.”
Photo: Robbie Caponetto, Southern Living