My friend and I emerged from Mi Casa, a gift shop on South Congress Street in Austin, Texas. The bright, 80° Austin sunshine momentarily blinded us, and helped us forget the sleet and snow in Boston.
“Let’s go get something to eat,” said my friend, “at one of the food trailers,” motioning to a collection of more than a half dozen trailers ranging from a school bus to an Airstream in a dusty lot across the street.
Remembering a rather acutely unfortunate afternoon-wrenching experience after I bought and ate a fine-looking tuna salad sandwich from a food truck in Manhattan a while back, I demurred.
“No, let’s go to one of the restaurants along here. I’d feel much more comfortable in one of those. You know, I just don’t trust street food vendors… I don’t know.”
“Oh, come on,” he coaxed, cheerfully. “It’s not like that here. This is Austin, Texas, not New York.”
Manhattan memories still roiling, we crossed the street and walked the length of the lot, checking out the food trailers. I stopped in front of a bright red one. Wurst-Tex.
“Mexican Coke…. $2.25” on the menu board caught my eye. “Maybe Austin is a bit more liberal than I thought,” I chuckled to myself.
But unable to get comfortable, like a dog spinning in its bed trying to find the sweet spot. I circulated round and round, checking out the Po’ Boy trailer, the Indian trailer, the Pita trailer, the Mighty Cone, Baked, and the two singer-guitar players, one stationed at each end of the lot.
Once around. Twice around. Unable to settle, I turned to my friend. “Where do you want to go?” I hedged.
“Your call,” he said, smiling, waiting for me to make a move.
“Wurst-Tex,” I said. We cruised over. I ordered the “El Wursto,” chicken and turkey with mild habaneros and green chiles. My friend ordered the Buckwurst, the Mexican Coke, and the french-fries with Truffle Oil for an extra $.75, adding some curry ketchup on the side.
All, in a word, FABULOUS. The Mexican Coke, by the way, tastes the way a Coca Cola USED to taste, back when dinosaurs and giants roamed the earth.
After lunch, with my phone back in my hands, I checked the place out. The reviews included “I have never seen so many exotic meats and exotic ingredients used… Everything here is delicious, you can’t go wrong. Everything is super delicious… Also no dry buns here.” Right on the mark.
Many lessons from this adventure, not the least of which is, “Go back to Wurst Tex often!” The one that sticks out most for me is, “even three minutes of pre-trailer research could have helped me focus a lot faster.” Absent information, I burned 20 minutes of daylight my friend and I might have added to, say, our time at Barton Springs and, in the end, I was influenced by the bright color of the food trailer and the one intriguing item on the menu that was made by a company I trusted. In other words: I got lucky.
This may be obvious to you, gentle readers, and we are constantly surprised at the frequency with which salespeople cold call lists of businesses or “cruise industrial parks” much like we cruised the food trailers on South Congress, knocking on doors, dropping off business cards, hoping to get lucky. Many people swear by the method. I’d say, “save some time, do a little research plan ahead.”
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