Food trucks far from dead after forced relocation from South Congress

Reporter

South Congress food trucks are a symbol of nostalgia for the class of 2015. The food trucks were informed in fall of 2012 that they would have to move out by May 25, 2013, to allow space for the construction of South Congress Hotel. Luckily, Austin food trucks are popular and mobile, so some of the SoCo food trucks have since relocated.

Migrating Meals

The Bluebonnet Flea Market is now home to a new food truck owned by John Morell of Lone Star BBQ. On Bluebonnet Lane and South Lamar each morning, he has to start smoking his wares early and throughout the day. One of only two vendors in Austin known for his smoked pork belly, Morell seems a laid back man. With 50 vendors coming to the weekend Farmer’s Market Sept. 15, Morell says he likes the location for its busy crowd, and its available, plentiful parking, since customers can run between two thousand and four thousand on full market days.

Working in the food truck park, Morell got to know the Rice sisters and their mother who owns Fry Baby on Congress and Riverside. All three of the Rice women used to work at the South Congress Food Truck Park, and originally moved down from Colorado.

At the Bluebonnet Flea Mart, the truck Taco Baby would be familiar to those who know old SoCo nosh, but most won’t recognize its neighbor, Cơm Bún Yêu. The Rice sisters now own Cơm Bún Yêu. Morell says the name means “rice, noodles, love.”

While South Lamar Blvd. is less of walking distance from campus, Mediterranean food truck Pitalicious is closer to SEU. Pitalicious known for their gyros and falafel with American french fry additions and is located on South First Street. Pitalicious sits in the shade of Bouldin Creek Food Park across from W. Gibson St. and shares space with an Indian truck and a Thai truck. More spaces for trucks are advertised.

Just across from the Long Center on Barton Springs Rd. is a bright yellow bus. Short Bus Subs is by far the most colorful piece in its new home sandwiched between two office buildings. The truck reads “Better ‘cuz we’re baked,” a nod to weird Austin culture.

Still on SoCo

A few food trucks remained on South Congress, and just moved north of the lot of the new hotel. Hey Cupcake is placed right across from Home Slice at E. Elizabeth St. and brought with them pastel pink umbrellas to beat the Texas heat.

Burro Cheese Kitchen, known for their gourmet grilled cheese, staked claim under a tree at The Circle, on the east side of South Congress Ave. just after Amy’s Ice Cream. A newcomer after the great food truck dispersal, Austin Juice truck staff Myles James spoke about how people feel with the transition.

“Mixed feelings, some people love it … but other people don’t like that Austin’s growing the way it is.” James said. But of sales on SoCo he is pleased. “It’s hard to find a better spot for foot traffic in Austin,” he said.

Follow Jackie on Twitter @365photopoems