Thursday, October 18, 2012

DAYS 20 - 21: Austin, Van Horn, El Paso, Las Cruces, and Benson

Friday - Saturday, October 12th - 13th, 2012: Austin, Van Horn, and El Paso (Texas), Las Cruces (New Mexico), and Benson (Arizona)


We woke up on our last day in Austin, packed up the camper, said our goodbyes, and started our journey west.  First things first, we stopped to get breakfast at one of Mitch's favorite food trucks, Torchy's, which was parked at the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery.  This parking lot is great because there is about 6 trucks parked here and there's tons of picnic tables, umbrellas, bathrooms, and a covered seating area.

Trailer Park & Eatery

Torchy's - Austin, TX

Torchy's Menu.

What we ordered:
Fried Avocado Taco
Green Chile Pork Taco
The Republican (Jalapeño Pork Taco)
The Independent (Portobello Mushroom Taco

 Total (with tip): $19

Green Chile Pork and The Republican.

Fried Avocado and Portobello Mushroom (I clearly took a bite before taking the picture.)

The fried avocado was awesome, but the portobello mushroom taco was one of the best things I've eaten thus far!  It was so flavorful and delicious!  Mitch loves their house hot sauce, Diablo Sauce, and brought some home last time he was in Austin.  Today, his favorite taco was the Republican with the grilled jalapeño sausage - it was delicious but he thought it could have stood a little more time on the grill.  The grilled chile pork was also awesome because you can't go wrong with grilled pork carnitas :)

Trailer Trash :)

After breakfast, we stopped to get an oil change in the Jeep and fill up the gas tank.  Then we were on our way.  There isn't much to see or do between Austin and the little town we stayed in that night, Van Horn, Texas.  It was about a 7 hour drive with hardly a single interesting place to stop along the way, but the views were beautiful!

Beautiful views in Texas.

I made Mitch make us the delicious vegan mac n' cheese again that he made while we were camping in Lafayette.  He resisted a bit because he wasted to make something else, but I begged and he finally gave in.

Vegan Mac n Cheeze 2.0 - this time he added crispy potato hash and fresh green tomato relish.
OMG.  That is all I will say.  So GOOD.

Kinglsey in the wild west.


We started our drive to El Paso, about 2 hours from Van Horn.  It was a Saturday, so we weren't sure what we were going to find as far as food trucks.  I found a few things on Facebook, but not much else.

Looking for food trucks on Facebook.

We pulled into downtown El Paso and immediately saw a street festival going on with dozens of food trucks!  The festival was called 'Chalk the Bock' and there were people everywhere eating at food trucks and drawing on the sidewalks with chalk.

Mitch and Kingsley in the crowd - El Paso, Texas.

Chalk the Block festival - El Paso, TX.

We walked through the entire row of food trucks before deciding what we wanted.  Our first stop was a taco truck that had spiral potatoes on a stick.

This truck didn't have a name, so we'll just call it the 'Taco/Super Nachos Truck.'

What we ordered:
Spiral Potato

Total: $5

Spiral Potato on a stick with ketchup and mustard.

Potato on a stick was a cool concept, but it looked way better then it actually was.  It needed a little salt and pepper, and it definitely could have been cooked longer.

The next truck we went to was called 'Crave Kitchen & Catering'.  I loved how they had huge, beautiful chalkboards out front with the menu and prices in clear view.  Plus the truck was very new with modern graphics on the sides.  There was an order window and a separate pick-up window which was very efficient.

Crave Kitchen food truck.

Great menu display!

The Crave truck was a awesome truck - stainless steel, clean, great logo, and 
great big chalkboard menus!

Pick-up window.

Side of green chile mac.

What we ordered:
Chicken in a Waffle Cone (from the kids menu)
Green Chili Mac (also from the kids menu)
Vanilla Bean Horchata

Total (with tip): $14

Chicken tenders and fries in a waffle cone.

The chicken tenders and fries in a waffle cone made Mitch laugh before he ordered it because he thought it was a great idea.  Once his order was up, we realized it was clearly from the kids menu because it was just a plain ol' store bought waffle cone with frozen chicken tenders and fries.  Still, it tasted good, but definitely had room for improvement. It had marshmallow and BBQ sauce on it, which was actually a very good combo.  The side of green chile mac was good size portion and tasted incredible!  Also, the delicious vanilla bean horchata came in a huge 20oz cup and was only $3!

After we left El Paso, we started making our way towards Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I found something online about a farmers market going on, but we couldn't find it for the life of us. We did find a great road side gift store though!

 Awesome gift shop - we got THREE gorgeous, woven Mexican blankets for $20!

Then we stopped at another stand on the side of the road and Mitch bought a huge strand of dried red peppers.  Then we noticed a Mexican lady and her son selling 'Poppies' down the sidewalk.  Turns out it was a box of Miniature Pincher puppies for $20 each!  We almost considered taking all four of them until we looked over at the car and saw Kingsley's sad face starring at us through the window.


Miniature Pincher puppies for $20!  I'm still not quite sure how I walked away from them...

We walked to some other stands nearby and bought a cucumber-lime agua fresca from a very animated man.  Oh wow, was that agua fresca DELICIOUS!  I could just taste the gallons of sugar that were in it :)

Once Mitch dragged me away from the puppies again, we were on our way towards Arizona.  We decided to just drive until we were tired.  We finally stopped at KOA campground in Benson, AZ.

Largest Chile in the World! - Las Cruces, New Mexico

Driving through New Mexico.

We could see fireworks from our campsite! - Benson, Arizona.

Mitch made another amazing dinner at the campsite - cous cous, vegan sausage, onions, potatoes, peppers, spicy veganaise, and sweet tomato relish.  AMAZING.

Total Food Truck/Food Stand Spending for 2 days: $38 (under budget)

Spending for 2 days:

Van Horn campsite: $38
Benson campsite: $35
Food truck food: $38
Oil Change in Austin: $51
Gas: $243
Cucumber Lime Agua Fresca: $3
Strand of Peppers: $10
Gift shop goodies: $41

Total Spending for 2 days: $459 (over budget)

Posts to come: 

San Diego
Los Angeles
Santa Margarita, CA
San Francisco
Cloverdale, CA
Willets, CA
Crescent City, CA

Mitch and Laurel

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