Monday, October 15, 2012

DAYS 17 - 19: Houston and Austin

Tuesday - Thursday, October 9th - 11th, 2012: Houston and Austin, Texas

Tuesday 10/9

The drive from Lafayette to Houston was about 3.5 hours.  I had found several food trucks on my food truck phone apps, but decided to take a different approach and searched for Houston food trucks on Facebook.  Usually if a food truck business has a Facebook page or a Twitter account, they update their hours and location on a daily basis so it's easy for their customers to find them or know when they're open.  

Texas Visitors Center

Yep, we're definitely in Texas.

I didn't want to run into the same problem we had in New Orleans not being to find trucks based the phone apps.  Facebook was definitely a more successful approach and I was able to find several Houston food trucks with updated locations and the hours they would be there.  

Papou Jerry's Gyro Truck on Facebook - open til 10pm!

We decided on a truck called Papou Jerry's Gyro Truck.  Our timing arriving in Houston wasn't the greatest.  It's an big city and it was rush hour, but we found the truck with no problem.

Houston skyline.

Papou Jerry's Gryo Truck.

What we ordered:
Veggie Greek Pizza
Gyro with sweet potato fries
Fried Pickles

Total (with tip): $17

Karbach Brewing Co. 'Weisse Versa Wheat' beer (from the 'West Alabama Ice House' bar that the Gyro Truck was parked in front of)

Total (with tip): $6

Karbach Brewing Co. beer

Food Truck websites - 'Roaming Hunger' and 'Houston's Top 100 Food Trucks'

Fried Pickles with Ranch.

Gyro with sweet potato fries.

Greek Veggie Pizza.

Everything was amazing.  The pizza had WAY too much feta on it, but otherwise it was delicious.  The fried pickles were to die for.

After our awesome meal, we were back on the road towards Austin, about another 3 hour drive.  We've definitely been anticipating our stop in Austin during our road trip since this is where we will be moving to once our road trip is over.  Mitch has been here before, but I haven't, so I was very excited!

We arrived in Austin around 8:30pm to our friend Colin's house in South Austin.  He has an awesome backyard with a fire pit, so the 3 of us and our other friend Dusty all hung out and had some drinks, then ate some dinner around 11pm.  

Me and Colin.

Wednesday 10/10

The next day, while our friends were at work, Mitch and I explored Austin.  It's such a fantastic city and I can't wait to live here permanently!  There are so many independently owned restaurants and storefronts, not to mention 100's of food trucks EVERYWHERE you look!  No need for a fancy food truck app/facebook/twitter account to find food trucks here. 

Austin, Texas

For lunch we had coffee's and sandwiches at a place called Jo's.  It's an open-air cafe where you order at a counter.  It was fresh and delicious and and the coffee was great!  Since it wasn't a sit-down restaurant, we overlooked our 'no restaurant' rule.

Belgium Bomber coffee with a ham and cheese sandwich.

Belgium Bomber coffee with a vegan 'egg-less' egg salad sandwich.

That night, Colin, Dusty, Mitch and I made appointments to get some new tattoos, so we got those done before dinner....

Colin the sailor gettin' some fresh ink.

Southside Tattoo Shop - Austin, TX

Probably the most painful spot to get a tattoo but he lived to tell the story.

Mini-anchor :)

Dinner was at a bar called 'The Ginger Man' where we met up with Colin's girlfriend.  I guess it wasn't a true dinner, just some bar snacks, but everything was very good - hummus, artichoke dip, and beer.

We still love each other after 3 weeks on the road together!
Out in Austin on Wednesday night.

The guys took us to a few other bars in the neighborhood, then Colin took us to some late-night food trucks in a different part of town that we hadn't been to yet.  

What we ordered:
Veggie Burrito from Arlo's (for Colin)
BBQ Pork Bah Mi and a coconut water from Mi So Hungry (for Mitch...I was still full from the food earlier, so I didn't get anything.)

Total: $15 ($7 for just Mitch's)

Arlo's (vegan truck!) - Austin, TX

Mitch and Colin.

'Mi So Hungry' - Mitch said this was in the running to be his favorite food truck meal so far!

Awesome parachute that was tied up above the eating courtyard.

Thursday 10/11

Everyone had to go to work again, so Mitch and I did some more exploring, this time to the outskirts of the city and more into the suburbs.  When we got back to the city, we decided to stop at a food truck parking lot not far from Colin's house.  There were probably around 10 food trucks parked there.

It was raining but everyone was still open!

We went to 3 different food trucks that all sounded unique and yummy.  First stop was 'Nomad Dosa.'

Nomad Dosa Food Truck - an old converted airstream trailer!

What we ordered:
Kerala Kokonut Soft Dosa
Coconut Juice

Total (with tip): $15

Kerala Kokonut Soft Dosa - soft 'shell' (similar to a thick crepe), butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and cauliflower with coconut curry, mild coconut chutney, and lentil soup dipping sauce.
SO SO SO GOOD!  Very healthy.

Next stop was 'The Mightly Cone' which was recommended to us by someone while we were out the night before.

What we ordered:
Hot and Crunchy Avocado Cone
Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cone
French Fries
Topochico Water

Total: $12

The guys working were super nice and they even gave us a CD of their band for us to listen to during our road trip.

Crunchy chicken cone and fries - only thing we would change would be to offer corn tortillas in addition to flour tortillas.  Still, this meal was SO good.  It was very convenient to eat in the Dixie cone cup as well.  No need for silverware!

The Mighty Cone menu.  The Crunchy Avocado Cone was probably my favorite thing that I've eaten so far!  Crunchy, fried avocado - who knew?

Even though we were stuffed by the time we finished all our food, the guys at Mighty Cone told us that we HAD TO go to the 'Hey Cupcake!' truck that was parked at the opposite side of the parking lot.  I can never say no to a cupcake, so we happily walked over.

What we ordered:

Vegan Orange Cupcake with Lemon Frosting
Vegan Cookies n' Cream Cupcake

Total (with tip): $7

'Hey Cupcake!' - Another old airstream!  Love it.

THESE WERE SOOOOO GOOD!  The orange/lemon was my favorite!  They were so fresh and moist and flavorful!  See?  Vegan cupcakes are just as good as regular ones!

That night we met our friend Dusty for drinks at the San Jose Hotel before driving to the airport to pick up our friends, Michael and Peter, who were coming to Austin that weekend for Austin City Limits.

Dusty, me, Mitch.  
San Jose Hotel - Austin, TX

San Jose Hotel was a cute, boutique-style hotel.  We ordered a bottle of wine and hung out there for a while.  After picking up the guys from the airport around 9pm, we hung out at Colin's house for a bit.  Everyone wanted to go out, so I told the guys to have 'boys night' while I stayed home with the dogs and passed out from all the red wine I drank.

Tomorrow we are leaving Austin in the morning and heading west towards El Paso (about a 9 hour drive).  Then we'll be on to Las Cruces, Tucson, and San Diego!

Total Food Truck Spending Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday in Houston & Austin: $58 (under budget)

Total Spending Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday:
Kirby Cafe (we ate at a restaurant! ooops.  Late dinner the 1st night we arrived): $30
Jo's for coffee & sandwiches: $22
Walgreens (tooth medication for Mitch, shampoo, conditioner, candy): $29
Parking downtown: $7
Drinks at Stubbs: $20
Gas in Colin's car (thanks Colin!): $20
Wine at San Jose Hotel (with tip): $54
Tattoo's: $160
Food truck food: $58
Gas $132
Coffee and croissants on Thursday morning: $16
Groceries at Whole Foods $48

TOTAL for 3 days: $596 (under budget)

Total pounds gained between Mitch and I:
I'm guessing somewhere around 87lbs total.  My pants are starting to feel pretty tight!  Oh well, life is short - eat at as many food trucks as possible!  Only 13 days of eating like this left, then back to the real world.

Mitch and Laurel

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