For Day-Dreaming's Sake, a Look at Austin's South Congress Food Truck Park (with Photos)

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A little musical entertainment at the SoCo Austin food truck park.
I was down near Austin over the weekend (not for SXSW) and decided to check out the South Congress food truck park, to get a little sense of what may happen in Dallas by 2027.

The food truck park is a testament to the best weirdness of Austin, as demonstrated by the musician just trying to earn a buck with his adorable kid chilling in his empty guitar case. There were also local vendors selling handmade jewelry, leather bags and pipes made of seashells -- my bother suggested that if you smoke one long enough you can hear the ocean -- and, of course, good and quirky food.

There were about 10 different food trucks in the park. Most operate on a month-to-month lease basis. We grabbed a hodgepodge of offerings and set up camp at a red picnic table.

For food, first up was the Mighty Cone, which is one of Austin's most popular food trucks. The idea for the hot and crunchy cone came from a chef at Hudson's on the Bend, a popular restaurant on Lake Travis. Thin filets of chicken, shrimp or avocado are coated in sesame seeds, ancho chili flakes, sea salt, sugar and corn flakes then deep fried, topped with mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce, which is all wrapped in a tortilla and stuffed in a paper cone for easy transport. The picnic tables in front of the trailer even have cone-holder holes. These be tasty.

Coat and Thai is a small trailer manned by at least four cooks, all of whom appear to be family. Per their Facebook page, co-owner Ninrat Kokpluai-Spurlock "learned to cook on her grandmother's knee in Udon Thani." I went with cashew chicken, which just seemed pretty pedestrian -- basically just sweet and sour chicken stir-fry with a few cashews. But it was fresh and tasty enough, and the truck was popular.

Short Bus Subs serves up some intensely flavorful subs on fresh baked bread that is a mix of whole grain wheat and white. Sandwiches include The Bully, Hot Teacher, Class Clown, Janitor and Spring Break. The Hot Teacher had roasted portabella mushrooms, sundried tomato, red peppers, mozzarella, cheddar and sun-dried tomato pesto.

There's also The Best Wurst, Hey Cupcakes and a handful of other trucks, but I can't find a complete list online, so you'll just have to be surprised if you get down there soon. Regardless, it's a prime location along a corridor of shops, bars and more bars. Great for people-watching and sustenance for whatever hoopla you might be heading from or toward.

Most of the trucks in the park serve grub from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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The Mighty Cone

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Hot Teacher from the Short Bus

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Cashew Chicken from Coat & Thai

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18 comments
Paul
Paul

Is it possible to find BBQ or TexMex in Austin anymore?

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Damn hippies! I don't want to smell weed while enjoying food truck offerings. That kid is too cute tho.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Any of you ever consider looking at this issue from the POV of real restaurant owners that made significant investment in buildings and seats and parking lots 

Mervis
Mervis

Mmmnnnn.....that stuff looks good. I'm hot for the Hot Teacher (dirty fingernails aside).

I'm on the fence as to whether the first picture shows Austin weirdness or bad parenting skills. Love the couple in the background though.

Funny line from last week's episode of Happy Endings:

Dave: I am a restaurant owner.Max: Uh, a restaurant does not have windshield wipers.

poopinnails
poopinnails

dude holding sammy in pic seriously needs to clean those dirty ass fingernails!!

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I've never had a Chicken Avo cone outside of Zilker Park. I wonder if it would be the same when I'm not blown out of my mind on Jim Beam and goofballs.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I love Mighty Cone, I always stop there when i'm in Austin...If there was one thing i'd bring back from Austin besides Barton Springs Pool, it would be Mighty Cone...

mark
mark

 Huh, I've never thought of that. Either because I'm ignorant or because that's just silly. There are plenty of brick and mortar restaurants still thriving near the food truck park.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

It's bad parenting. He didn't provide her a pillow.

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

Well, not everyone gets to type for a living. I'll get him a gc for a manicure. Maybe a pedi too. 

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

Barton Springs never did it for me. I liked the secret watering holes out in the woods -- across from Barton Creek Mall. That was twenty years ago (I was young when I went). Are they still cool? Or is the secret out about those too?

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

You can't see it in the photo, but she had one of those magic marker crayola sets where you have to use a certain kind of marker to reveal the pictures. It's like coloring in code and is good for hours of fun. Also, any kid that sits there as nicely as she did the whole time, just chilling while dad did his thing, seems well minded. 

Mervis
Mervis

I knew it was something.

mark
mark

 They're not really all that secret, they've been "official" named park areas for a while now. However, it sort of seems that way as less people are willing to make the trek to those spots. Twin falls, campbell's hole, sculpture falls, gus fruh..all beautiful spots with a couple dozen people typically hanging out. I always preferred those over the pay for play/relatively sterile pool area. The pool area's full at all times though, so that's nice. One thing that's really great about the pool is if you slip through the fence on the back side, slide through the grate covering the river bypass, then use the bypass as a slide. It's pitch dark for the length of the pool and shoots you out at the end...when the river's full.

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