Tag Archives: SxSW

Austin Food Trailer Crawl

The Mighty Cone

I was lucky to recently spend some time in sunny Austin, Texas for SXSW interactive festival. It was my first trip to the city and I definitely enjoyed it. When I asked people for travel tips before leaving many recommendations seemed to focus on food. Austin has tons of great restaurants and bars as well as a very interesting “food cart” or food trailer culture. These carts serve everything from tacos and wraps to crepes and cake balls. They are scattered throughout the city and while some are stationary, others move locations. The question is how you navigate these local spots and what trailers are worth the visit?

I went on an un-official food trailer crawl with my friend and travel writer Andy Hayes and Beth Krauss from the Austin CVB. We set out to try some unique and delicious foods and see how many carts we could visit before calling it quits.

hot and crunchy chicken cone

First stop was The Mighty Cone in South Congress. I tried the hot and crunchy chicken cone. Which is served wrapped in a tortilla and served in a paper snow cone. Overall it was very good, although I had to remind myself not to get carried away. We still had several spots to see.

Next we headed over to the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery. It’s a location with several carts and outdoor seating. We wanted to try Torchy’s Tacos which has a reputation for having both delicious food and unique taco combinations. One that we tried was the “The Democrat,” which had shredded beef barbacoa and onions topped off with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro and a lime wedge served on a corn tortilla with green salsa. After tacos we went next door to Holy Cacao for dessert. This trailer describes itself as a “gourmet dessert trailer offering unusual items such as Cake Balls, S‘mores and Frozen Hot Chocolate at affordable prices.” We went for the cake balls, and they were amazing and not what you would expect to be served from that tiny trailer.

waiting @ Torchy's Tacos

Our final and third trailer location was Gourdough’s for doughnuts. Like Tourchy’s this food cart has some unique combinations on their menu. We shared the Mother Clucker. Check out this short video to see this crazy doughnut and for quick reviews from Andy and Beth.

Overall I think our mission was a success. The food carts are a fun and unique part of the Austin food scene. Sitting outside on a sunny day eating at a picnic table was a plus to the experience. Somehow I don’t think food carts of this nature would do well with the Ohio weather.  I look forward to my next visit to Austin. After all, there are still several more food carts I must try.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Travel

My World Upside Down: SXSWi Recap

cc license, Sektormedia

I’ve been struggling on how to even begin describing my first SXSW interactive experience from this past week. It’s important for me to blog because I believe in the power of sharing good ideas and exchanging knowledge, so I’ll try my best.  I had an amazing time and it’s hard to fully convey the reasons I know this was an extremely valuable trip. It pieced together a lot of things for me and the timing (my senior year of college) couldn’t have been any better.

Despite knowing a handful of people going to Austin for SXSWi this was a trip I took alone. I made plans to stay with a friend of a friend who I had never met before and got permission from my professors to leave early before finals. This was my not only my first SXSWi but also my first visit to Austin. I had a vague idea of what to expect but overall decided to stick with a “go with the flow” attitude. I described my game plan to some friends as “organized chaos.”

I tried to do my homework before I went. I talked to people who had attended SXSW in previous years, emailed some online tweeps I wanted to meet, picked out the sessions that looked interesting and ordered my personal business cards. When the time came to leave I was still anxious but feeling more confident I knew what to do and could rock out SXSWi.

My first three days flew by. I seriously couldn’t even tell you what happened when, who I met what we did (no not because I was drinking too much). It was intense. Since I was traveling alone I was constantly being forced to meet new people. I loved it every moment of it. I bounced from group to group and made a ton of new friends. Also taking time to meet people I had only ever communicated with online.

hanging out w/ new friend @vero

Several people told me it’s the people you meet not the sessions or speakers that really make your time in Austin worthwhile. While I attended some great sessions, I would still have to agree. I’m walking away with the feeling that some of the people I met will become lifelong friends (thank goodness for social media keeping us connected). It sounds cliché but it’s true. I valued the feeling of being surrounded by people who want to go out and change the world. I think that was another key piece of this trip; the opportunity to meet a group of people who understood the importance of looking ahead the future.

I plan on blogging more of my thoughts from the trip soon. I did write up a post for The Next Great Generation called Embracing Your Gen Y Status: SXSWi Edition if you want to check that out. Visit here again soon for more updates.

2 Comments

Filed under Communications, Networking

Christmas Wish List

My friend Rachel Esterline wrote a post 20 Gifts A Young PR Professional Can Ask For This Christmas a couple weeks ago on her blog. It inspired me to write up my wish list for this year. I certainly don’t expect to get everything on my list (I haven’t been THAT good this year). Please consider it more of a dream list.

In no particular order:

1. Flip digital camcorder: I can record short videos on my camera but the quality and sound isn’t great. I’d like to start making more mini movies of my family and friends to share. I’d also like to use the Flip for my Digital Essay class next quarter.

2. Business suit: This one also made Rachel’s list. The suit I have now is getting old and perhaps a little too small. Graduation and job interviews will be sneaking up soon and I know I need to start shopping soon.

3. Trip to SxSW (interactive festival): This Austin festival has a rather expensive price tag on it with the combined costs of registration, flight and accommodations. I’ve been debating making this a gift to myself for senior year because I think I’ll regret not going.

4. Noise blocking headphones: I used to think those bulky headphones were too big to wear comfortably, but now I’m reconsidering. I don’t like the ear buds very much. I know that I would use them a lot with my laptop, especially when I go places or work from home.

5. Desk calendar: My calendar this year was 365 pictures of beautiful Australia. I loved it and it’s going to be hard to find a new one this year. I think Lonely Planet made it, but I haven’t seen versions with other countires in stores here yet. I might like either a different country or another travel inspired calendar.

6. Spring break Seattle Style: Last spring break my friend Nicole from Washington came and visited me for a week. This year I want to visit her. She lives about an hour outside of Seattle. I’ve never been there before but heard it’s gorgeous. I would love to go visit her and hang out on the west coast for a week.

7. The Annual 2010 album from Ministry of Sound (AUS): This is the Australian version/label and includes 3 CDs mixed by John Course, Aston Shuffle and Goodwill. It looks like a decent line-up and I can never get enough MoS in my life.

What is on your Christmas or holiday wish list?

1 Comment

Filed under About Me, Uncategorized