October 24, 2014

Truck by TruckwestFrom Oct. 21 to the 26, 60 vendors partake in Truck by Truckwest: Austin’s Food Truck Taste-Off for the chance to win the “Best Mobile Food” award and $10,000.

The event 
“Feed your face, spread the love and keep Austin Fed” is the motto of this year’s mobile food festival. The Austin culinary arts scene is ripe with food trucks of all kinds. Festival attendees are asked to visit as many trucks as they can and then vote for their favorite. At the end of the week a winner is crowned. They win $10,000 and a whole lot of bragging rights.

The vendors
The trucks are parked all over the city in their usual spots. If you frequent a specific truck it’s likely to be in the same spot you last saw them. The city is divided into 8 areas: Roving Etc., South First, Solo and Solo, Barton Springs, Central/North, The Midway, Rainey Street and East Side. If you want to make a meal of it start in one area for an appetizer and then head to another for your entree. Stop in another area for a dessert and you’re set.

The food
Most of the trucks have one or two menu items for attendees to try, from Mellizoz Tacos’ “The Padre”  and tortilla soup at 1503 South First Street to Ms. P’s Electric Cock’s “Austin’s Best Effin Drumstick” at 1101 S Congress Ave. Other locations have a different option for every day of the week, like The Beef Cake Shop and La Fantabulous, both at 74 Rainey St. At some trucks you can even try samples of the entire menu.

The nitty-gritty details
Ten percent of the event proceeds go to Keep Austin Fed, a volunteer-based nonprofit that gathers food from commercial kitchens and gives it to area charities that serve people in need. Sponsors for the event include Doucette Properties and Best Austin Handyman as well as Insure My Food Trailer and Motogud: Ace Moto Cafe Rallye. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at the door and come in the form of wristbands. They can be picked up at a different truck every day. One wrist band gets you whatever items are on the truck’s festival menu and one chance to vote for your favorite vendor.

Austin culinary students looking to start their own food truck should head to this mobile culinary crawl to check out the competition and see what the industry is all about. Not to mention to taste some seriously good food!