The 2nd Annual Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival has come to a close. It's pretty clear that last Saturday was a HUGE success with men, women, children, babies and dogs all in attendance, plus 34 vendors selling a ton of their best dishes. More space and more food! Happy faces and stuffed bellies could be seen all over Auditorium Shores. The only complaints that came out of No. 2 was a little dust and a DQ for a trailer because of their wood-fired oven. (Austin's burn ban still in effect?!) Austin-ites came out in a big way, solidifying the event as a must attend and confirming what we all know - trailer food is one of our favorite ways to eat!
Wearing my cowboy boot best, Breakfast In Austin happily took a departure from the typical weekend indulgence of breakfast fare. My stomach & I were ready to over-consume some serious trailer food! No Bennies and no Bloody Mary's. After attending Gypsy's Inaugural Fest last year I vowed not to touch a single beer this year. Cause' let's face it. The lines were so long in 2010 that I took up space somewhere in between the music and beer line. So you can only imagine how lucky this girl felt to be 1 of 10 judges hanging trail side in a privately catered tent. Not too shabby!
Not every trailer submitted, so my group of 5 judges were limited to 12 tastings. I don't think my eyes or stomach could've handled much more. Our categories? Best in Bun, Best Veggie and Best Dessert. The other group of 5 had Best Taco, Best Drink and Best Ethnic. No, they didn't share. That said, each trailer gave each judge a massive portion of food and in most cases that portion could've easily fed a 325 pount linebacker. 3-4 bites seemed to be my max on each submittal. Though a few choice dishes offered such stunning flavor, 3-4 bites didn't seem like enough. Sigh. Take a peek at my photos in the order of tasting, a few comments and WINNER notes. (This was a blind tasting, so we didn't know the vendor or dish name until judging was complete)
Best in Bun:
Snarky's Moo Bawk Oink - The Jerk
Short Bus Subs - The Principal (You can't go wrong with the Principal! Nearly perfect sandwich with fresh ingredients and lingering flavors)
Tenderland - Battered Pork Tenderloin
The Jalopy - The Original
East Side Kings - Poor Qui's Buns - WINNER! (One of my favorites with roasted pork belly, hoison, cucumber kimchee and a steamed rice bun)
East Side Kings - Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad (I swear I don't remember brussels in this dish! Really?!)
Bananarchy - Halfsie Vegan Chocolate Banana
Blenders and Bowls - O.G. Acai Bowl (Can you imagine fresh fruit, granola with rice crispy's and a chilled smoothie? Didn't win but was refreshing)
Kebabalicious - Falafel Kebab - WINNER! (Another one of my favorites - would satisfy any meat lover because of the bursts of flavor, delish! Take me back to the Mediterranean)
Hey Cupcake! - Pumpkinator - WINNER!
Bananarchy - Halfsie Chocolate with Toffee Banana (I was a fan of this frozen banana on a stick - loved the balance of sweet & salty, YUM!)
Chi'Lantro - Macaroons
The remaining categories we weren't able to judge and winners:
Best Taco: Torchy's Tacos - Baja Shrimp
Best Ethnic: Mmmpanadas - Traditional Argentinian Empanada
Best Drink: MamboBerry - Strawberry Basil Smoothie
A huge nod to Tiffany Harelik, C3 Presents (Bettina, you rock!) and The Sustainable Food Center for pulling off a very impressive Gypsy Picnic this year! I was so appreciative to be a part of judging (thank you CultureMap Austin!) and had a terrific time. Until next year!
The Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival is definitely worthy of Breakfast In Austin's catchphrase. It's all about the feast, not the famine!