The Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival is a new event taking Austin by storm, bringing the new trend of trailer food to the masses by allowing Austinites to come and try their local food trailers. Versus an event like Taste of Austin that caters more to established restaurants, Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Fest is much like the trailer food it represents, a cheap and affordable way for new chefs to reach out to the Austin community and reach a foothold into Foodie hearts.
This is part 2 of coverage on the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Fest and we will be focusing on desserts today! Yum! 😛 If you missed Part 1, check it out here.
Our first stop is Coolhaus, a cute little trailer that is designed especially to churn out freshly made ice cream cookie sandwiches. Coolhaus was also cool enough to even provide a little something for your dog if he or she got hungry during the festival. 🙂 Coolhaus also differentiates itself by providing edible ice cream wrappers, but they really did not taste that great so only take it for its face value: the cool factor. Now, to the product. Coolhaus ice cream cookie sandwiches are amazing! Two of my friends found it one of their favorite things to eat at the Food Fest and I’ll admit, I found it quite enjoyable. They got the fig mascarpone with ginger cookie on one side and a classic chocolate chip cookie on the other. The chocolate chip cookie was OK, being a little chewy, but mostly crunchy. I liked the crunchiness, but my friends preferred a more chewy cookie instead. Again, your mileage may vary. There were definitely a lot of chocolate chips, but the batter wasn’t very buttery or unique. The ginger cookie, however, was delicious! It was also chewy on the inside, but more crunchy on the outside. It was clearly a very sweet ginger cookie, but the ginger wasn’t overpowering or too strong. The ginger cookie with the fig mascarpone is definitely a winner. However, the fig mascarpone ice cream was also mostly just OK to me. It was tasty and had a unique flavor that could be attributed to the mascarpone. However, I didn’t taste a lot of the fig and I kind of expected tiny pieces of fig in the ice cream. However, Coolhaus definitely has a good thing going since I find the greatest weakness in cookie ice cream sandwiches is that the cookie has absorbed too much moisture. A fresh one made on the spot certainly takes care of the issue. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 1/2 for taking a standard dessert and making it taste even better fresh, for offering innovative ice creams and for an allowance of unique combos by customers.
Next was Cutie Pies, a trailer you can’t miss with its bright pink exterior and general fancifulness. The pies there were definitely yummy. The pies were going like hotcakes and offered such edibles as fresh pumpkin pie (none of that canned stuff), but I went with the Pie Queen’s suggestion and had the award-winning buttermilk pie. Absolutely delicious. 😛 The pie was sweet, but the sweetness was toned down by the acidity of the buttermilk that was not overwhelming when you bit into it. It was creamy and had a good texture on the tongue that literally melted as you ate. The crust was surprisingly thick, but that made it all the better when parts got caramelized with the buttermilk filling. Overall, another place I definitely want to try again. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 for the best buttermilk pie I’ve ever had and the super friendly people. Just a warning, the pies go quick so try to get there early and snatch a slice before the trailer closes shop.
I have heard so much about Holy Cacao, a trailer specializing in hot chocolate and a unique specialty: cake balls. A truffle on a stick, according to Holy Cacao. The place was tasty, but didn’t really live up to the rep I expected. However, my review may be slightly qualified by the fact that I’m not a big cake fan. I had the Wedding Cake and the Red Velvet and both were tasty. The Wedding Cake was very sweet and full of vanilla and white chocolate tastes. I loved the sugar crystals on top and it was good and fun to eat. The Red Velvet, though, would be my favorite as the slight chocolate taste went well with the white chocolate covering. The cake balls are interesting in that they are freshly made cake that is crumbled and mixed with frosting to create a better texture on the popsicle stick creating a tasty cake ball. Amazingly difficult to make, they are tasty, but not exactly my cup of tea. Fun to try for their novelty. My friends tried the carrot cake and peanut butter and both liked, but were not necessarily impressed. The carrot cake was quite sweet and the peanut butter was literally like a Reeses’ piece on a stick. Great for peanut butter lovers out there. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 for the novelty, fun factor, and super sweetness. It may be known for its cake balls, but it started out as a hot chocolate place.
Honorable mention must go to Bananarchy, who also won for most veggie-licious vittle. The food is frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and covered with delicious toppings like Oreos and M&Ms to create a luscious dessert that can even become completely vegan with vegan chocolate dip if you so desire. I did not actually get to try this dessert, but my friend tried it and really enjoyed it. From my experience with frozen bananas, I can only imagine how much more delicious it must have been covered in chocolate and nuts. The servings are also quite large so leave a lot of room if you want to indulge in this cool treat. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 for being delicious and a healthy vegan treat in a hot city. However, admittedly, couldn’t this be made at home? Whatever, still tastes good and they do their best to promote Austin causes like using fair trade bananas and having live bands play by their trailer.
After all this, one must mention Le Cordon Bleu. The cooking school came to the event, giving demonstrations of the food they can teach you to make in their classes. Amazingly nice people and they gave 2 cooking demonstrations, though we could only stay for one. They made pâte à choux for us, which is the dough used in such French pastries as éclairs and true beignets. Unbeknownst to us, this dough can also be used for savory dishes like potato puffs. They showed us how to make the dough and then gave us samples of the 2 different ways to use the dough. So delicious and literally melted in my mouth. It was like little clouds of delicious carbs and now I kind of want to make some. Le Cordon Bleu has an open house once a month allowing hopeful chefs and pâtissiers to see what a class in the school will be like as well as expanding the foodie’s cooking repertoire. Definitely recommended and a highlight of the Food Fest. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 1/2 for being informative, super nice chefs, and to learn more about how to cook in Austin.
The festival was fun and more than just food. I really liked that they had live performances of music and a place for the kids to enjoy themselves with storytelling and acrobatics. There were also lots of dogs around (including the doggie above!), but they stayed pretty calm. No havoc so thank you dog owners. However, it was definitely hard on the dogs to be surrounded by food they couldn’t eat. Some places like Coolhaus, though, had special doggy treats to give to sate their appetites. There was also a cook-off taking place during the event, trying to determine the favorites of Austinites that will then be adapted by Le Cordon Bleu. Check out the winners on the website!
Overall, the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Fest was amazing and the place was packed. This was the first by Trailer Food Diaries and hopefully this event will become a part of the Austin foodie event staple. I thought this was a great way to let Austinites know about the other food options available trekking around the city and I am definitely stoked to try out my next food trailer!
Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 :P, to experience the trailer food scene of Austin in one location for a great price. Plus, experience other parts of Austin like Le Cordon Bleu, the live music scene, and Ladybird Lake!
P.S. See some great pictures and a different perspective on the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Fest by my fellow blogger here.