Monday, January 28, 2013

Austin: Food Truck Parks and South Congress

South Congress Food Truck Lot
     We became aware of the food truck movement a few years ago while watching a challenge on Top Chef.  We’ve seen (and reviewed) some Cincinnati food trucks.  However, food trucks are an entire subculture in Austin with parking lots of
food possibilities.  Of course, the one we had to visit was dessert.

Funky Monkey Donut

     Gourdoughs (yes, it’s a bilingual entendre) serves only donuts to order.  They’re a yeast-based dough and generously portioned.  There are then about a dozen different toppings and all are $4.50, which is not as much as it sounds when restaurants charge $6 - $8 for desserts.  Neil chose the Funky Monkey with bananas and chocolate.  

I had the Mounds (Coconut and Chocolate topping).  Both were excellent as were the donut holes (ten of them) with cherries and custard cream.

Gourdough's on Urbanspoon

Housing Near South Congress
     A few blocks away is the South Congress area, which is like San Francisco’s Mission District before real estate went through the roof or our own Northside if its potential finally takes off.  Findlay Market has exploded and we need to spread some of that overflow retail love to Northside.  There was a city block with about every cuisine imaginable and a great, diverse crowd wandering around, eating, and hanging.

One of Several Areas in Uncommon Ground
     The stores were independents and were pretty funky chic.  The gem was Uncommon Ground, a true emporium of items both familiar and strange and with a broad range of prices.  Like a satire of a boutique, there were two galleries with ‘rooms’ of objects that were vaguely connected, sometimes by hue and sometimes by era or theme.  If a group of post-punk hipsters had overtaken Dickens’ Olde Curiosity Shoppe, it might have looked like this.  However, just before thinking it was all about peace, love, and understanding, a middle-aged mountain biker guy was asked to check his backpack, but he said, “My whole life is in there,” turned, and left.

Downtown Austin from South Congress

The guys thought that bobcat in Uncommon Ground looked a little like me!

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