On Friday my very typical 8am-5pm job shifted my schedule to 3pm-11pm. I know, lucky me. Who needs Friday nights anyway? Don’t despair! I took full advantage of my weekday off hitting up quite a few trailers all over, including SoCo, South Lamar, downtown and near campus. The lucky vendors? The Mighty Cone, Bananarchy, Patika Coffee, and Conscious Cravings. How’d each of them stack up? Spoiler: Wonderfully.
My first stop was down on South Congress at The Mighty Cone. For the uninitiated, TMC has nothing to do with ice cream cones and everything to do with fried food in a tortilla and served in a paper cone. On this day I got the old standby Hot & Crunchy Chicken Cone. The “Hot & Crunchy” refers to the sesame seed, almond, arbol chile flake, sea salt, sugar, corn flake coating while the “Chicken” refers to some beautifully fried all-white-meat chicken. The whole thing is topped with slaw and then wrapped in a tortilla. To keep things neat, it is handed to you in a paper cone. The cone seems unnecessary at first, considering the fact that it’s basically a taco anyway. But once you start eat it you realize how important the cone is to keeping everything in its place. The result is a perfectly fried chicken tender with a crunch loud enough to wake the neighbors topped with a cool, creamy slaw. It sounds simple, but whatever they do makes it so much better than any other fried chicken or taco you’d find out there. It has been pointed out to me that I should have gotten avocado added to it all. What that really means is I’ll have to go again soon.
From The Mighty Cone I made my way over to Bananarchy. I’ve mentioned Bananarchy here only once before, but I’ve had their frozen goodness who knows how many times. The food stand isn’t much of a looker but they make some fierce chocolate-covered frozen bananas. On this day I went for the Joe Banana: a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and coated with crushed coffee beans. And when asked if I wanted “cream and sugar” the only thing I could say was “of course”. Cream and sugar in this case means drizzled with a sugary icing and dusted with cinnamon. In the blistering heat this was the perfect treat to cool me down.
I found myself going from one frozen coffee-flavored dessert to another. This time I ended up at Patika Coffee to get an
iced rocket fuel iced coffee. Normally I drink iced coffee black, not to show off or act better than you, but because it tastes good. Well Patika should have a release waiver or Surgeon General Warning on their cups strongly encouraging you to add milk to their iced coffee. This was my third trip ever to Patika and I learned from my previous two, requesting that splash in some milk to cut the intensity. I don’t know what they do different from everyone else, and I don’t care as long as they keep doing it.
The previous three stops were all planned: satisfying lunch, refreshing dessert, and high-octane snack/treat/pick-me-up. My fourth stop, at Conscious Cravings, was totally unplanned. I didn’t realize that’s where I was going until I was at the counter and telling the guy my order. After grabbing my coffee I was still hungry so I checked out a few nearby carts to see if there was something small to feed the beast within. After scoping out Chi’Lantro, Kebabalicious, and Turf N Surf Po’Boy, nothing really felt right. I drove to some other food trailer parks with no luck until I happened upon 19th / Rio Grande to see who might be open.
There weren’t a lot of trucks, but Conscious Cravings met all my requirements: inexpensive, not too big, healthy. It took me at least 10 minutes to go over the vegan menu and settle on the blackened tofu wrap special. I used a Scoutmob deal so my $5 wrap (a good deal in itself) was only $2.50 (steal!). The wrap itself came out nice and hot in a heat-insulated bag, which was perfect to keep things in order until I got home. My first bite started with a satisfying crunch into the toasted tortilla and then a bite of nicely grilled tofu. As I got deeper into it I found myself really enjoying my vegan snack. I’m looking forward to getting back over there to try some more of their light, healthy options in a world of fried, greasy trailer foods (see the delicious Mighty Cone above).
I’ll remind you again, this all happened simply because it was Friday. No special occasion. No celebration. Just going into work late. It’s sick, I know, but I couldn’t help myself. Now I can’t wait for my next weekday off to give it another go. I’m lookin’ at you, July 5th.
PS- Unfortunately I wasn’t in the picture-taking mood on Friday so you’ll need to use your imaginations (and these stock photos). Better yet, go visit these trailers and see for yourself!