The North Austin Trailer Yard (aka The NATY) is Austin’s newest food trailer park! Like most other food trailer lots, it’s home to a variety of specialty cuisines (yes, “hot dog” is a cuisine). Unlike all other trailer lots, this one is in North Austin! Not Downtown. Not South. Not East. North. And to officially kick things off, The NATY had a grand opening party on Saturday to get the word out about North Austin’s new trailer digs.
Located in a huge parking lot of a half-empty strip mall, The NATY is a fully featured lot equipped with electricity, shaded seating, a kids’ playground, and a music stage. Around the edge are five trucks and trailers, including Big Fat Greek Gyro, Snarky’s Moo Bawk Oink, The Dog Pound, Michi Ramen, and Genuine Joe Coffee. Snarky’s has actually been serving up sandwiches at The NATY for a couple months and is considered, at least by me, as the anchor. With Greek food, sandwiches, hot dogs, ramen noodles, and coffee, there’s absolutely something for everyone here. Oh, and giant metal animals…
We arrived at the party with Hazel and Dozer (who we’re dog-sitting) and the crowds were out and about. The weather was fantastic, so any long lines weren’t going to be a problem because we could enjoy being outside in May (jinx). If my sources are correct, each trailer had been open prior to the grand opening except for Michi Ramen. First priority, though, was to get coffee, and Genuine Joe provided a fine iced coffee to keep us energized for the food that lay ahead.
Intrigued by the concept, we hopped in the relatively short line at Michi Ramen. I ordered the “Ramen”, which is just the normal pork, mushroom, and onion in their special broth. Notably pricey for ramen ($8.75), we got our number (#97) and stood near the pick-up window. When we heard they were only serving #80 we got in the long, slow-moving line at Big Fat Greek Gyro. After 45 minutes and a few status checks at Michi, I finally gave up on them and did something I never thought would happen. I got back in line at Michi Ramen, confirmed it would be another 20 minutes for our food, handed the guy at the window my receipt, and requested my money back.
He was apologetic and I was disappointed, but it became beyond unreasonable when a bowl of ramen took over an hour to prepare. I hope they work the kinks out quickly. We barely made it through the 30 minute line at Big Fat Greek Gyro. The food was tasty though not worth the wait. Unfortunately the long lines took away from most of the experience, but overall the Grand Opening party seemed to be a success for the trailers. Lots of exposure and new customers was the goal and it looks like that’s what they got. Even with our less-than-stellar experience, I’m excited to have The NATY providing trailer food without driving out east or down south.