Austin's food truck scene is booming on South Congress. They have a stretch of about a block on South Congress not far away from late-night stalwart Magnolia and the newly buzzing Hopdoddy that features a good number of trailers dishing out the street fare you've come to expect. There's the Asian-themed spot (Little Thai Food), there's the gimmicky trailer (The Mighty Cone), and of course, a cupcake trailer with the requisite overdone line (Hey Cupcake). But across the street from Perla's there's a smaller food scene, one populated by just two or three trailers, and punctuated by a food truck chef with a playfully antagonizing theme ("Hey, You Gonna Eat or What?") and a surprisingly affable demeanor. And guess what? He makes a kickass fried green tomato BLT.
Chef Eric's red trailer is covered with yellow-lettered claims: "Solidifying our reputation as Austin's rudest business," "Stop being a princess. Use your freakin' hands," "Gluten allergy? Cowboy up, you wussy," and one of the best, "Insultingly great food." He seems to be pulling no punches. The place is called "Hey!... You Gonna Eat or What?"
His rendition of the BLT is served with a poblano pepper aioli and two sides. There are the homemade potato chips and then there's the backable bravado: "This is going to be the best BLT you've ever had." Whoah! Strong words, dude! But then, you're in Texas. And as the famous college football coach Bear Bryant once said, "It ain't braggin if it's true."
For just $7 you get a truly wonderful BLT. Soft crusty bread with good give, a thick layer of bacon that fills the lot with a sense of justice, and fried green tomatoes that you wish you'd find frequently in restaurants who serve them on their own and not as a sandwich component. Why? Because there's a decently thick coating on the fry. A juicy, wet sandwich with great textural diversity, with a side of crispy just-right potato chips made to order right there in front of you along with some pleasurable banter.
He wouldn't say it himself, so I will: Forget the cupcakes and po'boys, go get yourself a fried green tomato BLT across the street. Hey, You Gonna Eat or What?
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