Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Texas Trailer Twangin'

Banjos - Painting by Sue Duda
I’ve received lots of positive feedback from my readers, mostly emails from my out-of-town friends and family, drooling about the topic, Tantalizing Trailer Treats. Even my mother is ready to drive down to Austin just to spend a day sampling the trailer fare. My response? “C’mon down!!

Someday we’ll try out new trailer eateries, I promise. But, for now, we’re gung-ho on Ugly Banjos and Bits & Druthers! The other evening, after determining that neither one of us was in the mood to cook dinner, Gene and I returned to the East Side Drive-In for more gourmet-to-go.

Gene needed another fish & chips fix (sans the chips) from Bits & Druthers (he can't get enough of that wonderful, deep-fried haddock), and I wanted to try the “real” Jimmy Cracked Chicken at Ugly Banjos. As you may recall, our first fabulous food fling at these two eateries was during the SXSW Music Festival. The trailer eateries had pared down and, in some cases, modified their menus in expectation of large crowds.

My first observation on our return trip was the East Side Drive-In is much more festive in the evening. Everything is lit up with fancy neon signs, and it’s easier to see inside the trailers as the culinary artists, or hash slingers, whichever applies, are busy at work. Plus, it is much cooler at night.

Surprisingly to me, Matthew Schaefer, co-owner of Ugly Banjos, remembered us as he delivered my order of Jimmy Cracked Chicken to our table. How nice, and what great service! But, I digress. What’s important here is THE FOOD! Oh….my….goodness! If I thought the Jimmy Crack Chicken sandwich I had before was wonderful, this full-blown version of the Jimmy Crack Chicken meal was over-the-top scrumptious!

The cornmeal-crusted chicken breast, served with honey truffle butter, was sliced atop a bed of indescribably delicious hatch green chile macaroni-and-cheese and fresh, spicy collard greens. I ate half the mac and cheese before I made it back to the car.
Let me stress that I never order chicken when I go out to eat. I usually prefer to order items that I wouldn’t normally cook for myself. But, this…Jimmy Crack Chicken…oh my…it plays music on my tongue. The flavors and texture are simply wonderful.

Banjo Sailor - Painting by Chad Elliott
I really will try a different trailer eatery soon, y’all. I promise. But, first I just gotta try Ugly Banjos’ “Mom! The Meatloaf” Sammich and their Chicken Fried Steak. I’ll let you know what I think.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” -- Luciano Pavarotti
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -- Virginia Woolf

Strummin’ Yum, Y’all!

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